Remember Batman Beyond? Yeah, we know it was a while ago. In 2010, our teenage years were returned to us. DC Comics and Adam Beechen, current writer of Batman Beyond, returned Terry McGinnis to his beloved fans. The last two years of comics have answered questions that many Batman Beyond fans have been waiting for. Besides Batman Beyond, Adam Beechen has written for plenty of fan favorite shows and comics. He's done cartoons such as Teen Titans, Ben 10, X-Men: Evolution and The Batman. In comics, he has written for Teen Titans, Robin and Countdown. In 2012, fanboys can't stop talking about Avengers vs X-Men and Batman's The Court of Owls. Add Batman Beyond to your list of must-reads in 2012.
After the success of the “New 52” did DC Comics ever consider rebooting Batman Beyond?
Not to my knowledge. Our book and our characters don't have the decades of mainstream comics continuity to the point where rebooting us would be any kind of noteworthy event. We'd only put out 8 issues of the monthly series...We'd just "booted!"
How closely is Batman Beyond tied to the New DCU’s Batman continuity?
Not terribly, which I think is good for us. Our timeline is a possible future for Batman, not necessarily the set-in-stone, this-is-how-it's-gonna-be continuity, so that allows us to take elements from Batman's comics history through the present day DCU and pick and choose the things we want to incorporate. We've even gotten a little cheeky and thrown in things from Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. Really, the only continuity we're beholden to is that of the Batman Beyond animated series. After that, as long as we don't directly contradict something that's part of the Batman mythos, we've got a lot of room to play.
In the Batman Beyond miniseries of 2010, the reader was introduced to an older Dick Grayson. In Dick’s flashback, Bruce seemed rather cold towards him. In the New DCU, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why did you characterize their relationship as such?
In the flashback, we saw that Bruce was responsible for Dick becoming gravely injured to the point where he decided to stop being a super-hero. In my mind, that made Bruce feel incredibly guilty, probably even more so than when Jason died, because Bruce is a lot closer to Dick than he ever was to Jason. I think when a character like Bruce feels guilty, rather than deal with it and express it, he'd shut down emotionally and just plow forward with "the mission." Bruce has lived his entire life compartmentalizing his emotions, and he can't function as Batman if he's going to be sentimental and second-guess himself. So he just stayed "same old Bruce" to Dick after the incident and, given what had happened, that seemed like he was being cold. It cost him Dick's friendship and love. I think that mindset cost Bruce a lot of relationships as he got older, and we see some of that in the book now.
In Justice League Unlimited, Batman Beyond fans are shocked when they learned that Terry McGinnis is actually Bruce Wayne’s clone. Will that be explored further in Batman Beyond?
I won't rule it out, but we're more concerned with exploring the time between the end of the Batman Beyond animated series and the Justice League Unlimited episode you mention. There's a lot of stories to be told in there, and we can use that time to set the stage for the revelations delivered to Terry in JLU. We've already established, in the miniseries, that Amanda Waller is determined to see that there's always a Batman. We can drop even more hints as we go along.
Will we see any flashbacks that focus on Bruce's relationship with Alfred Pennyworth?
You know, I have some vague ideas about that, but they haven't really jelled into a story yet. But yes, at some point I want to incorporate Alfred into the book, whether it's explaining what became of him, or flashing back to a story that involves him. He's a great character, and theirs is a fascinating relationship.
Scott Lobdell has written for some of the most beloved characters in comics, including: Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Iron-Man and is perhaps best known for his fantastic work on Uncanny X-Men and Alpha Flight. Currently, he is writing the brilliantly written and always entertaining Red Hood and the Outlaws for DC's New 52. He's also responsible for introducing several new members to the current Teen Titans, for giving Superboy a kick-ass new origin (both also for DC's New 52) and outing Northstar (one of the first openly gay superheroes). He was kind enough to answer a few questions for the Illumi-Nerdi.
Dear Mr. Lobdell, Thanks so much for giving us this opportunity. We hope these question are a little different than what you're used to. Enjoy!
I am giving you the opportunity to kill any comic book character. Who would it be and why?
Hmmm... not big on killing, though I've certainly done it before. I'd say THE PUNISHER -- I think he's reached his limit of murders.
Looking back, which single issue that you’ve written are you most disappointed by?
