As announced by DC Comics today, in May, writer Grant Morrison and artist Chris Burnham are bringing back "Batman Incorporated" as a monthly comic book series, and CBR has the details from Batman group editor Mike Marts.
Originally springing out of Morrison's "Return Of Bruce Wayne" storyline and the "Bruce Wayne: The Road Home" event, the first "Batman Incorporated" series chronicled Bruce Wayne's attempt to franchise the Batman persona, establishing Batmen and Batman allies around the world. Featuring art by a rotating roster of artists including Yanick Paquette, Cameron Stewart and Burnham, "Batman Inc." began strong before the series conclusion was pushed back to after DC's New 52 relaunch, coming to a close late last year with the publication of "Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes!" Come May, fans will get another chance to watch the international Batman initiative unfold as Morrison returns to the monthly series. Marts spoke with CBR about the relaunching "Batman Incorporated," Chris Burnham's role as the title's permanent artist, the impact the Morrison-crafted series will have on the DC Universe and what the writer has in store for new and longtime readers alike.
CBR News: "Batman Incorporated" is coming back this year, which is obviously big news. Will the title be a continuation of the storyline begun in "Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes," or is this doing Grant Morrison doing completely new, different "Batman Incorporated" stories?
Mike Marts: I think the "Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes" one-shot, that project we should really treat as a bridge project. It's a culmination and conclusion of what Grant had been working on in "Batman Incorporated" last year and the year before, but it also sets the stage for everything that's coming up in the new series that will debut in May. Readers will be super-excited to know, not only is Grant Morrison writing this, but Chris Burnham is going to be the full-time artist on the series. This will be fully entrenched in the New 52, and we'll continue plot threads that Grant has been developing since he came onto the Batman books, but we'll also be introducing plenty of new material. So, it's a lot of fun. I've seen some of the artwork already, and it's amazing. There will be characters returning, revelations, new characters will be developed -- it should be a lot of fun.
Since Grant's picking up story threads from "Leviathan Strikes," is this going to also be very similar in tone to what he was doing in "Batman Incorporated" before the relaunch?
I think the content and tone will be very similar. You might see some differences in the way Grant formats his stories and executes his stories, the way he presents them to readers, but the general tone and content should be very similar to what readers have come to know and enjoy.
Despite coming out after the New 52 relaunch, "Leviathan Strikes" was still set in pre-relaunch Batman continuity. Since that is the bridge into the new "Batman Incorporated," how much of the original "Batman Incorporated" continuity will survive in the New DCU?
You know, my belief is, readers who pick up the new series will be able to move into it and won't feel weighed down by past continuity. It will be a good chance to pick up a new book and to read new continuity. And people who have been reading everything over the past few years will also be satisfied and see that elements of what Grant had set up previously will be incorporated, so to speak, into the new title.
When we talked about the Batman line of books for a recent THE BAT SIGNAL, we discussed the fact that, obviously, Grant has had longtime plans for his books and characters and what he has done has really set the pace for all the other Batman books. With the new "Batman Incorporated" coming out in May, will that continue to be the case? Will events he's playing around with in "Batman Incorporated" again play a significant and fundamental role in the greater Batman Universe and the greater DCU?
Most definitely. I mean, there are things that Grant has worked on in the Batman books which he had in mind since the very beginning, and there are certain story beats there which he'll see through to the very end. Several things he's introducing in "Batman Incorporated" will be felt throughout the DCU.
While this is news to us, at this point, as you've said, you've already seen some of the artwork and the storylines. What do you think is going to be most surprising to fans about this new "Batman Incorporated?"
I think that fans will be a little shocked in what new directions Grant will be taking the characters in. I think he's managed to do that with each new phase of the Batman story he had done. "Batman And Robin" was different from his "Batman" run, as well as from "Batman Incorporated." I think you'll see another transition here -- readers will be surprised in the direction Grant is taking things in.
"Batman Incorporated" issue #1 is slated for May 2012.