• Follow us

Movies

Batman Damned: The Story DC Took TEN YEARS To Tell

There was no graphic novel to better define the spirit of DC Black Label than Batman: Damned when the publisher announced its prestige line for mature readers. The long-awaited sequel to Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's acclaimed JOKER re-imagining, the series earned acclaim of its own, dropping Batman into a world of supernatural horror beyond anything he has faced (or beaten) before.

Screen Rant had the chance to speak with Azzarello about Batman: Damned for the release of the collected hardcover edition of the three-part series (now available in stores and comic book shops everywhere). The mystery surrounding the decade-long wait is solved, with both the original JOKER's shocking success and changing tastes in superhero stories to blame. To hear the details directly from the source, along with the other Batman stories that were almost told, read on for our full interview with Brian Azzarello below:

advertising

RELATED: Harley Quinn's Origin Retold in DC Black Label's HARLEEN

It's funny to look back now and imagine all the people reading JOKER and wondering when you and Lee Bermejo were going to make a follow-up or spiritual sequel, only to spend the next ten years wondering why you didn't--as you both were going through the ten years of trying to get this book made. I won't ask you if you would do any of that differently...

[Laughs] That's funny. That's funny.

... But I would assume that's a unique experience, spending ten years trying to tell a story as people keep asking why you haven't yet.

You know, this is actually the second project it's taken me a decade to do?

advertising

Yeah?

Yeah, I did Batman: Europa. That took eleven years actually.

Was there a point in developing the story that you had--maybe not a grand revelation necessarily, but a point where momentum started picking up to the point that this series seemed to finally be moving towards release?

Well when we were talking about it originally after JOKER came out, we were just talking like, 'There is nothing to follow this up with.' DC had no idea JOKER was going to be as successful as it was. So it wasn't even called Black Label then, we were calling it Jokerverse. Black Label kind of came into being... man, I don't even know when we were calling it that. But it was gaining some traction and some momentum, and then Watchmen came out. And it was R-Rated, and it didn't do so well. The studio, and we work for the studio, they were like, 'No no no no, we don't want to do any mature readers superhero stuff.' So it got killed.

There is actually a script out there, I don't think Cliff--one thing we were going to do was Cliff Chiang and I were going to do the old '40s Batman. You know, with the guns. There was a script and everything. Gotham City got moved to the west coast, it was sort of Like L.A. from the Raymond Chandler times. It didn't happen.

advertising

Damned was... These are characters that Lee and I have some affection for. There was this crazy sort of event that DCU was planning and, I don't know how I got roped into it, but I was going to do six months of it. It was going to be like a two-year-long event. It was basically Justice League Dark with Batman in it. I was talking to Lee about that kind of stuff, and Lee said to me, 'I would love to do that.' Then that whole thing fell apart luckily, but Jim Lee really liked what we had for what we were going to do. He said, 'Why don't we try to launch Black Label again, with this?' So I said, 'Sure.' What am I going to say, no? We kind of got rid of all the Justice League Dark stuff... it was kind of getting in the way of what the actual real story was going to be.

advertising

Damned does not give the impression that these characters would unite for a single mission.

I don't think any of those characters would unite for a single mission [Laughs]. You know? They just don't work that way. I guess DC is publishing a Justice League Dark again, but... John Constantine leading a team does not make any sense to me.

That may be the divide between the Vertigo fans and newer readers.

I guess.

In Batman: Damned, it seems like their base relationship is kind of a subtle loathing, even short of tolerating eachother.

Who would trust John Constantine to lead a team? Chances are you're not coming back from that mission if he's your leader.

advertising

One of the things that stands out for me in the book is that now, the most outspoken Batman fans will be the ones to say, 'Batman has a plan for every scenario.' But Damned seems to go completely against that. You have a line from Constantine considering Batman, and how he is "so relentlessly driven that failure is met violently."

Yeah.

That's not something you see in most Batman stories. Was that an idea or a perspective you had wanted to explore, or something that developed with the rest of the story?

