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Interview: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Talk BATMAN: ZERO YEAR

We do our best to pry as much information from the guys as possible on the next major Batman event.

The next Batman 'event' is coming and, surprisingly, we don't know a whole lot about it. Batman: Zero Year is said to be an origin of sorts for Batman. While we do know about that one defining moment in Crime Alley and have seen a few random moments in Bruce Wayne's life before we became a crimefighter, we don't exactly know what happened right before he actually put on a costume. DC has decided to give us that story and put Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on the job.

We had spoken to Snyder back in March and he kept a lot under wraps. We had the chance to speak with Snyder and Capullo this time in order to try to find out more.

Comic Vine: We'll see how much you guys will be able to answer.

Greg Capullo: Nothing! This interview has concluded!

Comic Vine: Okay, thanks a lot.

[laughter]

CV: How does Zero Year start? Will the first page immediately begin in the past or will it be a giant flashback?

Scott Snyder: Well it starts in a way that we want you to open it up and say, "What am I looking at? This is crazy." We don't want it to be something where you open it up and it's Bruce returning to Gotham and the pearls or the street lamp or anything like that. We want it to announce that it's a different take on that story that we're doing for you guys. Hopefully it's something that's really fun and out there. I don't want to give away how it starts specifically but that's the idea of the opening.

GC: It's just going to break all preconceptions of what this is about.

CV: I'm intrigued. Will we finally find out about Philip Kane and any other members of the Kane family?

SS: Yes, you will. I'll give that away. You'll learn about Philip and the history of the Kane family and its relationship to the Wayne family in the first part of the story.

BATMAN #21

CV: Are we going to see a noticeable difference in the Gotham from six years ago compared to today?

GC: Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And more yes. The landscapes that I'm drawing, the settings, everything is so vastly different from what I've bee drawing up until this point. It's almost like starting over again for me back in September 2011 with the New 52 relaunch. It's like everything was getting fluid and I was just banging it all out and it's all reset. So we're back to square one but it's all exciting stuff. It's going to be a thrill ride. It's very very different.

CV: What about the Batcave? In BATMAN #0, he was operating out of a brownstone in the city. Is there a reason he's not living in Wayne Manor?

SS: Yeah! There's a big reason you'll see in the first issue. They argue about it, him and Alfred. It's mean to be sort of about why he's decided to do that and set up shop in Crime Alley and fight his war from there. Also why he sort of refused to go back to the manor and all that stuff.

CV: BATMAN #0 also showed Bruce had already built up an arsenal, will we find out how he managed that?

SS: Yup! Definitely. That's part of the back up in the second issue.

CV: Will we see other supporting characters like Jim Gordon?

SS: Yes. Jim Gordon has a big role.

CV: Greg, Is there some freedom in drawing the characters and Gotham six years ago or are you restricted because of where things have to eventually end up?

GC: It's fun stuff. It's a bit of a challenge to make Bruce look only a few years younger. It's not like we're turning him back into a teenager, which is easy, right? It's a fun challenge in doing that. And you have to modify your personality. You're not the same guy you were five years ago or ten years ago. You're constantly changing. Some of your core mannerism may be in tact but there's a different flavor on it. Bruce is far less controlled and calculated. He's kind of like an angry puppy with big feet so he trips over them once in a while. It's all fun to explore an earlier version of that character. I wouldn't say it's limiting at all.

BATMAN #21

CV: Issues 19 & 20 sort of had a different feel since so much of the action took place during the daytime. Are we going to see more action during the day?

SS: Definitely.

GC: As an artist, it's a bitch, right? You can't put any shadows around. Everything has to be drawn cleanly.

[laughter]

SS: I'll make it really gray in the next issue.

CV: Is there something about the number eleven? This story plus Court of Owls and Black Mirror were eleven issues.

GC: Yeah, because Scott and I always go to eleven. We're like Spinal Tap, baby.

[laughter]

SS: I don't know why or what kind of strange symbolic value that number has.

CV: Will this story answer some of the questions fans have had about the Batman timeline in the New 52?

