In grand Comic-Con International tradition, DC is bringing the creative minds that populate Gotham City into the spotlight with a panel focused on all things Batman. Tom King, Pete Tomasi, Marighread Scott, Mitch Gerads, Clay Mann, Enrico Marini, Bryan Hill and Joelle Jones came together for the panel, covering virtually every corner of the fan-favorite Batfamily.
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Writer Mairghread Scott kicked off the panel to talk about her upcoming run of Batgirl, starting in #25. "I'm a huge fan of Gail Simone," Scott said, "But I also really love what Hope Larson and Babs Tarr did with the character. I always say that what I want to do is take Larson and Tarr's Batgirl and put her in Simone's vision of Gotham."
Scott continued with more details of her first arc, "this is a story about Babs and her other half as I like to call him, James Gordon Jr., where I'm trying to explore that dynamic." She went on to detail elements of the new Batgirl costume, "we wanted a Year One vibe pushed modern."
Bryan Hill then took the mic to talk about Detective Comics and Black Lightning and the Outsiders. "I was in Toronto working on the Titans show when I got an email from an editor asking if I was interested in coming in for Titans and I laughed and thought that it was meant to go to Brian Bendis," Hill joked before getting a bit more serious, "I wanted this story to matter. I wanted this story to have real consequences. I wanted high stakes and high consequences where innocent people were at stake."
Hill then went on to talk about his supporting cast, "I'm the biggest Cassandra Cain fan in the world," he said, "the way she can communicate through movement is so cool to me, I was able to give her a cool sequence that I'm really proud of." Hill went on, "these characters are all high risk to me, and coming from my background teaching high risk kids before I was a writer, I wanted to bring that to this run."
Enrico Marini then spoke about Batman: The Dark Prince Charming "I wanted an intimate, emotional story, I didn't want big stakes. It's about Joker and Batman fighting over the fate of a little girl, it's a very small story," he explained, "I had a great time writing these characters."
Mitch Gerads then stepped up to talk about his work in Batman #50, "Somehow I went from being the military guy in comics to being the relationship guy," he joked before Tom King picked up to thank fans for supporting the issue. "It was painful for me to write and things were tough but you guys got me through it -- okay, okay, now I'll make jokes," King laughs. "We wanted to get this issue to celebrate everything Batman is, but beyond that it was a celebration for how far we came in Rebirth. Putting out a double ship Batman book for fifty issues is a lot and we wanted to celebrate that."
King continued, "We're halfway through our big epic that I hope will explore the core of what Batman is, if Batman is a human, if he's a god, if he's like us or if he's something else."
Joelle Jones then focused on her Catwoman stories, "I want my Selina to be a combination of Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Returns." Jones continued, "I wanted to make a villain for this story who was a female villain who is just gross and irredeemable. I noticed that there was a deficit of that in the DC Universe, female villains always turn out to be pretty or heroic."
King then spoke a bit more about what's happening in the post-wedding world, "The idea from day one for this arc is that we have this villain, Bane, he wants to break Batman but you can't do that, he's been through everything. So Bane had to find a new way to break him, he had to break his heart and no one's ever done that before. The question that will haunt the next fifty issues is if he can come back from that."
Batman #51 is designed to be Batman vs Bruce Wayne. "Dick is back in the cave now, too. Dick is sort of like if you break up with your significant other and your best friend moves in and stays on your couch to make sure you're okay," King teased.
Pete Tomasi then took over to talk about his upcoming project, a run on Detective Comics with artist Doug Mahnke starting on #944. Tomasi then teased plans to handle Detective Comics #1000.
Tom King then explained that Batman will be returning to his vintage Hush costume because he "no longer wants to wear the costume [he] wore when he was with Catwoman." The trunks, it would seem, are back for more than just Superman.