Well I guess what was... What you said about him always having a plan, and always being prepared. That's all very true, and it's also been done to death. To me it's just kind of dull. You know? I like to write stories about people making mistakes. I think that's what defines us as human, is our mistakes. And how we try to fix them, and make them worse. That's what good stories do. I just wanted to take him out of his element. tell a Batman story where he is not in control.

advertising

He doesn't have the answers.

No, he has none of them!

Batman Damned Young Bruce

Was that part of the reason for Damned looking back at Thomas and Martha Wayne's marriage, too? There's the idea that Bruce can only have the perspective of a little boy.

Right. And not recognizing that mistakes are being made, because he's just a kid.

I know a lot of people will likely be upset to think of Thomas and Martha Wayne in a more tarnished, less-than-perfect light. Do you think about that at all when you're writing?

No, no, not at all. I've been at this long enough to know that some people will be precious about this stuff. Some people will scream bloody murder. But I'm just trying to tell a good story. I'm trying to tell something new. Something that hasn't happened before. That's something that, when Lee and I approach these things, that's always at the front of our minds. What can we do that hasn't been done?

advertising

You're speaking in an age where the 'shared universe' is the buzz word that companies are chasing. It's funny now to think of Black Label, and the people who will see Damned as... almost the reverse order. That Black Label is something for creators to be freed from the constraints of canon or continuity, when that is just how you write anyway.

Yeah, that's true. I've done extended runs on just a few books. Wonder Woman. But that was all brand new continuity, and I really stayed away from everything else DC was doing with that character. There was no Superman smooching in my Wonder Woman story.

Batman Damned Etrigan Demon

It does kind of come from the people who are, in one sense, the most passionate about these characters. I want to be able to hand Batman: Damned to somebody and NOT have them ask, 'Where does this fit into continuity?' That's almost the opposite of what I want them to think picking up a story. The story is the story.

advertising

Well my audience has always been my mother. She knows nothing about these characters other than the pop culture myths of them. So I try to write these characters, and approach them as if you don't need to know anything about them. If you don't have any baggage... Yes, it's interesting if you know who Etrigan is from Kirby's Etrigan. it's not necessary that you know that character is Etrigan in Batman: Damned. He has a function on his own, without being a callout to something that's happened before.

Well on the same point of not fitting into the neat box some readers might like, the structure of Batman: Damned is also something different. You've referred to this story as "elliptical" in how it's framed. How unique was that for you, and I suppose I'm curious what you were hoping readers would take away from the story being concluded that way.

advertising

I'm not... I... I don't know [Laughs]. I'm not going to say that. I'm not going to say what I want anyone to take away. What I want people to take away is what it means to them. Since it's come out I've done a couple conventions, and people that I've talked to, fans, none of them think it's the same ending. They all have a different sort of interpretation of it. Which is great, you know? That's all I can ask for. That's the best thing for me, man. I don't like telling anyone what to think. I want you to think on your own.

Batman: Damned is available in collected hardcover editions in book stores and comic book shops everywhere.

advertising

MORE: Batman White Knight Dives Into The Von Freeze Legacy in Special One-Shot

Tags: batman, dc comics

Dark Captain Marvel Evil in Comics The Evil Captain Marvel is Going To KILL An Avenger advertising Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Screen Rant

Penny Dreadful’s John Clare: An Underrated Frankenstein’s Monster 2019-09-21 08:09:49Here’s why Penny Dreadful’s John Clare is one of the best versions of Frankenstein’s monster, even compared to Boris Karloff’s

Deathstroke May Have Killed An Original Hero in 2019-09-21 08:09:48The latest episode of Titans revealed that Deathstroke killed a member of Robin's original Titans team - but which superhero did he murder?

Mayans MC: Trump's Wall Is Already Built In 2019-09-21 08:09:18In the world of Mayans M.C. season 2, President Trump's planned border wall between the United States and Mexico has already been built.

Disney+ Is Building Its Own Avengers Apart From 2019-09-21 07:09:56Here's why Marvel Studios may be building toward a West Coast Avengers TV series with Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and more on Disney+.

Harry Potter: 5 Worst Thing Severus Snape Has 2019-09-21 07:09:55Snape is one of the most controversial characters in Harry Potter - and it's easy to see why, with so much good and bad in his history.

