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Interview: Peter Tomasi Talks Future of BATMAN AND ROBIN

The writer of the current BATMAN AND ROBIN series discusses the future of the title as well as the current 'Death of the Family' story arc.

Late last week we sat down and spoke to BATMAN AND ROBIN writer Peter Tomasi about everything from what it's like writing Batman, to whether there really will be a death in 'Death of the Family.' And although Tomasi was a pretty tough interview, he did give us a little bit of insight into his current series as well as the present story arc taking up the Batman universe. Check out the full interview below as well as some pages from the upcoming BATMAN AND ROBIN #15, due to hit comic store shelves on December 12th, 2012.


Comic Vine: Do you have to get into a different frame of mind in order to write Batman the "Dad" in BATMAN AND ROBIN?

Peter Tomasi: No, not really. Actually being a father and the father of a 9-year old son, it's a 24/7 job so I'm always in that "father-mode," so it's very for me. If I'm writing GREEN LANTERN CORPS and then I go to BATMAN AND ROBIN it's very easy to switch into "Father-mode."

== TEASER ==

CV: In the past you've written Robin and you've written Nightwing, how is writing Damian different for you?

PT: Well, Damian is just a completely different character. He is just cut from a whole different cloth. Damian is obviously the son of Talia and with Bruce being his father in blood, there's just a whole different dynamic in regards to his personality, his perspective on life and the way he was brought up -- it was just all so distinct and different from Dick, Tim and Jason. It's just night and day to be able to look at it and say, Damian as a child, as a young kid was put through so many rigorous and intense scenarios to be this "Warrior King" was the way his Mother was looking at it when she was raising him early on that it just…there's just a different DNA in the character [in comparison to other Robins]. He's a blast to write. Him just being that type of character has just been really interesting to write. I love the drama playing off of Bruce and what Bruce's morals and beliefs are.

CV: Now, Batman has been second-guessing his decision to have Damian be his Robin a lot lately, particularly in issue #14 of BATMAN AND ROBIN as well as in BATMAN, INC. Is this mostly because Damian is his biological son, or is it because of Jason's past, or the bounty…?

PT: It's really a combination of everything you said. Knowing Talia has the bounty on his head, the history of the jokes that Joker has played on Robins in the past, he just doesn't want to put his own flesh and blood in the path of an oncoming Joker-train, so to speak. He knows that it's tempting fate to allow Damian to get in Joker's sights. He does everything he can as a father to prevent his son from getting in harms way. Obviously they go out every night on patrol, and there's an element of putting Robin or Damian in harms way every knight during their crime-fighting, but Joker is just a whole other "ball of wax. " There's even that recent moment in Grant's run where Joker and Robin had a little "meeting of the minds." So he knows there's just so much history between Joker and Robin, and he can't put his son in that kind of danger so he does what he can to just lessen the odds.


CV: …But he still justifies having him as his Robin…?

PT: Yeah no, it's one of those catch-22's. You know, you got to give that up. I mean, why even let a 10-year old run around with him? But Damian is obviously a super trained soldier, really. He's got all these skills not even older Robins even had. If anything, this Robin has a better skill-set and approach than prior Robins. Not that it justifies putting a kid in danger, but, it's a comic book and it's called BATMAN AND ROBIN, so you've got to have them jumping around the rooftops.


CV: In the preview for BATMAN AND ROBIN #15, Damian, against Bruce's wishes, goes off and investigates Alfred's abduction and what we see in that last image is Damian at the Gotham Zoo and a bunch of hyenas eating something and then he says, "Oh Alfred!" So, we have to ask, is Alfred being eaten by a bunch of hyenas?

PT: Well, I can try to answer, but that would ruin page six! (Laughs) No, but Alfred is obviously in the hands of the Joker and anything can happen as we've seen with all of Scott's stuff. So it's kind of like walking on the edge of a thin razor. One of the things we're trying to do is take away people's preconceptions and let people know that sometimes what you expect to happen isn't going to happen. We're going to maybe throw you for a loop, not to just throw you for a loop, but to really take you down some different paths that we want to go down. So it's a pretty horrific moment when Damian is out looking for Alfred, and we're hoping that of course whoever is in that cage is not Alfred…but I guess we will find out in few days, right? (Laughs)

CV: You guys have been hinting that Alfred might be the "Death" in the Death of the Family story-arc, but with the five-hundred million dollar bounty on his head, is it possible Damian might be the death?

PT: Anything can happen in the world of Batman, so it's anybody's guess at this point especially with the word "death" in the title.

CV: So will there be a death in the family?

PT: I think a lot of people are getting too literal also, they should look at what the title says too. There are different ways we are approaching it.


CV: So it could be a metaphorical "death of the family"?

PT: It could be, and it could not be, and it could be both! (Laughs)

CV: What can you tell us about Joker's connection to The Saturn Club?

PT: I actually address that in issue #15. Robin will specifically say "what the hell was the point of the Saturn Club," and Joker will have a particularly nasty answer for him.

CV: So this is the last we've seen of the Saturn Club?

PT: For the moment, yes. That whole big action-packed finale was the end of the Saturn Club, for now.

CV: Well thanks for your time, Mr. Tomasi!

PT: No problem and feel free to tout the artistic talents of Pat Gleason and Mick Gray because their work is nothing short of amazing and I'm privileged to have them working with me on a book like this.

