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Exclusive Interview: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray Talk BATWING During Zero Year

What? Batwing during Zero Year? Which one? What was he up to? This is where we'll find out!

Yesterday we talked to James Tynion IV about what Jason Todd was up to during Zero Year. The idea was to explore Bruce Wayne's journey in becoming a crimefighter before he officially became Batman. That means the time period is about six years ago. The idea of other titles going back to that same period seemed a little odd considering the characters wouldn't have been in their superhero roles.

BATWING is a perfect example. Luke Fox, Lucius Fox's son, is the current Batwing. Rather than follow in his father's footsteps or continue his MMA fighting career, he became part of Batman's inner circle. Where would he have been six years ago?

We had the chance to exclusively get some answers from Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. Here's the previously unreleased official solicit for BATWING #25:

BATWING #25

Written by JUSTIN GRAY and JIMMY PALMIOTTI

Art by EDUARDO PANSICA and JULIO FERREIRA

Cover by AMANDA CONNER

On sale NOVEMBER 6 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! As Gotham City descends into chaos, young Luke Fox is the only one who can stop one of his classmates from causing more destruction—but he didn’t count on his friend being so… VENOMOUS!

Here's what Jimmy and Justin had to tell us:

Comic Vine: For Zero Month, can we assume your focus will be on a young Luke Fox?

Justin Gray: Of course, it gives some insight to who Luke is and how he possesses a heroic spirit.

Jimmy Palmiotti: The idea of this month of books gives us a real chance to introduce the reader to Luke at a young age ,and in doing this help the reader get to know the character even more than we have been showing in the series before. It’s a great opportunity.

CV: Would Luke be in his early days of high school?

JG: Yes I believe he is a senior at a private school at the time of the story and he'll be.

JP: Luke is in his last year of high school and about to step out into the world as his own man. We get to see how Luke interacts with those around him as well as look at the events that show him there is more to the world than the simple school activity around him.

BATWING #19

CV: Luke started his MMA fighting around 16 (I believe). Will we see any of that in the issue?

JG: More than likely yes.

JP: You bet!

CV: Besides just being an issue with a young high school kid and any 'normal' problems he might have, will there be any bigger Batman-type problems or characters that will show up? Or is it 20 pages of Luke sitting in study hall?

JG: We're using this as an opportunity to introduce a young man that will eventually become a super villain so you will see some of that.

JP: The zero month gives us the chance to plant some seeds for future problems and at the same time connect with the young Luke and how he looks at this type of person without the wisdom an older Luke gains.

CV: Was there a sense of freedom in coming up with this flashback story or are there constraints because it's set in the very early days of the Batman Universe?

JG: A little of both, but mainly in the structure of how we wanted to tell the story. We would have preferred to work in a bookended fashion, but with something like this you need to play by the rules. It wasn't difficult; we just envisioned a different structure.

JP: Writers all have different styles on how to tell a story…but we worked with what we had and fashioned what we feel is a very interesting and very insightful story that does right by the theme presented. We want the readers to know and love Luke.

CV: Will any elements from this issue surface in an upcoming one?

JG: Yes.

JP: You bet.

CV: Will there by any possible run ins with a younger Dick Grayson or Tim Drake? Or would that be too coincidental?

JG: Since coming onboard Batwing we've been very focused on who he is and where he fits into the Bat family. Hopefully in the near future we'll be able to inject some familiar faces in the book.

Make sure you check out this week's BATWING #23 to see his fight with Lady Vic and be sure to pick up the Zero Year issue on November 6!

24 Comments
Posted by Trevel8182

Tim Drake's solo series lasted 20 years and sold very well I don't understand why Batwing has solo series but Tim Drake doesn't have a solo series and why Batwing I though Night Runner was a far more interesting character.

Edited by Mbecks14

@trevel8182 said:

Tim Drake's solo series lasted 20 years and sold very well I don't understand why Batwing has solo series but Tim Drake doesn't have a solo series and why Batwing I though Night Runner was a far more interesting character.

Because they felt the need to ruin Tim Drake's character despite his obvious popularity.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

It makes me sad that everything needs to be in America to sell

Posted by Squalleon

It makes me sad that everything needs to be in America to sell

Edited by TakeLuutzen

@jonny_anonymous: I agree but Luke Fox is far more interesting as Batwing since he's got ties with Batman, sort off anyway

Posted by ThreadPool

I miss David like the writers missed 90% of the opportunity that his character presented.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

ugh. and people wonder why the industry going down the toilet fast.

