Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Every writer probably has that one great Batman/Joker story in them. It's one of those things you hear about constantly when comic professionals are asked or talk about in interviews. As creators, and even many fans, you all hope for that one day where you'll get your chance to tell it. That if you get that one opportunity to write Batman, you'll have that idea ready to go and can finally share it with the world. For most of us, that never happens. Currently I'm getting that opportunity.

Arkham City: End Game is a 6-part digital comic that takes place after the end of the Batman Arkham City game. And a chance to tell a very personal story how the Joker has affected all of those around him, in life and in death. The first three chapters are available now, and the fourth gets released today. How's that for timing?
Cover Idea #1

I've had a Batman/Joker story I've wanted to tell. Something I had thought of and written down years ago, back when I was inking Batman: Streets Of Gotham. Pardon the vagueness, but I always had this picture in mind of a circumstance where Batman would confront the Joker after a criminal act, but would have lost the ability to transport him back to Arkham by vehicle. So he would have to walk him back miles and miles through the streets of Gotham, and the perilous nature that would entail. I think I even called it "The Long Walk". I amused myself, told friends and a few pros, but basically filed it away as something that I probably would never get around to telling.

Then Arkham City happened. And I was brought on at first to help co-script some digital exclusive stories with Paul Dini. And that lead to writing ongoing stories for Arkham Unhinged. And with the impending release of "Harley Quinn's Revenge" downloadable content, it was decided to have a special comic written up that would help set that up. But I wanted to go one further. I wanted to tell a story right after the end of the game, leading up to the DLC, and after the DLC. And tie in a flashback to a personal story between Batman and the Joker. I now had my shot…dust off my idea, rewrite it, and make it fit into part of Joker's own revenge plan he set up as a contingency for his death. To throw Gotham into a mad state of chaos, as one last jab at Batman.

Cover Idea #2
It would be a very psychologically driven story, and less about BAM POW fighting. How Joker gets into the heads of anyone he comes in contact with, with his favorite adversary (victim) being Batman. To me, it's more of a thrill to get two people locked together in a room to battle with their minds more than their fists. Probably why that interrogation scene between Batman and the Joker in "The Dark Knight" speaks to so much of us. Joker always knows just the right buttons to press. That no matter how badly you question him, how badly you try to get the information out of him, that he'll just laugh in your face and force you to come down to his level. To go against every ideal and moral you have until you break. And he wins.

So the release of the fourth chapter (issue) of Arkham City End Game is just part of that one great Batman/Joker story I always wanted to tell. And it continues on from there into the last two chapters in the following weeks. That I also get to tell this story based around Joker's death, makes it that much more exciting.

Final Wraparound Cover - Pencils by Patrick Gleason & inks by yours truly

No comments:

Post a Comment