SS: Some but I just want to make it clear that's not the purpose of the project. The purpose is really that DC approached us and said, "Batman doesn't have an origin in the New 52. He's one of the few characters that we haven't done that with." Wonder Woman and Superman with ACTION COMICS and Aquaman and all of these characters have had their origins sort of re-done. Martian Manhunter and Cyborg. Batman is really the only one we've stayed away from when you look at the actual math of it, the way James Jr. would be six-years-old, Selina Kyle is no longer who she was in YEAR ONE. Jim Gordon has a different origin. The Falcones have a different origin. All that stuff means that YEAR ONE couldn't have happened the way that we read it. When DC came and said, "We need an origin for him" and we had this big idea, this different story you haven't seen with a really different tone. The idea is, if we're going to do it, we might as well do something that's going to be fun and our own. If we're going to be writing this story that's essentially so sacred and do it in a way you haven't seen before the matters to us, it has to inform you about the Batman you've been watching in our series.

As far was what you asked, you are going to learn some stuff about the time line but the project isn't about making sure you understand why Damian is the age that he was and how different Robins came about and that stuff. That's not the goal of it. The goal of it is to try to give you something that's big, fun and your own and big and modern because there wasn't anything there, in terms of the origin for Batman in the New 52.

BATMAN #22

CV: I know you probably can't give specifics but will Batman's first look be different from what we've seen in the New 52? Will it be less armored?

SS: I would say…yes, it's going to be different. You're going to see new Bat-suits designed by Greg which are awesome. There's a new Batmobile, new tech, new gear…all of it.

CV: Is the entire story going to take place in the Gotham area or will we see other locations set six years ago?

SS: We like Gotham. We're pretty local.

[laughter]

BATMAN #23

CV: I'm just trying to get whatever I can out of you guys.

SS: I know.

GC: We're both dying to say more. We want to spill it all, but obviously we can't.

CV: Anything else you want to add?

GC: I want to say this, my brother Scott is quite nervous about this project that he's undertaken. [laughter] He's very nervous that all of you out there…some of you out there may not be so accepting. So I just want to tell you, keep an open mind. Scott has poured so much love and passion into this story. We're all resistant to change but what Scott has laid out is just so much fun. If you just keep an open mind and don't compare it to… this other thing. Let go of that and judge it on its own merits. I guarantee you're gonna love it. That's it.

SS: Thanks Greg. Yeah, I am really nervous about it. It's definitely caused a lot of sleepless nights. But at the end of the day, when you know that there isn't something there for Batman's origin and you have an idea that sort of approaches all the things you've been doing in your own work and address why he is the way he is and this is what he means to us and you don't do it, I feel like you're doing a bigger disservice to the fans and the readers. You have to try it. I hope everybody out there understands this wasn't a project where we decided we were going to take down the origin that exists but instead we were asked to do an origin because one wasn't in place that could exist in the 52. It became about telling the best story that we could the would be the most fun. It's something that we really care deeply about. I think it's the best thing we've done so far. In that way, I want you guys to understand it was never a project saying, oh let's take apart the origin that exists and do something different. It was about Batman's really the last character in the 52, or one of the few characters that hasn't had his origin explained.

Zero Year begins in BATMAN #21, on sale June 12, 2013.

68 Comments
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Edited by Gotham331

Looking forward to this. Snyder and Capullo's run on Batman has been great.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I'll definitely keep an open mind to this and look forward to reading it! So excited for this storyline to come.

Posted by jwalser3

Looks good, I'll have to pick it up.

Posted by longbowhunter

Spinal Tap reference!

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

I hope it's great.

Posted by dizzybone011

This is going to be too fun to read.

Just a side note: I thought it was funny to see how their doing a Batman origin story and so is the Arkhamverse series as well.

Posted by Renchamp

This almost makes me want to pick up my first DC title ever.

Moderator
Posted by gregroyj42

I want to know how they are going to be approaching the robins. They only thing I haven't like about the New 52 batman universe is that the robins are all messed up.