10 Most Unlikely Oscar Contenders To Emerge In 2019-09-21 07:09:51These 10 films are unlikely Oscar contenders but every single one has been discussed in relation to a nod. Some of these choices are truly bizarre.

10 Best (And Funniest) Songs In Galavant, Ranked 2019-09-21 07:09:49We’re counting down the 10 best songs from the short-lived series Galavant with a focus on the most amusing ditties in the bunch.

10 Great Crime Movies To Watch If You 2019-09-21 07:09:49It's hard to top The Wire - but these great films will scratch that criminal escapade itch for fans.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Munsters 2019-09-21 07:09:47The Munsters became one of the most recognizable American families back in the '60s, yet there are some things you might not know about their show.

Al Pacino's 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten 2019-09-21 07:09:45Plenty of people know Al Pacino and the great films he has been in, and here are the best movies he has starred in according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Spider-Man: 10 Worst Things Venom Ever Did, Ranked 2019-09-21 07:09:40While Venom might be considered Spider-Man's ally at times, he is the cause of a great many terrible things that happened to his host and society.

10 Hidden Details You Never Noticed In Saving 2019-09-21 07:09:39Here are 10 details that you missed while watching the spectacular filmmaking achievement that is Saving Private Ryan

Rolling Stone Latest Movies

12 Best Movies at Toronto Film Festival 2019 2019-09-16 08:26:12From an A-list murder mystery to Romanian documentary on corruption, lies and journalism — these were the dozen films that earned TIFF's best-o

‘Ford v Ferrari’: Matt Damon, Christian Bale Shake 2019-09-15 11:08:12Greta Van Fleet's "Highway Tune" soundtracks latest preview of upcoming film

‘Western Stars’ Is Part Concert Film, Part Visual 2019-09-13 09:59:54Bruce Springsteen premieres the live-performance movie of his 2019 album about freedom and adulthood, and the result is a knockout

Toronto 2019: ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ The Hitler Comedy Taika 2019-09-12 17:25:33One of the fest's most divisive films tries to weaponize a WWII coming-of-age story with sick humor—and largely succeeds

Review: ‘The Goldfinch’ Is a Stolen Opportunity 2019-09-12 15:17:24The only achievement in transferring Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' from page to screen is that it's a botch job for the ages.

‘Midway’: Nick Jonas Portrays Fighter Pilot in Trailer 2019-09-12 13:00:49Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore and Woody Harrelson co-star in Roland Emmerich's Battle of Midway blockbuster

Watch Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne Face Off Against 2019-09-12 10:54:26Two small business owners face off against a cosmetics titan

Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding Meet Cute to George 2019-09-12 09:03:14Emma Thompson co-stars, co-wrote screenplay to new rom-com featuring late Wham! singer's music

Jennifer Lopez Is a Divine Queenpin in ‘Hustlers’ 2019-09-11 08:42:57In director Lorene Scafaria's 'Hustlers,' Lopez's talent blossoms into something that takes your breath away

Millie Bobby Brown Is Developing a Netflix Film 2019-09-10 16:59:06Stranger Things star will adapt A Time Lost from original story

Toronto International Film Festival 2019: Photos 2019-09-10 13:53:02

Toronto 2019: ‘Joker’ and the Tears of an 2019-09-10 10:31:28Yes, Joaquin Phoenix delivers a chilling Joker for our current moment — but WTF is this blockbuster trying to do?

FilmBook

KNIVES OUT (2019) Movie Trailer 2: A Dysfunctional 2019-09-18 22:41:50  Knives Out Trailer 2 Lionsgate has released the second movie trailer for Knives Out (2019). The first movie trailer for Knives Out can be viewe

DARK WATERS (2019) Movie Trailer: Attorney Mark Ruffalo 2019-09-18 14:15:09  Dark Waters Trailer Todd Haynes‘ Dark Waters (2019) movie trailer has been released by Focus Features and stars Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaw

