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Exclusive Q&A with Andy Kubert on "Damian: Son of Batman"

Readers of Grant Morrison's run of Batman have been shown glimpses of adult Damian Wayne as a bald, dark, and gritty Batman. That possibility of the future was shattered when that charactered died earlier this year. Fortunately, as is possible with comics, superstar artist, Andy Kubert brings us "Damian: Son of Batman," a what-if book about the road that will carry Damian to that dark destiny. Damiansonofbatman

Andy, you’ve got a big project coming up in "Damian: Son of Batman". So first and foremost, what was your reaction when (spoiler alert) you read Batman Incorporated #8 and saw your co-creation Damian Wayne killed?’

Andy Kubert: I knew that Damian was pretty much cannon fodder from the get go.  When Grant and I first started working on him, myself in particular, Ididn`t think the character was going to be around that long since I had heard rumblings that he might get killed off early on.  As it turned out, he was a character people loved to hate and I think the characterization that Grant had given him a good balance with the rest of the Batman cast.  So he has stuck around.  When I saw the page that he had died on, it didn`t bother me at all. He`s not real! 

Is that the way you imagined him going out?

AK: I couldn't second guess what Grant had in mind for Damian`s exit. I don`t think anyone could!

This is your second tour of writing duty for DC Comics, following up the Villains Month Joker issue you wrote. You’ve been a superstar artist for decades now. What made you want to try your hand at writing?

AK: I have been drawing comics for a while now and it seems like a natural progression and something that I wanted to try.  I had mentioned to Mike Marts that I would like to write something when he first became the Batman editor at DC, and he suggested that I come up with something and pitch it to him.  That was the start of the Damian series which was back in 2008.  I was well into it when the Batman project "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" with Neil Gaiman started up.  "Damian" was shelved at that time.  I hadn`t had a chance to pick it up until this past spring when DC had put it on their publishing schedule.

What’s the biggest challenge and/or advantage of both writing and drawing a monthly book?

AK: Naturally, drawing is much easier for me since I've been doing it for a while now.  Since I'm new at it, writing is a bit tougher but it is a lot of fun.  The good part about writing and drawing the same book is that I can do what I want pacing wise and also make changes along the way.  There's a lot more freedom in telling the story.

What drew you back to the Damian Wayne character?

AK: I liked this version of Damian, the adult version of when he's Batman.  I also like the fact that he`s different than the other "Batmen".  Damian Batman has a different code of ethics.

The preview for issue one reads “a possible future that may never be”. Can you shine a little more light on what that may mean for the character? Or is it better if we’re in the dark about it?

AK: I think its better to be in the dark about that.

What was it like working with these characters again without Grant Morrison?

AK: Grant is such a great writer with a huge presence that it was challenging to say the least. Intimidating is more like it.

Now that you’ve begun your writing career, are there any other character you’d like to write for?

AK: There are a few that I would like to tackle someday and even some characters of my own.  Right now, I can just concentrate on what I have currently on my plate.  But I will say that while I had a huge respect for writers before, now it’s even bigger.  Especially to the ones that can handle multiple projects month in and month out and keep up the quality.  I don`t know how they do it!

 

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Actually, I think the Damian as Batman future could still technically happen. One of the main themes at the end of Morrison's run was that the cycle will never end (Ouroboros), that Batman will always have to fight his greatest fight, and deal with tremendous loss, and that DC and the comic industry as a whole will continue to reuse and abuse characters and ideas despite what their creators intended. Damian died, yes, but the end of Batman, Inc shows Ra's with tons more clones of Damian, which would leave the door open for him to come back some time in the future.

Next time please think about including a spoiler-alert in the actual synopsis of the article at the top if you are going to give away key plot details. The spoiler alert in the first paragraph doesn't really help if you've already spoiled it with the synopsis.

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