Edited by OutlawRenegade

If everyone is getting a New 52 origin, then is Green Lantern getting a new one too? Or is that off limits because Geoff Johns is Chief Creative Officer?

Posted by OutlawRenegade

I'm looking forward to this. And I understand their fear about this being compared to the legendary Year One, but there is no doubt in my mind that Zero Year is supposed to be a retcon of that story.

Edited by mcbean

Not sure how I feel about zero hour but I wish Snyder would go back to American Vampire it's a AWESOME series

Edited by UltimateSMfan

In the spirit of the New 52, i Cant wait for this!!! Bring it on Mr. Snyder and Mr. Capullo!!

@renchamp said:

This almost makes me want to pick up my first DC title ever.

Do it dude!! or u'll be missin out, n consider getting Superman Unchained aswell! thats a really highly anticipated book.

Online
Posted by Cruehead45

I'm very excited for this to come out, Scott and Gregg killed it with " Death of the Family". That story arc is actually what got me into the New 52 and collecting comics again. Over all they've done bad ass with the Batman series.

Edited by rjohnson89

@outlawrenegade: REALLY CANT DO AN ORIGIN WHEN PRE 52 IS CANNIN TO NEW 52 IN DC

Edited by G_Money_Christmas

Can't wait. I'm up for change. We've seen the same origin for decades, maybe something new would be refreshing.

Posted by MasterDetective

"Comic Vine: We'll see how much you guys will be able to answer.

Greg Capullo: Nothing! This interview has concluded!

Comic Vine: Okay, thanks a lot."

ROFL

Posted by sj_esposito

This seems promising and I'm looking forward to it. Capullo's art just keeps getting better and better.

However, I have to bring up the fact that I recall many DC people--probably Mr. Snyder on occasion -saying that with Batman in the New 52, all of the old stories still mattered and whatnot. That is clearly untrue at this point. But, whatever. This was during their "its not a reboot!" phase, so... Let's just call DC outright liars and be done with it.

Edited by Seabats

Good lord, let it begin! Can't wait...

Posted by detective38

I am very apprehensive about this arc call me closed minded but I am very against major changes to the origins of my favorite characters. Its so hard to keep up with the bat family timeline in the new 52 due to the fact that they chose to keep most of the pre-existing history yet at the same time mix in stories from an earlier time period. In the end snyder has some writing chops so he might not bring blasphemy to the batman legacy but frank miller he is not

Edited by SavageDragon

Maybe I will check it out

Posted by saoakden

Looking forward to this.

Edited by blkson

Ok I'm sure ZERO YEAR will be great but are they seriously not going to use this chance to explain the Robins continuity? So will the the Robins and Batgirl's history with Bruce in the new52 ever be explained?

Posted by iaconpoint

I skipped the whole article. I'm going into this thing with an open mind and NO spoilers.

Posted by Kal'smahboi

Should be good. I have no reason to expect otherwise.

Posted by TheMilkywayDude

I am not at all looking forward to this.

Posted by OutlawRenegade

@outlawrenegade: REALLY CANT DO AN ORIGIN WHEN PRE 52 IS CANNIN TO NEW 52 IN DC

Wasn't that the case with Batman? Now the pre-New 52 history of Batman is being thrown out, so?

Posted by Reignmaker

I am not at all looking forward to this.

Then don't read it. People who are locked into a Morrison/Miller interpretation or the pre-New 52 world are not going to like this story.

Personally, I'm looking forward to a different take that doesn't beat the same plot points to death.

Posted by Reignmaker

@renchamp said:

This almost makes me want to pick up my first DC title ever.

You really should. Batman has been a pretty self-contained book since it was revamped anyway. You could easily follow this story without having to buy anything else in DC's lineup. I would recommend you check out Batman #0 before beginning #21 though. It's not required, but it acts as a prologue to the story.

Edited by Med
Posted by dreamfall31

Loved the #0 issue and my favorite episodes of the Animated Series were the ones where it was mostly Bruce doing undercover work as himself, so I am looking forward to this!