Streaming Rights: HBO Max Gets THE BIG BANG 2019-09-17 16:31:24  HBO Max Gets The Big Bang Theory streaming rights until 2028, Netflix Gets Seinfeld until 2026 With the upcoming launch of multiple American su

IN THE TALL GRASS (2019) Movie Trailer: Patrick 2019-09-17 14:59:37  In the Tall Grass Trailer Vincenzo Natali‘s In the Tall Grass (2019) movie trailer has been released by Netflix and stars Patrick Wilson,

Peacock: NBC Names Streaming Service & Initial Line-up: 2019-09-17 13:45:47  NBCUniversal’s New Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Service Peacock and its Initial Line-up NBCUniversal has announced that Peacock

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON (2019) Movie 2019-09-16 17:02:59  In the Shadow of the Moon Trailer Jim Mickle‘s In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) movie trailer has been released by Netflix and stars Boyd

BATTLE AT BIG ROCK (2019) Short Film: André 2019-09-16 14:52:16  Battle at Big Rock Short Film Colin Trevorrow‘s Battle at Big Rock (2019) short film stars André Holland, Melody Hurd, Natalie Mar

RADIOACTIVE (2019) Teaser Trailer: French Physicist Rosamund Pike 2019-09-16 13:53:27  Radioactive Trailer Marjane Satrapi‘s Radioactive (2019) teaser trailer has been released by Amazon Studios and stars Rosamund Pike,

TV Review: EVIL: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot 2019-09-16 08:00:22  Evil Plot Review CBS‘s Evil: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot from the 3rd Annual Tribeca TV Festival gives viewers a wild ride, delivering lau

LITTLE MONSTERS (2019) Red Band Movie Trailer 2: 2019-09-16 07:50:14  Little Monsters Red Band Trailer 2 Hulu has released the second red band movie trailer for Little Monsters (2019). The first red band movie tra

FORD V FERRARI (2019) Movie Trailer 2: Matt 2019-09-15 23:06:34  Ford v Ferrari Trailer 2 The second movie trailer for Ford v Ferrari (2019) has been released by 20th Century Fox. The first movie trailer for

Box Office: September 13-15, 2019: IT: CHAPTER TWO, 2019-09-15 20:57:21  Box Office September 13-15, 2019 It: Chapter Two was the Number One film at the box office for the second week in a row with $40.7 Million for

NYT > Movies

‘Loro’ Review: A Corrupt Leader, and the People 2019-09-19 13:27:06Toni Servillo plays the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Paolo Sorrentino’s extravagant portrait.

‘Ad Astra’ Review: Brad Pitt Orbits the Powers 2019-09-19 13:08:30The latest from the director James Gray centers on an astronaut whose mission into deep space becomes a voyage of self-discovery.

‘Where’s My Roy Cohn?’ Review: A Fixer’s Progress 2019-09-19 12:41:18A documentary traces the life and times of a notorious lawyer whose career stretched from Joseph McCarthy to Donald J. Trump.

‘Rambo: Last Blood’ Review: Death Country for Old 2019-09-19 12:20:34While the killings in this continuation of Rambo saga are zestfully depicted, the movie overall is rote.

‘Diego Maradona’ Review: A Soccer Player Who Got 2019-09-19 11:12:21The filmmaker Asif Kapadia (who won an Oscar for “Amy”) cuts through the filler of conventional sports documentaries.

‘Corporate Animals’ Review: Trust Falls at the Center 2019-09-19 08:46:28Demi Moore plays the unpleasant boss of unpleasant people trying to survive after a cave collapses on a company retreat.

‘Villains’ Review: Blundering Robbers Meet Their Match 2019-09-19 07:00:06The film zigzags between tones, zanily bouncing between comedy and horror-esque thrills.

‘Always in Season’ Review: Lynching Is Not Just 2019-09-19 07:00:03Jacqueline Olive, who directed the documentary, makes a powerful case that such murders can and do happen today.

‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ Review: Scrubbing Away Years of 2019-09-19 07:00:01In this Swedish comedy, a woman’s humdrum life changes when she takes on a job as a youth soccer coach.

