Recently, two creators who have defined the look and story of "Batman" have returned to Gotham City. This week, "All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder" hit comic shops. Editor Bob Schreck and artist Jim Lee were present at the DC All-Stars panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The two answered questions from fans and told how "All-Star Batman and Robin" happened.
Schreck told the crowd "All-Star Batman and Robin" came together last year and all it took was a single phone call. But Lee sees "All-Star Batman and Robin" as a project 15 years in the making, with its roots in Lee's first meeting with Miller in the mid '80s. After that, Lee said he regularly bugged Miller for an opportunity to collaborate.
Lee enjoys working with Miller, joking they got together, drank and talked about the characters they wanted. However, Lee said he felt some pressure working with a writer/artist like Miller, whom he was worried, could draw "All-Star Batman and Robin" better.
In "All-Star Batman and Robin," the death of Robin's parents has been changed. Instead of plunging to their death from a sabotaged trapeze, they are now killed by gunshots. Lee said the death of Robin's parents fits into the way Miller views the city. And Schreck said the new origin modernizes Robin, making his origin more "visceral and disturbing."
Vicki Vale appears in "All-Star Batman and Robin," and Lee said Miller asked him to use old Hollywood stars as a reference when creating her look.
One crowd member was puzzled over Lee's and Miller's decision to use Robin's older costume in "All-Star." Lee said he felt there were no bad superhero costumes, just the way artists interpret them. Schreck said there was a reason "Boy Wonder" was part of the book's title and the old costume looks like something a boy would choose.
Lee mentioned he drew the brief comics panel sequence appearing before the DC logo appears in "Batman Begins" and is creating a similar sequence for next summer's "Superman Returns" film.
"The first issue is done," Schreck answered. "The second issue is written," saying a November or December release date is possible.
Schreck said he was not allowed to talk about an "All-Star Wonder Woman" book, but commented it is a possibility.
Throughout the panel, Lee had commented he didn't believe his work on the first issue of "All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder" was his best, but he said he felt he gets better with each issue. At the end of the panel, Schreck said he thought the finished art on "All-Star Batman and Robin" was great and if the audience liked it, he said, "wait [until] you see 'All-Star Batman and Robin #2.'"