Peter J. Tomasi Talks Batman and Robin

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Yesterday, we spoke with Tony Daniel about his forthcoming Batman run; today, we’ve got a brief interview with writer Peter J. Tomasi about his forthcoming run on Batman and Robin. Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason have been the team behind Green Lantern Corps‘ success over the last couple of years. They’ll be taking over with Batman and Robin #17 late next month, following Grant Morrison’s hit run, and continuing to focus on the partnership of Dick Grayson (the original Robin who’s now Batman) and Damian Wayne (Bruce Wayne’s aristocratic, violent son, who’s taken over as Robin). Tomasi talked to us at New York Comic Con about his plans.

TECHLAND: What’s coming up in Batman and Robin?

PETER J. TOMASI: Lots of things! The main thing I want to do on Batman and Robin is really dig into the characters some more, like Grant’s been doing. He’s obviously a tough act to follow. I want to continue to do high-octane, character-based stories with my two favorite characters growing up: Batman and Robin. I drew all my old stuff on looseleaf paper–it’s nice now to be able to do it in a real comic! I’ll be approaching things the same way, with small story arcs; I also want to keep creating new villains for Batman and Robin. They’ve got a great rogues’ gallery, but I want to really try to add to the mythology.

(More on Techland: Tony Daniel on Writing and Drawing Batman)

What other formal elements of what Morrison’s been doing are you planning on continuing, and what will you be doing differently?

I can’t think like Grant–there’s no way I can even come close to what he’s been doing. So I’m going to just approach things from my perspective, and attack the characters in that fashion. I’ve always been more of a character over plot person, so I’m really going to strive to deliver some great character moments, with a nice through-line that brings everyone along on the journey.

What’s your collaboration with Patrick Gleason like?

I was his editor for many years, and we worked together on Green Lantern Corps–it’s tough imagining doing the book without Pat, because I had a specific idea of what I wanted its look to be, and Pat and I are very simpatico. It was a perfect fit. It’s got a kick-ass look–we wanted it to have a brightness to it, mixed with the darkness. We didn’t want it to be a black and brown book, we wanted it to be a very pop book, and keep a lot of color in it, and make it a thrill-ride at the same time.

(More on Techland: Exclusive Interview: Grant Morrison on Batman Times Three)

What are your thoughts about Dick and Damian as characters?

I’m approaching them as two brothers. It’s a great dynamic. We’ve got a Robin who’s a major pain in the ass, who’s got a very harsh attitude towards life–he’s done some things that have obviously set off Dick in many ways, and also Bruce before he died, but their relationship is that they bounce heads a lot. Dick and Damian are so distinct in their personalities that, as a writer, it gives you a better sense of being able to create drama, instead of two characters who are very similar. One’s an angry young kid who’s always pissed at the world, and then you’ve got Dick, who’s got a very optimistic, glass-is-always-half-full kind of attitude. It’s a nice sort of yin and yang.