Following a 20-issue run in Detective Comics, Rucka’s latest Batman project is a nine-issue limited series entitled Batman: Death and the Maidens. It promises a major change in the Dark Knight’s rogue’s gallery.
During a panel at Atlanta’s Dragon Con, DC coordinating editor Ivan Cohen asked Rucka if there would be a lot of Ra’s al Ghul stories after this. “No there won’t, Ivan, because this is the last Ra’s al Ghul story.”
“So you’re saying that when Geoff (Johns) wants to put him in the Flash he won’t be able to?”
“That’s exactly what I am saying.”
Rucka joked “Ra’s goes into space, and that is the ending. He joins the Omega Men.”
“Then he becomes The Spectre,” Cohen added, continuing the joke.
But Batman isn’t the only DC super-star on Rucka’s resumé.
Rucka is also proudly helming Wonder Woman, and has high praise for artist Drew Johnson. “Drew’s art is amazing. It gets better, and better, and better.
“He showed me my favorite panel in issue #197. Every time he shows me his boards I say, ‘Oh, look at that, that’s my new favorite.’ So my new, new favorite is this gorgeous little shot of Diana, it’s just a headshot, and the wind is whipping, and her hair is crossing her face, and she says – because I didn’t want to use ‘Suffering Sappho!’ Suffering Sappho always seemed to me a little soft for someone who, you know, occasionally decapitates monsters – so the curse she utters is ‘Gorgon’s Spit.’ And it’s perfect. His panel is perfect, and that perfection Drew is extrapolating throughout the book.”
Rucka feels Wonder Woman has been shortchanged over the years, and hopes to change that. “We’re trying to give Diana the due that she is owed, significantly owed in my opinion.”
“If you’ve never picked up the book, now is the time to pick it up. If you haven’t picked it up and you’re nervous, give us five issues. If at the end of that, you go, ‘My God, they destroyed everything!’ you’re free to go. But I don’t think you’ll do that, I think you’ll want to stick around.”
Rucka hopes to offer a new perspective on the Man of Steel as well. Beginning in April, he takes over writing chores on Adventures of Superman, with art by Matthew Clark. “We’re gonna show Clark as an aspect of Superman, and show Lois, and show why she is the person that Clark is in love with. And we’re gonna try to throw a couple of things at him and that can’t be solved by, say, x-ray vision and being able to catch a crashing 747.”
Regarding the 2004 election and how it will affect Lex Luthor’s presidency, Rucka refuses to answer. “I will say that changes are afoot, and I will add editorially ‘thank you.’ I’m glad that these changes will happen. I think that they kind of boxed themselves without meaning to and it’s time to shake that up.
“We’re very excited about this. We’re beginning preliminary design work, Matthew and I have been talking, and I get phone calls from Eddie (Berganza) saying ‘When do I get to see stuff?’ and I say ‘Soon.’ And he gets a little nervous and I laugh and then I hang up. It’s funny to watch Eddie get all twitchy.”
Praise and adulation? Scorn and ridicule? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org