Batman Eternal: An Interview with Tim Seeley
All month long, we’ve been talking to the creative team behind our brand new weekly Batman comic, Batman Eternal. Now on its fourth issue, pencilled by the beloved-by-Bat-fans Dustin Nguyen and giving us a glimpse of how Barbara Gordon is taking the news of her father’s arrest and incarceration (in short, not well), it’s another gripping issue that pushing this volatile situation even closer to a boiling point. You’re not going to want to miss it, in part because you’ll be missing the contributions of writer Tim Seeley.
While Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and John Layman have close associations to Gotham and Ray Fawkes has been a prolific member of the DC Comics family for over a year now, Seeley is something of the new kid on the block. (Which is NOT to say that he’s new to comics. Far from it, as fans of his Image books Revival and Hack/Slash are well aware.) Of course, with the recent announcement that he’ll also be co-writing our upcoming Grayson series, that’s about to change very quickly.
For the last installment in our series of Batman Eternal interviews, we sat down with Seeley to talk all things Batman, and maybe a few things Grayson as well…
Cover art for Batman Eternal #4 (art by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson)
While you’ve written a few one-shots, including last year’s Villains Month Killer Croc story, Batman Eternal is actually your first DC Comics ongoing series. How did you get involved with it?
I got a call from [former Batman Group Editor] Mike Marts at SDCC to meet him at a tiki bar. And, I mean, tiki drinks always lead to Batman work!
Have you been a Batman reader for a while? Was getting a chance to tell a Batman tale always something you wanted to do?
Oh yeah, for sure. I think most everyone loves Batman. I've always kept a toe in the Batverse, from the first Batbooks I ever bought (Death in the Family of all things) up to the stuff Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison were doing in the last few years.
As a writer, what are the sort of stories that you tend to gravitate to? I know you’ve written a lot of horror, for example.
Yeah, I think I gravitate most to stuff that combines both horror and humor. The balance is always interesting to me. But I think I have a pretty diverse set of interests when it comes to writing and reading. Detective stories, sci-fi, superhero, crime...I'm interested in it all.
Batman Eternal #4 spread (art by Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs and John Kalisz)
We’re now on our fourth issue of the series, and readers are starting to get a sense of the scale and stakes involved in this story you’re telling. Has the storyline been pretty much set from the start, or would you say it’s evolved somewhat over the course of the series?
It's a bit of both. The outline Scott and James came up with has always been there, but there's room for change and evolution.
How exactly does the collaborative process work on Batman Eternal? Are there segments of the story that are just Tim Seeley, or is everything touched by a few different writers?
Well, there's nothing that's JUST me. We all work together on some level, from just proofreading all the way to playing off each other's character arcs. There are certainly ideas that are mine, but they get nicely wrapped into the whole team's tale.
Batman Eternal #4 interior (art by Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs and John Kalisz)
You’re also going to be co-writing the upcoming Grayson series. What can you tease about that one?
It's going to be a fast-paced action story with a lot of heart, sexiness and intrigue!
It’s a pretty big year for Batman. Why do you feel the character has been so enduring and so popular for 75 years running?
I think it's because Batman is so adaptable. Without changing the heart and soul of the character, he can evolve with the years and through different genres.
Finally, since you’re the last in our series of Batman Eternal interviews, what can we look for in future issues? Where does the series go from here?
Well, after issue 4, you'll start to see the ripples through the rest of the Batfamily. As Batman tries to put together the pieces, other characters are drawn in...Batgirl, Red Hood, Red Robin, Jim Corrigan, Catwoman...there's something for everyone!