Batman screenwriter asks big questions in new Batman: Imposter comic

Batman kills? People are really obsessed with that question. “Mattson Tomlin says, when asked about the inspirations behind the two story lines of Batman: impostor. Tomlin is no stranger to Batman, nor is the online obsession with the details of Batman stories. He wrote the script for Warner Bros. ‘ The batman, a film that has been in some stage of production since 2014.

And now, as fans anticipate The batmanthe delayed launch of 2022, and a new trailer for this weekend’s DC FanDome, Batman: impostor # 1 has hit the shelves, written by Tomlin, drawn by Andrea Sorrentino (Joker: Killer Smile), and colored by Jordie Bellaire (Wonder girl).

Tomlin tells Polygon that the series was a mixed bag of inspirations. The first of these was his own preference for Batman stories that felt more real than fantasy, but also two frequently asked questions when it comes to the Dark Knight: “Does Batman kill?” and “Why isn’t Batman going to therapy anymore?” Shake those ideas into a jar with a “really unused” Batman character and you get something like Batman: impostor, in which Bruce Wayne faces an enemy who continues to disguise himself as Batman and murders criminals, and an ally who tells him that he has to attend daily therapy sessions or he will call the police and reveal his secret identity.

“There are always these tweets going around,” Tomlin said, “Bruce Wayne would rather dress up and beat up criminals and then go to therapy. And I thought it was a great way to get in. What if Batman goes to therapy? And then while watching this happen, this guy kills on behalf of Batman. What does that do to him and to his own analysis of what he’s doing? [And] there is someone who is really tough – Leslie is very tough on him – in [forcing him to analyze] What’s the point of this?? ”

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By “this,” Tomlin means “to be Batman,” and with Leslie, he means Leslie Thompkins, a recurring resident of Gotham City since it was created by the great Batman writer Denny O’Neil and artist Dick Giordano in 1976. In In most of the comics, Leslie runs a free medical clinic in the Crime Alley neighborhood, where the Waynes were murdered so many years ago, and she was Bruce Wayne’s assigned child psychologist after their deaths. But without an appearance in a big Batman movie adaptation (she was played by Morena Baccarin in Gotham and Krista Bridges in Titans, and only appears in one episode of Batman: The Animated Series) is not well known outside of Batman fans. That in itself appealed to Tomlin.

“She’s had a few moments, but she’s never gotten a modern update, where I feel like ‘OK, that’s how she is today.’ […] That’s really exciting for a writer, to say, ‘Okay, I can imbue them with a voice that’s all their own and people aren’t going to expect it to feel like something they’re used to.’

Image: Mattson Tomlin, Andrea Sorrentino / DC Comics

Fundamentally, unlike most of Bruce’s allies, Leslie strongly disapproves of his decision to become Batman.

“There are these characters in the Batman mythology that are there to provide support. [… But] typically Batman is the one in charge, Alfred and Jim [Gordon] they will not be the ones to put him in his place. That’s what attracted me to Leslie […] Create a character that could be much more assertive to him than some of these other characters that populate Bruce Wayne’s life. ”

On the pages of Batman: impostor # 1, Leslie makes a deal with Bruce: Either he calls the police and tells them that Batman is Bruce Wayne, or he can go to his clinic every day at dawn for a talk therapy session, to show him that being Batman is not it is. t completely destructive.

“In those first few pages, she really takes him to town,” Tomlin tells Polygon. “She has the upper hand over him, and that’s a really exciting place to put [Batman], where suddenly someone else has the upper hand over him. “

Leslie Thompkins explains to Bruce Wayne that he can go to therapy at dawn every day, or he can expose his secret identity in Batman: Imposter # 1 (2021).

Image: Mattson Tomlin, Andrea Sorrentino / DC Comics

But there is one more reason why Leslie Thompkins has a special place in Batman: impostor. “Obviously, you know, the character was created by Denny O’Neil,” says Tomlin. “And Denny’s son Larry was my first screenwriting teacher. Larry, for DC Comics earlier this year, paid a tribute to his dad with Jorge Fernández. He and I got back in touch; I hadn’t talked to him in a couple of years and I was like, ‘Oh, and by the way, I’m doing this book. I really wish your dad could see this, I think he really would have liked it. ‘ Larry was really touched, and also a bit freaked out, that one of his students was now writing a character that [his father] created. So there is something fun for me there, just on the personal side, to be able to do something with this character that not only one of my heroes had written, but also his son taught me how to get out of my training wheels. ”

As for the obvious question: Batman: impostor have something to do with The batman, Tomlin also has an answer.

“There is definitely a sympathetic vibe between the two of them,” he told Polygon. “Both are dark and gritty Batman stories [but] Beyond that, this is so in its own continuity. As soon as people can experience both, they will say ‘Oh, these two are similar in setting, but their stories and the characters that are around and what can and cannot happen are very different.’ […] Hopefully people who like comics will like the movie and vice versa, but they are independent of each other. “

Batman: impostor # 1 is on the shelves now.