As announced in the “DC Nation: One Weekend Later” panel on Sunday at San Diego Comic-Con, and exclusively on video at Newsarama right here , Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert will team in January of 2009 for a Batman story entitled, “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”The slide announcing the project and team was met with loud applause at the panel, and while seeing Gaiman return to comics is a big deal, for DC fans, the announcement is something of a bigger deal. Why? The title – it’s an obvious homage/reference to 1986’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” written by Alan Moore, with art by Curt Swan, George Perez and Kurt Schaffenberger. The two issue story, which spanned Superman and Action Comics was a loving tribute by Moore to Superman, and is easily among Superman fans top five all time Superman stories. Essentially, Moore’s story closed the chapter on an entire age of Superman, ending the character’s Silver Age continuity in preparation for the reboot helmed by John Byrne. Is history going to repeat itself in Gotham City? Newsarama caught up with Dan DiDio just after the DC Nation panel for a few quick questions. Newsarama: Dan, obviously the title is a reference to Alan Moore’s Superman story, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Are there parallels between this story and that one? Dan DiDio: There are a number of parallels to that. There’s a very particular reason why we call it that, and that information will be coming out later on, but with this, we wanted to get someone of that particular stature to tell this story, a story that will really define the years of Batman’s life.
NRAMA: How did you get Neil to sign on for this project? With his novels and film careers going full tilt, he has pulled back on his comic work a lot lately…DD: Neil and I have been talking for several years, and I’ve been trying to find something for him in the DC Universe, and as you said, he’s been rather busy lately, but we always kept the conversation going. I kept on pitching him projects and ideas with the hope that one would really just electrify him and pull him in, and I believe this is the one, and he is really bringing it all to the story. NRAMA: And it’s also a re-teaming of Andy Kubert with Neil for the first time since 1602 at Marvel… DD: Right. One of the first things that Andy wanted to do when he came to DC was to work with Neil again. We’ve been talking about different things for a while now, and I’m really happy we were able to put them on something like this together. I think it’s going to bring out the best from both of them, NRAMA: What format will the project take? DD: Two issues in January – one issue of Batman and one of Detective Comics. Both slightly oversized.