Grant Morrison spoke to the LA Times Hero Complex blog about the next phase in his Batman epoch. We spoke to him about some of the changes in store in San Diego, but he goes further in depth here, and there's a look at some of the David Finch art in the upcoming Batman: The Return.
I'm gonna go ahead and get this out of the way right up front. David Finch put the yellow back in the bat symbol, bringing the design further away from Batman: Year One, and if I'm honest, closer in line to Michael Keaton.
The thrust of the conversation is about the upcoming state change happening in Batman books, as Bruce Wayne returns from being lost in time, and decides to implement "Batman Inc." where he, more or less, franchises out the Batman brand around the world, to heroes like Knight and Squire and El Gaucho. I have no doubt in my mind that fans will take a little time to get used to the idea that things are going to be very different than they remember them. I imagine a very split fanbase, but I also imagine some very unique stories to come out of Gotham.
Morrison talks about the wide range of possibilities there are with a character like Batman: "It's really weird. Batman can take anything. You can do comedy Batman, you can do gay Batman…it all works. It something intrinsic to the character. It 's so strange and amazing."
He clears up a little of what is in store for Batman, once he begins to franchise around the world to other heroes. "The second team-up is Batman with El Gaucho, the Argentinian hero. So here's these super macho guys, these alpha males, and the Gaucho isn't sure he wants to wear that bat symbol, He doesn't always agree with Batman but he does agree with his principles and ideals. He agrees with the mission but not the branding. That's what it's all about: Branding."
To fans worried about the changes, Morrison responds. "Nothing I've done with Batman is so shockingthat it hasn't been seen before. I've tried to tell fans: 'Don't worry about time travel, he's done it before, we're just going to see it in more conventional, more down-to-earth way." Don't worry about the aspects of this stuff, we're re-drawing aspects of Batman's history all the time. He had team-ups before and… his is a lot like "Batman Family," I suppose, except the family is very extended in this case and it's global. I tell people not to worry. Batman can take it. He'd done it before."
Plus, as I said, there's that yellow bit back again. Now comes the part when people discuss whether that's important in any way or not.