Grant Morrison Talks ‘Batman + Robin’

When it was announced that not only was Grant Morrison going to write one of the books coming out of “Battle For the Cowl” — Batman & Robin — but that Frank Quitely was going to draw it, thus reuniting the creative team from All-Star Superman, a collective nerdgasm rippled through segments of fandom.

Some things about the book were immediately assumed:

“Well, Quitely can’t do a monthly book — so it must be on a six week schedule. Or perhaps it will be bi-monthly.”

“Well, since Quitely can’t do a monthly book, maybe Batman & Robin won’t tie into the other Batbooks.”

As it turns out, neither of these assumptions proved true. This week Grant Morrison sat down with Comic Book Resources to talk Batman & Robin. Some interesting tidbits:

On the art schedule:

This is a monthly comic and Frank won’t be doing all of them. With “All Star Superman,” we had as long as we wanted to produce the book. This is a proper monthly comic. The other books are going to be taking their cues from it, as well. So there will be other artists involved. It will be a little more like “New X-Men.” Meaning, Frank will be in and out as the artist.

On the importance of Batman & Robin to the rest of the Batbooks:

Well, I like to hope we’ll be playing off each other. I actually don’t know what’s happening in some of the other books just yet. Now, I’ve been told some basic details. And we know what we’re doing. So yeah, they will run in tandem. I don’t know that we’ll crossover with the other books, but we’ll certainly be in sync.

On who is under the masks:

What we’ve got is a more light-hearted, more spontaneous Batman and a real bad-ass, violent Robin. So I think people are going to enjoy it. It’s a very different dynamic between the two characters.

On Frank Quitely’s art style in Batman & Robin:

This is certainly looser than what he was doing on “All Star Superman.” There was more control on that book, because we wanted it to be more like Superman. So it was all very controlled, very measured. The “Batman & Robin” stuff is more brazen. And he’s producing things like sound effects, because nobody does sound effects anymore. Everybody has given up on them, so what we’ve done is incorporate them into the artwork. When someone hits water, the water rises up and makes the “splash” effect. It just looks fantastic.

Again, it’s much more playful than “All Star Superman,” which was more classical and maybe more restrained. This is more wired.

He’s not kidding about the slight change in art style that Quitely is employing for Batman & Robin. You can see it in the preview cover art above when compared to the special variant cover he did for All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder which you can see below:

 


The new style he’s using is sketchier. It’s rougher. I like them both. And I really like that he changes his art style to suit the story he’s drawing.

There’s a lot more interesting stuff to be found in the interview, so check it out if you’re interested.

I have a feeling that this book is going to be very polarizing, along the party lines that were drawn during “Batman R.I.P.” and Final Crisis, which means I’ll probably love it. Robin is definitely Damian (which everyone has predicted anyway). A lighthearted Batman would seem to indicate Dick Grayson, as Tim Drake has been rocketing down the path to the dark side lately. It’s definitely not Jason Todd (seemingly confirmed by Morrison in the interview).

I’m super, super excited for this upcoming year in the Batbooks. It’s gonna be really fun!

 

Comments

  1. With this and Batwoman in Detective, I’m definitly going to enjoy these books.

  2. That’s probably the best Batman outfit I’ve ever seen

  3. the interview also mentions drawing on threads from batman #666. should be interesting to see how morrison ties in that crazy issue as well.

  4.  Will definatly pick this up. I love Quitely’s art and like some of Morrison’s work. Although a bad ass violent Robin may bug me. He looks about 12 in these pics.

  5. Robin is definitely Damaian, as mentioned in the article. The boy Marrison describes and the stance and apparrel of Robin is very Damian-ish. I don’t know if lighthearted Batman indicates Grayson, to me, because I’ve felt that he has turmoil, also. He’d definitely be more lighthearted than the mentioned top candidates. I’m just wondering if it’ll be someone from far right field. The car in the background is real freaky, but I love this art. This has just become high on my "upcoming comics I look forward to list"…not that a Morrison Bat-book wouldn’t be.

  6. I REALLY dig the new Robin’s gear.

  7. @psyguy411: Recent grieving for his adopted father aside, Dick Grayson has always been the laughing, quipping, daredevil circus boy.

