In this week's oversized Detective Comics #27, readers will see how Scott Snyder sees his run on Batman ending.
"It's my version of Batman Year 200," said the writer, who's in the midst of a critically acclaimed Zero Year story in the ongoing Batman title. "I'm a huge fan of Paul Pope's Batman: Year 100, and of Batman Beyond, and Dark Knight Returns. I love those future versions of Batman.
"So for me, this is me really saying, well, what's mine?" Snyder said.
But Snyder clarified that even though the story is set more than 100 years in the future, readers will get clues about current continuity thanks to what he calls "Easter eggs" he inserted throughout the story. "It is the end, for me," he said. "It's not just a one-off. Whether or not DC would allow it to be the continuity of Batman, in my mind, it is the continuity of the Batman Greg and I are using. So in that way, there are a lot of spoilers in that story for things coming, both in regular Batman, in the series, and hopefully things I can return to."
This week's Detective issue, which is 96 pages, pays homage to the last time there was a Detective Comics #27 — all the way back in 1939, with an issue that introduced a vigilante called the "Bat-Man." Because DC started renumbering its comics in 2011, this week's issue also carries the title Detective Comics #27 — just in time for the 75th anniversary of the hero's historic introduction.
Snyder's Detective story reunites him with Sean Murphy, his frequent collaborator and co-creator on the current Vertigo series The Wake. The two join an all-star list of creators contributing to the issue, including Neal Adams, Paul Dini, John Layman, Peter Tomasi, Guillem March, Dustin Nguyen, Gregg Hurwitz, and Jason Fabok — plus (as Newsarama previewed and detailed earlier this week), a retelling of Batman's first appearance by Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch.
For Snyder, the chance to tell a "Year 2000" story gives him the opportunity to further define the Batman he's writing in the regular Batman title. "There was something Grant Morrison told me once," Snyder said, referring to the writer who recently finished a six-year run on Batman. "Every writer has their own Batman."
Snyder explained that although the character has been handled by multiple writers since he was introduced 75 years ago, Batman has gone through an evolution under each writer's pen — creating different versions of him. And while conversing with Morrison at a recent comic convention, Snyder realized he feels as if the Batman he's creating with Greg Capullo is almost a creator-owned character.
"[Morrison] said, openly to me, you'll see how your version of Batman is going to die, or go down," Snyder said.
Inspired by Morrison's statement, Snyder said the question he asked himself when writing this week's Detective Comics story was: "What's the end of your Batman?"
"Because they all have different psychologies," he said. "You might know the Dark Knight Returns, you might know another version, but what's the end for your particular Batman? Each writer's version of Batman is going to have a different ending. Some will fall to the Joker, some will retire (like in Dark Knight Rises), some will keep fighting until they go down, some will end up in Arkham — whatever it is, what is yours?
"So for me, this is mine. It just happens to be 200 years from now," he added. "And Sean Murphy just killed it."
Snyder is hoping he can use some of the futuristic concepts he's introducing in his Batman Year 200 story.
"I would love to go back and do another version, with Sean, of one of the generations that you see in our story (without giving too much away)," he said. "It's a future I would love to return to, is the point. And it's a future that's very real for me, given the way I imagine our Batman playing out."
Check back soon with Newsarama for more of our discussion with Scott Snyder about his upcoming work on Batman, Superman Unchained and American Vampire.