Avatar image for fatihbatman
Posted By FatihBATMAN

niiice! :D

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Posted By RedheadedAtrocitus

Always have been a big fan of Tomasi and it seems he really is having great ideas in store for the upcoming issues. Still think its a tossup about who will be killed, or if there will even be a death at all physically. I need to get onto this title and other Bat-Family ones...seriously...

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Posted By SupBatz

@theTimeStreamer said:

man these covers are crappy and lazy.

Absolutely agreed. I get what they're going for but frankly I just do not like them at all. I feel cheated out of a real cover (for all of them but particularly for Detective Comics 15 which didn't even feel like a DotF crossover).

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Posted By Squalleon

@EscGamer said:

I think Damian is being written well. This sounds great and I love that Batman and Robin has a little more focus on Robin and Robins relationship to Batman then just being about Batman and his sidekick Robin adventures. The boss man has how many titles already let's let the rest of the family shine a bit.

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Posted By EscGamer

I think Damian is being written well. This sounds great and I love that Batman and Robin has a little more focus on Robin and Robins relationship to Batman then just being about Batman and his sidekick Robin adventures. The boss man has how many titles already let's let the rest of the family shine a bit.

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Posted By MadeinBangladesh

How come you guys haven't posted the big news about Gail Symone The Batgirl writer leaving the book? IGN already posted that like yesterday. You guys gotta be faster. and how come you guys never post marvel and DC solicitations for upcoming months?

Avatar image for zulithe
Posted By Zulithe

Are there any artists that can draw Damian (or very young characters in general) to not look so... weird? There have to be some artists out there who have this as a strong suit. We need such an artist on this book. So many comic book artists can not draw kids worth a damn, they always end up looking strange.

Avatar image for thetimestreamer
Posted By theTimeStreamer

man these covers are crappy and lazy.

Avatar image for tdk_1997
Posted By TDK_1997

Peter Tomasi's run so far is great.

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Posted By lvenger

Finally Tomasi sounds like he has some good plans for Batman and Robin! 10-14 were disappointing but this actually sounds interesting!

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Posted By Trevel8182

@ccraft: Your Crazy!

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Posted By The_Soverighn


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Posted By feargalr

Tomasi writes a real good Damien, although I must say I was really disappointed with the War of the Robins arc, I did read somewhere thought that it was originally supposed to be longer and it got cut down because of the zero issue (and probably death of the family). Such a pity, that was a really great idea for a Robin story arc that I think you could only do in Damiens book.

Avatar image for ccraft
Posted By ccraft

Hey guys, Daiman is the coolest Robin. Better than the panty wearing Dick, or the brat Jason. Tim was ok, but still Damian is the best. Sure Dick became Nightwing which is cool, Jason into RH, yes, and Tim RR. But just wait until Damian outgrows the title Robin. Plus Damian has the coolest Robin costume.

ps. RR is my favorite

Avatar image for ccraft
Posted By ccraft

Im getting sick of the DOTF tie covers. I was really excited to get Gregs cover... Anyways Damian looked cool with that vest, I cant wait for Wed!

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Posted By HushoftheWind

im not gonna lie, im not a big Damien fan, but i do like his version of the Robin suit and that image of him perched on the branch in the preview images is pretty bad ass.

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Posted By namtabmi

I'm not too bothered if some one dies or not. I'd prefer it if the Bat-family broke apart...not that they stop talking but have a more antagonistic relationship.

After all, it says "Death of the family"...not "Death in the family".

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Posted By G_Money_Christmas

@Trevel8182: I agree. Damian is an A-hole. I hate him.

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Posted By CraigWayne

I haven't been following this series since it was re-released back in September 2011,so I still won't be following it

Avatar image for k4tzm4n
Posted By k4tzm4n

Bookmarked. Excited to read this later today. Tomasi really won me over with the brilliant "Nobody" arc. Sadly nothing has been up to par since, but I'm holding onto hope.

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Posted By BoyWander

As long as Jason doesn't die again I'll be happy. With a title so similar to 'A Death in the Family', I really want to see what goes down with Jason and Joker.

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Posted By MaxSchreck

@Lightburst said:

Damian said "Girls"...who does he direct that to? there is only 1 batgirl atm right?

Batwoman maybe ?

I am wondering whether the whole Saturn Club case will make more sense after I read this ...

Avatar image for mbecks14
Posted By Mbecks14

Death of The Family has been awesome! This is the second Bat-title I really want! I love Damian, he's a great character and I'm excited to check out his relationship with Bruce. I just need to wait for christmas for my trade copy...

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Posted By Outside_85

Could also simply be a metaphorical death, meaning the Bat's will break apart over this.

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Posted By TheCheeseStabber

Doesn't say which family...

What about Jokers family Him and Quinn?

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Posted By Lightburst

Damian said "Girls"...who does he direct that to? there is only 1 batgirl atm right?

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Posted By Trevel8182

Hopefully Damion dies in death of the family, absolutely hate that character!

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Posted By hydro 300

Nice interview! I hope that with issue 15 B&R; returns to form it was a little bit lacking in the two previous issues

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Posted By kingdomenic

I just hope he has something good planned for after the Death of the Family stuff. The first arc on this book as awesome.