DC held a Batman panel regarding the state of the Bat-Books and the Return of Bruce Wayne this October on Friday Afternoon.
On hand was DC Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler, Batman Group Editor Mike Marts, writers Gail Simone (Birds of Prey), Bryan Q. Miller (Batgirl), Paul Cornell (Knight and Squire), Paul Dini (Batman: Streets of Gotham), Scott Snyder (Detective Comics), Judd Winick (Red Hood) and Grant Morrison (Batman: The Return and Batman Inc.) and artists Frazer Irving, David Finch and Dustin Nguyen.
Here are the announcements and news:
-Mike Marts announced that Tony Daniel would continue as writer and artist on “Batman”, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason take over “Batman and Robin”, Snyder taking over “Detective Comics”, Cornell as writer on “Knight & Squire”, Finch as the writer and artist on “The Dark Knight”.
-Marts then turned the mic over to Morrison, who announced what’s next for him in the Batman Universe—”Batman: The Return” one-shot and a new series, “Batman, Inc.” “All I’m going to tell you up front is basically it’s almost a team book,” explained Morrison. “I was looking at the Brave and the Bold cartoon which I love and I wanted to do that kind of thing—Batman with other people. We’re come up with a structure that let’s us do kind of a team book.” “This is why the book was called ‘The Return of Bruce Wayne,'” he added. “This is what happens when Bruce is more in the equation and what he does with the Batman idea and turns it into a franchise.”
-In regards to his upcoming run on “Detective,” Snyder said that “It’s going to be back to basics, but with a new twist.” The book will includ backups about Commissioner James Gordon. “I’m really thrilled and honored to be doing this.”
-Dini will be writing a sequel to his “Detective” arc, “Heart of Hush” called “House of Hush” in “Streets of Gotham.” The arc discusses the Wayne and Elliot families backstory much more than has been seen before. It also involves a prisoner released, one who went to jail long before Bruce’s birth, but wants to kill Bruce Wayne. “It’s a long story. It’s going to stretch into December, January and is just getting started right now.”
-David Finch is finishing up drawing “The Return.” “There’s a new costume for Batman that Grant had a lot of input in a lot of specific things that he wanted from just the look of Batman,” he said. “I’m starting drawing a lot of big bats, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great re-imagining and re-establishing of Bruce as Batman.”
Now it was time for the Q & A (here’s a selection)
-In response to a question on his upcoming “Detective” run, Snyder said he draws a lot of influence from the old series and that the book deals with “How Gotham is changing now that Bruce is back.” “A lot of CSI: and high-tech” is involved. “This is really focusing on Batman as the world’s detective as he tries to solve a series of mysteries that all tie together,” he said.
-In regards to Batman Beyond’s return to the DC Universe, a fan asked if there might be a series written by Paul Dini. “That would be great,” teased Marts. “I would pick up that comic.”
-Later, a fan asked about what Bane and Deadshot’s response would be to the return of Bruce Wayne. “You have to read ‘Birds of Prey’ to find out,” laughed Simone.
-Another fan asked about the future of Jason Todd. “I think we can all say comfortably that Jason Todd will be staying around,” Winick said. “He won’t have his own book.” The writer joked that villains shouldn’t have their own book, but when a fan pointed out that Simone writes a book with six villains, Winick said they’re looking for five other Jason Todds. “We called it ‘Jason Todd and Friends’ for a month. But it sounded weird.”
-In regards to the amount of Bat-titles, Morrison said that “I think it’s good to have a lot of different Batman books. I much prefer you can write all these different stories.” The writer mentioned how his Batman R.I.P happened the same time as Dini’s “Heart of Hush. “You just have to buy into that because it’s comics. But that must have been a hell of a week in Batman’s life.”
-A fan brought up whether Morrison thinks the Joker knows who Batman who. Although Morrison said he think the Joker does, he added, “It’s not important to the Joker to know that. But who’s going to say, ‘Hey, I know your identity’ to Batman. I think everyone at the Daily Planet knows about Superman but they say, ‘Listen, don’t say anything. He thinks we don’t know and it’s really important to him.'”