SDCC '08 - DiDio on Kevin Smith, Batman and Onomatopoeia

SDCC 08 - DiDio on Smith & Batman

As was announced by special panel guest Kevin Smith himself at today’s DC Nation panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the filmmaker and occasional comic book writer will be coming to DC Comics starting in November.

The three issue miniseries will re-introduce the unique villain (and flashback to English class), Onomatopoeia, who first saw life in a two-part story in Smith’s Green Arrow run (issues #12-#13). The character is largely a mystery, and has had only very minor appearances since Smith’s original story. What is known about Onomatopoeia could fill a thimble – he can perfectly imitate the sounds around him, may have some super-human abilities, rarely, if ever speaks, and is deadly with many kinds of weapons. He nearly killed Connor Hawke during his first appearance.

As for the character’s origins, Smith related the idea behind the character in a 2007 interview, saying: “When I did Green Arrow, I went with Onomatopoeia for a villain, just because I loved that word, and it kind of formed the character inasmuch as he would say sounds out loud. It only kind of works – I think – on a comic book page because if you have a gun going off, they usually write BLAM! and then you can have, you know, the character saying “BLAM!” in a word balloon, but like if you tried to do that cinematically you can’t really rock it. A gun in a film sounds completely different. It doesn’t read as BLAM! and so to have a dude say BLAM! after a true gunshot, all these people would be like ‘he’s just retarded’. I think it works great in print and on a comic book page. I don’t think that character would translate very well outside of that.”

While the announcement of the three issue miniseries due to start in November may have caused some in attendance to roll their eyes, given the notorious lateness (and unfinished nature) of some of Smith’s previous comic work, Didio told Newsarama: “The best part of it all - we have scripts in hand! The story’s already being drawn by Kevin’s feature collaborator, Walter.

“We never really used the character after Green Arrow, because we felt it was so unique to Kevin,” DiDio continued. “So when he called and said he wanted to do a story that featured Batman and Onomatopoeia, we couldn’t resist but to go ahead with this. It’s a really good Batman story, and will be coming out at a time when people’s attention will really be focused on the character.”

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