When the October DC solicits were released, I was happy to see yet another version of World's Finest turning up in Superman/Batman #77. Supergirl and Damien working together on a case certainly seems loaded with potential.
Over on Newsarama, writer Joshua Williamson was interviewed about the upcoming issue. Here is the link:
As usual, the whole interview is worth reading, but I have pulled out some blurbs to add a little commentary.
Newsarama: Josh, how did the opportunity to write Superman/Batman come about?
Joshua Williamson: After I did some short stories with Adam on the DC Halloween Special and JLA 80-Page Giant last year, Ian Sattler pulled me aside at a convention and asked me, “What do you want to do? Superman or Batman?” and I said “Both! I want to write the Justice League! If I can’t write Superman and Batman saving the day together, what the (expletive deleted) am I doing here?” This led to me doing some inventory and rewrite work on Superman/Batman. The DC editors and I talk on a pretty regular basis, so eventually, when a spot opened up, I got the call.
I always think it is important that creators like the characters they are writing. They should be as excited about writing the stories as we are as fans reading them. I haven't read anything by Williamson but he certainly says the right thing here. He is aiming high to write Batman and Superman.
Nrama: This seems like a story that will have a youthful energy about it. Is that the idea?
Williamson: This is definitely a fun story. Being a Halloween issue, naturally it has a creepy tone to it with a bit of darkness here and there. They even go to a party dressed up in Halloween costumes.
Don’t get me wrong, there will be a few dead bodies, but really it’s the banter between Supergirl and Damian that makes the situation light. The banter is both their ways of dealing with the horror. The constant back and forth between Supergirl and Damian was a blast to write.
It was a year ago that we got the Green/Johnson/Alberquerque issue of Superman/Batman where Supergirl teamed up with Tim Drake. That was a pretty dark book as the two scoured Arkham. This sounds a little bit more lighthearted and the cover certainly has that feel. It will be interesting to contrast the two issues.
As for Damien and Supergirl's banter, I don't know if they would easily mesh in both attitude and actions so I am not surprised that they are like oil and water.
Nrama: How do you see their attitudes and personalities right now, and how do they clash?
Williamson: Damian is a little jerk; a headstrong smartass. It’s kind of funny writing Damian... I pretty much just wrote Batman. It’s like the kid is Frank Miller’s Dark Knight. He talks like him and is condescending like him, but because it’s coming out of Damian’s mouth, he comes off as a little brat. If Batman said half the stuff Damian says to Supergirl, no one would say anything.
Supergirl is at turning point in her life. She was feeling really down after the destruction of New Krypton, and is mentally recovering from it. She is just now coming out of her funk. But those scars run deep, and the crime that happens in Metropolis in this issue puts her back there again.
I think people forget that she learned a lot from Batman during the first issues of her appearance in Superman/Batman. She is already a detective in her own right, but because of everything that has happened in World of Krypton, she has a certain level of doubt that is settling in. When she sees something so horrible, an evil human crime that happened right under her nose, she goes to find Dick Grayson for help. She has built this friendship with him in James Robinson’s JLA, so she thinks if anything he can help her or be someone to talk to. Reluctantly, Damian ends up being that person.
Again, Williamson impresses me. It is clear that he has read recent Supergirl issues and has a grasp of the character. Nothing is worse than reading a Supergirl appearance in another title where she is still written as the angst-ridden angry teen from the Loeb/Kelly issues. So to hear Williamson acknowledge not only the current events of New Krypton but her past education with Batman makes me think he is going to write her the way I want her to be written.
I will say that the Damien in Morrison's Batman and Robin isn't so much of a caricature of Batman but has more depth. Before it seemed people were writing Damien as a spoiled kid who thinks he is owed the mantle of Batman. Morrison has toned that down making him sound more like someone who thinks he is going to eventually earn the name. So I hope he isn't too bratty here.
Williamson: At the beginning of the story, Damian and Supergirl definitely don’t get along. The last time they saw each other was during Sterling Gates awesome World’s Finest series where Supergirl was holding Damian up by his collar and yelling at him for calling Batgirl fat. That wasn’t forgotten by Damian... or Supergirl.
And another reason to be optimistic. I think all the Supergirl and Batgirl fans out there loved this panel, so to hear Williamson talk about it is great!
Nrama; What can you tell us about the threat they face together in this issue?
Williamson: It’s a familiar one to both Supergirl and Damian. It’s a mystery, so I can’t say much without giving it away. But I will say it ties into Blackest Night and World of Krypton.
Someone wants revenge from something that happened in Blackest Night and is building “the long con” with some new tricks to get it...
Hmmm ... any ideas out there? Because I am empty. I just hope it isn't Zombie Zor-El. That would seem off in a issue that might veer to the humorous.
Revenge ... a long con ... familiar to Supergirl and Damien. The Penguin?
Nrama: Is there a chance of true love between these two? After all, one of these characters thinks he's invincible and the other pretty much is. It's almost a match made in heaven...
Williamson: Hahaha. No.
Well... you never know. I always thought Ravager was more Damian’s speed, but Supergirl has qualities that Damian might eventually come to admire.
Some might mistake their witty banter for flirting but really it’s all distrust and awkward. Sometimes those kind of relationships lead to something romantic but I don’t think Supergirl would ever forgive herself if she let it come to that. Also the age difference is huge.
Yeah. I don't think Supergirl would ever be attracted to Damien, even without the age difference.
I have to say, I wouldn't mind it if 'Supergirl and Bat-family member X' starring in an issue of Superman/Batman became an annual tradition. It's been 2 years in a row now! Let's start a fan petition!