Robin is about to turn 75. As announced at San Diego Comic-Con, to celebrate Robin, a follow up to BATMAN ETERNAL is coming except with a slight change in the title. This tie it'll be called BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL.
The new weekly series begins on October 7 except on Batman Day, Septeber 26, we'll see a free eight-page BATMAN AND ROBIN SPECIAL EDITION #1 drawn by Tony Daniel. We spoke with Daniel to find out about the series he'll be working on with other writers and artists as well as what we can expect as he ends his run on DEATHSTROKE.
COMIC VINE: You’re doing the art for the first and sixth issue and some of the covers, how much convincing did it take to bring you onto this project?
TONY DANIEL: Not much convincing at all. When they brought it up to me, I was excited to do it. It’s the perfect amount of work. It’s going to take about six months of my life to complete. It was perfect timing because I was looking for something for that kind of time frame. This is another project that I’d like to do right now. Getting to work in Gotham City with all my favorite characters is definitely not something I would turn down. It’s a real honor to get back into this.
CV: Is it that Gotham City just keep pulling you back?
TONY DANIEL: Well, I haven’t really done much besides DETECTIVE and DEATHSTROKE. When Deathstroke was in Gotham City, it was only for like one issue. But I do miss it. I always felt really comfortable working in Gotham City with the characters. I have a lot of enthusiasm for the characters and everything Batman, basically. I’m a fan like everyone else as well as an artist. It’s always a real joy to draw characters that you love.
CV: Is there anything you can tell us about the timeline in ETERNAL? It sure looks like Bruce as Batman.
TONY DANIEL: The concept we have with Bruce as Batman, we’re having a lot of flashback sequences. We’re going to get to see Bruce Wayne as Batman throughout this storyline. I’m pretty sure that’s the scope of it, really. It’s a flashback sequence with Bruce as Batman.
CV: Will you continue to do covers for DEATHSTROKE too? Writing?
TONY DANIEL: I’ve been co-writing it since issue #7. I really needed someone to help me out just because the deadlines start to catch up to you. I want to do a good job with it all. I want to do a good job with the art. I wanted to do a good job with the story. When you do it for like a year, it starts to creep up on you. You feel the pressure of the bulk laying down on you. I knew going in I would not be writing the full issues for a lengthy period of time. I knew it’d be a short process for me where I’d do maybe a few issues of DEATHSTROKE where I’d be the write and artist. I’m finishing out one last story arc with that and then devote the rest of my attention to the art side of things for a while.
Coming up on DEATHSTROKE we’ll have art by Tyler Kirkham. He’s doing a really good job. So he doesn’t really need me to do the covers. He’s done a phenomenal job. I’ve seen two of the covers he’s already done and they’re really cool. DEATHSTROKE’s in good hands with him as an artist. I’ll still be co-writing that for the next arc. We’re finishing up the current arc and then one more arc. After that I’m devoting my energy to just being a penciler. Which right now is in BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL.
CV: With the first cover full of characters, how do you approach a cover like that? Do layouts over it all, start with center characters and move out?
TONY DANIEL: This cover in particular was very difficult. Editorial wanted the split down the middle. It was half the present day and half in the past. I thought it was a real challenge when you’re splitting a character in the center in half. I did it a lot for the BATTLE FOR THE COWL story. In hindsight, I wasn’t crazy about them. To have to do another one but this time with a bunch of characters…It was explained to me we’re in two different time periods. We have the Robins on one side and Batman and Dick Grayson in the past on the other side. I was able to lay it out so it worked. The key is for it not to look too cluttered. Also, it has to have some sort of balance because you are spitting an image in half. You almost lose the focus or the balance of it. I’m happy with the way it turned out but I won’t be jumping to do another split cover like that anytime soon.
CV: What can you tell us about the 8-page Batman Day story?
TONY DANIEL: It really gives people a taste for what’s to come. I think it’s like a commercial for a big upcoming event. It shows Bruce Wayne as Batman and him sort of learning the scope of the threat that’s now unleashed. We get a hint of some of these characters that we’re going to be dealing with in this big story arc. I get to draw a lot of fun things and a lot of very detailed action shots. I think it’s a good taste of what you can expect in this big series.
CV: What’s it like working on a weekly book with multiple writers and artists compared to a monthly?
TONY DANIEL: So far it’s been easy because I’m the first issue. Everything else comes after my issue. I’ll notice the difference in my next issue, which is issue #6. Then I’ll be following what other people have conveyed or whatever. That’s just a matter of getting the art materials. As long as they’ve already drawn it and I can look at it and stay on point with what they’ve already established, it should be pretty smooth sailing.
CV: With all the focus on Robin and his upcoming anniversary, who’s your favorite Robin?
TONY DANIEL: My favorite is Dick Grayson. Luckily I get to draw him a lot as Robin, in the flashback sequences. But I also like him as his current persona in GRAYSON. I’m really enjoying him as a character, no matter which iteration I’m drawing him. Luckily for me in this series, I really get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I get to draw Batman and I get to draw my favorite Robin.
Don't miss the BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL SPECIAL EDITION #1 available free on Batman Day, September 26. BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL #1 is on sale October 7.