‘Zeroville’ Review: An Innocent Finds a New Religion 2019-09-19 07:00:01A near-catatonic James Franco plays a movie-obsessed innocent in “Zeroville,” a painful head trip through 1970s Hollywood.

Read It Before You See It 2019-09-19 05:01:12With “Little Women,” “Watchmen” and other book adaptations heading to screens big and small, here are nine titles worth curlin

‘Downton Abbey’ Review: Back to the Past 2019-09-18 17:13:52From its spectacularly detailed aesthetic to the characters’ march down well-worn personality paths, the movie argues insistently for the status

L.A. Times - Movie News

Review: Jim Gaffigan breaks out in 'American Dreamer'; 2019-09-19 17:04:22Reviews for 'Ambition,' 'American Dreamer,' 'Auggie,' 'Bloodline,' 'Corporate Animals,' 'Running With the Devil,' 'The Wedding Year.'

Review: Sylvester Stallone's 'Rambo: Last Blood' goes for 2019-09-19 16:15:44Sylvester Stallone reprises one of his most celebrated roles, but this one has a darker, more brooding edge

Review: Dark comedy 'Villains' pits two demented couples 2019-09-19 15:54:54Jeffrey Donovan, Kyra Sedgwick and Bill Skarsgard star in the story of two would-be burglars uncovering a suburban couple's twisted secret.

Review: 'Diego Maradona' documentary expertly charts the rise 2019-09-19 15:48:51Asif Kapadia's documentary "Diego Maradona" profiles the triumph and tragedy of the legendary Argentine soccer player.

Review: James Franco's 'Zeroville' is a movie worthy 2019-09-19 15:26:29James Franco's "Zeroville," which was made before "The Disaster Artist" but only opening now, is a dismal drama set in '70s Hollywood.

Review: 'Where's My Roy Cohn?' is a blunt, 2019-09-19 15:26:16The notorious American attorney and fixer gets his closeup in director Matt Tyrnauer's documentary.

Review: Criminally unsubtle penal drama 'Imprisoned' wastes top 2019-09-19 14:40:13"Imprisoned," featuring Laurence Fishburne and Juan Pablo Raba, spins a cliched tale of a criminal trying to go straight contends with a vengeful pr

Review: 'Trauma Is a Time Machine' chillingly portrays 2019-09-19 13:11:53Angelica Zollo's drama "Trauma Is a Time Machine" is an intimate portrayal of a woman's struggles to heal after being raped by her partner.

Review: Life-affirming drama 'Send Me to the Clouds' 2019-09-19 12:26:01In the Chinese drama "Send Me to the Clouds," a young journalist embarks on an existential journey after she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Review: The Day-Glo fantasia of Hiroyuki Imaishi's 'Promare' 2019-09-19 11:59:38"Promare" boasts flamboyant color, stylized designs and over-the-top action in its animated tale of a high-tech force battling fire-wielding mutants

Documentary 'Moonlight Sonata' fitfully connects deafness, family and 2019-09-19 11:14:46Irene Taylor Brodsky's "Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements" weaves the stories of hearing loss in her family and the composer Beethoven.

Review: Gay romance 'End of the Century' captures 2019-09-19 10:32:35Gay romance 'End of the Century' follows two men, an Argentine and a Spaniard, who reconnect 20 years after a brief dalliance.

ComingSoon.net

Smallville’s Erica Durance Reprising Lois Lane Role for 2019-09-20 13:37:44The five-part event will kick off this December The post Smallville’s Erica Durance Reprising Lois Lane Role for Arrowverse Crossover! appeared

Reach For The Sky In New The Aeronauts 2019-09-20 13:27:40The film will arrive in U.S. theaters on December 6 The post Reach For The Sky In New The Aeronauts International Trailer appeared first on ComingSoon

Grudge Photos Offer First Look at Nicolas Pesce’s 2019-09-20 13:26:30The movie hit theaters on January 3, 2020 The post Grudge Photos Offer First Look at Nicolas Pesce’s Horror Remake appeared first on ComingSoon

Emily Dickinson Tries to Break the Rules In 2019-09-20 13:12:28Hailee Steinfeld stars as the iconic poet The post Emily Dickinson Tries to Break the Rules In New Trailer appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

