INTERVIEW: Scott Snyder New Ongoing DETECTIVE COMICS Writer

I bet you didn't see this coming, did you?

When Greg Rucka left his most recent run of Detective Comics, I wrote it off.  That guy? That guy was my guy, you know? Whoever they put on it wasn't going to fill those shoes, so I let it be.  Then, I saw this news, and behold: glimmer of hope.

Scott Snyder has been named the new ongoing writer of Detective Comics.  Now, Snyder isn't a household name at all, but he genuinely surprised me with his work on American Vampire, creating something incredibly interesting out of something that should have, by all rights, been incredibly uninteresting.  If you haven't checked out the series yet, perhaps because of vampire overload, you're missing out.  It was also announced that Snyder has gone exclusive with DC.

It's this "out of left field" choice that has me excited. Sure, they could have stuck some established industry superstar on the book, but the idea of going with someone relatively new sounds invigorating.  When Rucka first started on Detective Comics many years ago, he was relatively unknown at the time, and that lead to the finest run on the title I've ever read.  Snyder doesn't have to live up to that run, but I'm excited at the prospect of seeing something new.  Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Paul Dini have all been associated with plenty of Batman in the past, so while their runs over the past few years were excellent, we knew what to expect.  With this choice, I don't know what to expect, and I'm looking forward to it.  The ball is in Snyder's court now.

While he's never written the character, Snyder is no stranger to the Batman.

While we're at it, a back-up starring Jim Gordon is a pretty good way to get my jazzed as well! There's no word on when the run starts, who this Batman will be, or who the artist is, but we'll let you know when we do..

We asked Scott a few questions about his upcoming run, and here's what he had to say.

How does it feel to take the reigns of the flagship Batman book? Do you feel you've arrived?

It feels amazing. I honestly couldn't be more thrilled, honored, exuberant or terrified. Like everyone who gets into comics, I've had some Batman stories I've wanted to tell for a while – things I'd be very, very excited about writing – but I figured it'd be years (at least) before I got to tell any of them. To be given Detective now – I don't know what to say except a tremendous thanks to Mike Marts (and Dan DiDio) for believing in me enough to give me a shot. I seriously feel like I just got picked to pitch in the all-star game after just a little bit of time in the big leagues. I couldn't be more grateful.    

What are the Batman runs or creative takes on him that most influence the version of Batman in your head?

That's a tough one, because Batman has been my go to character for inspiration for many years – I was lucky enough to grow up in the 80's, when Year One, Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke all came out. Then there was the Cult, No Man's Land, Gotham Central, Hush, the Long Halloween… The last few years though, seeing the epic scope of Grant's run – it's an incredibly exciting time to be working in Gotham. If I had to pick, I'd say that Year One is still my favorite. Partly for nostalgic reasons – the book hit you like a punch in the gut, when it came out, the maturity and sophistication of it – but also for the great empathy in the thing. It's such a deeply character-driven story, so much about Bruce's struggle to create Batman, to become him, for better or worse; and the way it follows Jim Gordon, the grayness of the depiction… It's got so much going on plot-wise, thematically, conceptually – but at the end of the day it's a deeply personal take on Bruce and Jim.

Who's your favorite Bat villain?

Joker. Hands down. I know he's everyone's favorite, and he's been done to death now, but the Killing Joke was a seminal book for me. And Death in the Family – I'm still surprised at how brutal that thing is. And then Arkham Asylum (the GN)… He grew up right alongside Batman – he matured earlier than the rest of the rogues gallery.  2nd favorite, Catwoman, for the pull she has on Bruce. 3rd, right now, Simon Hurt, for the dark, weird mysterious connections he seems to have to the Wayne history. And I'd be remiss not to say that I'm having a huge amount of fun (and guilt) writing the current villain of my own story into existence… Excited to see what people think of him.

I suppose you can't tell us who's under the cowl in your Batman story, can you?

