While Steve Orlando's heart tells him that The Shadow is the iconic crime-fighter he would want protecting his city at a time of crisis, his head knows that Batman is the right choice. But that doesn't mean that he wouldn't want the world's greatest mystery dishing out some ice-cold revenge if the offender was so deserving.
With two more issues remaining in the crossover Batman/The Shadow, DC Entertainment and Dynamite Entertainment recently announced a sequel series set to debut in October. Featuring art by Giovanni Timpano, The Shadow/Batman follows the events of the current limited series with another six-issue story.
CBR connected with Orlando, who will be writing the new series solo after co-writing Batman/The Shadow with Scott Snyder, to discuss what's ahead for the dynamic duo, as well as how the arrival of Robin will affect the already intense partnership. Orlando also revealed how The Shadow would (or wouldn't) function with the makeup of his team book Justice League of America and which classic character he would love to have Supergirl 'meet' in a crossover series, as he also writes Superman's cousin's monthly adventures.
CBR: Traditionally, news of a sequel doesn't break until a limited series/movie/novel is complete. Why was it important to get The Shadow/Batman announced when we still have two issues left in Batman/The Shadow?
Steve Orlando: It's all about keeping the momentum. The reception for Batman/The Shadow has been overwhelming, with DCE and Dynamite being amazingly supportive. So we wanted to key in and build on that, to reinforce the confidence we have in the characters and the unique things they can say when paired together. Plus, when you have two of the icons of crime-fighting fiction, it's hard to stop telling stories with them once you start.
Fanboys, myself included, love the concept of these types of crossovers: JLA/Avengers, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali even Archie Meets the Punisher but they don't always generate actual sales and interest. Are you surprised by the success – critically and commercially – of Batman/The Shadow?
Working with these characters, and these creators, is first and foremost an honor. So the idea that people would come on board with our loves of The Shadow, Batman, and what they mean to each other, is amazing. I think, even though he is lesser known that Batman in the mainstream, The Shadow remains iconic. His look, the profile he cuts, and the mystery he represents, is nearly primal.
The meeting between them is so base, so simple in its opposition, and that gets people to respond. The World's Greatest Mystery in The Shadow. The World's Greatest Detective in Batman. They cannot help but stalk and orbit each other. It's in their very nature. And we can't help but watch.
You co-wrote the first series with Scott Snyder. This time around you are flying solo. Did you discuss the next story with Scott and what are the pros and cons are writing a series by yourself versus sharing the duties?
Scott and I did talk about where the characters could go, in light of where we leave them at the end of Batman/The Shadow, and where we leave them is certainly an Empire Strikes Back moment. Going forward on my own, it's a huge responsibility to take these characters, and this legacy, through to its next step. But working with Scott showed me the true love of these characters at their core, and that's what both these books are about: spreading that love, showing people why these are two of the most indelible heroes in the history of pulp and comic fiction.
In Batman/The Shadow, the importance of Lamont Cranston in regards to the origins of Batman – and really, the entire DC Universe – has grown with each issue. Not sure if these revelations are considered in continuity but if they are, it makes for a very interesting read of the current DCU and particularly, the World's Greatest Detective. In writing a series like Batman/The Shadow, do you need to consider in-continuity regardless of whether it is or not to fully embrace all of the implications?