Edited by ghost_runner

hmm...... on one hand year one is one of my favourite batman stories ever and on the other ive really been digging Scotts run so far. Cant year one and year zero both be canon?

Edited by Battle_Forum_Junkie

@renchamp said:

This almost makes me want to pick up my first DC title ever.

You really should. Batman has been a pretty self-contained book since it was revamped anyway. You could easily follow this story without having to buy anything else in DC's lineup. I would recommend you check out Batman #0 before beginning #21 though. It's not required, but it acts as a prologue to the story.

I knew I should have picked that up when I had the chance! when I went back to the store the next week that back issue was gone... :(

I'll look for it again some other time.

Anyway, Really looking forward to this!

I just recently became a real Batman fan when I read a Court of Owls trade, then I started picking up the title at #19. Looks like I picked a great time to start. I can hardly wait for this one! :)

Posted by Med

@cruehead45: I saw "they've done bad" at the end of your second line and I was like -gasp- and then i saw "ass" and I was like -phew- thereby proving that most things in life are better with a visible ass.

Edited by ectoborge

I want to know how he got the dinosaur and the giant penny in the new 52

Posted by G-Man

@ghost_runner: From this interview, the last and others, Scott has expressed his love and respect for YEAR ONE. The problem is, the New 52 has changed it. The biggest problems are James Jr and Selena Kyle. There's just too many holes now. It's just a matter of we can all love it in our hearts and just try to get over what the New 52 has done. I've expressed my love for Wolfman and Perez's TEEN TITANS. That's obviously been thrown out the window but I still have all my back issues I can read and enjoy.

Posted by Krissyjump

@renchamp: Despite all the issues and complaints of the New 52 I really do think it's been very solid. There have been missteps and fumbles but I truly feel that for new readers or people just getting into DC, it's been fantastic.

Posted by Arkhamc1tizen

i really hope this is good

Posted by fACEmelter88

I usually don't care...but this seems pretty awesome.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

Hopefully this is good.

Posted by Timotheus316

Greg's black and whites look great! Would love to see him do something with this medium.

Edited by MasterDetective

I am not at all looking forward to this.

I was about to say the contrary.

I REALLY AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS!!!! HYPE!!!

Posted by RustyRoy

Very excited about this. I love to read about Bruce's early years with no Robins.

Online
Posted by bob808

Awesome

Posted by nightwingnerd

Can't wait.

Posted by RockyIII

Year One is my favorite Batman story, so I am a little nervous about this project. I am loving Snyder/Capullo's run and love the opportunity the New 52 gave me to get back into comics and DC without having to deal with all the convoluted continuity, but if there was one story I could choose to stay in the DC cannon, it'd be Year One.

Edited by tec79

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, Year One is also my all-time favorite. I will will read this story with an open mind, I accept that an updating of the origin for modern audiences and the New 52 mythology is necessary. My sincere hope that it is well done and befitting Batman as a character.

Edited by MuyJingo

I'm really not looking forward to this. There was little need to change the origin, except to account for the robins situation. It's not that I have a problem with getting rid of that, but I would want it replaced with something as good or better. So far, I haven't seen that, I've seen change for the sake of change....really not looking forward to it.

Also, I hope people can stop with the nonsense that Batman hasn't changed in the New 52, when it very clearly has changed a lot. Green Lantern is the only book that hasn't changed.

Edited by krunkeela

Def will support. Just to be clear, the issues before this new arc were about clayman right? I wanna be sure I'm pulling the right thing.

Posted by thejman251

- It has now been confirmed that Bruce has only been Batman for 5-6 years. Praise the lord.

- Additionally, this is most likely Snyder's last chance to redeem himself for the insane and idiotic drivel that was DOTF,the mediocrity that was the Court of Owls, and his overall anti-climatic and trivial style of writing.

- It will be interesting to see Bruce's new origin nonetheless and having Snyder unable to muck up the current Batman continuity any further is just an added plus.

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