X-MEN UNLIMITED 4. The Perfect Storm of a bad story -- too many masters to serve. & guess what?! No waterfalls in the missippi river!
What is your weirdest moment with a fan?
It wasn't wierd as much as it was awesome. If I recall her name was Cheryl, Washington DC, 1994-ish?
Now that you are 5 issues in for all 3 new DC titles, is there anything you wanted to put into it that didn’t make the final product?
If there is I can't recall -- I am a very fluid plotter. So whenever I am faced with making a change I quickly let go of the old stuff.
On your deathbed, what would you want your last words to be?
"Already?! I just got here!"
Thank you Scott for this interview and thank you to the fans for supporting Scott, the Illumi-Nerdi and the Comic community (and if "Cheryl" from Washington D.C is reading this, please, we'd love to hear more about your "awesome" run in with Scott).
We at the Illumi-Nerdi truly appreciate the support and viewership we have received on this blog. Our initial idea for the blog was a means to introduce our comic book to as many people as possible. The blog kind of spiraled out of our control as we enjoyed focusing on critiquing and discussing Nerdi culture and we strayed from our initial intention. But after a few months of your incredible devotion and patronage we are finally ready to present to you, our loyal followers, our synopsis.
Our comic book is structured like a TV show. It will have season premieres and season finales. The first season is broken into 6 issues (much like a BBC series). Our character’s abilities originate during World War II. Nazi occultists and scientists formulated a serum that was meant to create a breed of extraordinary new warriors. Their apparent failure resulted in the “Extras gene” being inserted into the test subjects' DNA without a catalyst. Seventy years later the descendants of the test subjects begin to develop remarkable powers. Meet the Extras: a jock using a different kind of performance-enhancing drug (Matt Dunham), an abused troublemaker (Alex Reese), a schizophrenic cheerleader (Viola Proctor), the oft- ignored secondary character (Dave Johnson), a depressed bookworm raised by an alcoholic (Mary Carter), and the token black guy who actuallyisn’tthe first to die (Ron Darius).This ragtag group of teenagers come together, but it isn’t to fight an impending evil. It’s out of necessity and need for each other. However, this groupwill not last.Not long after, they will fight one another, die in each other’s arms, and betray their surrogate family and their own morality. These are deeply flawed, realistic characters without any discernible, clear-cut path. All of the characters constantly struggle between the allure of the light and the temptation of the dark while developing their own unique abilities. Each issue ends with a flashforward of 10 years later. The flashforwards explore our characters’ adult lives and their failure to cope with their abilities and the disillusionment of the family that The Extras provided. In the future, one character fakes their death, one completely over-embraces their powers, another is institutionalized, one tries like hell to ignore their powers and one tries to kill themselves with a mix of pills and alcohol (oh, and quite a few of our beloved characters are already dead by this point). In our comic book, true heroes do not last, despite how desperately they really are needed.
Wolverine and the X-Men #5. Story by Jason Aaron, Art by Nick Bradshaw.
Five issues in and I've decided that Jason Aaron can do no wrong. Yes, I wasn't a fan of the new Hellfire Club but lets put that aside. Each issue of Wolverine and the X-Men has me begging for more. Seriously though, if you love comic books, you need to read this. The new artist, Nick Bradshaw is amazing. For those who have been following our reviews, you know I can nitpick art. This book is detailed orientated, especially all his distance shots. My favorite art scene was Hank teaching class inside Toad's body. The art was detailed, colorful and astonishing. Dear Marvel, Do not lose this guy.
Why's this the perfect comic book? Two Reasons: amazing characters and the story drives character development. I was very leery about Angel dying and being reborn with a brand new personality but its growing on me. The new Angel is a hippie who tends to shed his clothes quite a bit. Unlike many books, the supporting cast drives this book. There is one scene, where the students are blowing off steam: Kid Gladiator is trying to convince himself that he beat up all the X-Genes in Toad's body, Brood is the odd little brother character and Quentin Quire seeks approval from everyone, while Genesis (A cloned younger version of Apocalypse) bemoans over the sudden dramatic change in his life. Once upon time, he lived on :wink: a small farm in Kansas :wink: in a virtual world. For a long time now, my favorite character development book has been The Walking Dead. I think Wolverine and the X-Men have stolen that title. There is one character that Aaron has yet to define, Rachel Summers, Cyclops' daughter from another dimension. For the last few years, she has been stuck in space battling aliens. At the moment, she barely presents herself in the panels and seems to be a waste of space. Let's hope that changes. I rather see Gambit teach a class then read Rachel giving Quire another lecture. Actually, in the recent issue it was said that Gambit's teaching health class. That scene needs to happen ASAP. By the way, Kitty is pregnant with and its a.....hmm...hundreds of microscopic brood aliens.
