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Exclusive: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti Talk 'Gothtopia' and BATWING #27

Find out what happens when everything appears to be perfect in Gotham City.

Coming out of John Layman's DETECTIVE COMICS, Gothtopia, we'll see Gotham City become "...a bright, shiny, happy place where dreams come long as you don’t look at things too closely. During this storyline, things appear to be pretty great for Luke Fox as well.

We asked BATWING writers, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, some questions and have an exclusive preview for BATWING #27.

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COMIC VINE: Gothtopia begins in DETECTIVE COMICS #27. Will Batwing's new role be revealed there?

JUSTIN GRAY: Batwing is caught up in the same threat that has blanketed Gotham City. It is so hard not to give away elements of the story when you ask questions like this, but his role is essentially the same. What has changed and what will continue to change in the months following is how he see’s the city. There are some epic struggles ahead for Luke Fox in and out of the bat suit. This is a kind of jumping on point for our summer plans. Jimmy and I have been looking for ways to make the book both fun and compelling to fans of the bat family. We strive to make Luke a unique character to the family, but also have people feel he’s important to their love of all things Batman. It is a challenge at times but we’re working hard and hopeful that Luke resonates with people.

JIMMY PALMIOTTI: The key to all of this is to really bring across how important Batwing will be in the coming year, and how much he will be tying in with the other Batman titles. Being a part of the Gothtopia storyline is only the beginning and as Justin says, a good jumping on point for a lot of new readers.

CV: How many issues will this story run in BATWING?

JG: Gothtopia is specific to issue 27, but it is also the jumping on point for new readers to give the book a chance. Personally I like crossing over with another story in a way that is natural to both the character and the title. John has been killing it on DETECTIVE and we really loved the Gothopia concept. We were able to spin it in a way that was true to both John’s idea and what we’re building with Batwing.

CV: We're just getting used to seeing what Luke Fox can do as Batwing, now that he's Gotham City's protector, did you guys have to shift gears in how you approach his character?

JG: What we did was take a look at year zero and say, this is the first issue we could have had if we launched Luke Fox separately. We dealt with the connection to Batman Inc, which is one of my personal favorites in terms of concept and execution. Now we’re looking at Luke Fox the son of privilege and power and seeing that no matter who you are there will always be a price to pay for wearing the symbol of the bat.

JP: We have been spending a lot of time showing the readers who Luke is, in and out of the costume . We are getting to know him better and with the events unfolding in the next few issues, see a side of Luke that will excite and break your heart as well. We get to know the man, the brother, and the son in a way that, we hope, will leave everyone talking. It’s so tempting to give spoilers, but I will say that events are in place that will change everything in his life.

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CV: Besides Lucius Fox, will we see other familiar faces that have been introduced in the series?

JG: Much of what we’re doing in the months ahead is based on Luke’s family and how the different relationships are upended when his identities are impacting each other. We’re also bringing in an array of concepts and villains that hopefully stand out as unique to Batwing.

CV: How much freedom was there in telling this story? It appears to be an alternate reality story but it's still tying into the bigger arc.

JG: There are always rules to be followed. Our obligation was to make sure Batwing remained true to who he is and what the book is about. If you don't fight for a character’s identity then they become a batsuit and not an individual.

CV: The solicit for BATWING 27 mentions Batwing is Gotham City's protector. Is he the city's main protector or is he sharing the duties with others?

JG: That would be spoiling something that other writers are doing and we refuse to do that.

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CV: Will there be lasting effects on Luke after this?

JG: Batwing is entering into a new chapter, one where he is personally invested in being a superhero. He’s not taking orders from Batman and going on missions. He will experience that “dark night” of the soul Alfred alluded to earlier in the series.

CV: Any more of Pippi Giovanni in the future?

JG: We sure hope so.

JP: We sure do.

BATWING #27 is on sale January 8. Here's the rest of the exclusive preview.

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