When James Robinson was given the chance to write an arc of Detective Comics, he wanted to find a way to work his favorite DC character Two-Face into the story. And although the writer knows the "dichotomy of the schism" of Two-Face and Harvey Dent has been explored before, he's hoping to come at it from a different angle, one that includes Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee and the female version of Firefly from the Gotham TV show.
Working with Stephen Segovia and Carmine Di Giandomenico, Robinson will kick off his run on Detective Comics on September 12 with issue #988. Newsarama talked to the writer to find out more about his plans for the story, how Brian Azzarello's work helped him pitch the idea to his editors, and why he's so happy to be writing Two-Face again.Newsarama: James, what can you tell us about the Two-Face story you're telling in Detective Comics? Is fun to be writing Batman again?
James Robinson: Yeah, writing Batman is fun. I've written a lot of Batman. People forget that I've written a lot of Legends of Dark Knight and I wrote Batman: Face the Face, which was a Two-Face story that I did right after "One Year Later."
Nrama: Yeah, you're also writing Two-Face again.
Robinson: He's my favorite DC character, so I'm going to always want to involve Two-Face in some capacity if I can, if it's the right idea and the right story.
Ever since when I was a kid, finding a second-hand 100-page Batman comic that was all three of the Two-Face stories. People forget that, where the Joker and Catwoman and the Penguin were Batman villains that began in the 1940s and appeared throughout the entire run of the comic, Two-Face was done in three 10-page stories.
Then he was cured at the end of it. Harvey Dent had a happy ending with his girlfriend.
Nrama: Then another writer picked him up again in the '70s, right?
Robinson: Yeah, it was Denny O'Neil. He had the idea to bring him back.
Nrama: But you read the original as a kid?
Robinson: Yeah, those first stories in that 100-page special, I read that thing until it was falling to pieces.
So I've always had an affection for the character.
Nrama: This new story you're doing is also a murder mystery, right?
Robinson: Yeah, I like writing a mystery in a book called Detective Comics. That's fun. So there's a little bit of a mystery to be solved. Batman has to be thinking and being the "world's greatest detective," as he's known, as well as being this dynamic superhero.
Nrama: So it's a combination of street-level detective stuff and larger moments with Batman as a superhero?
Robinson: Exactly. I've tried to give the artists nice, big, exciting images at the same time as there's some cerebral stuff going on. There's a lot of big visuals as well.Nrama: There's something about two versions of "the pyromaniac Firefly?"
Robinson: I'm actually bringing in a version of the character that has only appeared in the Gotham TV show, so far. The female Firefly.
Nrama: Everything in duplicates, huh? I see Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum make an appearance.
Robinson: Yeah, I was talking to my editor, Chris Conroy, who's fantastic, by the way. He's one of the best editors that I've had. And I told him that I wanted to Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum a little bit. He was like, those guys are so dumb. And I was like, no, no, no, I remember Brian Azzarello making them really cool and creepy. I want to do something like that. And he was like, oh, OK, yeah, yeah, yeah.
So there's a little bit of them in it.
Nrama: Then to finish up, is there anything else you want to tell fans about Detective Comics?
Robinson: It's an action-packed, visually-dynamic mystery involved Two-Face, the Fireflies, and a little bit of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. And we'll get into the whole dichotomy of the schism of Two-Face and Harvey Dent. I know that stuff has been mined and used by a lot of writers, but it's always fun to have a go at doing that.