Interview: Scott Snyder on “Detective Comics”

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DC Comics announced yesterday that the single-named artist Jock–best known for drawing The Losers–would be joining writer Scott Snyder as the creative team on Detective Comics as of November. We spoke briefly with Snyder at Comic-Con (before the Jock announcement had been made public) about what will be coming up for Batman in Detective.

TECHLAND: What do your plans for Detective Comics look like?

Scott Snyder: I love what Greg Rucka’s been doing with Batwoman in Detective, and I like David Hine’s story with Batman a lot. But we want this to be a long run, and it really is back to basics: Batman in the forefront, Batman starring as the world’s greatest detective, solving mysteries around Gotham. And Gotham is changing rapidly now that Bruce Wayne is back. It’ll be back to basics in that way, but there’ll be a really fresh look on the book, a really new twist to it. The backup is going to be Commissioner Gordon; it’ll be about a dark figure from his past, come back to haunt him.

(More on Techland: The New Batman Status Quo: Less Dark, More White Collar)

Are you writing that also?

Yes, I’m doing double duty. And one of the secrets, I guess, is that the backup and the feature wind up sort of leading into each other. It’s one big continuous story. The mysteries, at first, will seem relatively standalone, but you’ll start to realize that they’re one continuous storyline.

How will your Detective be integrated with the other Batman titles?

It’s definitely integrated with Batman Inc., which I think is going to be so much fun, having seen the model for it. There are some elements in the book that come out of that–there are some fun things that I’ve cleared with Grant about some of the scenarios we’re going to do. But he’s wonderful about giving us room to do our own little Bat-ecosystem–to have a world that’s not dependent on what’s going on in The Dark Knight or Batman Inc.

(More on Techland: Grant Morrison Announces “Batman Inc.” at Comic-Con)

Can you talk a little about how the storytelling techniques you’re using in Detective and American Vampire compare?

It kind of worked out so it’s almost similar right now. The second arc of American Vampire, which I’m really excited about, starts in issue #6. It’s going to be a murder mystery in Las Vegas in the 1930s, and it brings back all the old characters from Cycle 1, but it also introduces this character of a young cop, who’s trying to solve a mystery where bodies are showing up all over town drained of blood. That was a really fun mystery to figure out, for me; if you’re a good detective you can kind of get a sense, reading it, of who’s behind it. It’ll explore the mythology of ancient vampires, and so on. It prepped me a lot for what I’m going to be doing on Detective, which is street-level mysteries that need somebody like Batman to solve them. It’s going to be detective-based: very CSI, very Crime Lab, on the ground; not super-villain-y. It won’t be a big superhero book. It’s going to be about him as a vulnerable guy, being challenged as a detective.