COMICS: Scott Snyder On SUPERMAN UNCHAINED And BATMAN: ZERO YEAR
Batman and Superman Unchained comic book writer Scott Snyder discusses his plans for upcoming issues of both comic book series. Scott says Superman doesn't need to be updated in terms of his core and that he's not playing it safe on Zero Year.
Superman is at the forefront of comic book discussion again. DC Comics is celebrating the character's 75th Anniversary, there's a highly buzzed reboot set to be released in a few days and there's also an upcoming new Superman comic book title on the horizon from DC golden boys Scott Snyder and Jim Lee. The idea for Superman Unchained began nearly a year-and-a-half ago when Snyder was first approached by Dan Didio, Geoff Johns and Lee. Back then, Snyder was basically asked what other character would he be interested in writing about besides Batman and it just so happened that he's had a Superman story he's wanted to tell for quite some time. Snyder said he told Didio, Johns and Lee that, "I have this idea for a Superman story, and it means a lot to me — it’s personal, and it’s everything I love about the character, and what I would love to explore and challenge about the character.” Fast forward a few months ahead and Superman Unchained was born.
To give us an idea of what 'Unchained' will be concerned with, Snyder discusses what he's always found fascinating about the character. Said Scott, "What has always interested me about Superman are the stories that pushed him to his limits, when it comes to his moral compass. The thing that makes Superman super, at least to me, isn’t necessarily his skill set, or his powers. It’s the fact that he always does the right thing, and he’s been imbued with this incredible ethical compass from the Kents." He goes on to namedrop classic titles such as What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way, Kingdom Come and Red Son so Snyder is definitely swinging for the fences on Unchained. Adding to that, Snyder talks about how Superman needs more than just a physical foe, "I don’t think you really need to update him in terms of his core; it’s more reminding people of the relevance of that core, given today’s circumstances. That’s what I really love about him: he’s timeless in the way that doing the right thing, or sticking by your ethics, never really goes out of date. Part of the challenge of writing him is, when you put Superman up against someone that’s just a physical threat, he wins — you can’t come up with much that would hurt him."
Moving on to Batman: Zero Year a new origin tale for Batman set to begin later this month in issue #21, Snyder admits to initial fear at the prospect of replacing Batman: Year One. Like Superman Unchained, Zero Year began when Snyder and artist Greg Capullo were approached by DC to retell Batman's origin because as a result of publisher-wide New 52 reboot, large elements of Batman: Year One no longer made sense. Snyder said he initially set out just to make small adjustments on the elements of Year One that no longer held up but he quickly realized that was the wrong approach to take. "My first impulse was to try and keep pieces of that and say, 'Okay, well let’s just do a story where we see how much of that we can possibly save,' " said Snyder. He continued, "But it became really obvious that that was just timid and boring, and a paler version of Year One."
As far as the story of Zero Year is concerned, Snyder promises that he isn't playing it safe. "I promised the people who read the book that we would never do that," he stated. He also verbalizes that he's aware of the risk and the possibility of falling flat on his face but, "There are too many people out there who would kill to do their dream Batman story. To sit here and play it safe and just write small, easy arcs — if you have a story in mind that you think could be better than that. I’d rather go out and fall on my face with a story that I believe in my heart is the best and craziest and most daring thing we could do, and doing that." Snyder goes on to confirm that The Red Hood Gang will play a large adversarial role in the first section of the miniseries.
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