There's just something about wearing a Bat-mantle that brings out the worst in people's lives, and for Batwoman title, that means more than just tough villains.
Since writer Marc Andreyko took over the Batwoman comic last year, Kate Kane and her supporting cast have been dealing with plenty of drama — from her fiancé Maggie's custody battle to cousin Bette's continuing recovery.
The series is knee-deep in a storyline that introduces the New 52 version of Nocturna, which ties into the September's Futures End issue, sees Batwoman turning into a vampire.
Newsarama talked to Andreyko to find out more about what's coming up in Batwoman, and how her role in Batman Eternal affects the ongoing title.
Newsarama: Marc, now that you've finished the initial story arc since taking over, how would you describe what you're exploring in the current storyline?
Marc Andreyko: We'll see the ramifications of Maggie's custody battle, Kate continuing to see a shrink and dealing with her accumulated baggage, and the first big New 52 appearance of Nocturna! And this arc is a smaller one — #32 thru #34.
Nrama: Yeah, let's talk about this new version of Nocturna. This is the first time we've spent much time with her in the New 52. What can you tell us about the character?
Andreyko: She likes old men with money. And she likes them dead (by the honeymoon). Also, we'll be exploring the true nature of her powers and how that will play directly into Kate's life.
Nrama: In September, you're teasing a possible ending for this storyline by sending readers five years into the future, where it appears that Batwoman is a vampire, having been Nocturna's lover. What was your approach to that five years later story, and how much does it tease what we'll see in the current Batwoman story?
Andreyko: I love potential future stories. I did when I wrapped up the monthly "Manhunter" and I really dig them as a reader. The Batwoman Future's End story definitely teases where we're going with the book. But "teases" aren't always necessarily "truths". Or are they?
Nrama: Is Nocturna really a love interest for Kate?
Andreyko: Can you really define "love?"
Nrama: Good point. But although Nocturna is traditionally a Bat-character, Batwoman runs into more supernatural threats than most of the Bat-family. Why do you think supernatural threats work so well with Kate?
Andreyko: Greg, JH, and Haden established early on in the book that the supernatural corner of Gotham is under BW's purview, so it feels natural. And Gotham, by its very nature, is creepy and scary, so let's explore those dark corners and creepy, unexplainable things.
Nrama: You've also introduced a new version of Night-Thief. What motivated you to pick up this character from the old universe and expand him? And what role does he play coming up?
Andreyko: His relationship with Nocturna always reminded me of those mom-and-son serial killers Sante and Kenneth Kimes. To reference another pop culture icon, think Gotham's Sersi and Jamie Lannister (only not blood related). But, is that relationship all in his mind? He is a little tightly wound, y'know.
Nrama: We also met Killshot in this week's issue. Now that we've met him and know his mission, what can you tell us about him?
Andreyko: He's pretty straight-forward: former soldier, former "Blackwater"-esque contractor, now gun-for-hire. Smart ass. Arrogant. Dangerous.
Nrama: Is it meaningful that he asked for there to be no smoking? (Or was that just your way of encouraging readers to quit?)
Andreyko: No subliminal message there. He's just a non-smoker.
Nrama: While there's plenty of action so far, this issue also updated and moved forward several threads in Kate's personal life. Why do you think Kate Kane is different from Batman, in that she seeks this happy, healthy personal life?
Andreyko: Kate's life has been shaped by tragedy, like Bruce's, but Kate wants...hell, she needs others in her life. She is devoted to her life as Batwoman, but it does not consume her very existence. She wants to be happy, she just can't seem get out of her own way.
Nrama: The difference between her and Bruce Wayne actually occurred to me this week when Kate went to Dr. Huss. Bruce Wayne wouldn't normally willingly go to his therapist's office...
Andreyko: Exactly. Bruce is primarily a loner with a bit of a martyr complex. I could never see him laying on a couch and chatting about his feelings.
Nrama: Kate was motivated to visit the therapist after running into her girlfriend from back when she was in the military — Sophie, who wants to have dinner. What can you tell us about Sophie, and what's Kate's mindset about her right now?
Andreyko: Sophie's story will be important to Kate, but it is not what anyone thinks it's going to be. Even Kate might be misreading things. Or not.
Nrama: It doesn't help that she's separated from Maggie right now, as her fiancé stays in Metropolis, dealing with the custody battle. Can you describe how that part of Kate's life will add to upcoming stories?
Andreyko: You'll see in the next two issues. And the fallout.
Nrama: The fallout?!
Andreyko: Is that too loaded of a word? [laughs]
Nrama: I guess we'll find out! Let's talk about the art in this series. How's it been working with Jeremy Haun?
Andreyko: An absolute dream. He's such an easy guy to collaborate with. Always bringing his A-game. Always excited and invested in the characters, and an all-around great guy.
Nrama: Over the coming months, how much does the Batwoman title interact with what's happening in Batman Eternal, if at all, over the course of that weekly's storyline?
Andreyko: Batwoman will appear in Eternal, but we're not doing direct crossovers or the like. The continuity will be in sync, but Kate's hands will be full enough in her own book.
Nrama: What can we expect to see in future issues of Batwoman, not only in this storyline, but in your plans for the character's future?
Andreyko: Oh, c'mon. You think I'm allowed to tell you that?
Nrama: Not even a hint?
Andreyko: Just keep reading, 'cause things are going to get ..... weird.