Writer Brian Buccellato has taken the classic character The Black Bat and brought him into contemporary comics over at Dynamite comics. Writer Rob Williams interviewed Buccellato about his work in this series, which just hit issue #10.
Rob Williams: Where's your storyline, currently, with The Black Bat #10?
Brian Buccellato: It’s heading towards its climax. The story wraps up at 12 and so the train is really barreling down the track at this point. Tony has just learned the identity of the man who is pulling the strings… and is preparing to face off against this ultimate nemesis.
RW: A blinded defense attorny for The Mob who dons a costume to fight crime. It's not difficult to see a similarity to another very popular comic character who followed way after The Black Bat. So many popular characters of today were actually riffs in these old pulp heroes. is that something you were aware of?
BB: Of course. It was part of the reason I endeavored to tell a modern Black Bat story that remained true to its pulp roots. Call me crazy, but the challenge of taking a lesser know character that predates the much more familiar characters he inspired, was what drew me. Let’s be realistic, comics are ordered by savvy comic shop owners who weren’t going to be tricked into buying a “Batman knockoff” book. It was never about that… it was about the opportunity to tell a realistic vigilante story and seeing if I could sway people with a compelling hard boiled tale DESPITE the challenges inherent in the character.
RW: How do you go about making the pulp background contemporary for 2014 readers?
BB: I think, as a contemporary writer, all you do is immerse yourself in the source material . And after you truly understand it, you pull out and focus on the elements that will resonate for a modern readers. I made some changes to the original canon, but I did so with the belief that I was still being true to its pulp roots.
RW: You seem, from previews of #10, to enjoy the cop drama aspects of the book as much as the super-heroics. Fair comment?
BB: As much as I love superhero books, what really keeps me invested is the drama. It’s the personal conflicts and all of the stuff leading up to and resulting from the punches that are thrown. I also love police dramas like THE SHIELD, THE WIRE and even TRUE DETECTIVE. With Black Bat I get the best of both worlds… capes AND cops!
RW: What does Ronan Ciquet bring to the book. There's hints of an Alan Davis influence to his work?
BB: The references that I offered up to him were Mazzucchelli and Maleev, but I totally see the Alan Davis in his art! Ronan is a really good storyteller, and his pacing has been pitch perfect. I’m so so so happy with the work that he has done. This guy should be doing big books for the big two. He’s good and I was fortunate to be able to collaborate with him.
RW: What can we expect in future issues from The Black Bat?
BB: That it will end. With a bang. And that you won’t see the ending coming. The last two issues are a doozy and poor Tony is going to face some REALLY hard choices. Stay tuned!
Check out BLACK BAT #10, which is in stores now! And check out Buccellato's interview with Ande Parks about BLACK BAT as well.