The Incredible Hulk #5: Story by Jason Aaron, Art by Whilce Portacio
There are three characters that are in at least 7 out of the 10 top best selling Marvel comics. They are Wolverine, Spider-Man and Doctor Doom. Since the beginning of the new Hulk series, everyone has been left wondering who separated the Hulk and Bruce Banner. The man behind one of Marvel's greatest mysteries is the one and only Doctor Doom. I'll make this short. He cuts open the Hulk's brain, don't worry he got permission. Next, he cloned a new body for Bruce Banner and transported Bruce's mind/brain into the new body. The end. Actually, that's only half the issue. The rest of the issue has the Hulk battling one on one with a Monkey-Hulk. The best scene in the issue, MH throws atomic-blue poop in the Hulk's face. However, the fight between the Monkey and the Hulk lasted more than it needed too. For those who haven't been reading the Hulk, Bruce Banner is a villain. He recently discovered that he has a tumor, which made him go a little cuckoo cuckoo. While the Hulk is dealing with monkey feces, Bruce is fighting off a team of assassins, who target only mad scientists. The issue ends with Hulk and Bruce going toe to toe. In the next issue, I hope Bruce dies. It would be a shock and the stories coming out of it would definitely have a lot of quality.
Remember that semi-ok Marvel movie called Ghost Rider? Don't deny it, you saw it. Well, we have news for you. The creator of Ghost Rider, Gary Friedrich, is being bullied by Marvel. As comic book fans, we need to help put a stop to that.
Here is a timeline of Gary Friedrich's battle against Marvel.
1972: Marvel forgets to register the character, Ghost Rider, with the U.S. Copyright Office. Ghost Rider first appeared in "Marvel Spotlight #5".
2007: Ghost Rider opens in theaters nationwide on February 16, 2007.
Friedrich sues Marvel, Columbia Pictures and Hasbro because he owns the characters in Ghost Rider because of Marvel's mistake in 1972.
2010: Marvel countered Friedrich's lawsuit with one of their own. They sought damages for his unauthorized sale of Ghost Rider's memorabilia. Most of the memorabilia were sold at Artists' Alley.
Almost two years later, an agreement was made between the parties. Marvel has insisted that they will drop the lawsuit if Fredrich agrees to pay $17,000 for all the memorabilia at Artists' Alley.
Steve Niles, author of 30 Days of Night, is asking for everyone's help. Out of kindness, he has created a paypal account that will be donated to Gary Friedrich.
Action Comics #6: Written by Grant Morrison, Art by Andy Kubert
What the hell happened to the story that had no conclusion in Issue 4? Issues 5 and 6 dropped a brick on us readers. It randomly introduced us to a set of villains, the grown up versions of Legion of Superheroes, and the future Superman. Grant Morrison loves confusing fanboys/girls with stories involving time travel, memory loss and a band of C-rated super villains. Issue 6 begins with this odd group of Superman villains being led by a tiny little man, who I think could be Mister Mxyzptlk. He kind of resembles Peter Dinklage. Anyways, let’s get back to the point. We learn that Superman has been poisoned with Kryptonite and his villains have been shot into his head. The bullet in his head was causing him memory loss. I have a feeling I lost you there. I have no idea where the bullet came from. Morrison never really answered that. The grown up versions of the Legion of Super Heroes were involved and they were absolutely boring. For God sakes, Garth Ranzz (Lighting Boy and member of L.S.H) apologized for almost losing his temper. The only part of this issue that I actually enjoyed was the backup story, written by Sholly Fisch, which introduced us to Clark Kent’s final hours in Smallville. Since the beginning of Issue 1, we have seen a Clark Kent that feels lost, looks awkward, and possibly wishes he never left Smallville. Sholly captures a Clark Kent who doesn’t need to hide, intending for the reader to empathize for future Clark Kent.