Here’s An Idea I Had: Batman 3000

Batman of the 30th Century pitch by Chris Sims and J. Gonzo

So as you may already be aware, I like Batman a lot, which means I think about Batman all the time, and ever since I started writing comics, I’ve been thinking about what I would do if I could do a Batman story. That’s pretty common, right? I mean, surely everyone has a Batman pitch in their back pocket just in case it ever comes up. One of mine, the one that I think could actually work really well, was The Batman of the 30th Century.

The basic idea comes from two things: One, that the Legion of Superheroes is founded as a Superman spinoff, which means there’s a lot of Superman legacy stuff that shows up over the years, and there’s a lot of Flash stuff that shows up from XS, Impulse and the Tornado Twins, but there’s nothing in the Legion’s future that indicates a legacy for Batman. (There’s also nothing involving the Wonder Woman legacy, but, you know, that’s a discussion for another time.) And yet, if you skip ahead to the 853rd Century of DC One Million, the Batman legacy is definitely alive and well.

Second, and the reason it’s so weird that there’s no Batman tie-in for the Legion, is that there actually was a “Batman of the 30th Century.” His name’s Brane Taylor, and he appears in a one-shot story in 1954. It’s not all that obscure among people who read a lot of comics, and with creators’ love of tying things together, it seems mystifying to me that there was never a reintroduction of that character as part of the Legion’s future. Maybe it was the name? “Brane” is, to be honest, kind of awful. But it’s all there, and looking at it as a fan, it seemed natural that you could tie it together. The only thing that you’d really need would be to tweak Brane so that he’d fit in with the teenagers of the Legion, and when I saw (and bought the original art for) Cliff Chiang’s Gatchaman-inspired “Science Ninja Hero Batman,” it all seemed to fall into place. I really wanted it to have a strange feeling of the retrofuturism of the original Legion and its Silver Age roots along with Batman’s darker, more modern aesthetic (there’s a lot of the Morrison run in this, for instance).

So I thought about this for years, and I ended up mentioning it to J. Gonzo, the artist of La Mano Del Destino, and he really loved it and wanted to draw it, and came up with a few ideas his own along the way — Robin and Bat-Mite were his ideas, and I love ‘em. We ended up making a full pitch document with character designs and summaries that I think is really cool, but at the same time, I know that there’s a roughly zero percent chance that it will ever actually happen. So we showed it around to a few people, and now I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy!

 

Batman 3000 pitch by Chris Sims and J. Gonzo

 

Batman 3000 pitch by Chris Sims and J. Gonzo

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Batman 3000 pitch by Chris Sims and J Gonzo

 

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Batman 3000 pitch by Chris Sims and J Gonzo

Batman 3000 pitch by Chris Sims and J Gonzo

 

Batpitch08 Batpitch10

 

The Action Age Comics Twice In A Lifetime World Tour 2014: Emerald City Comic Con In Seattle, Washington!

Action Age Comics Twice in a LIfetime Tour 2014 by Joe HunterCon Season is once again upon us, friends, and that means that it’s time for the Action Age Comics World Tour! This year, Chad and I are tearing it up across both coasts in our triumphant victory lap, Twice In A Lifetime 2014!

This weekend, it’s off to Seattle, Washington for Emerald City Comic Con! We’ll be there alongside “Snappy” Scott Kowalchuk celebrating the first big convention since the release of Down Set Fight. We’ve even got a signing schedule this year!

Friday, March 28:

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Chris and Chad signing at the Monkeybrain table for Subatomic Party Girls! (Since SAPG is digital, feel free to bring anything else you want us to sign or just swing by to chat)

4:00 – 5:00: Chris, Chad and Scott signing Down Set Fight at the Oni Press booth!

Saturday, March 29:

Chillin’ in cardigans.

Sunday, March 30:

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Chris, Chad and Scott are in the very first spot (AKA the Hangover Position) at the Oni Press booth, signing Down Set Fight!

For the rest of the time, we’ll be walking the show, doing interviews, digging through back issue bins (Chad still needs one issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior and I’m looking for a full run of Doom 2099), or hanging out signing, sketching and singing at our table, F-13! And just where is Table F-13? How about a little treasure map, Mikey?

Find us at Emerald City Comic Con, table F-13!

We hope to see you there! As always, Chad and I request gifts of Sun Drop™ citrus soda, since your bizarre “western” coast doesn’t have Bojangles.

Release Day! Down Set Fight Paperback and Subatomic Party Girls #3 Available Now!

Mascots! The Gregasus! Katmandont! THESE TWO HAVE IT ALL!Ohhhhhhhh snap, it is Release Day!

That’s right, folks: Not only is Down Set Fight is hitting shelves at finer comic book stores everywhere — and as Chad found out, you can pre-order it from Walmart’s website, which is weird — but Subatomic Party Girls #3 is out digitally on Comixology! I probably don’t even need to say it, but this is a huge deal for  us. DSF is Chad’s and my first graphic novel, and SAPG #3 is one of my favorite single issues we’ve ever read. A lot of that comes down to Erica, though — there’s a page in this one that I just wrote “Chase scene, you figure it out” in the script, and she did. And then she knocked it out of the park.

Same goes for Scott on Down Set Fight. It’s just a beautiful book, and when the script includes things like “mascot suplexes” and “black ops football team,” that’s no mean feat. He was perfect for this book, and I could not like how it turned out better.

