BATMAN #28 is out and there were some pretty big spoilers for what's coming up in BATMAN ETERNAL (you can see one HERE). While the issue was one big development and tease for what's coming up, we had the chance to talk to Scott Snyder about the issue to see what we could pry out of him about Harper Row, Catwoman and more. We also asked about the lack of Riddler in Zero Year and the possibility of seeing even MORE Zero Year stories in the future.
Obviously there'll be some spoilers for BATMAN #28, but you really should have read it already.
COMIC VINE: You kept referring to issue 28 as a "spoiler issue." Were you being facetious or did you really mean it as spoilers to what's coming up in ETERNAL?
SCOTT SNYDER: Both. I mean, we did have some fun with the wordplay but seriously, it's an issue that's jam-packed with hints and reveals about what's coming up in ETERNAL and in BATMAN itself and in other series too like CATWOMAN for the next year.
CV: Okay, and I'm not even going to ask you specifics on the issue because I know you're not going to answer anything. We're going to have to wait.
SS: Yeah, I'm going to be pretty cagey about that.
CV: You've mentioned the issue takes place around issue 39 of ETERNAL. How detailed do you, James, and the others have everything mapped out?
SS: Pretty detailed. We've had two big summits about ETERNAL already where we all actually came to town together. We sat for like two days each time and wrote on a big white board. We mapped it out pretty thoroughly. We really do know where the big parts of the story fall. My job on ETERNAL is really to stay out of everybody's way. It's really James [Tynion IV], Tim [Seeley], Ray [Fawkes], Kyle [Higgins] and John [Layman] who are doing the work on it.
When I came up with the story with James, the big machinery of the plot, and the way the story has evolved under them, was just terrific to see. I'm really really proud of the work they're doing on it and I'm excited to enjoy the Gotham they're creating.
CV: Who came up with Harper's new code name?
SS: I came up with it, consulting with James. My thinking was, it has a lot to do with her history actually. It deals with her mother and the mystery surrounding that. We want to do something that's different. If you look at DETECTIVE 27, there's a case that says "Bluebird" in one of the future Batman's caves. We really have plans for the name and the kind of mythology surrounding her and some other characters we want to bring it to.
CV: Can we assume it will be in ETERNAL that we see her continued evolution and training?
SS: Yeah, you'll see her really grow in ETERNAL and then she'll come back into BATMAN. Catwoman, similarly, will kind of grow in ETERNAL and in CATWOMAN you'll see some great stuff about her rise to power and stuff as well.
CV: Speaking of CATWOMAN, will the continuity between ETERNAL and other series, like CATWOMAN be tight?
SS: Yeah, we want it to be. We're going to try to make it as tight as we can. We really want the status of her as the new Kingpin of Crime of Gotham to be something we all get to play with. For me, honestly, it's one of the most fun things I've been able to write in a while, in terms of a supporting character--a character that isn't Bruce Wayne. This status, we want it to be something that really sticks for a while where she is one of the most powerful people in the city, if not one of the most powerful outside of Batman. And, you know, she deserves it. She's awesome. Catwoman has waited a long time to take control. I really feel like now she needs a bit of vengeance on the city because of what happens in ETERNAL. This is the way she does it. She makes power. Right now she's a force to be reckoned with.
CV: That's great to hear. Will Gotham be locked down from the rest of the New 52 Universe? Will we have to worry about the Justice League trying to come in and deal with whatever this big problem is?
SS: It's going to be the way it has been. Sometimes some of those characters come in for fun but, Gotham is Gotham. It's its own neighborhood. It's like its own little universe and we're having fun in it.
SS: Yeah. Yup. Riddler comes front and center really soon. In the section coming up, in Savage City in 30-33, you couldn't ask for more Riddler. He'll be getting more screen time in as big a way as he does.You couldn't ask for more of him than you'll get in that section.
CV: With the way Riddler's being built up, as such a great character during Zero Year, have you thought about how he's going to appear in the present? Where does he go after this?
SS: Honestly, I haven't really said this, I have a transition mapped out in my head a little bit, how he goes from being this larger than-life-villain to being the Riddler that we know in the New 52. I've always wanted to do something where he has a relationship with Batman and it really hones Batman's detective skills. He is sort of the greatest challenge for him as a detective and that's the core of Batman prides himself on. He's the smartest guy that can save Gotham. He's more than a fighter or an engineer of amazing gadgets and stuff like that. For me, I love the idea of using Riddler as both from Zero Year to the present and in the present and acknowledging who he was in the past.
CV: While you're wrapping up the final Zero Year issues and also looking forward with ETERNAL, is there any chance of you revisiting the Zero Year timeline in future issues?
SS: Yeah, very much. If it were up to me, I'm having so much fun with Zero Year and young, kind of angry/wild Bruce. I could write it another year and have it be another year of his life. I would love to do that. We could show how he met a number of his villains and heroes. It's something I really do hope to return to, if not in a miniseries type form, then at least touching upon it in BATMAN through flashbacks.
I'm seeing what I can do, between us, on the record. Between you and me and everyone reading this. I definitely would love to continuing seeing these adventures of Batman in his early years. It's something I'm really hoping we can do.
CV: So we should start writing letters to DC?
SS: I would say, absolutely. Start writing them. I will give you Dan DiDio's home address. And you guys all start writing letters to him. And don't redact it. I'll give you his home address.
Okay everyone, get your pens and stationary out and start writing those letters. BATMAN #28 is now on sale. BATMAN ETERNAL #1 is on sale April 9, 2014.