BATMAN C2E2 Panel Recap: Joker's Return, Batman Eternal, Robin Rises & Zero Year

BATMAN C2E2 Panel Recap: Joker's Return, Batman Eternal, Robin Rises & Zero Year

BATMAN C2E2 Panel Recap: Joker's Return, Batman Eternal, Robin Rises & Zero Year

DC's Batman panel at C2E2 '14 featured a lot of talent teasing the future of the Dark Knight in print. Here's a recap, where Scott Snyder, Jason Fabok and others talk Batman Eternal, Zero Year, the return of Robin, the Joker, Court of Owls and more... Updated with new Greg Capullo art!

DC brought some big names to celebrate the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary at this year’s C2E2. Batman writer Scott Snyder, Batman Eternal’s Jason Fabok, Dustin Nguyen and James Tynion IV and the Batman & Robin team Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason all gathered at the Batman panel, covering all facets of the character and the future. 


After showing off the recent animated shorts, talk turned to Snyder’s work on Zero Year with artist Greg Capullo, as he showed off a secret page from the upcoming Batman #31 that featured a grizzly battle with a lion (pictured below). While he admitted that “this arc is meant to be fun and over the top”, things got a little more serious and personal. “This story is very personal to me. Batman turning tragedy into what he's done here is amazing and inspiring. This reveals how hard it was, the struggle for him dealing with his parents' death and what he was going to do… everyone has their dark moments, and this arc has a big revelation about that for young Bruce Wayne. I'm very proud of what we've done.”


DC’s massive new weekly series Batman Eternal kicked off this month, but Tynion revealed they have been working on it for over a year. “Scott and I sat down and figured out ‘what would be the priorities here?’” Snyder was skeptical. “They came to us and asked if we wanted to do a weekly, and we first said ‘we don't want to do a weekly!’” The agreement was that they wanted to "reshape Gotham for the 75th anniversary” and “change the entire dynamic of Gotham City all at once,” Tynion teased. “This is already huge for everything with Batman, but it's barely the beginning.” The panel clarified that the events depicted in the flash-forward issue Batman #28 would re-emerge at around Eternal #35, and that Catwoman’s journey will be a vital part to the story.

Fabok said he begun illustrating the series in October, and went “all out for these first issues. That added some extra time to draw these crazy, crazy scenes these guys wanted. I'd go ‘Why are you making me draw this?’ but when you'd send your pages in and watch your editors freak out, it was all worth it.” Tynion sees the first three issues as the “pilot for the TV series that is Batman Eternal, and that the next few issues will set up recurring plot lines in the weekly.


Tomasi and Gleason revealed that the recently announced Robin Rises will complete the Hunt storyline, which has been running through the Batman and… “It's actually not the ending where any Robin comes back. It's the beginning of a story where Robin will come back,” Tomasi said. July’s Robin Rises #1: Omega will lead into a second issue, labeled Alpha, to be released in December. “We put Batman through paces he hasn't been through before,” the writer explained. “In the New 52, you want to break some characters to humanise them. He can't be the expert detective all the time.” Gleason was incredibly happy to have worked on so many characters with this story, especially Aquaman.


Snyder briefly touched on the return of the Joker after Death of the Family. Where that story was about the Clown Prince demonstrating his love of the Caped Crusader, the next story will focus on his newfound hatred of Batman. “It was always a two-part story, but you're going to have to be patient,” he mentioned, saying that he will be scarier than ever before. Snyder also teased the return of the Court of Owls by saying they are “definitely coming back in a big way” and hinted that Bluebird, introduced in Batman #28 would be getting the spotlight in the near future. “Will we see Bluebird breakout in a mini-series or a one-shot? 100%. Bigger than a one-shot or a mini.”


Other interesting tidbits included brief discussion of the upcoming Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet by Kevin Smith, Ralph Garman and Ty Templeton. “It's note perfect. It absolutely feels like it could have been on the TV show,” said DC’s Jim Chadwick. Nguyen spoke of his long-lasting love of the Dark Knight, which was echoed by Fabok and Gleason. “You've got to love the character. My samples when I tried out at DC were Batman samples, so that tells you how I feel about him.” Finally, when asked what their favourite version of Batman is, Snyder, Gleason, Tynion and Nguyen all admitted their definitive incarnation was Batman: The Animated Series. When I'm writing Batman, I hear Kevin Conroy's voice,” Tynion said.
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