In February, writer Scott Snyder will be giving readers a sneak peek into the future of Batman with the series issue #28, taking a break from the current Zero Year story.
But Batman #28, drawn by Dustin Nguyen (to give Greg Capullo a one-month break), isn't the only future peek DC has been giving fans — first there was that "Happy Batsgiving" teaser image from November, and next, DC's launching the weekly series Futures End, which takes place five years in the future and shows a Batman Beyond.
But how much does Snyder's Batman peek in February tie into Futures End (if at all)? How far into the future does it go? And does it spoil the end of what's happening in Zero Year?
And what's up with that prison door cover that was just revealed for February's issue?
In part two of our interview with Snyder — check out part one here — we talk briefly to the writer about what readers can expect in February's Batman #28.
Newsarama: Scott, we just saw the February issue's cover, with the prison door and the Batman symbol-shaped keyhole. Is that image of a jail cell literal — because we saw in April solicitations that Jim Gordon's getting arrested. Or is the cover more figurative?
Scott Snyder: A bit of both! Definitely meant more as a symbolic cover, as in, "what's behind the door, what's coming?" But there are some shocking events having to do with people being locked away and freed and everything in between next year. So there's some of that, too.
Nrama: Freed? Hmmm… that's an interesting revelation. OK, as we discussed previously, March's Batman #29 is an oversized issue that finishes the second part of Zero Year, but in February, you've inserted a "flash-forward" issue.
Snyder: Yeah, the [Zero Year] issue was impossible to do regular size.
Instead, we thought, let's reward the fans for tagging along and supporting us and being so fervently supportive on a series that we were both terrified about doing, me and Greg, but felt passionately about, modernizing the mythology as much as we could, and making it ours and personal and fresh and now.
So I thought, let me take an issue off and do an issue with Dustin Nguyen — we're good friends, and he's such a Gotham family member.
Nrama: How would you describe the content of the issue? As this "peek behind the door" you mentioned?
Snyder: Yeah, we basically say, "Here's all the stuff we shouldn't be showing you, that's six months in the future."
Instead of taking readers back to the present, where Forever Evil's happening, and the other Bat-books are happening, we're going to actually jump farther.
Nrama: Wait — how far into the future does this take place?
Snyder: Well, it's… like almost a year away from where we are at this particular moment [in "current" DC continuity].
Nrama: And James Tynion is working with you on February's "peek into the future" issue?
Snyder: Yeah, we're co-writing it, because he's co-writing Eternal. So we wanted to do it together.
And I want to say, I'm just super proud of him.
Nrama: Does the "peek into the future" in Batman #28 — or the Batman: Eternal series — tie into Futures End at all? It looks like they're using Batman Beyond. Are you doing anything that ties into that?
Snyder: Not at all. We're really different. I mean, I know what's happening in that book. I'm really good friends with Azzarello and Lemire and I know everything happening in that series, and I'm really excited for them. But we really want to have a lot of distance between the two weeklies, and give them their room. So it will be its own series entirely.
Nrama: How much of what we're seeing in Zero Year relates directly to what we'll see in the February issue? Or is it more directly related to what you guys are planning in Batman: Eternal?
Snyder: It's more about Batman: Eternal than Zero Year. But it's more about Batman, meaning… like, when I get back from Zero Year, I'm jumping into the continuity that's being set up in Eternal and in the other Bat-books.
In doing so, these secrets are going to be the things that really inform what's happening in Batman itself.
Nrama: OK, so in February's Batman #28, we'll see…
Snyder: The transformations of certain characters — without giving too much away. You'll see certain characters playing brand new roles. You'll see the return of characters that we haven't seen so far in the Batman series. Characters will be taking on roles that I think you'll see right away, when you read the issues, you'll be like, "How is this going to play out?"
Nrama: And we'll find out how it's going to play out later this year.
Snyder: Yeah, you'll see how it's going to play out in Batman and in Eternal, in big ways.
So it's very relevant to both Batman and Eternal. It's not going to show you Zero Year stuff, necessarily. I'm going to deal with that in an epilogue issue when I come back, and you'll see what happens to the Riddler. And you'll see how it ties in.
And the stuff in Zero Year is definitely going to play forward in my run, in Batman. But this [February] issue is less about Zero Year than it is about showing you what we're going to return to after Zero Year.
No, not only return to… but also to show you past when we're going to return — to say, "Guess what's coming in 2014 in Batman?"
We really shouldn't be showing you this, but we'll give you a peek through the keyhole, as a thank you for being so supportive to all of us on Zero Year.