"I can't believe we're getting away with this" - W. Haden Blackman Talks Batwoman in The New 52

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W. Haden Blackman, co-writer on DC Comics’ Batwoman ongoing series with J.H Williams III, shared a few details with Broken Frontier on how the creative team is tackling the adventures of Kate Kane as part of The New 52.

Batwoman #1 goes on sale September 14. For more on Batwoman, and some comments from Williams III on the series, check our Massive New 52 Series Breakdown in The Frontiersman #27, out now.

“I’m very proud that DC felt our work was strong enough, and that the character was important enough, to be included in The New 52,” Blackman told Broken Frontier. “I certainly feel that it’s vital she be part of The New 52 because she provides much-needed diversity to the new lineup. And not just because she’s a strong female character and a lesbian, but also because I think that each of our arcs has a very different feel from other Gotham-based books and from each other.”

Blackman and Williams will blend adventure and romance with another genre to make each story arc a little different from the previous one. “In the first arc it’s a bit of horror; in the second, we’ll go more James Bond; and the third has a lot of mythic influences. And throughout, we’ve tried to take all the tropes of vigilante comics and turn them on their ears, doing things that you might not expect.”  

What you can expect though, is for Williams III to bring his A game: this book will look stunning. “I don’t think [Jim] even has a B Game. But, on this book, he’s being totally fearless. When we brainstorm the storylines and scenes, he never backs down from anything that he knows will be challenging to draw. In fact, in issue #1, we have an absolutely insane two-page spread that includes every style from his run on Detective Comics.

“In another issue, we have a visit to a crime scene where the past and present collide, and Jim did an excellent job bringing that to life without it becoming confusing, and without losing focus on Maggie Sawyer, who is the main character in that scene. With the designs for the new villain, the Weeping Woman, he took everything I knew about the character from folklore and managed to work it in somehow.”

And what about Amy Reeder, of Madame Xanadu fame, who follows in Williams’ footsteps after he’s done with the first arc? Blackman continues, “Amy is also doing a fantastic job on her arc. We’re already seeing pencils for issue #7, and it’s a challenging script because it has a lot of quiet moments that rely on a character’s facial expression or body language, and she’s capturing all of that perfectly. She is also designing some new villains, and one in particular captures an odd mix of ancient and modern influences really well.”  

You’ll likely want to pick up Batwoman based on the lush artwork from Reeder and Williams III alone, but there will be plenty of twists and turns in the story to really make this one of the most daring books of The New 52. “We’re trying to challenge conventions on every level. We keep saying “There is no status quo.” You won’t read an issue and feel like everything can just go back to “normal” in the next issue. In fact, there are times I think “I can’t believe we’re getting away with this…” when I reread our approved scripts.

“Most importantly, we’re trying to make sure every issue has real meaning for the characters, moves them to a different place, and forces some kind of growth. They’ll make both good and bad decisions – and those choices will have consequences . Plus, we have some pretty kickass set pieces, some very charged character dynamics, and new villains!”

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