We’ve talked to Scott Snyder a bit lately aboutBatman: Endgame. We know some big things are coming. When DC invited us to talk to several creators about the books post-Convergence, we knew the main points in BATMAN would still be shrouded in secrecy. Regardless, we took advantage of the opportunity to see what we could find out besides that fact we should prepare for something crazy.
COMIC VINE: Post-Endgame? We’re going to see some changes in the Free Comic Book Day issue. Something big is going to happen?
SCOTT SNYDER: Something huge is happening in that issue. You will get to the last page and be unequivocally, hands down, “This is the craziest thing this team has tried. Period.” I promise you. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not hyping it to you. It is the absolute fact truth.
CV: Where does that pick up after Endgame?
SS: Right after it. It’s like real time. Endgame ends in BATMAN #40 in April. In May, it’s about a month later. When the Free Comic Book Day issue hits, it takes place exactly right at that time period where it’s been about a month since Endgame.
CV: What can you say about it besides it’s going to be the “craziest thing”?
SS: What I can say is…for me, Endgame, originally when I came up with it during Death of the Family, was the other part of the story, in some way. It was probably going to be my last thing. That was how I felt. When I do this story, it has everything in it. It’s kind of my take on the characters—what makes Batman special? Is it his mortality, his humanity, the fact that he can die? He doesn’t do things that makes him more than us. It was my final piece on him.
What happened was, I had an idea. I was like, “I have just the craziest story. This would be almost like writing ‘ALL-NEW BATMAN.’” And we actually discussed calling it ALL-NEW BATMAN, honestly, because the thing we’re going to do makes it so different. Then the line changed. What happened was they brought in creators who I’m good friends with and who I’m inspired by and editorial changed and Mark [Doyle] came into the Bat-Offices and he’s made something really special with them.
Not to be hokey and sound like a company-man, you know I’m not and I’ve certainly been critical of DC in the past when I felt they were on the wrong path. I’ve been vocal about those things internally and publicly. There really is a spirit right now and I think you can see it reflected in the June line up. There’s exuberance and progressiveness and a sense of empowerment to creators to let them do stories that are bolder. You see it in just those titles. You see it in BLACK CANARY and MIDNIGHTER and with what’s coming in WE ARE ROBIN and with what Pat [Gleason] is doing with Damian. These are not books that could have come out three years ago or two years ago. I started feeling like, “You know what? I want to be part of this.” That means trying something on BATMAN I’ve been thinking about but would be really really out there.
I’m going into my fifth year in Gotham, if you include DETECTIVE COMICS. For me, that means if I didn’t do this story and do something this crazy, I would regret it a lot more than trying it and failing. The audience right now seems to want us to do things that are personal and daring. This story is exactly that. For Greg and I, this is very close to our hearts. It’s also completely transformative. I can promise you Gotham will not look the same after Endgame, the cast will not be the same, the mythology will not be the same, and that will be true of all the Bat-books. Meaning, what happens in Endgame, will be across the line. It will affect every book that has Batman, the Joker, and all those characters in it.
CV: Can you reveal the name of the arc or is that giving too much away?
SS: No, I can’t give away the name of the arc because I feel like that will hint too much as to what’s coming. I can tell you that it will be a big one. It culminates probably at issue 50, with another…huge sort of transformative moment, which we want. It’s issue 50. You have to celebrate that, right? Basically my feeling is, you take the mythology and stretch it sort of like a rubber band, as far as you can, to two points on either side that are personal and things that have literally never been done in the seventy-five years…with two characters. Those are the twin pillars of the story. By 50, it has to snap back. The story has a lot to do with that. Thematically, it’s a lot like a new periodic table and a new chemical is being created. There’s a new sense of possibility of the wonder and terror of how far you can pull things before they’re going to restore themselves.
CV: Have you thought beyond 50 or are you just focusing on this story?
SS: No. It’s a very interesting feeling because I’ve always said we would leave, really thought we would leave with Endgame. And now, we decided to stay through to 50 because we felt like the company and the line has been so fun. We’re just playing it by ear, honestly. If 50 comes and our time is up with fans, that’s okay. I’ve been able to do more with this book than I ever thought I would. I got to redo Batman’s origin in a way that made it personal for me and also about the fears I feel my kids worry about in the city today. We got to do our big Joker opus. I got to introduce a brother for Bruce and do an arc that was about growing up in the city. These are not things I ever thought I’d get to do in my life.
I’d be happy to get to that point and say, “Thank you,’ and be off the book. If fans want us to stay and if Greg wants to stay passed that, then I would certainly consider it. I’m having the best time of my life on the book. We’re having the most fun ever on Endgame and the story after. We found a new way of working together where we talk on the phone a lot now. I make the scripts a lot looser so I’ll call him up and walk him through the story. I’ll write but more lightly because he’ll know what’s coming. We’re on the phone all the time gabbing. I was literally on the phone with him in the conference room in this building right before I came in. We’re just having a ball. As long as you guys will keep us, if you want us passed 50, we might stay. Maybe we’ll try and do it. If not, we still couldn’t be more grateful to everyone for keeping us this long.
CV: One more thing about post-Endgame, any villains you can mention or characters?
SS: It’s a new villain. It’s a brand new villain. I don’t want to do anything with any rogues anymore because for a while. In Endgame, it really brings the mythology of Batman, as you know it, and spins it around. A lot of the characters you want to see or maybe don’t want to see or you don’t expect to see, you’ll wind up seeing in Endgame in a certain way. In that respect, I want to put those characters aside and let other people use them and try to create new things for myself. So new villain.
There’ll be a big crossover with the other cast, though. It’s going to be a really diverse cast in BATMAN. The characters from WE ARE ROBIN play a big part. Duke Thomas plays a very very big part in the story. Harper is in it in a big way. She becomes really prominent. Julia’s in it in a big way. It’s a really fun cast. It’s a vibrant, different cast. I hope you guys will stay with us for this one. My feeling is, you’ve been rewarding books, and our book, for trying things that are close to us but also risky. This one is easily the riskiest we’ve done. I hope you guys like it as much as we do because we’re really excited about it.
We’ll have to wait for the end of Endgame and the Free Comic Book Day issue to find out more. The title of the next arc will be in that issue and we’ll know what this new direction is.
Here's the solicit for 41
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by GREG CAPULLO and DANNY MIKI
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
THE JOKER Variant cover by SEAN MURPHY
On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
The all-new Batman makes his debut! Who is he, and what happens next? Find out here as a new era begins in Gotham City!