Moving to Gotham: Mark Bagley Talks Batman

Mark Bagley Talks Batman

As Dan DiDio revealed Wednesday, artost Mark Bagley will be joining writer Judd Winick on Batman with July’s issue #688, stepping in after one issue of the “new” Batman’s start on the series.

While not much can be said about the post Battle for the Cowl Batman, we did catch up with Bagley to talk about his upcoming work on the series, and what he’s looking forward to.

Newsarama Note: The above image is from Trinity, not Bagley's upcoming work on Batman.

Newsarama: Mark, this will be your first project post-Trinity for DC. Were you actively lobbying for something this high profile, or were you waiting to see what DC would offer you?

Mark Bagley: Really, a little of both. I was contacting Dan about what I might do after I finished Trinity, and we bounced a few ideas around. I currently also have another job semi-lined up for after Batman, but you'd be amazed how fluid all this is. One day your lined up for something, but when you check in a month or two later, whether it's due to the project's relationship with other events causing backups or delays, or shifts in editorial directions, what you'd planned maybe not viable, or may be gone all together.

NRAMA: Is Batman and his "world" a place you're instantly comfortable in, or have you been reviewing and refreshing, so to speak?

MB: I'm somewhat familiar with the Batman books...I will certainly be checking out the books a little more closely now though. But if Mike Marts and his crew are as efficient as Carlin's office I should have no problem getting all the reference that I may need.

NRAMA: At the same time, you're coming in post Battle for the Cowl, and this is a new Batman with his own take and some of his own toys. Is coming in with a "new" Batman like this more or less comfortable for you as an artist? It would seem that this way, you have a little more wiggle room to experiment and design somewhat...

MB: True. Batman is so frickin' iconic, that even at my best I don't feel comfortable with him. This Batman gives me a bit of wiggle room visually, and I'm a little more relaxed because of it. It's like with Spider-Man...I never felt the Amazing Spidey Spider-Man was really mine the way I did with Ultimate Spider-Man.

NRAMA: As you see it, is this Batman different physically from Bruce Wayne, both in size as well as his style and movement?

MB: I'm really not sure how much I should say about that now...but it is a different person under the cowl, so naturally I'll approach the drawing of the character in a way that reflects that.

NRAMA: While you're drawing Batman in the Batman series, Frank Quitely is drawing him in Batman and Robin. How much are you checking out his stuff to make sure there's a synching up between the looks that you're putting out there?

MB: I've only seen the promo stuff for Franks book, which looks typically Frank (that is to say great)...but I really am not sure that his take is meant to be reflected in the other Batman books... I should probably ask about that.

NRAMA: Likewise, as we've seen in previews of Frank's art - there's a flying Batmobile. Do you get to play with that, or create any new toys in your series?

MB: Can't say yet.

NRAMA: Mood-wise, how would you describe the stories that Judd is telling and you're drawing?

MB: I've read the first two scripts, and MAN are they dark and violent...it's going to be fun.

NRAMA: As you see it, what has to come across in your visual representation of Batman to make him "Batman?" Obviously, besides the costume...in your mind, is he that unique, such that there are moves and postures that he just wouldn't do or be in?

MB: Once again, this Batman ain't Bruce Wayne, so my job is to make the character "Batman" without being the Batman...if you take my meaning.

NRAMA: Have you started on the issues yet, and if so, can you give a tesae or two as to what you've already put pen to paper on?

MB: I actually haven't yet. I've still got a couple of issues of Trinity to finish...then I'm taking a couple of weeks off...I be tired.

NRAMA: That said, your speed is pretty much a thing of legend in the industry, but this...you're wrapping Trinity, and then, about a month later, picking up a headliner series for DC. Don't you need a big break?

MB: I thrive on this stuff. I don't want to push myself like I have this past year, but even after all these years doing comics professionally it is still my hobby. I never forget how lucky I am to be doing this for a living. After a couple of weeks off, I'll be itching to get back to the board...especially for something so different in tone than Trinity and Spider-Man. By the way, I'm not really that fast...I just treat this like my profession...it's my responsibility to produce so that my partners on a project have the time to do their jobs well, and we can produce product that we, as creators, and DC as publisher can be proud of (and make a few bucks as well).

NRAMA: Finally, how long are you looking at staying with Batman? I've signed on for a 3-4 issue arc, and then we shall see.

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