  8. Hurm. I guess I’ll have to start reading a Batman book again.

  9. Sorry if this question was answered elsewhere… but could someone tell me if DC has announced whether Batman will be cancelled and/or what writer/artist team will be working on it if it hasn’t been cancelled (or put on hiatus).  Thanks in advance.

     

     

  10. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Winick’s taking over Batman, yeah?  

  11. The new Batbooks after "Battle for the Cowl":

    Batman & Robin – Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (and others)
    Batman – Judd Winick and Tony Daniel
    Detective Comics – Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III
    Red Robin – Chris Yost and Ramon Bachs
    Streets of Gotham – Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen
    Gotham City Sirens – Paul Dini and Guillem March
    Outsiders – Pete Tomasi and Lee Garbett

  12. @conor yeah, you are most likely right. The last arc of Nightwing I read was with Two-Face before/during RIP??? My take was being tortured and all by the situation made him seem bitter. I vaguely remember an issue where he was talking to Alfred and it seemed depressing, especially since he was making comparisons to Bruce and how he couldn’t save the kidnapped chick. I may be mixing things up, and probably should go read that again to make sure I’m thinking right.

  13. @Conor – Thanks very much, I appreciate that.

  14. Can’t wait!!! 🙂

  15. Can’t wait for this or Rucka on Detective. I am going to give Streets of Gotham a chance but I don’t think I will touch the regular Batman title.

    Also isn’t Ramon Bachs the guy that was on Frontline? *shudder*

  16. Isn’t Azrael:Death’s Dark Knight by Fabian Nicieza & Frazer Irving suppose to be in that line up, for anyone who cares?…or is that just a Battle for The Cowl series?

  17. @psyguy411: That’s a three issue mini-series running concurrent to "Battle of the Cowl".

  18. David Lynch meets the 60’s TV show, hmmm, this could be interesting.  My one question is: if Damien is Robin and if Jason Todd turns into Red Robin and Dick is Batman (which are just a guesses at this point), what happens to Tim?  Also, I find it interesting Winick is on Batman.  Never been a fan of his, and it seems like because B&R is the "flagship" title while Morrison is working on it, they want the only other Batman book with Batman in it to be kind of low key and perhaps have someone on it who will follow editorials orders.  This kind of reminds me when Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men came out and Claremont was put back on Uncanny as Astonishing suddenly became the flaship title and the other "X-Men" X books were subpar and amounted to nothing, probably because Marvel was scared of stealing Whedon’s thunder, which is just silly.  However, I’m definitely looking forward to B&R.

  19. Insert token "meh" here -> ___

  20. A lot of people areound the internet seem to be forgetting that Judd Winick wrote BATMAN #626-650.  His run was quite good (despite bringing Jason Todd back).

  21. Which is why I think there is going to be two men running around as Batman.  Dick in Batman and Robin and Jason in Batman.  Winick brought back Jason Todd, Winick should have to deal with him.

  22. I looooove the pitch: Lynch does the 60’s Batman show. I have no problems with a Dick/Damien match-up. I think it could be a lot of fun to play a different take on icons for a bit. WE all know it will go back. I suspect this will be a lot about the lighter Grayson help the tough/violent Damien to grow-up a bit, which could be fun.

    My only hesitation is in how Morrison has been telling stories. I didn’t like RIP or Final Crisis, but the guy really CAN write, and even RIP and FC had moments of brilliance. 

    This might seem like an odd comment, but: there’s a difference in the kind of head-scratching I do when i’m watching a dreamlike David Lynch film and reading something like Final Crisis. It’s OK to scratch my head at ideas and weird symbolism and the like. That’s the good kind of head scratching. But with FC, there was too much, "oh wait, what happened with who? And where did so-and-so come from? And what was the point of including that character at all?" That’s the bad kind of head-scratching. Me, I want to be puzzling over the emotional impact, the symbolism, the bizarre ideas.  I don’t want to be puzzling over who did what and when because of hte way scenes are cut together.

