“There’s more – much more - to your own story than you could possibly know.” – Scott Snyder
(The cover for BATMAN #1 by Greg Capullo; The cover for SWAMP THING #1 by Yanick Paquette)
Over the course of the past year, Scott Snyder has made a huge impact on the comic industry. From his New York Times bestselling series AMERICAN VAMPIRE to his critically acclaimed run on DETECTIVE COMICS and his compelling FLASHPOINT: PROJECT SUPERMAN, Snyder is everywhere. This fall, he will be writing two new series: SWAMP THING and BATMAN. We caught up with him to learn what to expect in both series.
THE SOURCE: What about DC's new 52 titles excites you the most?
SCOTT SNYDER: So many! Grant's ACTION, definitely. Geoff and Jim’s JUSTICE LEAGUE, J.T. Krul’s CAPTAIN ATOM, and definitely Kyle Higgins’ NIGHTWING (he’s doing a great job on that, I can promise you). Deep down, though, I’m probably most excited for the “Dark” titles. I’ve read Jeff’s ANIMAL MAN and FRANKENSTEIN scripts and I can say that those are going to be mind-blowingly terrific series. Paul Cornell’s DEMON KNIGHTS. Pete Milligan’s JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. Josh Fialkov’s IVAMPIRE (I do have a soft spot for the undead, after all). In the end, I’m just excited for the whole new shared world of the DCU – to get to open the books and know this is one big communal world, with all these exciting things happening around the corner from each other.
How and why are you shaking up the series' status quo?
On SWAMP THING, it’s a big shake-up, in that Alec Holland, the main character, is human again. He’s been given his life back and now all he wants to do is escape the mantle of the Swamp Thing. But the Green won’t let him, because this threat has risen, something ancient and deeply tied to the mythology established by Moore. The series will honor everything that came before, though – I want people to understand this. With SWAMP THING (and BATMAN) none of us are interested in wiping away what was there before. These character ion particular have extremely rich histories, rich stories behind them, and what came before will stand in this series. It’s truly an expansion of the ideas and mythology established in previous runs. I really couldn’t be more excited about this series. When you think about it, Alec himself has only appeared in about what, ten pages of comics? With all the Swamp Thing stories, Alec himself is still a big mystery to us. Who was he before the accident that turned him into Swamp Thing? Is there more to his history? Is there something between him and other stories and mythologies in the DCU? Something about him and the Arcanes? Some reason he was chosen?
In BATMAN, it’s a shakeup by having Bruce front and center, back in Gotham, re-investing in the city. But again, much of what you’ve loved about Batman recently –the immediate bat-family – the stories that just happened in BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS and BATMAN AND ROBIN and BATMAN INC – those are still in play. This is the Bruce you know and love, reinvigorated to be back in his home city, with new tech, new energy, and a deadly new villain. A villain written into the very architecture of Gotham (look closely for clues).
What new characters will debut in the series?
SWAMP THING and BATMAN will both debut new villains with ties to the mythology. Meaning, I wanted to create new villains for the heroes of both books, but I wanted them to have deep bonds with ideas and history set up by previous writers. Villains that matter and mean something and bring with them both twisted and huge revelations about the heroes’ respective pasts and presents.
Will we see new character designs?
What's the first line of dialogue in the first issue?
BATMAN: “It’s good to be home.” - Batman
SWAMP THING: “We need to talk.” – Superman to Dr. Holland
What's the biggest surprise you've had working on this character/book?
How full a world you end up making for yourself with both. Swampy and Batman have always been books that people have injected strong ideas into – from Moore to Miller to Morrison… And when you start in on them, it’s like to write them, you have to imagine the entire world of the book in its entirety. It has to be your Gotham. You have to know it and live in it. It’s odd how quickly and easily it envelops you. Same with SWAMP THING. It’s a very personal take on the character of Alec. The whole world of the book is something close to my (black, twisted) heart.
What secret has been the hardest to keep?
That I’m getting to write these! These are literally my two favorite characters in the DCU – really in all of comics. I’m doing my dream job right now. Couldn’t feel luckier. Thanks again to everyone reading for getting me here. Promise to work round the clock to deliver something special and not let you down.
What’s the unofficial tagline for this series, in your own words?
I guess both have almost the same one for me:
There’s more – much more - to your own story than you could possibly know.
What were your thoughts about the day-and-date digital announcement?
I’m old fashioned – I’m still figuring out what that entails.