Issue #1 of Kevin Smith's latest Batman series, Widening Gyre, is on stands. Written by Smith and drawn by Walter Flanagan, the first issue ended with the emergence of a new vigilante on the scene.
"Issue 2 kinda gets a little deeper into the dude who shows up, this new hero who shows up at the end of issue 1," Smith revealed in an exclusive phone interview on Sept. 2 while he was promoting his book, Shootin' the Sh*t with Kevin Smith: The Best of Smodcast. "You learn his identity, a bit more about who he is."
A new crime fighter will give Bruce Wayne a bit of an "out." Smith said Wayne starts reflecting on sidekicks like Dick Grayson growing up and leading normal lives, even though Nightwing fights alongside him in the first issue. Wayne sees a new opportunity with this masked fighter who saved him from the Demon.
"[He] thinks training a grownup who's already a vigilante might be a good alternative to the young sidekick he had in Robin," Smith continued. "He's getting older and just hitting a point where he's just like, 'Why can't I do both? If Dick can do both, why can't I do both?' Like, 'I'll never give it up, but I can try to live some semblance of a normal life in addition to it.'"
Expect to see more famous Bat-villains, as Smith said, "There are tons of appearances." However, the next five issues of the first six-part miniseries will downplay the fight scenes. "I would say [there are little bits] of action sprinkled throughout all the issues, but it's really more a kind of meditative piece, the whole thing."
Smith completed the first six issues and will begin writing another batch of six. "We're breaking it up into a volume 1, volume 2 kind of thing," Smith continued. "So the first six issues happen, then there's a break, and then the next six issues happen, but I don't know. DC'll probably ultimately wind up going, 'Why don't we just make it two separate miniseries? 1-6 is one thing, and call the next one something else.' So we may do that. I don't know, but I know we're going to stop at six for the time being and take a little break. Then whether or not the next issue is 7 or a new number 1 for a volume 2 miniseries remains to be seen."
Dynamite Entertainment has tapped Smith to write a Green Hornet series for their label also. It will be based on the movie script that Smith wrote for The Weinstein Company, before the Columbia Pictures/Seth Rogen version. Now Smith is working at converting his screenplay into comic-book form.
"Like Batman: Widening Gyre, we pretty much write it just like a film script, but you have to break it down page by page, panel by panel," Smith said. "They tend to be a lot more detail-oriented, so I think I want to do a comic-book script pass per se on that Green Hornet movie script, just to make sure that they've got, like, their 22 pages in terms of 'This is where this issue ends, this is where this issue ends' kind of thing."
Little was known about Smith's Hornet script because he managed to maintain control over leaks and spoilers. However, it was never produced, so Smith adds that caveat. "This is it, and we're going to put it out there kind of warts and all, just like, 'Look, this is the movie that might've been.'"
Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci has already sent Smith cover images for an issue of his Hornet. Barrucci added that he wants Smith's story to become part of the Hornet canon. Smith feels the humor he added to the story might not gel with comic-book canon.
"I don't think it's a slap in the face to all true Green Hornet fans, but I just think they deserve a guy on one of their ongoing titles who puts more into it, figures out a new mythology for the character and blah blah blah," Smith said. "So we'll see. In my world, best-case scenario, it would be like a six-issue miniseries that stood alone as a 'what if' kind of story in their current Green Hornet continuity, but I guess it's flattering still that Nick wants it to be part of their continuity."