Earlier this year, Bruce Wayne's flesh-and-blood and most recent character to hold the mantle of Robin, Damian Wayne, perished at the hands of his own mother, Talia al Ghul. Hated by some and a favorite Robin of others (including myself), Damian's time felt cut short despite bringing Grant Morrison's Batman epic full circle.
However, way back in Batman #666 (and in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 more recently) we caught a glimpse of a future dystopian Gotham City where Damian is still alive and has taken up the mantle of the Bat.
In October, writer/artist Andy Kubert will be exploring how Damian Wayne reached that point with the all-new mini-series Damian: Son of Batman. We caught up with Kubert to talk about the book, including its genesis way back in the early days of Morrison's run.
Andy Kubert: It`s basically a story of circumstances of how Damian grows into that Batman #666 role.
IGN: So what appeals to you most about Damian Wayne, both as Damian and as Robin/Batman? What traits make him stand out in terms of being a superhero?
Kubert: I enjoyed the character when I had first started working on him with Grant [Morrison] way back in issue #655, even though he only had a slight appearance in that issue. Even though I had only drawn him in a handful of issues, Damian was really starting to grow on me. By the time I had finished drawing issue #666, which was the last issue of my run, I had such a great time drawing that issue that I wanted to do something with Damian Batman again.
Maybe it was the violence and the great cartoony "Dick Tracy" characters that Grant peppered throughout the issue, but man, it was a blast to draw! When I suggested that I`d like to do something with that Batman to editor Mike Marts, it was he that suggested since I loved the character so much that maybe I should write something for him along with drawing it since I had talked about wanting to write, anyway.
By the way, I really wish I could have stayed on drawing the regular Batman title back then for a longer run. Regretfully, I had to take myself off the book. With all my prior commitments, teaching and working at my father`s school being a major commitment, the deadlines were creeping up on me and I had no other choice but to leave. But I so loved working on it!
IGN: Would you consider this a continuation of what would’ve happened had Damian not died? Is this an Elseworlds sort of tale?
Kubert: Actually, I started writing the series when Damian`s character was only a few issues old and I had just gotten done with #666! I had to put down the series when I started working with Neil Gaiman on the issues of Batman and Detective that we had done and hadn`t been able to pick it up again until this past spring. There were no other considerations when I had started to plan out the story.
IGN: Were there any discussions with Grant about what you’d be doing with the character?
Kubert: No, people can blame this one entirely on me!
IGN: This is also the first project you’re both writing and drawing.
Kubert: Yes, this is the first story that I`ve written and drawn. Like I said before, Damian was only a few issues old when I pitched this story. Since then, he has grown into a fan favorite. I`m not sure if any of us saw that coming. It would be a tough thing to calculate. But the story does fit in nicely with the Batman #666 issue.
IGN: Have you noticed any pros/cons drawing from your own script as opposed to another writer’s?
Kubert: I wrote myself a full script meaning that each page is broken down and each panel in the page is numbered and described. I even did the dialogue in the script. I approached the script the same way I would any other. When I read through the pages, I`m not married to what is written down. If I see a different way, a more effective way of telling the story, I will go with that.
It`s the way I approach things, and the way I tell my students that I teach in the school how to approach a script. Writing things down, then visually telling that story, are two different things in my opinion.
IGN: Would you like to do more writing in the future, either for DC or creator-owned?
Kubert: Sure, I would love to do both! I`ve written the Joker Villians one-shot for September that Andy Clarke has drawn. By the way, Andy has knocked that issue out of the park with his art! It`s stunning to look at! But besides that, time is such a factor with me these days since I`m so wrapped working at the school and drawing for DC. But I will find the time in the future.
IGN: Could this open the gateway for more Damian-as-Batman stories in the future?
Kubert: I hope so! The character is just too great not to have something done with him.
IGN: Anything you want to add?
Kubert: Being that this is my first writing assignment, I can`t stress enough of how much fun it is working on it especially with Mike Marts who's been a great mentor throughout the whole process. Along with my niece, Associate Editor Katie Kubert, it`s been and still is an awesome collaboration.
I also can`t stress enough the work that color artist Brad Anderson is doing on the series. He`s upped his game tenfold and is making me look good!
Source : ign[dot]com