June 7, 2016

While Kate Kane/Batwoman and Cassandra Cain/Orphan/formerly Batgirl, are two entirely unique and important characters in the Batman mythos, casual or new readers might be confused. What distinguishes the two from each other as well as from the rest of the team?

What she really doesn't have are interpersonal, human interaction skills. She knows some words, but she's not that good at communicating. She's a very silent character, and she is figuring out herself and her role. She has to throw herself into her work a little too much. You'll see in the next issue that Batman has set her up with her own apartment, but she's never been there. She'll crash on Stephanie Brown's couch in the middle of the night, and Stephanie wakes up and finds Cassandra in her bloodied costume, watching TV, having clearly beat the crap out of some bad guys. [Laughs] She is in a formative place.

The first team members we meet in "Detective Comics" #934 are two former Robins: Stephanie Brown and Tim Drake, A.K.A. Spoiler and Red Robin. These two share a long history, both professionally and romantically. What is the status of their relationship in "Detective Comics"?

There is a reason that I introduced them together, and I think that's something that I want the readers to discover as the series moves forward -- but we are definitely going to play off the fact that they have a history. Their relationship in the Chuck Dixon run in the 1990s on "Robin" was when I met and fell in love with Stephanie Brown., and a lot of that drives my take on Steph. I'm going to be playing into elements of that, and you're going to see it unfold over the course of this arc, but they are definitely pretty close these days. [Laughs] We'll let the readers see where that goes from there.

Batman's Black Ops Team: James Tynion IV on the Cast of Rebirth's "Detective Comics" Edit

CA: Did you find that any of the relationships between these characters, and their relationships with Batman, changed through the course of your work on Eternal?

JT: That’s an interesting question. The only two characters in this cast that had consistent interaction back in Eternal would probably be Tim and Orphan, Cassandra Cain. Spoiler stayed in Gotham City, Batwoman wasn’t really involved, and obviously Batman was dead at the time — well, not exactly dead. We were all there.

But it was really being able to play with these characters in a way that I wasn’t able to do in Eternal that was really the fun here, like finally being able to build the relationship between Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown. That was such a powerful relationship in old Batman continuity, but now we get to see it re-emerge in a new way here. We’ll see where Harper Row fits in that mix in the series as we go forward, even though she’s stepped back from superheroics for the moment.

The two biggest relationships that I’m most excited for are the relationship between Batman and Batwoman, and between Batman and Tim Drake. That latter relationship has not been as defined in the new continuity, in the way that all of the other Robins have been defined.

Tim’s my favorite character in all of comics. It means a lot to be the one who gets to really dive in and explore what that means in the past, in the present, and how that story moves forward into the future.

James Tynion IV Talks DETECTIVE COMICS, a New Base, and Character Relationships Edit

What about Tim and Stephanie? Are we're going to see their relationship go further?

Oh, yes. Honestly, one of the big things in this book is I wanted to really dig back into the core relationship between Tim and Steph because that was how I met Stephanie Brown. That's how I fell in love with that character, back in the [Chuck] Dixon Robin series in the '90s. That's where I fell in love with both of those characters, so this is my digging back into the Steph that I really fell in love with as a character. With Batman Eternal, we were able to really introduce her back into the mix, into DC continuity. There really haven't been a lot of big stories with her. She's had small appearances here and there, and those all contribute to the larger picture. One of my primary focuses in this book is giving Steph her place in the larger mythos of Gotham City.

I don't mean to say that as her place is as a partner to Tim Drake, because it's a bigger issue than that. That's not what my goal is at all, but there are things that come out of that relationship, especially at the end of this arc, that really set her in motion. Our second arc, which will start this fall, is going to be a very Spoiler-centric arc. I am very, very excited for that. We have a huge, huge plan for Stephanie Brown, and then also huge plans for Tim Drake in this series. Everyone's just going to have to wait and see what they are.

STEPHANIE, CASSIE & TIM Are Back to Fight a Bat-Army In a Renumbered DETECTIVE COMICS Edit

Nrama: Let's talk about the team. Can you run through the characters who will be starring alongside Batman in Detective Comics? I assume you wanted to return to Stephanie and Cassandra, since you were so instrumental in bringing them back to the DCU?

Tynion: Yeah, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain are two characters that I've spent most of the last two years bringing back into the fold. And I'm thrilled to be able to really bring their stories to the next level, because in Batman Eternal, we introduced Stephanie, but it was bringing her to the point where she was a hero. Then with Batman and Robin Eternal, it was bringing in Cassandra Cain so she's ready to take the shape and the position that I felt she deserved in the DC Universe.

This is finally the book where I get to pay all that off and bring them forward. And I get to do it, also, side by side with Tim Drake, Red Robin, who is literally my favorite character that exists in all of comics. Every single issue of this run, I think, will show how much I really love the character, because he's right at the heart of what they're building here.