And here’s his original interview for his Batman run in Wizard Magazine 176, also from 2006.
Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert unleash the most action-packed Bat-book ever—and it starts here!
Sure, the title is Batman. But If mega-star writer Grant Morrison delivers on half of what he’s promising, you might as well call it Action Comics.
"This is the most action-oriented comic I’ve ever done," says the Scottish scribe of his upcoming run on Batman, with superstar penciler Andy Kubert making his DC-exclusive debut as a sequential artist. "If you’re going to do Batman, you have to remember that you’re up against people like [All Star
Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder writer] Frank Miller. Most of my comics are about people standing and talking and then there’s a punch on one page. But with this one, I really want to do an action comic. So [by our second issue], there’s a 22-page fight scene with Batman against 50 ninja Man-Bats. There’s big action set pieces in every issue.”
Quite a change from the searing psychological exploration of Batman’s tortured soul that was Morrison’s best-known Bat-work up until this point, Arkham Asylum. Or is it? “[The new Batman run] is really driven by the central character of Batman and Bruce Wayne, so this is a lot more detailed look. Arkham Asylum was kind of a psychological version of Batman and [Morrison’s Legends of the Dark Knight arc] ‘Gothic’ was very much a detective Batman. And in JLA, he was kind of the superhero Batman. So this is me putting all the things back together again to create a much more rounded character, because I just think the character’s fascinating. I’ve plotted 15 issues so far, and I’m going to keep going until I run out of ideas.”
It’s Morrison’s ideas about the Batman character that will make his ongoing run unique, especially compared to the brooding Batman we’ve seen in recent years. “I know that a lot of people did a lot of good work on him, but I just found it wasn’t my Batman,” admits Morrison. “I felt he was becoming a little bit too driven and too borderline psychotic, which often happens. The way I see him, Batman’s a guy who’s actually done what he set out to do. If you actually saw your parents getting shot dead when you’re 9 years old and a millionaire, I don’t know about you, but I’d be straight to Vegas. I’d spend a million in two weeks on women, drink, drugs and whatever. But Bruce Wayne didn’t do that. He said, ‘Okay, I’m going to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone again.’ And then he goes out on the streets in a Batsuit and makes sure it doesn’t happen. To me, that’s someone who’s actually taken charge of his own feelings and his own destiny. I see him as a much more centered character. Deep down, he’s got the arrogance of someone who’s done exactly what they wanted to do with their lives: ‘You got your powers from a power ring, you got your powers from a yellow sun-I did this myself.’”
And in quite a break from the norm, Morrison’s Batman might actually crack a smile. “He’s a very proud, determined and quite humorous guy-he’s obviously seen the worst that life has to offer, and he’s got a really black sense of humor about it. I want to enter this character a lot more realistically: What would this guy actually be like, this millionaire kid who’s built himself Batmobiles and Batplanes and has a cave. What the f—- would that guy be thinking?”
And he may well see action of a different sort, if Morrison gets his way. “I want to see Bruce waking up in bed with three supermodels, because Batman just thinks, ‘Well, that keeps me healthy and happy. That’s good for the mission,” Morrison laughs. “He’s a dynamic individual who’ll do whatever it takes to make sure his mission continues. This is the same guy who could spend a year celibate if it was good for the mission.”
As enthusiastic as Morrison is about his leading man’s abilities, he’s even more psyched about his collaborator’s talents, “DC came to me and said, ‘Do you want to do the Batman book with Andy Kubert?’ And obviously I said yes. It was just a no-brainer. [Working with him] is fantastic, To me, this is what American comics should look like. There’s just something about the whole Kubert dynasty-that says it all, I think. This book is so perfect for him, He has a great sense of Batman.”
And to give you a great sense of Morrison and Kubert’s Batman, Wizard brings you this exclusive seven-page preview of the pair’s first issue, July’s #655. “The arc [that begins here] is called ‘Batman and Son: and it ties into the Son of the Demon graphic novel,” Morrison reveals, referring to Mike W. Barr’s 1987 tale of the love affair between Batman and Talia Al Ghul, the lethal head of the League of Assassins- and the child it produced. “It was shocking, but whether it’s in continuity has always been a bone of contention-so that’s why I decided to center my first story arc around it!”
Turn the page and take a look for yourself.