Peter J. Tomasi Discusses October’s ‘Forever Evil: Arkham War’ [EXCLUSIVE]

In October, DC Comics will be augmenting their massive “Forever Evil” crossover event with three separate limited series that will tie into the main storyline, while highlighting characters that deserve more time in the spotlight.  MTV Geek got the opportunity to speak with the writers of all three series about their plans, and are proud to present EXCLUSIVE first looks at the cover art and solicitation info for the premiere issues!

Our talk with Peter J. Tomasi about his work on the “Forever Evil: Arkham War” series follows, and once you finish reading, check out our interviews with Matt Kindt about “Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S.” and Brian Buccellato about “Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion”!

MTV Geek: How closely is this series tied to the main event, and the other two tie-in series? Do the events within happen concurrently with the main Forever Evil series?

Peter J. Tomasi: I’m writing the TWO FACE, BANE, and SCARECROW one-shots that come out in September along with the 6 part ARKHAM WAR that comes out in October. All of these books are closely tied into FOREVER EVIL in different ways, each serving a distinct purpose in the greater story arc and all of them a direct response/result due to the epic craziness that Geoff unleashes in the pages of FOREVER EVIL #1. The way I’m seeing my books and the other minis and ones shots are like branches of a tree, all of them feeding the main trunk and vice versa, giving the reader a wider, yet specific perspective of the reverberations across certain areas of the DCU.

Geek: Tell us a bit about the cast of this series – which Arkham inmates are you particularly focusing on? Who are the central characters? And were there any villains you wished to use that weren’t available?

Tomasi: The main characters of ARKHAM WAR are Bane and Scarecrow, each one leading their respective army against the other for control of Gotham in their own inimitable ways. The Bane and Scarecrow one-shots set up their master plans and lead directly into ARKHAM WAR. And I’m pulling outta the toy chest an amazing amount of villains and using exactly who serves the story I wanna tell with even a surprise or two!

Geek: There have been a lot of different stories using Arkham as a catalyst – what ones did you look to when creating this story, and how will this series set itself apart?

Tomasi: I honestly didn’t look at any other stories while ramping up to this, I simply approached it from a line of Plato’s I had read that I jotted down in my Bat-Notebook under my general Arkham notes when I first started writing Batman And Robin, and the line is: “This City is what is because our citizens are what they are.” Arkham War boiled down to its essence is the two sides of Gotham’s villainy, power and psychosis, drawn together into a violent and brutal conflict and show that without its legendary protector, even a dark city like Gotham in the best of times, without Batman, would fall right over into the abyss.

Geek: The process of creating this book – did you see a story idea in this event and pitch it, or are you following a specific editorial master plan and giving it your own spin?

Tomasi: Geoff’s FOREVER EVIL was the main engine of the event of course, then I picked several characters I wanted to tackle for the September Villain One-shots and thought it would be cool to have Gotham’s villains battling for control of the city’s soul and came up with the title ARKHAM WAR.Geek: And following this, what can we look forward to in Batman And Robin – any hints for what’s coming over the next year? And if you can’t tell us much about the future, how about the past? Are there any points in your run that we should go back and revisit – look closely at to prepare us for what’s ahead?

Tomasi: That’s a great question. In BATMAN AND ROBIN I’ve got a story starting in issue #24 thru #28 that focuses on Batman and Two Face called THE BIG BURN. It delves into Bruce and Harvey’s past and also explores Two Face’s origin from a new angle and introduces some new characters to his history in a surprising way.

And the second part of that question you asked is key because even though there’s not much I can reveal from this point, what I can say is that everything that’s occurred in BATMAN AND ROBIN during my run with Pat Gleason is all in play and will reverberate in a huge and epic way in 2014, so go out and pick up the trades of the previous volumes to prepare yourselves if ya haven’t, because as I’ve said before in earlier interviews, the Uber-Story is still building!

FOREVER EVIL: ARKHAM WAR #1
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by SCOT EATON and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by JASON FABOK
1:25 B&W Variant cover JASON FABOK
On sale OCTOBER 9 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T

As FOREVER EVIL hits the world, no corner of the DC Universe is in worse shape than Gotham City! Madness and mayhem hit the streets as both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison unleash their prisoners upon the helpless citizens of Gotham. And with no Dark Knight to protect the city, what horrors will follow?