BATMAN #10 hits the stands today. With people in different time zones and all, we'll be reading the issue at different points during the day. I hesitate to post this now but the events that happen here are so huge and have such major ramifications for Batman, we had to go immediately to writer Scott Snyder to find out as much as we could.
This issue is where we get all the answers. If you go back to issue #1, you'll see the evidence has been there. This is what it's all been leading up to. Readers will be shocked and in awe when they see where Snyder is taking Batman.
Let's get to it. By now you should have made the choice to continue reading if you haven't already read the issue. Once you have read it or read further below, please do not spoil the issue for others. Feel free to comment as openly as you want in the comment section here. Don't go on Twitter or Facebook and ruin it for others. Once you get the information, use it wisely.
Also, the information about Harper Row mentioned in the second response is something you're hearing exclusively here!
Comic Vine: Page 1: Joseph and Maria Powers are mentioned. Any relation to Derek Powers from Batman Beyond?
Scott Snyder: Well, that's a very good question. The short answer is yes! As a huge fan of Batman Beyond, and the animated series in general, I love trying to reference things like that. One of the fun things I think for us since issue one has been taking things from the Bat-mythology that exist in the past, in the lexicon, or on the outlying field of comics, and re-interpreting them in our own way. This includes stories from within and outside of continuity. Taking these ideas and making them new and exciting and having stories to go forward so the stories are within continuity now. That hasn't necessarily been part of DC's in initiative but our personal initiative for myself, Greg, FCO and Jonathan. We wanted to make this almost a love letter to all the things that we think are wonderful about Batman across as many platforms as we've ever experienced the character.
It's specifically going to tie into Powers, who was one of my favorite characters in the world. I don't want to give anything away but I can say that the Powers name is a name that I have plans for coming up. I was certainly thinking about exactly that when I used the name.== TEASER ==
CV: How much time has passed between issue #1 and #10? How much time has Batman had to recoup and process everything?
SS: Not much really. I mean, we wanted it to be something that feels like a punishing story that keeps coming at him. At the same time, you are going to see things coming up, like in issue #12, for example. I'll say this exclusively here, you'll actually see moments explored that you didn't see during the whole arc. You'll see things happen with Harper Row, who appeared earlier in the series in issue #7 and, as you guys pointed out as the only site that caught it, I think, in issue #1 as well.
(See article: This New Character in Batman #1 Could Have a Big Future Role).
Through her eyes, we're going to see some stuff that you didn't get to see before that happened throughout the series. It isn't like months have gone by. Without us being too specific, it's more a matter of weeks that the entire story took place. It was something that was meant to feel sort of unmercifully relentless where there wasn't a lot of downtime. It just kept coming at Bruce over and over and kept escalating out of nowhere.
CV: The Court of Owls suffers a major blow. Will they play a role in the upcoming TALON series?
SS: Yes definitely. They will definitely play a part. They're an essential part of the TALON series. Both their history and things you don't about their past in Gotham but also because they might not be gone. Batman has a sneaking suspicion about the scene in issue 10. Which he says openly that their resources are much deeper than he expected. This grouping that he finds is really only a small number of people given the size of the organization. They are still a force to be reckoned with. They're out there but they have been dealt a very very bad blow from him and he's not going to let up on them either.
Major Spoiler Time. Final Warning!!!
CV: Thomas Wayne Jr. Did you always plan on incorporating the ideas of Willowwood and Thomas Jr from the beginning? Before writing issue #1?
SS: IF HE IS, Thomas Wayne Jr….according to our story, it's still not over yet. Lincoln has simply raised the specter of Thomas Wayne Jr. And I'd point out, that if he is Thomas, in our version, he's different than the version that appeared in continuity. The old Thomas Wayne Jr. was Bruce's older brother but here Thomas is his younger brother. This is our "owl man," someone new, from the other side of the mirror of Gotham. Someone back from the dead, speaking (in his mind) for all the ones who came before, the owl of the city of the dead, come for Bruce.
