At the DC Comics All Access: Batman panel at New York Comic Con the writers and artists behind DC Comics’ Batman books kicked off the very first DC Comics panel of the convention, talking about their plans for their titles and showcasing pages from upcoming issues of "Batman," "Batman And Robin," "Batman Inc.," "Batman: Noel" and "Detective Comics."
Batman editors Mike Marts and Bobbie Chase joined writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo (“Batman”) onstage. The two creators told the audience that they were thrilled to be drawing the title.
“It’s a dream!” laughed Capullo, adding, “I have a great writer and a nice guy, so it’s all nothing but fun.”
Touching on the current Court of Owls storyline, Snyder labeled the storyline his and Capullo’s “Long Halloween,” adding that the story is all about Batman discovering terrible and dark secrets about Gotham City and his allies.
“We really want to break him but break him psychologically,” said Synder. Looking at the action scene from the very first page of “Batman” #1 Capullo said that drawing the action beats gave him “chills.”
“He adds so much to the story,” said Synder, praising Capullo’s artwork, and Capullo was equally as complimentary.
“This is the first time I’ve been hungry to read a new script,” Capullo told the audience, adding, “I feel that Scott Snyder is going to be one of the legendary writers in our business.” The audience cheered and applauded as Snyder laughed.
Next up was “Detective Comics” writer Tony Daniel, who entered high-fiving Capullo and Snyder. “I wanted to focus the story on…Bruce Wayne and Batman and the small circle of chracters he relies on,” Daniel said, pointing to the differences between his new “Detective Comics” book versus his pre-September relaunch run on “Batman.” Touching on the grotesque last page of “Detective Comics” #1, Daniel said he heard people were shocked, but said the response was mainly positive.
“I drew that piece in maybe two hours,” said Daniel, adding, “I knew people would be angry or appalled or shocked.” He then displayed a page from “Detective Comics” #3, which showed the Dollman and a new supporting villain named Mathilda, who Daniel said was Dollman’s “sexy nurse.”
“I wanted to have a lot of fun with these characters,” said Daniel before showing a page with Jack In The Box, a brand new villain helping the Dollmaker in the issue.
Artist David Finch then joined the others onstage to talk about his book, “The Dark Knight.”
“I just really wanted to pull out all the stops and do everything,” said Finch about the newly relaunched title, praising title writer Paul Jenkins before adding that Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash will be showing up in future issues. “I just wanted to make it huge,” he added.
Touching on the story, Finch said that in the next few issues of Batman will see the Dark Knight getting “his butt kicked” by villains who are using a super-strength serum. He also told the audience that having Jenkins on writing was wonderful, adding that Finch was already working on issue #4.
“I’m looking forward to these books coming out, on schedule!” said Finch as the audience laughed.
“Batman And Robin” writer Peter Tomasi then came onstage, making the audience laugh as he welcomed everyone with his best New York accent impression. Tomasi laughed and added that he is working on issue #5 and #6, so he too would be “on schedule.”
Talking about writing Damian, Tomasi cited his eight-year-old son as an inspiration as they “battle all over the house!” he laughed again. Saying that Damian is struggling with his violent background and training under Talia al Ghul, Tomasi added that brand new villain Nobody will be plaguing the Dynamic Duo. Tomasi then showed a page of Batman and Nobody fighting while Robin is incapacitated.
“It’s the human dynamic between these guys really interests me,” said Tomasi.
The audience cheered as “Nightwing” writer Kyle Higgins walked onstage. “Dick Grayson is my favorite!” said Higgins as the audience applauded. Saying that he wanted to make sure the pre-September run with Dick Grayson as Batman still counted, Higgins cited what Snyder and others did on books like "Detective Comics" as a continuation of the character. “I wanted to use all that to push the character further,” said Higgins.
“The suit taser is back,” Higgins then added as he showed a page of Nightwing knocking out a bad guy with the taser.
Artist Chris Burnham then came onstage and told audiences that when it came to working with Grant Morrison on “Batman Inc.” he at first did not know what to expect from Morrison.
“I expected it to be weirder,” laughed Burnham. Saying that “Batman Inc.” will be wrapping up the storyline begun before the September relaunch.
The very last creator to come onstage was Lee Bermejo, the creator behind “Batman: Noel.”
“After finishing 'Joker,' it was such a dark violent, ugly book I wanted to do something in the other direction,” said Bermejo. Showing a page from “Batman: Noel,” Bermejo said the Joker and his henchmen would be involved.
“I like the idea that in my story he’s an older guy, and I think it’s nice that this newer version of Batman is an armored, colder version,” said Bermejo, touching on the modern costume which is one of several Batman will wear in the book. Bermejo also said that the idea originally began as a children’s book.
“I set off to make a children’s book but my wife makes fun of me endlessly because she said, if you think this is for kids you’re mistaken!” laughed Bermejo.
Opening it to the floor for audience questions, the first audience member asked about Damian’s growth in “Batman And Robin.”
“There are going to be some big emotional moments that are going to blow you away,” said Tomasi.
The next audience member wanted to know who is the creators favorite B-list Batman villains.
“There’s no B-List!” laughed Tomasi.
“King Tut!” said Capullo.
Another fan wanted to know if Tim Drake will be popping up more in the Batman books and universe.
“I want to use him in Nightwing, the dynamic between Dick and Tim is fantastic,” said Higgins.
“He’ll be in ‘Batman’ at some point,” added Snyder. The writer then clarified that while the Court of Owls storyline touched on past events in Gotham, it would not change Batman’s origin story. Synder then said that he felt James Gordon Jr. was more of a Dick Grayson villain and that he will be coming back in “Batman” for a story line that will also involve Batgirl. Ex-Batgirl Cass will also be making an appearance in “Batman Inc.” according to Higgins.
“Everyone has their own Batman, even though they are shared characters,” said Snyder, answering an audience member who wanted to know how the writers straddled the line between dark Batman and the campier versions of him, adding that in his book he hoped to make Batman different by making Bruce Wayne, “More civic minded.”
Bringing the panel to an end, the last audience member asked for an update on the status of “Batman: Earth One,” which Marts officially announced as slated for release summer 2012.