Every week, DC Comics is releasing a new issue of the epic mega-series “Batman Eternal.” And spoiler alert with the release of issue #3, the publisher has reintroduced an eagerly demanded, fan favorite character: Stephanie Brown, also known as The Spoiler.
To find out more about her reintroduction, and break down the other epic moments in the issue, we talked to writer Scott Snyder:
MTV News: Let’s talk about Stephanie Brown’s intro. Why was it important to bring her back this way?
Scott Snyder: The key was bringing her back in a way that would honor her in a way, what she was before the New 52 relaunch, while still keeping her something that has a new purpose, a new status, and a new definition.
It really began with her old title of Spoiler. Back in the day she was referred to as Spoiler because she spoils all the plans of her father and bad guys, and so on. Here, the new definition, the popular definition has so much to do with revealing secrets before you’re supposed to.
We thought it would be great if we could reinvent her with a similar origin, but make her one of the key figures in all of “Eternal” because she knows things before anyone else does.
So as the series continues she becomes one of the most wanted women in Gotham. Not just because of the stuff she learns with Cluemaster here, but the stuff she learns as the series goes on. She becomes an incredibly powerful figure, and a really important character to the entire story overall.
That justified bringing her back here, and I’m really glad DC let us. I can’t tell you how grateful we are to fans for being so vocal about their love for her. Before we brought her back, and now that she’s coming back… It really means a lot to all of us who care about her, too.
MTV: Her lack of appearance in comics for so long has been a hugely polarizing issue at conventions, in particular. So how did she finally end up in the mix here for “Batman Eternal?”
Snyder: We talked about bringing her back on “Batman” about a year ago, and when we started planning “Eternal,” I realized, talking to James [Tynion IV] that it would be a better place to do it there because of the story we were trying to set up, how much more of a role she’d play there, instead of a supportive role in “Batman.”
It felt more like she’d be brought back and then relegated to smaller status, because of how crowded “Batman” is in terms of the events that are happening. Once the opportunity to bring her back there came along, and we knew what the meaning of her name would be, and how she would work as such a big role in the series, we started lobbying Dan [Didio] and DC when we were pitching the series to let us bring her back early, and bring her back loud.
Honestly, they were pretty receptive from go. A lot of us were bracing for a fight in some ways. We know how badly people have wanted the character back for a while, and it hadn’t happened. I think we expected some resistance internally, too. But what we saw was that they were waiting for a story that would fit who she was now in the New 52. An echo of who she used to be, and something new.
It wasn’t some kind of behind-the-scenes, salacious, tell-all war. I should flip it, and say we’ll release the secrets one day, the black files about how we got Stephanie Brown back, and it’s such a tale. But they were honestly receptive to it once we told them what we had planned.
MTV: Another big scene with Stephanie, she discovers that her father is a supervillain — and not only that, he’s part of a bad guy team. What can you tell us about these guys going forward?
Snyder: They play a really big role. One of the major elements of the story has to do with the criminal that you think of as B-listers, getting to give them bigger roles. That have greater resonance as the story progresses; causing other things to happen as it goes forward like a domino effect. The people at that table aren’t throwaways. They’ll come back in a big way, especially in their relationship to Stephanie and her plot. They’re all major figures in the story.
MTV: Batman breaks in on the Penguin, demanding to know if he’s working with mob boss Carmine Falcone. This is the second mention we’ve had of this past with Falcone. Are we going to start seeing flashbacks?
Snyder: You’re going to see a lot. We’re going to explore the history of the Falcones, the Maronis, the Cobblepots.All those things that inform the current climate of the series, all those rivalries we’ve hinted at in “Eternal,” but also in “Batman,” “Batgirl,” and a lot of the other series that have pasts we haven’t gotten to explore yet. This is a chance to go deep.
There’ll be a lot of startling things, from Harper Rowe’s past, her affiliation with characters, which I think people will find surprising. To Falcone’s past, what he did to the city, what that’s affected now.
Seeing the issues that are coming, based on the stories we all worked on, you can expect to see histories of a lot of your favorite villains.
MTV: Last thing, Forbes gets bumped up to Commissioner, and immediately starts gunning for Batman instead of stopping actual crime. Is there any redemption for him at this point?
Snyder: He is redeemable. He’s not a mustache twirling villain. The problem is that he’s going down a road where he doesn’t realize he’s being used as badly as he is, and the forces that are behind the pressure on him to act a certain way are much larger and more deadly than he anticipates.
He sees Falcone, and he sees the players on the board, but he doesn’t see the people moving those people. There’s a layer behind that whole layer that you’re seeing right now.
The series is designed so that every month or two you peel back a layer of this conspiracy and get to the next one, and it gets bigger and bigger.
“Batman Eternal #3” is on sale now from DC Comics.