Also, as always, shout out to the unsung hero of the Sims-Bowers ouvre, letterer “Jazzy” Josh Krach.

Here’s the links:

Down Set Fight on Comixology

Down Set Fight on Amazon

Subatomic Party Girls on Comixology

Go grab ‘em! And if your local shop got a copy of Down Set Fight, snap a picture and send it to me. I really want to see!

still here? Okay. Just between you and me, I’m throwing in an added bonus to celebrate the big release day. Today only, you can download Dracula the Unconquered #1 and #2, by me, Steve Downer and Josh Krach, for free. No DRM, PDF or CBZ, 48 pages of all ages action adventure. Grab ‘em here!

Down Set Fight: Chapter 5 Is Available Now!

Who wants a Dogpound t-shirt?

THE PENULTIMATE CHAPTER OF DOWN SET FIGHT IS HERE!

The Brawl Across America heads towards critical mass and the master plan is finally revealed! After following a trail of mascot destruction across the country, Special Agent Molly Harrison finally catches up with Chuck — but she’s not the only one! Who are THE SUDDEN DEATH SQUAD, and what does their leader, DOGPOUND want with Chuck? It’s one final twist before we head to the big game in next week’s final chapter, with the biggest throwdown of the series so far! Do not dare miss DOWN SET FIGHT Chapter 5: Strange Sports Stories!

Plus: Uncle Bagel!

Also, if you’re craving more information about the comic, here are a few handy links:

This week on War Rocket Ajax, Matt and I took part in the ultimate act of self-promotion by interviewing each other! I get to the bottom of Copernicus Jones: Robot Detective, and he chats with me about Down Set Fight! Plus all the usual podcasting fun.

Chad and I guested on the very fun Comics Therapy podcast, where we talk about our personal connection to Chuck’s story and what we tried to accomplish with the book, as well as examining the difficulties in setting the tone of fun, two-fisted adventure that still deals with some pretty serious stuff for the characters. It was a blast!

It all comes to a head next week in the final chapter of Down Set Fight! Hot damn!

(In a related story, I really need to quit hitting Save As Draft instead of Publish when I’m writing for my own dang site.)

Down Set Fight Chapter 3 Is Available Now!

The Bear In The Bar!

DOWN SET FIGHT CHAPTER 3 IS AVAILABLE NOW!

The strange story of Chuck Fairlane continues this week, and this is where things get wild. The guy showing up at Chuck’s school dressed like an elephant to challenge him to a fight was one thing, but when Chuck meets up with FBI Agent Molly Harrison to get to the bottom of things, they’re attacked by someone even stranger. His name’s Barclay, and he is “THE BEAR IN THE BAR!”

This 26-page chapter can be yours for a mere $1.99, bringing you one of the biggest brawls in comics, a sequence that I think Chad, Scott Josh and I are all really proud of. Grab it, and tell your friends that it’s TIME TO GET GRIZZLY!

Down Set Fight Chapter 2: The First Incident

Chuck vs. Jumbo!

The man-on-mascot beatdown continues! Down Set Fight chapter 2 is out today at Comixology! This week, Chad, Scott, Josh and I pick up with Chuck Fairlane ten years after the violent end of his career in professional sports. He’s left his past behind him and moved on to coaching high school football, but it looks like his past isn’t done with him. Ribs get cracked, kids get smacked and the mystery begins in “The First Incident!

Incidentally, this chapter also includes what I’m pretty sure is Chad’s and my favorite joke of the entire comic, the name of Chuck’s school. We figured it would have a super narrow audience, but surprisingly, it killed when we announced it at New York. Hopefully you’ll dig it, too. Grab the issue for $1.99, and hey, why not subscribe to it while you’re at it so that you get the next four parts automagically? It just makes sense!

Down Set Fight Chapter One Is Out Now!

MASCOT PUNCHING ACTION!

Today is launch day! For the run-up to the release of Down Set Fight in print, Oni is doing a weekly digital release as six chapters, and the first one is available now!

If you’re not familiar with the book that Scott Snyder calls “funny, smart, irreverent” (he actually said that without being prompted, which is awesome), this is the first full-length original graphic novel that Chad Bowers and I have written, with art by Scott Kowalchuk and letters by (who else?) Josh Krach. It tells the story of “Fearless” Chuck Fairlane, a rising star running back who gets booted out of professional football and ends up battling against a series of costumed mascots hell-bent on revenge — or maybe something a little deeper than just vengeance. In the first chapter, you see Chuck’s origin, and find out just what it was that caused him to retire in disgrace. There’s football, fighting, crime and bribery, and that’s just the prologue!

It’s funny, when Chad and I were writing the series, we intended for it to be read all in one go rather than broken up as issues, but we still did it as “chapters,” mainly because we like those Kirby-style chapter breaks. Hopefully it’ll all hang together. Either way, we’re pretty excited about it, and it’s interesting timing, too: Yesterday marked the 9th anniversary of writing about comics online. This first section, “The Wrongest Yard,” clocks in at 21 pages for $1.99, with the following chapters every Tuesday, featuring new Comixology-exclusive “covers” by Scott, and the full-length OGN in stores on February 12! Give it a read, spread the word, and come back next Tuesday to meet up with Chuck ten years later!