By Octavio Karbank
Brought on stage were Tom King, David Finch, Scott Snyder, Julie and Shawna Benson, Tim Seeley, Steve Orlando, and James Tynion IV.
Tom King and David Finch, the current creators on Batman, kicked things off by discussing the collaborative process they share, with Mr. King feeling especially lucky to have someone as talented as Mr. Finch doing the artwork for his Batman stories. From there, Mr. King talked candidly about Batman and some of the upcoming comics:
– Batman, unlike Superman or Wonder Woman, knows he will eventually die. The arrival of Gotham and Gotham Girl instilled within him a sense of hope, as he thought maybe there'd be someone else to carry on the legacy. Unfortunately that didn't work out.
– Batman will now have to accept the idea that the only hero for Gotham is no one other than himself.
– The idea of dying will carry on for a couple years and will eventually harken back to issue one.
– The trick to writing a character like Batman is acknowledging the coolness of the character along with the absurdity. While punching bad guys is cool, jumping off rooftops as a giant bad is pretty ridiculous, but that same absurdity is what makes Batman cool.
– "I Am Suicide", the next Batman arc, features the Caped Crusader enlisting some of his villains, taking them out of Arkham Asylum and forming his own Suicide Squad to go and take down Bane.
Scott Snyder spoke next, and in his typical Scott Snyder way, he offered a articulate and extremely heartfelt thanks to the audience; making it clear he appreciates all the support he's received.
– In talking about his All-Star Batman and Two-Face as the central villain. Essentially, Two-Face, at least for Mr. Snyder, stems from the idea that when you look in the mirror, sometimes all you see are the worst parts of you; they are the totality of who you are. At least that's how you feel. For Two-Face, that is literally the case.
– And with Batman, there's an impulse, between heroes, villains, and the everyday citizen, to either be scared or approach seemingly insurmountable issues with baby steps, like Batman, taking everything on as best you can.
Julie and Shawna followed up, talking about their Birds of Prey:
– Writing for comics is much different than writing for TV, they admitted and they are still adjusting to the process of writing comic scripts.
– They teased how another "Bird" will be added to the team at issue #8.
– One of the central topics they wanted to focus and ask on was why do these women gel as a team and what sets them apart from one another?
Tim Seeley was next to speak, talking his current work on Nightwing.
– In examining the character Raptor in relation to Nightwing, he thought that as opposed to the Court of Owls who are just nasty bad guys, and as opposed to Batman, who represents a rich and wealthy life, Raptor offers a more convincing temptation, having come from a poor life, like Dick Grayson and growing up in the circus.
Steve Orlando talked primarily about the current cross-over Night of the Monster Men and the fun challenges involved with doing an event crossing over into all the Bat books; an event that takes place over the course of a single night.
James Tynion IV wrapped things up. Speaking as eloquently as anyone on the panel, if not more so, the audience really connected with the writer as he discussed his current run on Detective Comics.
– He always wanted to write the Batman team book that he always wished to see. He's excited he got the chance.
– Considers Detective Comics an extremely consequential book. For the characters involved, except maybe Batman, this is their most important book.
– Discussed his relationship with Tim Drake and how that particular Robin is his favorite superhero; having read every single comic that has included the character.
– Additionally, in looking at Batman and Batwoman, Tynion examined how the two heroes approach "war" in very different ways.
– Finally, Julia Pennyworth will return in Batwoman.
Octavio Karbank is a writer and bona fide Whovian. Living in Massachusetts, you can find him on Twitter @TymeHunter and his blog www.cozmicventures.com