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Exclusive: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti Talk 'Gothtopia' and BATWING #27

Find out what happens when everything appears to be perfect in Gotham City.

Coming out of John Layman's DETECTIVE COMICS, Gothtopia, we'll see Gotham City become "...a bright, shiny, happy place where dreams come true...as long as you don’t look at things too closely. During this storyline, things appear to be pretty great for Luke Fox as well.

We asked BATWING writers, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, some questions and have an exclusive preview for BATWING #27.

COMIC VINE: Gothtopia begins in DETECTIVE COMICS #27. Will Batwing's new role be revealed there?

JUSTIN GRAY: Batwing is caught up in the same threat that has blanketed Gotham City. It is so hard not to give away elements of the story when you ask questions like this, but his role is essentially the same. What has changed and what will continue to change in the months following is how he see’s the city. There are some epic struggles ahead for Luke Fox in and out of the bat suit. This is a kind of jumping on point for our summer plans. Jimmy and I have been looking for ways to make the book both fun and compelling to fans of the bat family. We strive to make Luke a unique character to the family, but also have people feel he’s important to their love of all things Batman. It is a challenge at times but we’re working hard and hopeful that Luke resonates with people.

JIMMY PALMIOTTI: The key to all of this is to really bring across how important Batwing will be in the coming year, and how much he will be tying in with the other Batman titles. Being a part of the Gothtopia storyline is only the beginning and as Justin says, a good jumping on point for a lot of new readers.

CV: How many issues will this story run in BATWING?

JG: Gothtopia is specific to issue 27, but it is also the jumping on point for new readers to give the book a chance. Personally I like crossing over with another story in a way that is natural to both the character and the title. John has been killing it on DETECTIVE and we really loved the Gothopia concept. We were able to spin it in a way that was true to both John’s idea and what we’re building with Batwing.

CV: We're just getting used to seeing what Luke Fox can do as Batwing, now that he's Gotham City's protector, did you guys have to shift gears in how you approach his character?

JG: What we did was take a look at year zero and say, this is the first issue we could have had if we launched Luke Fox separately. We dealt with the connection to Batman Inc, which is one of my personal favorites in terms of concept and execution. Now we’re looking at Luke Fox the son of privilege and power and seeing that no matter who you are there will always be a price to pay for wearing the symbol of the bat.

JP: We have been spending a lot of time showing the readers who Luke is, in and out of the costume . We are getting to know him better and with the events unfolding in the next few issues, see a side of Luke that will excite and break your heart as well. We get to know the man, the brother, and the son in a way that, we hope, will leave everyone talking. It’s so tempting to give spoilers, but I will say that events are in place that will change everything in his life.

CV: Besides Lucius Fox, will we see other familiar faces that have been introduced in the series?

JG: Much of what we’re doing in the months ahead is based on Luke’s family and how the different relationships are upended when his identities are impacting each other. We’re also bringing in an array of concepts and villains that hopefully stand out as unique to Batwing.

CV: How much freedom was there in telling this story? It appears to be an alternate reality story but it's still tying into the bigger arc.

JG: There are always rules to be followed. Our obligation was to make sure Batwing remained true to who he is and what the book is about. If you don't fight for a character’s identity then they become a batsuit and not an individual.

CV: The solicit for BATWING 27 mentions Batwing is Gotham City's protector. Is he the city's main protector or is he sharing the duties with others?

JG: That would be spoiling something that other writers are doing and we refuse to do that.

CV: Will there be lasting effects on Luke after this?

JG: Batwing is entering into a new chapter, one where he is personally invested in being a superhero. He’s not taking orders from Batman and going on missions. He will experience that “dark night” of the soul Alfred alluded to earlier in the series.

CV: Any more of Pippi Giovanni in the future?

JG: We sure hope so.

JP: We sure do.

BATWING #27 is on sale January 8. Here's the rest of the exclusive preview.

28 Comments
Edited by TomHunter

I tried this title when first released. Didn't like it. Came back for the P&G revamp and really have been enjoying this title. Luke has turned out to be a strong character on his own and I think not taking orders from Batman down the line will only strengthen this title.

Congrats to all involved!!

Posted by wundagoreborn

Kudos to Justin Gray. It's hard to share an interview with someone as gregarious as Palmiotti and get the most words in.

Posted by micah

Looks interesting, is Gothtopia set in an alternate universe?

Posted by Captain13

This title is totally underrated. Definitely one of the top 3 Bat-books.

Online
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

For a second there I actually thought there was going to be a book where the main character wasn't an American but nope, that was just a pipe dream.

Posted by Cloakx14

i can't wait to get this.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@jonny_anonymous: Your complaining that american comic books star america superheros thats like complaing manga only has japanese heros

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous: Your complaining that american comic books star america superheros thats like complaing manga only has japanese heros

Except manga doesn't only have Japanese heroes and even if that was the case then does that mean everybody that wants diversity is wrong because comic books can only star pepole that are the same as the pepole that publishes them?

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@jonny_anonymous: First the vast majority of manga character are japanese so dont try pushing that BS

Second wanting diversity is fine but you have to remember the vast majority of the readership is still american and their most popular characters are american. So complaning that a character is american in american comics is silly

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@jonny_anonymous: First the vast majority of manga character are japanese so dont try pushing that BS

Second wanting diversity is fine but you have to remember the vast majority of the readership is still american and their most popular characters are american. So complaning that a character is american in american comics is silly

It kind of seems like wanting diversity and complaining about the character being American are the same thing.

Posted by Perfect 10

jimmy is working so much. he got all his creator own properties and doing stuff for dc and marvel. dont burn out! too bad his talents are being wasted on yet another bat event. when will dc stop it. just one year (obviously not this one) where i can pick up a book and NOT have it be interrupted because some foolish that batman is dealing with.

Posted by iaconpoint

Love love love this writing team but can't afford another title at the moment. Will get it in trade though for sure.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@v_scarlotte_rose: no it isnt becuase diversity can be about a hundred different things it could be race, religion, political views, sexual orientation, and nationality is just one so complaining about that one is rediculous

Posted by Mars8254

Can't wait to give this a try. Been waiting to jump on this book.

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Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose
Posted by LordoftheNorth

@v_scarlotte_rose: Becuase when you just focus on a single trait you just wind up creating a mary sue

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@lordofthenorth: A creator could easily come up with a character that isn't their own nationality though, much like the first Batwing.

Edited by LordoftheNorth

@v_scarlotte_rose:when some one demands a differnt notionality from american comics they mean their own other wise whats the point

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@lordofthenorth: So that there are more nationalities represented. You don't need to be part of a group of people to want to see them represented better.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@v_scarlotte_rose: when you focus on a single trait like nationality that becomes the main focus of the character, and making a character just so a group is repersented is stupid like changing Booster Gold to Canadian in the end its shallow

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@lordofthenorth: I don't think it has to be like that all the time though. In a superhero comic, the focus is likely to be on fighting crime, and the nationality is just part of who they are. Like Spider-Woman is English, but that's not just what she's about.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@v_scarlotte_rose: yes but they didnt think lets make an english character she just so happens to be english

Posted by Baptimus

Big fan of this title! Hope they keep it going.