Today sees the release of Batman Beyond #9 from DC Comics, writer Dan Jurgens and artist Bernard Chang.
Picking up from last month's mind-bending plot twist, where Terry McGinnis's brother Matt was headed into Metropolis with a group of Kirby-inspired animal-human hybrids on his tail, this issue marks the point where the series' second arc really heats up, and where many of the long-teased elements of the comic are starting to come into play.
Writer Dan Jurgens joined us to give a breakdown of #7 and 8 ahead of today's release.
How much did you guys redesign of the cave, versus what was in the animated series?
We certainly used some of what the show had as a core approach. However, we also merged it with the current, more established look of the Batcave, which was more multilevel in nature and quite a bit larger. In many ways, it exemplifies what our goal is here — to merge the best of both worlds.
Any relation between Mr. Krinsky and Casey Krinsky from Firestorm?
None! In fact, I hadn’t even thought of it until you mentioned it.
Rewire is intriguing. I tend to wonder the same thing with Batman Beyond that I do with Superman: Lois & Clark, which is what motivates you to bring in new villains instead of creating a spin on the old ones with books where so much of the character’s world hasn’t been explored yet?
Rewire may not have appeared on the show, but he has appeared in a previous volume of Batman Beyond. I find him to be a very intriguing character—love his overall look and design-- and we have some nice plans for him in the future.
Was part of trashing the Alfred AI to get Barbara back into “Oracle mode?”
A little bit, yes. At the same time, I like Tim being out there on his own, surviving by his own smarts and wits rather than having an artificial intelligence to resort to. He’s capable enough that he doesn’t need it.
With Barbara being commissioner, is Tim’s Batman operating quasi-officially? Was that to mirror what’s going on in the main Bat-books?
I’d say he’s absolutely operating in a quasi-official sense. Barbara and Luke Fox are both familiar enough with his background that it makes sense— especially in terms of what he did when he took down Brother Eye.
With Matt in possession of a Green Lantern ring now, will you ever deal with the question of just why the Guardians made no attempt to reacquire the ring or deactivate it when John went cyborg?
Plenty of explanations will be coming in that regard and it all starts with issue #9.
Is it intentional or a happy accident that you’re dealing with a refugee crisis at a time when that’s very much in the news?
This is one of those really weird situations where we had planned this quite some time ago. As we talked about the world and what would happen when Brother Eye was destroyed, we realized people from all over would be attracted to Gotham.
As our story had developed, world events have obviously one down the same road, so, yeah, it’s been an odd experience. My basic reaction is that it shows our instincts were on the money.
As #8 wraps up, we finally get a look at some of the characters from the Kamandi universe. What can you tease about those characters and how they’re different in Batman Beyond than they’ve been in previous iterations?
As I said earlier, a lot of this is about merging worlds and we’re certainly doing that here. Even if you go back to our first issue cover, in which we saw elements of the Great Disaster, we’ve been pretty clear about bringing a lot of that to the book. And, yes, we have more coming.
We see a lot of Tim’s development very quickly, especially in #7. He’s coming to the conclusion that he’s READY to be Batman, and even when things are bleak we see him acknowledging what got him into Batman’s orbit to begin with. How important was it to get him past the doubts?
It was very important to get Tim past those doubts. I think it has been right on track with the character and the way he was portrayed in Futures End.
Of all those who became Robin, I think Tim was the least likely to ever become Batman. That’s what makes the story fun.
In Lois & Clark last week, we saw the pair talking about how it’s important to look past everything that’s different, and focus on what’s the same. Is that something you could apply to Tim as well?
That depends on what the particulars are.
For example, the differences between Tim and Bruce are very real and substantial. My take on Tim is that he was always on the outside looking in. Remember, he forced his way into Batman’s world more than the others, which is quite a lot different than being invited in.
So, in this case, the differences are a core part of the book.
We’ve seen solicitations that the Splicers are coming. Is it fair to assume that in this version of the Batman Beyond universe, they could have something to do with the Kamandi-like animal-men we’re seeing?
Hmm! Interesting thought!
How long is it going to take to find a status quo for Matt? Obviously his and Tim’s relationship is something that will evolve over the life of the book but I’m wondering if you have a long game in mind or if we’ll have a sense for his general direction soon.
We’ve had a long game in mind for that dynamic for a long time, well before we even started on the first issue. That’s something we look forward to building as well, though it will take us a bit of time to get there.