The first two issues of the new, weekly “Batman Eternal” has already hit the shelves and if first impressions mean anything, we’re in for a bumpy ride. The first page of Batman Eternal #1 is already generating buzz alone due to its fantastic art by Jay Fabok. Batman is strung up, brutally beaten, overlooking a chaotic Gotham City as an unknown villain taunts him from afar, chilling to say the least. Recently IGN sat down with one of the co-writers James Tynion IV to discuss the the overall direction of the newest chapter of the Dark Knight’s world. Below is just a couple of the questions from the interview, you can check out the full interview in the link below!
IGN Comics: The opening is super haunting. Gotham is burning, Bruce is strung up, no mask, bat symbol carved into his chest, an unknown villain is taunting him using his real name — that’s not what I was expecting!
James Tynion IV: [Laughs] Yeah, you know, we just wanted to have a nice, quiet start.
IGN: [Laughs] So what made you want to start there? That’s a really intense note to start on.
Tynion: We wanted people to know, [even though there’s] what happens with Jim Gordon, what happens in the big training crash that really launches us into the series; and then Professor Pig and airplanes and Batman is in a giant bat-bunker suit, punching a plane out of the sky — even with all of that, the scale of it, we wanted to show that that wasn’t the limit. We didn’t want people to think that it was just like, “Okay, there’s fun action;” ultimately, this would be a kind of smaller story. We wanted people to know immediately, from the first page, how big this story was going to be and how crazythis story is going to be.
When we sat down to do the series, we wanted to do something where Gotham City would never be the same after. We’re razing it to the ground and setting up a new groundwork for a whole new generation of Batman stories, with very unexpected pieces and dramatically shifting the status quo, without betraying the heart of Batman. That’s really where we started, and that’s why the framing mechanism in that first issue, we felt that right in the very beginning we needed to take you to the end and show off what this series has the capability of being.
IGN: And we saw Professor Pig. Is there going to be a revolving door of villains in this?
Tynion: Oh, absolutely. We have the opportunity to play with the full toy box of Gotham City here, and we are absolutely going to be taking that opportunity to play with all of our favorite villains. Professor Pig definitely has a pretty central role in the first couple months, but he’s not the big bad of the whole thing. We wanted to start with a really fun sequence with a fun villain who, personally, I haven’t had a chance to write yet. That was why Scott and I decided to bring out Professor Pig and play with him a little bit right here in the beginning. It also makes sense in terms of where he’s going to be in the next few months. But there are big players coming into this series, starting with the next issue. By the end of the next issue, you’re going to see who one of the big villains of the series is going to be.
IGN: You mentioned working with Scott. Can you describe your process and how you work together?
Tynion: Scott and I have been working together now for a good — I’ve been talking story with him for well over five years now, just in terms of what we’ve cowritten together all across Gotham City, between Talon and the backup stories on Batman. We have the shorthand in terms of how we work together, because we have very similar sensibilities when it comes to story. So a lot of it was, we sat down and he and I crafted this big skeleton document that laid out the whole first act of the story, before we sat down with the other writers and really fleshed it out. It was the skeleton document, and then the other writers came in to help put some meat on the skeleton. So that’s where we started. We always knew what the first three issues were, and we sort of thought of it as, the first three issues were sort of the pilot for the whole series.
By the end of Issue #3, you sort of get a sense of the larger story that’s happening. The we start launching into all the other smaller stories that have spiraled out of that big story. Then it expands from there. Just in terms of how we work together, we tend to talk through the stories very intensely. Then I sit down and plot it out, and I do the full script. Then Scott and I throw it back and forth, back and forth a few times, polish it up, get it ready to go — and we actually did that. We wrote the first three issues back-to-back back in I think it was September of last year. So it was a fun, crazy experience. It’s especially fun to see it finally come to light after all these months.
The second issue came out today so I recommend if you haven’t already to purchase it, it is definitely money well spent!