In terms of this ending though, yes, we always planned on ending the story with this surprise, with Lincoln being the man that steps up from behind the Court and says, "Not only am I the one that took the Court down and took what I could to come after you myself, I'm the face behind your own reflection. And I'm your brother." That's what he deeply believes. That was there from the absolute first page of the outline when I pitched it to DC.
Part of the thinking behind was not so much to anything sensational or to do something shocking. The thing that's scary to Bruce is not just that he might have a brother but the mystery getting closer throughout the arc. In issue #1, he's really confident. Batman has everything under control. He can jump helicopters with his motorcycle and tell Alfred he'll be back in a matter of minutes.
What he discovers little by little is maybe this organization was real in history. Maybe they did have bases in his buildings. That's a big reveal. Then it becomes, not only were they there in history but they're still here and they have operatives working right now. That's closer to home. Then it becomes even closer because they have a giant maze right under the city that they're still using to run people through and and they've killed scores of people over the years. They've also manipulated the politics of Gotham. After that it becomes personal, Bruce discovers Dick was supposed to have become a Talon. That's super close, that's right in his family. Then the ultimate reveal here, not only has Gotham surprised him by getting closer and closer and closer to him, now it's saying it's right under your feet, right in your own home, right in your own bloodline this whole time.
For us, it was the inevitable culmination of the story from the very first page. It was never meant to be anything else. I hope they publish my outline with the second volume between me and Greg with the sketches he did of Lincoln from the very beginning.
One way you can tell it was built in from the very beginning, and Greg is going to be loving this, I think, is he took some criticism for having Lincoln look like Bruce when the issue #1 first came out. He was ready to go on and be like, "Well, that's what Scott asked for." I told him to go ahead and he said he'd just bite his tongue. He did and I'm super grateful and proud of him for that. Now it's revealed that we wanted that character to be somewhat like a reflection of Bruce in some ways. Someone who could say, "I'm your brother," and it doesn't look like that's impossible. So rock on, Greg! You're the best.
CV: Like you said, originally Thomas Jr was the older brother. IF IT IS HIM, why make him the younger brother?
SS: My thinking really was, to have a retcon that established that Bruce had an older brother who lived to three or four, when the accident occurred - to establish that this brother walked the earth that long (regardless of whether he went on to become Lincoln) - to firmly state that there was an older brother who was alive for a few years at least, it just felt like too much for Bruce not to have known.
I thought about it really hard, like maybe they home schooled him because they were afraid of kidnappings. Maybe he never went to kindergarten so there wouldn't be a lot of people that would know. Honestly, it wasn't that it wasn't' doable, we could have pulled it off that way, I think? I just felt, out of respect for Bruce, that it was a better maneuver to have the retcon simply be that Martha was pregnant with a second son. That's the retcon. Whether that son survived the accident at all and became Lincoln March - all of that is not clear. All of that is still mystery. All we firmly changed so far is this: Martha was pregnant with a second son who seems to have died in a car accident caused by the owls, when Bruce was just about three. Everything else - Lincoln being him, etc. - that's just speculation so far.
In the end, though, I hope readers will trust that we were thinking very very hard in making the very best story we could and honoring the stuff that came before. We're not just changing things for the sake of change. We're trying to take things from the past and re-imagine them in our own way to give new, exciting and important stories moving forward.
CV: What can you tease about issue #11?
SS: 11 has the biggest craziest action sequence I've ever written in my whole life. It also has my absolute favorite personal moment with Bruce that I've ever done. I couldn't be prouder of it. I would totally remiss if I didn't point out that Greg Capullo, FCO and Jonathan have gone to town on this whole arc. These two issues, 10 and 11, to me are the work that are just masterpieces from page to page. And especially the emotional stuff in 11coming up, I know Greg is especially proud of. I'm incredibly proud of him for it.
And I can tell you that we can't wait to see what you think. We hope you enjoy it. We've put everything we have into it. We can't tell you how much it means to us how supportive everyone's been so far.