Most writers would be hard pressed to follow up an event as talked about as Batman’s wedding issue, but Tom King took a shot at having two of the most discussed books of the year as he arrived at New York Comic Con. Saturday morning, the DC Comics writer took the stage for a spotlight panel.
Accompanied by his Mister Miracle artist Mitch Gerads, King started out the discussion in his typically sarcastic fashion by promising anyone upset by the events of Heroes In Crisis that “I have a bodyguard under this table!”
That event series will keep rolling out in the fall. “#2 is coming out. The art is gorgeous...and it’s going to be very sad,” joked King. He promised that the next chapter would not only explore the lives of the heroes lost in the first issue, but
Mister Miracle has no mid-point trade, unlike every other book I’ve ever done,” he said promising that they were trying to get the final issue out by February. When the collection arrives, it will begin with the “catch up” story explaining the character’s backstory that King did with artist Mike Norton.
The recent events of his Batman story came up, and King joked “Are there any more Titans I can kill? We’re going to do a 12-part story called ‘The Death of Aqualad.’” In seriousness, the writer said that the next big issue will welcome back Tony Daniel to the book but will also contain pages from artist Mark Buckingham. “It’s the craziest art that’s ever been in a Batman comic since Grant Morrison brought back Bat-Mite,” he said.
For the foreseeable future, the main Batman title will focus on the super story of Bane continuing to manipulate the Dark Knight’s life. “Bane crushed his heart...it’s really harrowing, and the art is great, and I’m excited for you to see it...and I promise I won’t kill Donna Troy for at least a few months.”
Asked by an audience member whether the deaths at the heart of his Crisis would be undone in the near future, King took a serious turn to say that his story is not about resurrection per se. “We tell these stories not about death, but about our lives.”
King was asked if he’d ever go back to writing novels, and he said some of his comics qualify — like the Vertigo series Sheriff of Babylon. However, for the time being, he’ll be focusing on his comics and a few TV projects that are in the works.
Asked whether Heroes In Crisis will go deep into the thereputic and trauma issues surrounding Sanctuary, King said that future issues will have backup tales revealing more about that place but they won’t be static therapy sessions. Rather, the stories will be metaphorical ones that focus on superheroics first and engage with those issues around the action readers expect from these kinds of narrative. He compared this idea to the setting of Arkham Asylum, which he views not as a mental health facility but as the representation of pure evil in Batman’s world.
Much talk was given to the injury delivered to Nightwing in a recent Batman story. Aside from mocking the suggestion that the character of Dick Grayson change his name to Ric, King said he actually finds the concept of killing a Robin really boring in the here and now. He revealed that when DC was suggesting killing Tim Drake, he went out of his way to leak the news at convention bar gatherings so it would end up on the internet and scuttle the plans.
King and Gerads revealed that they are currently planning their next collaboration, though calling it the third volume in a spiritual trilogy may be a step too far at this point. The writer said that Mister Miracle will be their one and only New Gods story.
King went on to say that Marvel’s plans for a second Vision series, he felt great that a new voice was coming on to the book because he had nothing left to say with the series.