Den of Geek: As quickly as I noticed that Tim Fox was the Next Batman, I used to be actually excited to speak to you about that alternative. You’ve spoken earlier than about different lesser identified Black heroes that meant one thing to you, who you’ve then later explored in your DC tales. Was Tim one other one of these characters or was he somebody who got here up as you have been researching and planning the collection?
It’s been a extremely fascinating journey attending to The Next Batman. I used to be engaged on The Other History and the second collection of The American Way and I simply felt very lucky to be doing any of that. And at first I got these emails that Dan DiDio wished to speak to me however I needed to signal a nondisclosure settlement. But there was some bizarre factor the place they have been having bother emailing it and this was previous to the pandemic, so lastly they got all annoyed and have been like, “Dan wants to have lunch with you.” We sat down and he stated, “Oh we want you to write Batman.” That would have been tremendously cool in itself, however they stated, “We want to approach Batman in a different way. We want Batman to be a character of color. But he’s going to be Batman. It’s not going to be an Elseworlds story, it’s not going to be, you know, the Dark Knight having his back broken. It’s not going to be temporary.”
Everything about it was looking for the fitting solution to specific Batman. Who is Batman who’s an individual of coloration? Not substitute Batman, not fantasy Batman, it’s going to be Batman. Going again a bit of bit, everyone in DC was very enthusiastic about The Other History. And initially the strategy was, “Well, we’d love for you to create the next great DC comic book character.” That was the preliminary dialog earlier than it grew to become about Batman as an individual of coloration. Initially, when Dan and Jim Lee approached me with that concept I used to be like, “Wow, I don’t know if I want to do that.” I do know it appears like an excellent alternative, however I sincerely felt like, “Well, I’m too old to be writing a character that hopefully the next generation of comic book readers are going to want to be involved with.” Honestly, I believe attempting to create the subsequent nice character is an effective way to fail. Anytime anyone in any house says, “I’m gonna do the next great whatever,” it’s simply a chance to embarrass your self.
So after they first approached me, I stated, “I don’t know if I’m gonna be the right person.” And satirically each Jim and Dan stated to me, “John, because you have that attitude, that’s all the more reason we feel like you’re the right person.”
That was that. And then, you recognize, months later Dan sits down and says, “Hey, we want you to do Batman. But we want you to do the next Batman.” We didn’t even have that title at that time however that was the phrasing he used. Then there have been all of these items that occurred with what folks thought or what was meant to be 5G, after which Dan leaving the corporate and all of these adjustments. But what by no means modified was the need to have a subsequent technology of heroes. And one of them was going to be Batman and he was going to be an individual of coloration.