Saturday, January 19, 2013


The thing I'll always remember most about this issue was Rocksteady's reaction. And it was something I didn't find out about until I met up with them in person.

I had mentioned before about visiting the Burbank offices of DC in the process of writing the comic both before and during the release of the game. Rocksteady would have someone in town on other business, and it would be a chance to meet up, and chew their ear off on game details and notes as I was planning future stories. And one of the things brought up was their surprise over the Deadshot story, whose script had already been turned in.

There's a reveal towards the end of it, of someone who isn't who they appear to be, and we find out their true identity. Rocksteady felt the person in question was out-of-character, and things didn't mesh up with what they were doing in the game. They had gone through the process of writing down notes of things to change as they read through the script. Then when they got to the end, they got the rug pulled out from under them and it all made sense. Everything they thought was wrong would be explained by the reveal of the true character. And actually, I was at fault for their surprise.

Most writers I believe will explain at the beginning of their script if there's some twist or catch that happens by the end of the story. In that way, it prepares the artist and editor when reading the script, to know this information up front as its being worked on, in order to avoid any confusion or errors. So of course, I unintentionally ended up doing the exact opposite. I wrote it without tipping anyone off until they got to the end of the script, just like the reader would. I wanted to know if it worked for someone reading it through for the first time without any previous knowledge. I wanted a natural reaction. And Rocksteady themselves gave me that! And it was fun hearing that from them in person.

As for the story itself, so many of the ideas came from sitting down and playing the game hours upon hours. You'll spot things while you play and wonder if there's a story to tell. One such thing was in the museum. That's Penguin territory in the game, and he has a map on the floor and a blueprint on the wall, simply labeled "Operation: Kill Joker". The game and the comic both go into the backstory of the feud between Penguin and Joker. But seeing the blueprint, I thought he must've been trying to assassinate Joker throughout the timeline of the game, to have labeled it as such. And who better a perfect assassin than hiring Deadshot to do it. We'd only seen Deadshot in side missions as he goes about picking off political prisoners. But here was a chance to give him more story than he had in the game.

Also, Arkham Unhinged gave us a chance to dive into backstories of the characters previous to being incarcerated in Arkham City. I always relished those, because it would provide the opportunity to visually show the classic versions of the characters. Most got redesigned for the game, but this allowed us to also show their original (and more familiar attire), whether that was Deadshot's classic metal face mask appearance, or even tying in Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad. I miss the huskier look to "The Wall" not seen in the current version of the character at DC comics. But as a flashback unassociated with the New52, we'd be able to to get away with it here.

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