If you've read this week's Batman #49, you know the Superheavy story just took a crazy amped up step in bringing Bruce Wayne closer to becoming Batman once again. (You can read our review here). Scott Snyder was joined by James Tynion IV, Yanick Paquette, and Nathan Fairbairn on a bizarre journey into what Bruce's life could be like.
We talked to Scott about the issue and there will be some spoilers for it as well as some minor spoilers for issue #50. Along the way, Scott even talked about his final issue of Batman. What?!? Read on to find out more.
COMIC VINE: The issue opens with a look at a different Bruce Wayne and Council of Owls. How much of that backstory did you come up with?
SCOTT SNYDER: We actually came out with a lot of backstory and scenarios—me and James [Tynion IV]. He’s a real world builder like in Batman and Robin Eternal. He loves that stuff. The idea was to try to create scenarios that weren’t just fun things, but something that would really show us a sense of another opportunity for who he was. Here the idea was with the Council of Owls, Joe Chill being in the cave, the possibility of his villains being his helpers…all of it. We really wanted it to be something where it felt almost like a possibility he would want somehow. The Manor moves to the top of Wayne Tower and so on. This is Bruce as a well adjusted Batman—if he was over the trauma. If he was able to get over the scar, he’d still have all these abilities to be Batman. Here, what we wanted to do was say, is that possible? Would that make for a better Batman? Batman would still be the same pathologically driven detective character we know. Instead he’s able to overcome some of the scars of his life.
CV: Do you think you’d ever want to fully explore this version, or the others seen here, at some point?
SCOTT: I’d love to! I have so many stories in my head for all these different things. The ones we did here are sort of glimpses. You’ll notice, one of the themes I love to do, I’ve done throughout this run, is to try and see how far I can extend the mythology in my mind in different variants. Like in the DETECTIVE COMICS #27 short with Sean [Murphy], that reality where he clones himself and became Batman for hundreds and hundreds of years, we’ve sort of introduced that into continuity.
Also in Endgame, there was all the different ways he could die when he was exposed to the fear gas. I love doing moments where we get to see insane conventions of the mythology and push the characters to their limits. The thing that’s amazing about it is when you do—any of these things I’d be happy to write. I’d love to write Batman, Bluebird, and Lark like we saw for a moment at the beginning of Endgame—fighting aliens or whatever. I know we could make it work. Not because Batman is flexible or rubbery, but because at his core, there’s that one thing he has to overcome to bring meaning to it all. That could be touched on in so many different ways. There could be Bruce Wayne adopted by the Kents, Bruce Wayne if his parents had lived, there’s just so many. There’s so many different story possibilities I’d love to write.
CV: Who came up with the white suit design of this Batman?
SCOTT: I suggested it. I asked for something that’s bright and kind of regal and a little more like the sun. The bat symbol here is the sun that lights the city. I suggested it to Yanick [Paquette] and he really came up with a killer design. I’m so thrilled with what he’s been able to do.
CV: Julie Madison drops a pretty big bombshell about what she knew. Will you explore that later?
SCOTT: Yup. For me, one of the things about this arc is defining a lot of the conventional troupes and try to avoid things that look familiar. We wanted every turn to be something unexpected, even if we’re taking characters that would make a really good plot reveal and play them differently in ways that might be more subtle. For example, in the beginning, I think everyone expected Geri Powers to be a big villain and Julie Madison to secretly be Bloom and stuff like that. There’s twists like that, and you’ll see in 50 there’s some fun things coming up that’ll surprise you.
Ultimately I think this arc has been not just about defining plot conventions but taking these characters to places you haven’t seen emotionally and psychologically. With Julie, it was about making her a real and viable partner—making her someone Bruce admires and looks up to and inspires him. She also understands him better than he understands himself. In that way, I wanted it to be something where she’s the hero. She also makes a big sacrifice. She also plays the part of her father by pulling the trigger or providing the trigger. She provides the ‘gun’ that will kill this Bruce to bring back Batman.
CV: Alfred doesn’t want Bruce to go back to being Batman. Will he still be willing to perform his role in assisting Batman?
SCOTT: You’ll have to wait and see! I think it’ll change their relationship in some ways. You’ll hear a little about it in 50 and I think 51 and so on. We’ll definitely address it. For me, Alfred is the father figure for the son that doesn’t understand. It’s a really rough road. I think about it a lot. What if my son wanted to be something that puts him in the line of danger that I hate seeing him do, but I knew deep down it was the only thing that would make him happy. That’s what Alfred is going through.
CV: Will you touch on Alfred’s role in We Are Robin at all?
SCOTT: No, I’m not going to really touch on that in Batman itself. I’m trying to give everyone enough room to wrap up their stories and do what they do best, you know? Like stuff in Justice League, We Are Robin, or Batman and Robin Eternal, I’m trying to steer clear of and let everyone have the space to finish their stories. I want them to have the pieces they need and make Batman pretty singular.
CV: If Bruce can get his Batman memories back, will he have to train his body again to perform the moves he might remember being capable of?
SCOTT: Spoiler! I don’t mean to spoil 50, but we end Bruce’s emotional arc here with a big revelation that he found a way back and has a bunch of tough decisions and Jim’s story is still going. Jim’s really the protagonist of the arc. His biggest challenge is coming. What that means for Bruce is that now it’s time to have fun with it. Bruce is now going to be the most awesome Batman you’ve ever seen. For me, the idea is if he becomes Batman again, we’ll bring him back healed. He’ll be faster and stronger than he’s ever been. No more scar tissue. No more wear and tear. He’s like Bruce physically 25 almost. Not the age but his body is healed. His body is perfect. At the same time, he’s got all the skills. You should prepare to see him kick some serious ass.
CV: What can you tease about issue 50?
SCOTT: Just that Greg [Capullo] and I have had a blast together on this run. It’s our second to last issue together. 51 is my last issue as well on Batman. For me, 50 is the quiet issue and 51 is really just a letter to the fans from us and a letter to Batman. It’s the lightest I’ve ever written. Not lightest as in happy but light as in not as many panels per page. It’s really really open. It’s a chance for Greg to draw the close before we take our break. 50 we wanted to be the opposite. We wanted it to be the most explosive, jam-packed sort of blockbuster crazed issue we’ve ever done. I hope it delivers in that regard.
Batman #49 is now on sale. You won't want to miss what happens and what's coming up.
Truth: I've been delaying writing the last pages of Batman #51 - my final issue on the series & last comic w @GregCapullo for 6 months.— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) February 10, 2016