Every week, MTV News is counting down the big, burning questions about DC Comics' weekly series "Batman Eternal" with some of the biggest names in the comic book business. This week, we talked over e-mail with writer John Layman about secrets in Catwoman's past, the return of Professor Pyg, and the big reveal on the last page:
MTV News: We start off with a flashback of Catwoman scratching Falcone, something we've been wondering about for the past few issues. Are we going to see what led to this point, or are we just meant to infer the conflict from this scene?
John Layman: Well, this is my last issue, so I can't speak definitively about what's around the corner. Personally, I feel some things are stronger if you don't know, and are left for the imagination. But who knows... Batman Eternal covers a lot of ground, and with a weekly book, has a lot of real estate that can be covered.
MTV: Pyg's soldiers... People with actual animal heads, or masks? And if actual heads... How is Pyg doing that?
Layman: Actual heads, put together with surgical tape, superglue... AND LOVE!
MTV: Julia doesn't even want to look at Alfred in the next scene. Is she disappointed in him for being what she sees as merely a butler, or is there more in their past?
Layman: A little of both. Obviously, if you're seeing your father for the first time in decades, that's a pretty good argument that Alfred has not exactly been father-of-the-year. On the other hand, if you're a bad-ass secret agent, seeing your dead as a glorified maid for an (apparently) pampered rich guy is about as unimpressive as it gets.
MTV: Batman saves Falcone here, twice. Does that, in any way, change his feelings towards the Dark Knight? Is Falcone in his debt now?
Layman: I suspect Falcone figures he wouldn't NEED saving is Gotham didn't have the parade of criminal freaks that is does, and that they exist as a direct result of Batman. So, if anything, Falcone blames Batman, rather than feel in his debt.
MTV: Okay, NOW can we talk about the mastermind behind this, now that its out in the open? Is the shadow glimpsed on the last panel that person? Or are there even more layers to the onion?
Layman: Well, it's out in the open that Falcone is not the ultimate bad guy here, not the guy behind all of Batman and Jim Gordon and Gotham's current woes. But I'll leave it to the reader's to figure who IS behind it all, because that reveal is going to be rolled out very slowly.
"Batman Eternal #10" is on sale now from DC Comics.