    I really hope to like this. I really do. I know Morrison has it in him. But I’m going to have to be cautiously optimistic at this point.

  23. I can’t wait for this. I’ve been taking a pass on the Battle for the Cowl and related books, but will definitely be on board for Morrison and Rucka’s runs, and most likely I’ll give Streets of Gotham a chance, too.

  24. I’m incredibly excited for this book.  Not sure what other Batbooks I’ll be getting as well, thats still up in the air. 

  25. I didn’t care for Winick’s run on Batman, and there’s also the fact that he’s done Batman, get someone new in, especially when you’ve got this fresh start to the franchise so to speak.  Plus, IF Batman is Dick, wouldn’t Tomasi be a better choice?  I’ve heard nothing but good things about his brief run on Nightwing, so he obviously "gets" Dick (man that sounds dirty), so he seems the obvious choice.

  26. I’m not sure Dick will be the new Batman. In the interview Morrison said the New batman and Robin relationship is built off the “Batman & Son” arc, Dick wasn’t even in that story. Damian and Tim did meet in the arc and began hating each other straight away. If Tim is Batman and Damian is Robin this would be a really interesting dynamic.

    And in the Kingdom Come continuity, Dick Grayson IS Red Robin afterall

  27. i would like the idea of a couple of different batmen running around, would lead to some interesting stories over a year, and also give a bit of a free pass continuity-wise.

  28. Psyched for this so much. As well as all the Bat-books coming up. 

    Could this match the great Batbooks of the late 90s, early 00s by Rucka, Dixon, Brubaker and company? 

  29. @conor: Judd Winick didnt do a bad job on his run on Batman (sans Jason Todd as you mentioned). In fact it made me yearn for a Black Mask mini by Winick cause he did such a great job with the character. But after reading GA/BC and Titans….no. Not today’s Winick will I be picking up his Batman run.

    But yeah if that sample image doesnt even prove it more: Daiman is Robin. How can it not be? I dont understand why DC would ruin a half of their new status quo before Daniel’s mini is even over.

    What I will be picking up is Batman and Robin, Streets of Gotham, and Sirens. The latter of the two cause it’s the Dini/Nguyen team up I have been missing, plus March’s cheesecake style totally works for Sirens (aka Gotham Girls v.2). Obviously I am getting Batman and Robin for two reasons: Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. While it’s disappointing that Quitely isnt doing the entire series, it makes me a bit happy that it maybe wont be delayed. Cause Quitely could totally kill the momentum if he is late like he was for his ASS work.

  30. I really enjoyed winick’s run on Batman.  I stopped reading shortly after he left the title and look forward to his return.  Very excited about Batman in general right now.

  31. Geoff Johns should write the Batman ongoing instead.

    What’s that, you say?  Johns is already doing a billion projects already?  Too many books as it is?  Bah, good sir!  I need more Johns!!!!  MOAR!!!!!

    Ok, maybe not, but I didn’t like Winick on Batman.  I’d like a new guy.  Maybe Sterling Gates.  He does good stuff, right?  He needs a bone thrown his way.

  32. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Geoff Johns is my favorite writer of superhero comics.  He would not be a great pick for Batman.  

  33. @Tork: I dont know if you mispelled ‘more’ or that was a bizarre animal sound. MOAR!!!

    I would love to see Tomasi take a jab at the proper Batman title. He might be doing Outsiders, but him doing actual Batman could be a good thing. Or a new writer…..why not let DC try new writers?

  34. @P Money-Word.  I love Johns’ work, but not for Batman. 

  35. @paul I would agree with you there. If anything I think Johns is at his weakest writing for Batman when Batman appears.

    I am so, so, so excited for this series. Can’t wait.

  36. I like how frank Morrison is about Wayne’s inevitable return. I was also really interested to hear the New X-Men comparision. They should just get Igor Kordey on but with more time.

  37. I wonder who is going to be doing the non-Quitely issues?

  38. I can’t say I’m very enthused about a more "light-hearted" and "playful" Batman.  It doesn’t have to be Miller’s Dark Knight, but I hope it isn’t too silly.  Oh well, I’ll give it a shot.  I am running 50/50 with Morrison lately.

