That came really early. We knew that Bruce was going to leave Gotham City. Originally when James was building out his plans for Batman, he had essentially pitched that Batman was going to leave Gotham. Because the Bat group is so cohesive right now and everyone’s working together, everyone across the Batman line started operating under the idea that Bruce was going to leave Gotham. When James left, and I started talking to them, the idea of Bruce leaving had to stay. I liked that idea because it helped me draw a line in the sand, and helped me take him in new directions.
But here’s the thing. If you’re going to do a story about Batman leaving Gotham, you’re doing a story about Batman going on this international adventure. That’s where Batman Inc. starts to play in. So really early on, Ben Abernathy, who’s a great Batman editor pitched to me, “Why don’t you use Batman Inc.?” And I love Batman Inc. I love the Batman and Robin stuff that Grant was doing. And I really liked Batman Inc. with Yanick Paquette and with Chris Burnham. So when Ben suggested Batman Inc, I was like, “I think that’d be a good idea, but I want to do something different with it.” Because all those stories are always about someone trying to kill Batman Inc. And I was like, “Well, let’s mix it up and have Batman Inc. kill somebody and Batman has to deal with it.” That was my pitch back, and that’s where we started running with it from there.
They’re not actually in it that much. We’ll have some stuff that gets revealed with them that takes them off the board for another two issues, I think. And then they’ll come back in a big way with the next story arc we’re doing after. That’s a bit of a spoiler, but I think they’re on the covers, so it’s not that much of a spoiler. They’ll be back in a big way, starting with the next story arc that we’re going to do, which is a really big one.
Was the decision to finally bring back the yellow oval – which is something that I have been advocating for on social media for years – strictly a function of the Batman Inc. elements of the story? Or was this something that you wanted to see as well?
I asked for it many times. I like the Year One costume and the Hush costume, but I really, really like the oval. Looking at the stuff I was saying before about these things that influenced me, like the 1989 Batman movie and Batman Returns, the animated series, all those things have the oval. So I went to DC and I was like, “Here’s my pitch,” and they were like, “Well, there has to be another reason for him to have a new costume.” And I’m like, “Well, it’s also a Batman Inc. story. And he had the yellow Oval in Batman Inc.”
I was able to convince them, and then we basically took the Batman Inc. costume and then we took the late 90s black costume that Batman would wear in JLA, and we basically combined them. We took a look at both of them, we gave it to Jorge Molina, we said, “These are the two influences, go with it.” And that’s where we got the new suit from.
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