Grant Morrison on Batman

On 2/22, Zach Snyder conducted a great interview at Newsarama with Invisibles and New X-Men scribe Grant Morrison on his current dream job, Batman.

After taking the then nowhere DC Comics title of Doom Patrol and raising it to the rafters, the Scots comic writer won over a veritable cult of fans with his Vertigo series ‘The Invisibles.’ The Invisibles was a sophisticated comic posing as an action series that examined everything about modern life from alien invasions and government conspiracies to personal realities that in many ways predated the malleability of identity online. After the Invisibles, Morrison unexpectedly went to Marvel and wrote some of the best X-Men comics ever. For a hat-trick, he wrote the awe-inspiring We3 and the ambitious mega-story ‘Seven Soldiers of Victory’ (both for DC Comics).

Anyone who has read Arkham Asylum knows that Grant Morrison has heaps of love for the cowled detective. Since he took over the Batman title, Morrison‘s run on the title has been an explosion of new ideas, old plot devices and heart-stopping cliff-hangers.

In short, it’s a good time to be a Batman fan.

Grant is one of the most brilliantly gifted writers in comics today. His writing is sometimes sentimental, other times bombastic in a way that mirrors his love for Jack Kirby’s Super Powers, but never boring. As he enters 2008 with Batman, his plans remain vast, yet he has not let go of that inner fanboy that read comics in the wee hours.

… it’s basically trying to push Batman to the limit, to take him to emotional and physical places he’s never been before so we can really see how strong he is. The stronger a hero is the greater the challenges he should face. We want to put Batman under real pressure, to give readers get a better, more dramatic insight into the incredible physical and moral strength he does possess when the going gets rough.

So the idea behind “Joe Chill” and the current storyline is not only to expose weak spots that Batman himself has been unaware of for a long time, it’s to develop certain elements of his biography which may have been overlooked for a while and make those elements central to his undoing. It’s a story about karma in the strictest sense of the word – in his efforts to understand the derangement of his arch-enemy, the Joker, the young Batman inadvertently sets in motion an unstoppable chain of events which now threaten to destroy him utterly.

When I started this story, my first idea was, “What if all the Batman adventures from the 1930s until now were all part of one guy’s life, and he’s really gone through all this stuff, and it’s happened over the space of, say, 15 years, potentially?” To make it all work and still keep Batman at his peak, I settled on him being about 35 right now, so let’s say he’s been Batman since he was 19 or 20 years old.

Now try and imagine all that continuity squeezed into fifteen years. What you have is a guy who started his mission really well and was doing a great job, and then Robin comes along and that makes the job even better, the two of them start cleaning up the streets.

Then things begin to go a little bit wrong when Dick Grayson reaches college age and leaves. And then you have a succession of different Robins with disastrous results and consequences. You have the Joker’s paralyzing Barbara Gordon, you have Bane breaking Batman’s back, No Man’s Land…(laughs). All that’s supposed to have happened in the last few years of one man’s life!

When I first heard that Morrison was taking over the main Batman title, I had no idea that he would stay as long as he has and that it would be as great a ride as it has been.

Read the entire interview here.