  39. Winnick did a good job on Batman? Are you guys being sarcastic? Remember the giant Scarecrow monster?

    Hey, is this Batman & Robin book in continuity? Because, if the sell is "Lynch doing the 60’s Batman TV show" that’s 2 things I hate mashed together, kinda like vomit & dog shit in a blender. If this isn’t in continuity I’ll definitely skip it, but if it isn’t … I have to try it out. 

  40. but if it IS*

  41. David Lynch doing a Batman TV series? What a great idea! 🙂

  42. @NJBaritone & wade I have to say, I hope it’s exactly something you both won’t like, because that’s the Batman that appeals to me. I have fond memories of USA rerunning the TV show in the early 90s. That’s my favorite. And it’s obviously Morrisons! (In the Last Rites issues of Batman, there are actually a couple of references made to the series.)

    And if anyone can do zany, campy Silver Age well it’s Morrison.  

  43. @Prax: Spot on. But if I might also add: If this has the Silver Age, campy tones that All Star Superman did….then there will be nothing wrong with this comic. Again I would love to know who takes over for Quitely when he isnt doing the issues.

  44. @WadeWilson: The question of continuity is answered in the article itself.

  45. @conor – Right. It just is’t 100% clear, so I was making sure … or maybe I was in denial, lol.

    I’d prefer if this stood on it’s own out of continuity so I could skip it. I’m sure "having" to read something makes sense to only a few people … 😛

  46. @wade: I believe if you place vomit, dog shit and Batman in a blender; you get Joel Schumaker.

  47. LMAO — Agreed.

  48. pretty sure thats damian. idk who batman is though

  49. Well, I didin’t think I was going to be buying a ton of Batbooks after Battle for the Cowl, but it looks like I’m wrong.  I can’t wait to read Morrison’s book, Winick’s Batman sounds like it should be solid, Rucka on Detective will be amazing (especially with J.H. art!), and anything Dini and Nguyen want to do I will buy.  This is going to be awesome!

  50. Hey here’s an article where it shows the solicts and covers for the first issues of each new series, or creative team:

    http://comics.ign.com/articles/964/964961p1.html

    Makes me even more excited for ‘Streets of Gotham’. You guys miss Gotham Central? Well the solicts make it sound like this is a pesudo-sequal to it. Plus knowning that there will be ‘The Question’ back up stories in each issue makes me double think about dropping Detective. (Most likely still will drop it but I love the Question…) Oh and I couldnt care less about a book more then Red Robin.

  51. I love the pitch: "Lynch does the 60s show". I love the fact that Frank Quietly is drawing (at least some of it). I love Grant Morrison going wild with the Bat-universe. This seems to be the book of the year for me, I’m even more excited for this than for Blackest Night. 

    And David Lynch SHOULD do a Batman show. Just saying… 

  52. Quitely doing his best Walt Simonson impression is worth my $3.99.

  53. when is red robin due out??????? ………anyone please

  54. @Prax. It’s a bit weird to think of Morrison doing any silver age styled stuff since he effectively "Killed" the silver age in Final Crisis. Maybe that’s just me thinking way too much about that one.

  55. @anson. no, you get it wrong. In FC the silver age kills the ‘dark age’ as it were. Captain Carrot was on the winning team after all.

  56. @JedeyeSniv Yeah, I get that, but he even said that the death of the Martian Manhunter was a way to show how far the Silver Age was behind us. If I can find the quote, I’ll post it up here.

    Also, I forgot to mention that I’m hella excited for this book. Quitely’s art is amazing. Love his design for Robin. The layered cape look is genius.

  57. @anson17 Well that’s his point, Anson. The killing of Martian Mahunter (one of the "heralds" of the Silver Age) is to show how far modern comics are from the Silver Age. It’s why that happens at the front of the story. However, Final Crisis is about the lighter, zanier elements of the DCU overcoming the dark tone of Modern comics. Superman wishes for a happy ending because he’s such a nice guy. Morrison has, since taking over Batman, been unabashed in his celebration of how much he loves the Silver Age. Remember, Morrrison was the one who brought the really fun, really silly adventures of Batman from that time back into continuity. All-Star Superman is a celebration of Silver Age Superman with a modern twist.