I wish! It's hard to keep saying "Batman" in interviews instead of Bruce or Dick … someone else? (Alright, alright, it's not someone else – it's one of those two obviously!) I can tell you that the series will center wholly on Batman, and focus heavily on CSI work and hardcore mysteries set around Gotham. The back-up will star Commissioner Gordon and feature a certain case – and a dark figure – from his past that comes back to haunt him in present day Gotham. The feature and back-up will be autonomous, but will also affect and bleed into each other. Again,  – I said this before, but still – huge thanks to Mike Marts and everyone in the great Bat-family for making a place for me in Gotham City – I'll work overtime to earn my keep. And please, DC Nation, iFanboys, let me know what you think, too – I'm very easy to find online! I'm on Twitter as ssnyder1835, Facebook, etc… I want to know what you think, good or bad.
 

Comments

  1. This is great news.  I’m not generally a Batman reader but will check this out b/c of Mr. Snyder’s work (and because I love Jim Gordon, of course).  To clarify, will the backup be by a different creative team, or do we know that yet?

  2. I’m not the biggest Batman fan and I’ve pretty much limited myself to only Morrison Bat-titles but I love American Vampire. Snyder completely overshadowed Stephen King on that book and that has to count for something.

     I hope that he gets an incredible artist to go with. Looking forward to when this book hits the shelves.

  3. This is surprising and exciting news.  I haven’t read American Vampire (I plan on picking up the trade), but everything I’ve heard about it has been relatively positive.  This should be interesting.

  4. damm i was going to drop this now this happens now ive got to say sorry to my wallet

  5. cool! Can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to Detective….

  6. This is the best news I’ve had so far today. American Vampire is a great book and I’ve been kind of burned on vampires for a while now. I love that a new guy is getting his shot at a headliner. Looks like I’m on Detective for the long haul now.

  7. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this.  I’ve made American Vampire my pick 3 times already.  Snyder is defintely rising up in the ranks of writers and the fact that he’s outshined Stephen King in each of the books so far should tell you something.  Plus he took a concept that’s been beaten to death nowadays and turned it on its head with new origins and nice set pieces.  I can only wonder great things that will come out of his run with Detective Comics.

  8. Glad to see DC giving Scott a shot at Detective Comics.  I’ve loved his work on American Vampire and have full faith in what he’ll bring to Detective Comics.  I can’t wait to see who will accompany him as artist.

  9. Can’t wait!

  10. This is pretty exciting actually. Snyder is doing great with American Vampires and I think he’ll do a great job with Batman. Although I do wanna know who is the art team before I will say ‘must buy’ or ‘trade wait’ though.

  11. What is so great about American Vampire?  I strayed away from it as I’m not King fan and the vampire genre is pretty stale.  I’m interested to hear some opinions.

  12. This might get me reading a Bat-book again. Looking forward to checking it out. (please be Bruce, please be Bruce…)

  13. Very good news. I hope he gets a decent art team.

  14. Add Dectective back on my list when he starts out.  I’ll definitely be giving the title another go.

  15. This is cool. Looking forward to it. I’m not too familiar with Snyder but everything I’ve heard about him has been positive. Between this and Cornell’s upcoming work with Action and Knight and Squire, it looks like DC is making some smart moves with new talent.

  16. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m just gonna repeat it one more time: do yourself a favor and track down Snyder’s prose short story collection, VOODOO HEART. Snyder’s a good storyteller. And in addition to American Vampire, which I’m really enjoying, his IRON MAN NOIR miniseries from Marvel is a great pulpy yarn.

    Based on all of this? I’m stoked for Snyder’s run on Detective. I especially dig that he’s going to bring the actual "detective work" back to Batman. That’s something that gets lost at times. Hoping for some great mysteries! 

  17. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I have Voodoo Heart on my Kindle. I’ll be checking that out tonight. 

  18. Attaboy, Paul. I think it’s up your alley. And on your Zeppelin.

  19. American Vampire has been a great series thus far and Scott Snyder should do a great job on this book.  I’m honestly most excited about a fresh writer who has now stated that he wants to focus on the DETECTIVE aspects of Batman in Detective Comics, something I’ve been kind of missing lately…getting those clues, getting on the bat computer to look up the physical evidence, etc.

  20. Excellent news.  Snyder has demonstrated he’s a good writer, and yet at the same time it’s an unusual choice so we might end up with some original storytelling.  Can’t wait, and a Jim Gordon back up is the icing on the cake.