This year, Boston Comic Con once again returned to the Seaport World Trade Center. With names like Marv Wolfman, Phil Jimenez, Mark Waid and Brian Azzarello, this Con certainly wasn’t short on heavy hitters of the comic book industry. And speaking of heavy hitters, on Saturday, August 13, I had the pleasure of attending the ‘Spotlight on Scott Snyder’ panel.
“Snyder is best known for his recently concluded, best-selling run on Batman alongside artist and fellow guest Greg Capullo. A prolific writer, he has worked on several Bat-titles such as Detective Comics, Batman Eternal, Gates of Gotham, and the upcoming All-Star Batman. Snyder is also known for his horror titles including Swamp Thing, The Wake, Wytches, and American Vampire (with artist, and fellow guest, Rafael Albuquerque).” – BostonComicCon.com
Snyder made his way to the stage for the Q&A-style panel a few minutes late. He apologized for his tardiness, explaining that he was just getting back from grabbing lunch with Sean Gordon Murphy. “AND me,” someone shouted from the back of the Harborview Ballroom. Snyder looked to the back row and said, “I didn’t know Greg was going to be here.” Much to everyone’s surprise, he then invited his long-time partner on Batman, artist Greg Capullo, to join him on stage for the panel. As you can imagine, the crowd who had waited in line for two hours to see Scott Snyder were more than pleased with this impromptu reunion.
Snyder cracked open a bottle of Harpoon IPA, which he decided to split with Capullo after he took a swig for himself, and the two of them began sharing details on their iconic five year run on the Batman title. Snyder discussed the high and low points of his tenure writing for the Caped Crusader, and talked about the hate he received from readers around the time of the Zero Year storyline. Feeling cheated after Death of the Family didn’t result in any fatalities, readers were up in arms when they learned that they now had to endure a year-long retelling of Batman’s origin. Snyder and Capullo joked about how as the artist, Capullo never got the same sort of hate from readers but on a more serious note, we learned that Capullo was always the one to reassure Snyder that he needed to stick to his guns. Snyder really opened up and it’s amazing now, a few months after the end of what may go down as one of the best runs on Batman of all time, to hear how much inner turmoil he dealt with during this period.
Snyder went on to talk about other Bat-Family characters such as Duke Thomas and Damian Wayne. Duke was a character created by Snyder during the aforementioned Zero Year storyline and they discussed how he has evolved since his introduction into the DC Universe. As for Damian Wayne, the question came up as to why this incarnation of Robin wasn’t featured in the Batman series. Snyder explained that since there was already a Batman and Robin title, Batman was meant to focus strictly on the Dark Knight himself. He also mentioned that Damian Wayne’s Robin was a character he enjoyed reading, but always had a difficult time writing. Having young boys of his own, Snyder never felt comfortable writing about a child suiting up, fighting crime, getting shot at, etc., alongside his father with his approval.
As the panel progressed, Snyder discussed how he was given the opportunity to continue writing Batman with the launch of DC Rebirth. He said that despite the chance to make double the money due to the twice-monthly shipping, he ultimately had to turn down the offer because he knew Capullo wouldn’t be able to come along for the ride with him and that Batman was “their thing”.
This segued into what the two of them are doing now. Snyder talked up his new All-Star Batman title and the members of Batman’s rogues gallery we can expect to see. We obviously already got our first look at Two-Face, but we’ll also see KGBeast, The Penguin, Poison Ivy and more down the road. As for Capullo, he shared a few details about Reborn, the creator-owned project he is working on with acclaimed writer Mark Millar. The story will follow 80-year-old Bonnie Black, who finds herself reborn as a 25-year-old adventurer. The series is set to debut this October and although Capullo has his hands full at the moment, he said that he has every intention of returning to DC Comics and working with Snyder again in the future.