Back To Square Zero: 'Batman' Group Editor Mike Marts Reveals 'Zero Year' Tie-Ins [EXCLUSIVE]

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By Matt D. Wilson

Ready for more "Zero Year"?

DC Comics is. In November, 11 of the publisher's titles--some you would expect, some you wouldn't--will turn the clock back to tie in with the best-selling origin story writer Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are telling in "Batman."

Just what comics will be included? The usual suspects include the 25th issues of "Batgirl," "Batwing," "Birds Of Prey," "Catwoman," "Detective Comics," "Nightwing," and "Red Hood And The Outlaws."

Also in the mix? "Action Comics" #25, "The Flash" #25, "Green Arrow" #25, "Green Lantern Corps" #25. MTV chatted with Batman Group Editor Mike Marts about what's coming.

MTV Geek: From what I remember from the buildup to "Zero Year," it really seemed like it was going to be a self-contained event. Was the plan always to have other series tie in, or is this a case of a series being so successful, it just seemed necessary to expand it?

Mike Marts: The core storyline that Scott was developing for "Zero Year" came first, but there was always some discussion about how other books could get involved and participate. As the storyline grew and evolved, we started to get a clearer picture on how other titles could join in.

Geek: Is there one component of the "Zero Year" story that necessitated further exploration? I could certainly read a whole lot more about the Red Hood Gang or Philip Wayne's past.

Marts: That’s the beautiful thing about "Zero Year" – there are so many concepts and characters being introduced, that it just begs for further exploration. Some concepts we’ll have the time and space for … others may have to wait for their story to be properly told!

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Geek: One of the defining aspects of "Zero Year" is that it seems to be a little more colorful, a little more superheroy, than the gritty takes on Batman's origin we've seen over the past 25-plus years. Will that tone carry through to these tie-in chapters?

Marts: Without spoiling too much, I’ll simply say that Greg, Danny and FCO are intentionally positioning the art style and color palette to reflect the storyline. And as the story progresses, so may too the art.

Geek: Will these be multi-issue arcs that tie in to "Zero Year," or one-shots?

Marts: One-shots.

Geek: How exactly will the Bat-family books tie in to a series that's set before there was a Bat-family, or for that matter a Batman?

Marts: All of these characters existed in or around Gotham six years in the past. The individual stories are more about how the environment of Zero Year affected these characters and a little less about how Batman or Bruce Wayne touched their lives. We’re not rewriting these characters’ histories or continuities. We’re simply examining chapters of their lives we’ve never previously seen.

Geek: The one title that really sticks out to me as kind of an odd man out is "Green Lantern Corps." How will that fit into the mix?

Marts: Let’s just say that John Stewart’s early adventures may have taken him close to Gotham City around the time of "Zero Year."

Geek: I'm also curious about "Action Comics." We've seen Superman and Batman meet, in different contexts a few times in the New 52 now. They had a meeting in "Justice League" and there was just a meeting scene in "Batman/Superman." Will "Action" #25 examine yet another aspect of the early days of the Batman/Superman relationship?

Marts: Yes and no … Greg Pak’s story in "Action Comics" #25 is more about Clark’s relationship with Gotham City.

Geek: For those readers who are really into "Zero Year," but aren't necessarily convinced why they should buy and read tie-in comics, what would you say to convince them these tie-in books are worth picking up? What will they be adding to the overarching story?

Marts: The fun of these one-shot tie-ins is discovering early chapters of these characters’ lives … before the days when they were heroes.