As we ramp up for the release of Batman: Arkham Knight DC Comics will be wetting our appetite with a new digital first comic series that serves as a a prequel to the hotly anticipated game. Written by Peter Tomasi with art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Art Thibert, the Batman: Arkham Knight comic is set to kick all kinds of butt. We were fortunate enough to talk with Tomasi about writing the new series, his thought on the games, and his idea of a Major League Baseball comic book.
Nerdist: You’ve been handling Batman and Robin – which has been amazing, by the way – but now you are jumping into a very different Batman universe. How is writing this Batman different from writing the Batman of the DC Universe?
Peter Tomasi: Thanks for the kind words about Batman and Robin, but I’ve gotta be honest, writing Batman I feel is the same across all media platforms. He’s the goddamn Batman – he will kick your ass in comic books, animated series, video games, TV shows, and feature films – if it ain’t broke don’t mess with it!
N: Do you have to work differently when writing for digital first as opposed to print? Does it change your process at all?
PT: Nope. Building story and character I feel is the same. The big visual cues and some of the transitions change due to digital-first splashes and double page spreads, but in the end you still have to grab a reader’s attention, be it on an iPad or inside a comic book. If they don’t care about the characters, it’s just noise and the reader’s fingers and eyes are moving on to the next thing.
N: Are you a fan of the games? Do readers need to play the games in order to enjoy this series?
PT: I am a big time fan of the games. My son and I really enjoy the world that DC and Rocksteady built! We crank the volume and blow out the 5.1 speakers in the basement way too much for my wife’s liking! And no how, no way do you need to play the games in order to enjoy the series. You can come in completely cold and still have a blast. All you need to be is a Batman fan and all is right with the world!
N: One aspect that has been teased a lot is that this series will feature a Bruce Wayne who is in “devastating pain.” Can you tell us what that entails?
PT: The pain comes from the hell that Bruce and Gotham have suffered through and how he deals with it and goes about rebuilding the city not just in the darkness as Batman, but as the very public Bruce Wayne.
N: The villain in the game, Arkham Knight, is a new character. How’s he going to put Batman through the wringer and what separates him from Batman’s traditional rogue gallery?
N: I’d sure as hell would like to tell you more about Arkham Knight and his plans for Batman, but my editor, Alex Antone, is a master sharpshooter and I hear he can shoot a finger off a writer from 3,000 miles out.
N: Will any other Batman rogues or allies be showing up in the comic series?
PT: Absolutely. We’ll be seeing a whole bunch of Batman’s rogues, along with Arkham Knight, like Scarecrow, Penguin, and of course, Harley Quinn! And when it comes to the allies, I’ll be dipping into the Bat Family big time, so keep your eyes peeled for Alfred, Robin, Nightwing, Oracle, and of course Gordon, and many others from the game too!
N: Artist Victor Bogdanovic is a bit of a newcomer to the mainstream comic world. How is the book looking so far?
PT: Freakin’ great is how it’s looking! Vik is doing an amazing job and I’m loving the energy he’s bringing to the characters and the pages themselves!
N: If you were to write another comic series based on a popular (or unpopular) video game series, what would you do?
PT: I’ve great a great idea for an MLB: The Show comic! Bats and balls in the hands of professionals can be deadly!
You can download the Batman: Arkham Knight comic right now.