Writer Kyle Higgins talks with DCComicsnews.com about his work in Nightwing and the new digital comic, Batman Beyond.
DCComicsNews.com: Congratulations on your recent work with Brett Booth on Nightwing. How has the collaboration been so far?
Kyle Higgins: It’s been great! Unfortunately, Brett had to move on to other projects, but the three issues we did together were a total blast. We’re hoping to work together again someday!
DCN: What does Booth bring to the art table after Eddy Barrows (former artist on Nightwing) left the book?
KH: Brett’s style is suited to high energy, kinetic characters. It’s a bit lighter in tone, too, which is something that’s been refreshing. Eddy and I were exploring stories that were a bit darker, with Court of Owls, Death of the Family, fallout from Damian, etc, but as we’re able to brighten up the book now, Brett has been the perfect guy to kick things off.
DCN: Nightwing’s new location is in Chicago. Is Chicago his new Gotham? Will he return to Gotham?
KH: I really want to keep him in Chicago. That’s not to say he won’t have relationships with people back in Gotham, but I feel it’s very important to build a city and world that is Nightwing’s own. The book has bounced around a little bit in terms of its identity, with all the crossovers during its first year and a half, but we have an opportunity to define things now. It’s very exciting.
DCN: The newest villain for Nightwing is The Prankster, What other Villains can we expect to see soon?
KH: Well now where’s the fun if I tell you that? Wait and see! (laughs)
DCN:Fair enough. Will Bruce and Dick make up soon?
KH: I’d imagine Pete Tomasi’s issue of BATMAN AND NIGHTWING #23 would be a good place to look for that answer…
DCN: You are now the new writer of the digital comic book title, Batman Beyond, congratulations. The coolest thing about Batman Beyond is that it’s a futuristic version of the Batman character fighting crime in Gotham. The TV show/comic book title play on a bit of neonoir in a fun way. What direction will you take Batman Beyond?
KH: Our tone is similar. As far as the story goes though, we’re jumping forward in time a little bit. A year has gone by since Adam’s last issue and my first. Things are different. Big things happened in the missing time… which you’ll have to read the series to find out about.
DCN: You are a doing a year time jump in Batman Beyond where Terry McGinnis (Batman) and the other characters have progressed in their lives. Why the jump? Does it allow you have more creative freedom to explore the characters and their relationships?
KH: Yes, exactly. It also gives us a mystery and some intrigue. What happened to change things? Where is so and so? Etc. One of my favorite things about the cartoon was the sense of mystery that it had about the past. This is my attempt at creating something similar.
DCN: Are there any old characters who will have huge roles on your Batman Beyond run? How close is Terry McGinnis’ Batman to Batgirl Beyond? Is he even aware of her presence in Gotham? What do you want fans to take from your run on Batman Beyond?
KH: There are… but yeah, I’m not going to tell you which ones. Same goes for Batgirl Beyond. I don’t want to spoil that story. As far as what I hope fans take away from our run… I don’t know. My biggest goal is to do the characters and the world justice. I’m a big fan of both the show and the work Adam (Beechen) did. What I can say is that I’m having a blast on the book and I’m writing it in a little bit of a different style from my Nightwing work. It’s actually closer to what I consider my “natural” style. There’s no voice over, there’s lots of cross cutting, lots of characters saying they’re fine but actually hiding a secret (laughs)… it’s a lot of fun.
DCN Fan Questions:
DCN Fans: Do you plan to flesh out some of the history that was alluded to in Red Hood and the Outlaws about Starfire and Dick’s relationship?
KH: I’d like to, totally. This is something James Tynion and I have talked about quite a bit. It’s a matter of timing and finding a place to do it though.
DCN Fans: Any gear upgrades coming now that Dick is in a new city with new challenges?
KH: Actually, if anything, his gear is downgrading a little bit… at least, initially. With Dick not operating from an unlimited budget anymore, he’s counting his wing dings!
DCN Fans Will Jason Todd show up in Nightwing? What are your thoughts on the character now?
KH: I think that’d be a lot of fun. It’s definitely a possibility. As I just mentioned, James and I have some stories in mind.
DCN Fans: Will you expand the Dick and Babs’ Relationship?
KH: Again, I’d like to. There may be something coming up.
DCN Fans: Do you think Nightwing will ever get his own TV series, Since CW ARROW is a hit? What are your thoughts about “John Blake” as Nightwing?
KH: That’d be really cool, wouldn’t it? I don’t know that it could ever happen without a connection to Batman though… and I’m sure Warner Bros. has Batman plans already. That said, one of the things I’m trying to do is build a mythology for Dick Grayson/Nightwing that’s not as dependent on Batman. I don’t know that you’ll ever get away from “he used to be Robin” as the defining characteristic for the character, in the public eye I mean… but we can try!
DCN Fans: Other than Nightwing, who is your favorite DC character? Marvel?
KH: At DC, it’s Batman. At Marvel, it’s a toss up– Winter Soldier, Havok, Spider-Man (although Ben Reilly’s Scarlet Spider was cooler 🙂 Iceman is in there, too.