Just over a year ago, Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo released the first issue of their latest comic book masterpiece, Batman: Damned. Now that Batman: Damned has finally been collected as a single hardcover, this special Behind the Panel one-shot is examining how it became such a groundbreaking series. We also had an opportunity to speak with Bermejo about his innovative approach to the series and why it took three years for him to finish the book.
"Since the book was out of continuity, we could really redesign almost everybody," said Bermejo. "Even our Batman and Joker have kind of their own looks. So Brian and I, it's important that we personalize these characters that have been around 80 years. Each character presents different challenges. The one I like the most is Deadman. I love that character, I'm a big fan, so it was a thrill to get him in there and do him in the way that I've always wanted to see."
Bermejo wasn't quite as thrilled to draw Swamp Thing in the story due to all the difficult detail. Additionally, he told us about how he drew the pages on artboards that are much larger than the ones used by traditional artists. In part, he made that decision to enhance the book's visuals.
"One of the reasons I wound up coloring it too is because I started the book out traditional," said Bermejo. "The moment I actually decided to expand those pages and do them in the new size, I immediately took to it. You fell into the story more, widescreen scenes got really widescreen. The new format really brings something else to the storytelling. I think it was more immersive."
Batman: Damned is out now in bookstores and comic stores. For more insights from Bermejo, check out the full video!