Posted by saoakden

I need to check out Batwing.

Posted by cameron83

Please don't tell me that they're gonna do something incredibly cliche as if he is strolling down his neighborhood and sees a kid being bullied or jumped and he decides to help and get beat up in the process....please no.

Posted by nappystr8

This sounds pretty fun. I always enjoy stories about teen characters. Hopefully Palmiotti and Grey can justify the need for this Zero Year tie-in.

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

@trevel8182: This.

Not that i am against Batwing... Its great to have a strong, black Bat-character!

Its just so sad to see what they did with Tim Drake. Pre new 52 he was in my top 5 favorite characters, easily (especially in his cool pre new 52 Red Robin getup). Now, I kinda forget he even exists. I read the first trade of the new Titans and dropped the book immediately.

Posted by CpTait

It makes me sad that everything needs to be in America to sell

Same, but I really felt like Batwing was only set in Africa because of forced diversity. I know that sounds stupid but when I was reading Zavimbe as Batwing you could tell the writers were writing a foreigners Africa; and they really did just copy Batman's whole shtick... he had the equivalent of an African Alfred!

The fact the new Batwing is also Black goes to show they have some sort of quota; this isn't necessarily a bad thing and I love the current arc/redesign but it can really break immersion by drawing the readers attention to DC editorial policy.

The DC Universe needs to be diverse and more than just America but as the majority of writers and artists are from America they're 'take' on the world will be inauthentic. The major publishers need regional bases with regional talent to get things right.

As a Briton I would love some Europe/UK based heroes but every time an artist tries to draw London or write a British accent I want to tear them a new one; as much as I love Constantine they really don't need to spell out how he says stuff - same with X-Men Legacy's Legion.

Posted by Captain13

I love Palmiotti's Batwing. Luke is pretty awesome.

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

@jonny_anonymous said:

It makes me sad that everything needs to be in America to sell

I miss David like the writers missed 90% of the opportunity that his character presented.

Posted by Trevel8182

@shallbecomeabattoo: I just call him Tim John Blake, because that is not Tim Drake, he doesn't act like Tim Drake, he doesn't talk Tim Drake, all of the meaningful Tim Drake stories are out of continuity, he was never Robin nor is his name Tim Drake and all his meaningful relationships with Bruce, Dick, Cass, and Stephanie are all gone.

Posted by blkson

aww yeah. I'm ready!

Edited by BlackArmor

Luke isn't a bad character but man o man do I miss David, the saddest thing about it is that one of the things that made him so interesting and unique, his setting being so far removed from everyone else, is part of the reason we may never get a story with him again. It's not like he's going to just be hanging around like every other character who lost a series someone has to go way out of their way to use him again.

And I agree about Tim, he managed to knock Superman out of my favorite character spot pre new 52 but it's like everything good about the character has been replaced by just some generic chestmaster who happens to have some qualities from a Robin and that robin isn't even Tim it's the Robin from the Teen Titans cartoon

Posted by Emperormeister734

I am loving this hero

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

An MMA fighter huh? I like that angle for Luke Fox. Awesome!

Posted by Holuntron

No No No No No No. OH god, no... They already destroyed Batwing and offended many people, from regular David fans to African American activists. Why are they still trying to do this to us? And here I was thinking maybe this was going to end up being a re-origin I actually liked...

Posted by sasquatch888

honestly there's so many books i'd rather spend my money on ...this title has been lackluster in both incarnations i really tried to like it because i love reading batman but i have to be honest it bites ...batman recruiting lucius fox's son the fight crime when lucious fox does'nt even want his son to fight at all , why would he put a freinds college age son in harms way ?.....id much rather they developed tim drake in the new 52 then force this crappy batman ripoff on us

Posted by InFamous_Wolf

Can't wait to learn more about Luke Fox's past

Posted by Perfect 10

@takeluutzen: its that thinking that ruins good books. a character doesnt NEED to be have ties to some big name to be interesting. what is so interesting that he is connected to batman? just like luke david was given his suit by batman as well. luke and batman dont really have a connection, its batman and lucius who have the connection.

Edited by Uncle_Yusuf

It's a good book, but not as good as the other titles I'm reading right now. Especially from Valiant Entertainment.