When the new Batman/Superman title was announced, readers found out that it spins directly out of the current The Batman Who Laughs limited series by Scott Snyder and Jock.
In the new title, more of the DC Universe will be terrorized by the Batman Who Laughs, the maniacal, alternate-earth version of Batman who’s been exposed to Joker toxin.
The series will launch in August, not long after the conclusion of The Batman Who Laughs, which recently expanded to seven issues in length.
June 12's penultimate The Batman Who Laughs #6 set the stage for the series finale coming out July 31, so now Newsarama is talking with Snyder about that finale, the extra issue to fit that finale, and how this all leads into Batman/Superman.
Newsarama: Scott, last week’s The Batman Who Laughs #6 is not the ending of this limited series anymore, even though it was planned to be a six-issue series. What changed?
Scott Snyder: That’s totally on me. What happened was, I thought we’d be able to squeeze in everything we needed to in an oversized issue #6. The Batman Who Laughs #6 was originally slated, internally, to be oversized.
It just wasn’t fitting. And it wasn’t fair to Jock. It just didn’t give anyone enough time and room.
We were also, honestly, right at the end of our pregnancy, about to have a baby.
All of it was just too much to handle for all of us, I think, as a team.
What we realized, with our great editor, Jamie S. Rich, was that the issue had more stories than could fit in one issue - and really, more than fits easily in two issues, so it’s pretty jammed in the two issues.
I’m really proud of how it lands. But I think you’ll see that there isn’t a panel or a page wasted in issue #6 or #7. It’s very, very intense.
Nrama: So the team decided to take the story you’d originally slotted for one oversized issue and put it into two issues?
Snyder: Yeah, we decided the best way to go about it would be to give ourselves more room to really land it right. And we’re just super-proud of it.
So issue #6 was kind of part 1 or the two-part finale.
Nrama: And once issue #7 comes out, does it set up the new Batman/Superman series that Josh Williamson is doing with David Marquez?
Snyder: Yes, but you’re not going to get to the end of The Batman Who Laughs and be left on a total cliffhanger. I wouldn’t do that. This series is way too important to me, and to Jock.
Nrama: Because it’s the sequel, of sorts, to your Detective Comics run together?
Snyder: Yeah, it’s a coming home of sorts. It brings a lot of the ideas and elements of my very first Batman story, “Black Mirror,” full circle.
But it synthesizes them with some of the craziness, and some of the more cosmic horror elements, that I’ve learned to love from Metal and from Justice League.
And with all of that, it’s also a really personal story.
Nrama: Yeah, you’ve said before that it’s personal to you.
Snyder: Right. It really is. It’s about that voice in your head that tells you you’re just the worst loser all the time. That’s Batman Who Laughs. He says, every other Batman is better than you. You’re a failure, and I’ll show you why.
He’s the darkest voice.
Nrama: But let’s back up, Scott. You said yes, it does set up the new series? Can you say how it sets up Batman/Superman?
Snyder: Yeah, yeah. It has a lot of closure, and I think fans will be satisfied with it as a single book. But there is a hook at the very end that leads you into Batman/Superman.
It’s something that I think fans will get excited about - it might shock them, scare them and all of that.
But it’ll also lead you toward what is one of Josh’s best stories he’s ever told. I think Batman/Superman is going to be one of the best books of 2019-2020. I’ve read the first four issues, and it’s just fantastic. And David’s art is just out of control. It’s so good.
Nrama: Then to finish up, is there anything else you want to tell fans about the last issue of The Batman Who Laughs as the story winds down?
Snyder: I just want to say what a joy it’s been to work with Jock and colorist David Baron on the series — and also with Sal Cipriano, the letterer.
Jock was the first superstar artist who ever took a chance on me with “Black Mirror.” And we’ve become lifelong friends. And we’ve seen each other have multiple children and have been through a lot of ups and downs in life.
So to get to do something like this that’s so deeply personal, with him, it’s been a great experience. Like I said before, the Batman Who Laughs story is a really dark voice. And to write something like that, you have to have trusted partners.
And the work that Jock is doing, and that David is doing - David Baron, and Sal on the lettering -it makes me excited to go to work, even when the material is so challenging and dark.
So I have to just do a hats-off to them, because they’re making the series so much better than I ever expected it to be.