Word Balloons: All-star team launches 'All-Star Batman'
Batman may be on his own in the first arc of "All-Star Batman," but the members of the creative team behind the title are enjoying having each others' backs.
In a recent interview, writer Scott Snyder and penciler John Romita Jr. each had effusive praise for the other — and for two other members of the art team, inker Danny Miki and colorist Dean White.
"It's because of working with Scott that the art can look a certain way, and then Danny and Dean," Romita said. "I'll take credit when it's coming my way, but I have to diffuse the credit to the other three guys."
Romita said Snyder's storytelling made it easy for the pair to work together and that "Danny and Dean, they cannot be minimized on this one."
"When (Miki) just goes that extra mile, literally every panel, he puts the amount of work in some people put into a page. And Dean, I've worked with him before, and he never ceases to amaze me."
That team joins letterer Steve Wands for "All-Star Batman" #1, on sale this week.
In the story "My Own Worst Enemy," Batman has a price on his head, as he crosses the countryside in an attempt to deliver the villain Two-Face to a location where he may be able to be cured.
"People have private selves and public selves, now more than ever," Snyder said. And according to Two-Face, "The private self is the villain, the side of their face they don't want to show the world, that's the real side. And Batman is saying that's not so. People at heart are heroic, they want to be redeemed, they want to be the best version of themselves."
Two-Face's two-part offer challenges that dichotomy. The villain releases the following offer to the public: If someone stops Batman from delivering Two-Face, he'll give that person the wealth of the largest crime bosses in Gotham. But if Two-Face makes it to his location, he promises to reveal the darkest secrets he's discovered about everyone.
"It's a road trip story," Snyder said. "It's essentially Batman and Two-Face chained together moving across this gaming board that is the state. Everything from farmland to woods to all over the place, seeing who is right? Are we a collection of our best or worst impulses? Are we heroes or villains?"
All star cred
Frank Miller and Jim Lee previously collaborated on "All-Star Batman and Robin," and Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely used the "All-Star" label on their "All-Star Superman."
“ ‘All-Star' is a moniker that always signified creators doing things that were unexpected with characters, creators I really admired," Snyder said about bringing back the "All-Star" label. "It's a huge mantle to live up to ... (but) it's a joy to get to work under that mantle, too, because as much as its intimidating, it's also very liberating."
Romita said he had long wanted to work on Batman, and drawing "The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade" earlier this year gave him "a nice platform to jump into this."
"I didn't just cold jump in," Romita said. "I had always wanted to do Batman. And there's still an intimidation factor for a character with a history, and the amount of artists who have worked on it in the past. You cannot be full of yourself."
"All-Star" will also feature a backup story in each issue. In the first arc, Snyder is writing a story about the ascension of Batman's ally, Duke Thomas, as drawn by artist Declan Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire.
"It's a book where we're all trying to do something fun and different, that we all feel passionately about, and we're taking some risks with it," Snyder said.