INTERVIEW: Batman: Arkham City Artist and Designer Carlos D’Anda

Arkham City is both a comic book series, and a video game. Both are sequels to the massively successful Arkham Asylum game from last year, and all 3 feature the work of Carlos D'Anda. Carlos worked as a designer on both games and is currently the artist on the 5 issue mini series, bridging the gap between the two games. Batman legend Paul Dini serves as writer on the whole shebang. Issue #1 is already on the shelves and issue #2 will be out on June 8. Arkham City the game is due out in October. Carlos took a little time to answer some questions about the development of the comics and the games.

Josh Flanagan: How closely tied to the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games will the comics be? Is it all one story?

Carlos D'Anda: The story is totally interwoven between the two games and within that specific universe… it let's you know what happened to the characters after the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum, and also leads you into how Arkham City came to be.

JF: You designed characters for both games. Was there an overall direction you took in adapting these classic characters to a slightly different world?

CD: My two favorite movies as a kid were Aliens, and Mad Max, so I always loved designs that look realistic and mean… stuff that looks like it works and can take a beating, very utilitarian. When I first got offered Batman: Arkham Asylum, and I saw some of the work that Rocksteady had already done, I realized that they were already going in that general direction… a very industrial world, very gothic, and very mean, so the characters themselves had to reflect that. I love Batman and his rogues gallery, so I wanted to make sure to stay 'true' to their spirit, and not just change things for the sake of changing things, BUT one this I knew for sure is that spandex wouldn't cut it in that Arkham Asylum, everything needed to be toughened up, lots more Kevlar, steel and leather!

JF: What were the most challenging redesigns? The easiest?

CD: Scarecrow was actually fairly easy, I think I only did a couple of roughs before it got approved and I jumped to the finished version (it's AWESOME to see fans dress up as this character, that's when you know you struck the right nerve!). The hardest was probably The Joker, because he went through quite a few changes. He was initially going to be dressed up a bit like a 'mad doctor', and slowly moved more toward the 'classic' version of The Joker… I must have done about a dozen versions of him… he was a ton of fun to work on though, so it never got old or frustrating. I was looking at a lot of 60s rockstars when I was drawing him… kinda 'creepy 60's mod'!

JF: How is the change from working on a huge collaborative project like a video game to a relatively small team making comic books?

CD: It's really not that different creatively speaking. When it's all said and done, it's just you at your computer or drawing desk, so it becomes a very intimate process regardless, just you and whatever Muses are dancing around in your head. Probably the biggest difference would be approval processes and things like that. In a comic book, deadlines are usually so tight, that there's no time to go back and re-do stuff, and in a game, you have more time to tweak designs.

Having the great fortune of doing both, you realize how absolutely complimentary they are to each other, and I love being able to play in both sandboxes.

JF: What will a reader find in Arkham City that they won't find in regular DC Universe books?

CD: The only real difference is that this is a self contained series that is focused on the Arkham City universe, so it's not tied to the continuity of the regular DC Universe.


Check out this gameplay trailer.


  1. I really enjoyed these desgins. They made sense for this world. Scarecrow’s fingers with the needle made him that much scary.

    great interview Josh. makes me even more excited for this game to come out.

  2. I normally avoid tie-ins, but this looks interesting. I seem to remember someone saying good things on an earlier potw podcast. . . I’ll check the shop.

  3. that video makes me what to go outside and start punching things. it’s pretty cool

  4. *want