Ricky Church chats with Batman: Nightwalker author Marie Lu…
Last week the second book in the DC Icons line, Batman: Nightwalker, was released. It was a tale of a teenage Bruce Wayne before he became Batman. Written by Marie Lu, the book is a compelling and interesting take on young Bruce, who becomes embroiled in a mystery gripping the city after a group calling themselves the Nightwalkers target Gotham City’s rich and elite after meeting Madeleine, an inmate at Arkham Asylum who is a very intelligent young woman and a central figure in the Nightwalkers.
We got the chance to briefly speak with Lu, asking a few questions about the book. She explains where she got the inspiration for Madeleine, what it was like to write about a young Bruce Wayne and be the next writer in DC Icons. Check out the interview below and read our review for Batman: Nightwalker here.
Ricky Church: Hi Marie! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I really enjoyed Batman: Nightwalker. How does a story based around a teenage Bruce Wayne appeal to you as a writer? What did you want to explore about Bruce at this age?
Marie Lu: Batman is such a heavily explored character, but Bruce Wayne less so, and aside from the show Gotham, his teenage years are never covered. What was it like to be an orphaned billionaire navigating the trials of growing up? I wanted to understand what mattered to a young Bruce Wayne, and how he found his footing as someone so interested in justice.
RC: One aspect of Bruce’s character I really liked is how he tries to place people into specific categories based on their personality and quirks. How do you think this helps him as a growing detective?
ML: I think part of solving puzzles is trying to find patterns and subsequently the nails that protrude, so a budding detective is someone who I’d imagine is constantly categorizing things: people, places, scenarios, and so on. It also made sense to me as something a teenager would do when trying to figure out where they belong and who to trust. I certainly did!
RC: Madeleine was a very interesting character in how she could see right through Bruce, yet at the same time was confused and intrigued by him. I got a very Hannibal Lecter-like vibe from her, which I enjoyed since I’m a Lecter fan. How did you conceive the character?
ML: Yes, I’m so glad you mentioned Hannibal! I wanted her to very much have a Lecter-like vibe (minus, you know, the cannibalism). Bruce is at such an impressionable age in this book, so I wanted his still shifting views and morals to be challenged by someone who could easily stand toe to toe with him. In some ways, Madeleine is his first exposure to detective training, and I like to think she had quite an influence on him. I also have a weakness for female characters with shades of gray.
RC: This is the second book in the DC Icons line after Wonder Woman: Warbringer. How does it feel to be the second author in the line by telling a story from Batman’s youth?
ML: Intimidating—and an honor! Leigh Bardugo is one of my favourite authors and people, and she did such justice to Diana’s story in Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I’m still not sure if I measured up to her DC Icons debut, but being in the same line of books as her has been such a privilege.