    Indeed, Morrison has been on record quite a few times throughout his career discussing how he doesn’t like the dark tone most comics take in the modern era. While Morrison is happy to play with the dark themes and tones, most of his stories end with a celebration of how good, light and noble the heroes are.  

    So I’m really shocked to hear someone say "It’s weird for Morrison to do anything Silver Age style because he effectively ‘killed’ the silver age." Because of all the creators in comics, Morrison is the most passionate about bringing that fun and vigor back to Super Hero comics. Sorry for that, that got a little preachy! I will say, whether it’s a celebration of the Silver Age or not, this title will rock.

  58. Crisis on Infinite Earths ended the Silver Age. Barry Allen’s debut effectively marks the start of the Silver Age and his death in CoIE is the symbolic and historical end point of that time.

    Morrison didn’t do a thing to the Silver Age except steal from it heavily.

  59. @Prax. I kinda saw the death as him starting to move away from the silver age in his own work. I know he loves it, it’s obvious in amost all of his work. I should have said "It’s weird to see him keep doing anything in a Silver Age style." Because of some of the stuff that happened in Final Crisis, I was expecting him to change up his style for his next couple projects. I should have worded it better.

  60. @TNC: nice found! i don’t necessarily think the Streets of Gotham is a sequel to Gotham Central.

    Gotham City Sirens seems like a anti-Birds of Pray. What an awesome idea!

  61. @TNC: Thanks for the link you posted.

    I love that DC is putting co-features in some of their books.  I don’t mind paying $3.99 for extra content.

  62. Super, SUPER excited. I will be buying the whole Bat line-up of books post-Cowl!

  63. Isnt Yost a Marvel exclusive writer? How did they get him while he is busy doing a couple of X-titles?

  64. That New-Xmenish look freaks me out. I don’t think I can get used to Robin’s head being THAT wide =

  65. That looks really nice.  Eager to pick this up. 

  66. Can’t wait

  67. Yep, this will be my only BatBook. (OOOooOOO, did I ust name a new Mac product?!?) This should be fun. And pretty.

  68. Interesting… i was assuming B&R would be like an all star title…  either way, i’m looking forward to this!

  69. @kory – $3.99 with extra content is fine be me also. It looks like the back-ups will be high quality too, The Question in Detective & Manhunter (written by Andreyko!) in Streets Of Gotham. I’m most looking forward to these 2 books post-Cowl.

  70. @SuperRyan same here but looking forward to it none the less!

  71. Thank god it sounds like the books won’t be really crossing over into each other too much. Now the haters of MorrisonLynch can just skip this if it goes like RIP and Final Crisis did.

  72. To me the battle for the mantle of the Bat is still up in the air.

    I could see Tim Drake becoming Red Robin and traveling the globe looking for Bruce. I could also see Tim becoming Batman because Gotham needs a Batman. 

    Dick Grayson is the odds on favorite to become Batman. But seeing as how it looks like Dick doesn’t want to let go of Bruce yet, he might become Red Robin in search of Bruce as well.

    Whatever happens, it looks as though a rift will come between Tim and Dick. Whoever becomes Red Robin will resent the fact that the "new" Batman has given up on Bruce and leave in search for him. 

     The only other thing possibility is that the Batman from Batman and Robin comics is different from the Batman in Batman comics.  

     

  73. This is the only series I really care about. Actually, I’ve been basically giving up on comics until this comes out. Am I going to buy Cap this week? I don’t even know. I’ve just become so uninterested in things. Morrison’s Batman is unlike anything else, though, so I’ll sit back up straight and get my head back in the game when it comes out.

  74. cant wait to pick this book up. shame frank quitely wont be doing the whole book with morrison but still sounds incredible theres nothing better than a great batman story

    batman fan for life.

  75. so is damian the new batman or dick grayson im confused? someone help me out

  76. It’s definitenly not Damian.

  77. It’s the riddler.

  78. hope it aint the bloody riddler

    dick grayson is the rightful heir to the batman throne