Life is never easy for Batman. Two-Face recently revealed he knows everyone's secret in Gotham. When Batman apprehended him and set out to deliver him to a place outside of Gotham, it became a road trip to hell. Two-Face put out a bounty, offering huge riches if anyone could stop to Batman. As the two make their journey, villains are coming out of the woodwork along with every ambitious civilian as well. With the help of Duke Thomas, Batman's mission is near its end.
We last talked to All Star Batman writer Scott Snyder at New York Comic Con about the series and his plans for next summer. We spoke to him again about the conclusion of the first arc, on sale this week.
Comic Vine: What's been your biggest challenge in redefining Two-Face?
Scott Snyder: I think honestly it's just the balance of making sure he's fun and also dark. For me, he's a really, really dark figure. He's scary. He says this is the ugly side of your face that you don't want to look at, and you're a collection of your worst impulses. You're not the hero that you want to be, and that is a sentiment that I think has really made for some scary times in my life when I've felt that way. The balance is, in Gotham, I think he would have been terrifying, but to take him out of Gotham also as a kind of levity. I think he's like a fish out of water. It was a kind of constant balance of making sure that he didn't seem like he was being dragged along like Weekend At Bernie's, and at the same time, he could kind of be scary and strike like a snake when it came time for him to attack.
Would it have been a totally different story if it was more contained within Gotham?
Oh yeah, and I would have done that kind of story with a different artist. I had a couple ideas for Two-Face. One, he just walks right into the courthouse and says, "Arrest me but at your own peril because this is what will happen if you..." He makes an offer that's sort of similar to what we have in this arc, but he's sitting there in Gotham totally static, saying kill me if you want or arrest me. It was another type of story, but I just felt that with John [Romita Jr.], both of us wanted to try something that we had never done. I've been in Gotham so frequently, and he had just finished Dark Knight. This felt like the best solution, and I'm so glad that it occurred to me because it's one of my favorite arcs that I've ever done. It just gave such a new lease on the character, the book, and the mythology to be able to take it out of Gotham.
I hope other people see it this way, but for me, it's one of those magic arcs that came together with all the best parts and the best team. I'm extremely happy with the whole experience of it and how it came out. I really had a blast.
Now that Two-Face knows Batman's identity, how can Batman keep him from revealing it after he's captured?
I think neither Harvey or Two-Face really wants to reveal Bruce's identity. Two-Face certainly does not. I think he has a lot to gain ultimately by keeping that under wraps. I think here he was vengeful and angry about being tricked, but he's always known his identity given what was established in the New 52 at least. Pete Tomasi set it up so that Two-Face knew that Bruce was Batman. I was sort of just rolling off of that continuity and just sort of playing with it the way that I thought would be dramatic and fun here.
Have you kept track of how many new bat gadgets you've introduced?
Yeah, I even had more, but then I was like, "Oh I'm not going to put that in." I had ones in his boots and I had another one that was like a utility belt thing that came off. He used his cape in different ways that didn't get used. He uses it here where he whips it at somebody. I actually had this one where he throws it and it peels around you and stuff like that, like a straightjacket. I loved coming up with bat gadgets, honestly. It was one of the joys of the series so far.
Can we assume we'll see Harold with more new gadgets for Batman?
Yeah. Harold's a character I really want to return to. I always loved Harold. I'm not sure if everyone or anyone did. I love the idea of somebody who helps Batman, who also tinkers, and has this incredible mechanical ability that can't speak.
On top of that, with this arc in particular, he speaks to the thing that Batman is saying is true. Here's somebody who's kicked around and treated like garbage his whole life and yet, even in private and in public, he's someone who just does the right thing. He's someone who wants to help and be a good person even though he has every right to be a terrible person given how he's been treated throughout his life. I wanted to bring him in here also because he speaks to some of the beliefs that Batman really holds dear, especially in this arc.
Will we see any repercussion over Alfred's secret and betrayal?
Yeah, I think it deepens the relationship. It's not a bomb drop for me in the series, but it's something that will come up again in All Star. What it really represents is kind of Alfred saying that Two-Face is right. We all do things that indulge our worst impulses sometimes, and sometimes we do them out of selfishness. We can also do them out of love. What Alfred is really trying to say, whether he realizes it or not, is that you're making a mistake here, Bruce, and you're taking it too far the way I took it too far. That's why I felt that these really worked here, and I hope it tracks. I really love that aspect of the story.
Can you tease anything for the next arc?
Yeah. I can tease a bunch of stuff. So the next arc is called Batman: Ends of The Earth. It's four issues with four artists. It builds on this arc, and each of the stories feels like it's a standalone. By the second issue, the Ivy issue in #7, you'll see that they're building into one another to have a big finale in issue #9. It also takes a completely different turn, so you'll see a different writing style. The Mr. Freeze issue with Jock's art, is actually written almost like a story where it has prose and narration and quotes and all kinds of stuff like that instead of caps and balloons. So it's a totally different style that I've tried and I think it really fits the character, I hope it fits the character, and the settings. Then with Ivy, with Tula Lotay's art, it's a different style altogether that's much more spare. That story takes place in Death Valley.
The series kind of takes Batman all over the country. The Mr. Freeze story takes place in Alaska. The Ivy story takes place in Nevada. The Hatter story, which I just finished for Giuseppe Camuncoli, takes place in the Everglades in Florida. So we're all over the country.
Are there any villains from outside of Batman's rogues gallery that you'd like a crack at?
Yeah, sure. It would be fun. I just think right now, there's so many Bat-villains that I haven't even gotten to yet that I want to use. Ra's, Catwoman, Man-Bat and Clayface, even though I guess he's heroic right now in Detective Comics. Using people that are outside of the mythology is still kind of far down the line for me right now.
All Star Batman #5 is on sale Wednesday, December 28.