The 10 Best Meals In Movies 2019-09-20 13:10:24The 10 best meals in movies Comingsoon.net is preparing a menu full of the most memorable meals in film. Check […] The post The 10 Best Meals I

Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik to Reunite for 2019-09-20 12:32:29The series is expected to launch on Fall 2020 The post Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik to Reunite for New FOX Comedy Carla appeared first on ComingSoon.n

The Walking Dead Season 10 Premiere Table Read 2019-09-20 12:30:55Fans can also get early access to the premiere through AMC Premiere The post The Walking Dead Season 10 Premiere Table Read Teaser Released appeared f

Netflix Renews GLOW For Fourth and Final Season 2019-09-20 12:29:02The final season will consist of 10 episodes, with no premiere window currently set. The post Netflix Renews GLOW For Fourth and Final Season appeare

Random Acts of Violence Clip Released for Jay 2019-09-20 11:57:21Based on the graphic novel by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray The post Random Acts of Violence Clip Released for Jay Baruchel’s New Slasher Film

Showtime Delays The Affair Finale, Kidding Premiere to 2019-09-20 11:44:42Kidding will now premiere in February 2020 alongside the final season premiere of Homeland. The post Showtime Delays The Affair Finale, Kidding Premie

New Villains Clip: Jeffrey Donovan Makes Bill Skarsgård a 2019-09-20 11:44:33The movie is now open in theaters nationwide The post New Villains Clip: Jeffrey Donovan Makes Bill Skarsgård a Tempting Offer appeared fir

New Poster for A Beautiful Day in the 2019-09-20 11:38:55Tom Hanks stars as the legendary Mister Rogers The post New Poster for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Released appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

Movie News

Avengers: Endgame Oscars Campaign Begins, Could Robert Downey 2019-09-20 18:37:27Disney and Marvel Studios have set up some Academy screenings for Avengers: Endgame in the United States and England.

First Eternals Set Photos Reveal Angelina Jolie as 2019-09-20 17:58:59Angelina is Thena in Marvel Studios' upcoming Eternals, which is currently shooting in England.

Rambo Creator Embarrassed by Last Blood, Agrees with 2019-09-20 17:47:52David Morrell created Rambo with his 1972 book First Blood and he has the harshest review of Last Blood yet.

Rob Zombie's Sound of Music? Ed Asner Thinks 2019-09-20 16:56:18Ed Asner thinks that Rob Zombie would be a good candidate to take on a Sound of Music remake.

Kirsten Dunst Calls Out Reuters for Spider-Man's Girlfriend 2019-09-20 16:29:38Kirsten Dunst commented on Reuters boiling her extensive filmography down to "Spider-Man's Girlfriend."

The Grudge Reboot First Look Unleashes New Ghosts, 2019-09-20 15:46:48Nicolas Pesce's remake of the 2004 horror movie The Grudge has released some new images, which means a trailer is more than likely on the way.

Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2019-09-20 15:43:12Wes Craven's estate has apparently reacquired the rights to A Nightmare on Elm Street and the son of a hundred maniacs, Freddy Krueger.

Does an Unused Star Wars TV Show Script 2019-09-20 15:22:32There could be a pretty crazy connection between Rey and Emperor Palpatine if a new theory is to be believed.

Jennifer Lopez's Stripper Hit Hustlers Gets Banned in 2019-09-20 15:09:34Hustlers is reportedly not suitable for public screening according to Malaysian censorship board.

Jojo Rabbit Review: Taika Waititi's WWII Movie Is 2019-09-20 14:45:22Director Taika Waititi delivers a hilarious and poignant take on World War II with Jojo Rabbit.

El Camino Behind-The-Scenes Image Has Jesse Pinkman Breaking 2019-09-20 12:53:56Aaron Paul is back as Jesse Pinkman for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and it looks like we're starting things right where we left off.

Marvel's The Infinity Saga Trailer Celebrates the MCU's 2019-09-20 12:28:47The Infinity Saga trailer was first unveiled at this year's San Diego Comic-Con by Kevin Feige.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.