MARK WAID talks about the upcoming LAZARUS PLANET event, ‘a situation where anything could happen’

waid mark and his collaborators in batman vs robin #4 (out today!) have set the stage for planet lazarusa crossover that ranks as the first big DC Comics story of 2023.

Prior to the issue’s release, Waid, who also runs the event, took the time to speak with the heartbeat. Our conversation covered planning lazarus planet, Waid’s long history with the events of DC Comics and how that history informs his stewardship of this crossover. You can find our chat below, lightly edited for clarity, containing no spoilers…enjoy!


ZACK QUAINTANCE: Can I start by asking what was the initial inspiration for the story in Batman vs. Robin #4 was? Did you start with the father-son themes, or wanting to play with the magic of DC?

WAID MARK: They were both. He wanted to start with Batman vs. Robin, to see where that would take us, and I immediately turned to magic. I wanted a fish out of water story for Batman. She certainly knows the magician part of him, but magic isn’t his forte. It’s not something he’s completely comfortable wearing, or being in that world. That gave me the building blocks for this story.

ZACK: There were a lot of moments in this comic, specifically thinking about Batman wearing Doctor Fate’s helmet, that felt completely new. Is it something you were deliberately looking for?

WAID MARK: Absolutely. It had the advantage that we had never really made Batman as a wizard. That makes sense, because Bruce is all about control. That’s what drives him, and magic requires you as a practitioner,” he says. grant morrison – surrender to a force beyond yourself, some higher power. For all the things Bruce can do, that’s not something he’s capable of.

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ZACK: It almost seems like it undermines their famously intensive preparations…

FRAMES: That’s funny too, because Batman always has a plan. When he’s dealing with Doctor Fate’s magic, I don’t know what kind of plan he might have.

ZACK: With four big issues, what was it like writing for batman vs robin Format?

FRAMES: It gave me more room to breathe, and I appreciated it because I wanted mahmud [Asrar]’s real art of singing I didn’t inform him as well as I could have, but he wasn’t asked to draw a superhero comic, he was asked to draw a horror comic. He raised an eyebrow at first, but then he dove in and made it work. With all those extra pages, he was able to establish a sense of humor and darkness that is different from the tone of a typical Batman story.

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ZACK: I especially enjoyed batman vs Robin #4, which had multiple pieces that could have been the highlight in a different book. Was that deliberate?

FRAMES: When I sit down to think about a comic, one of the things I really think about is what are the set pieces? Where can I go with this that makes images interesting? I had a few of those lined up for this one, and I knew I wanted them to be big, emotional payoffs.

ZACK: I really enjoyed the Robin series with the tournament, and I was curious, how long ago did they start planning this story, which builds out of that?

FRAMES: It was after Joseph [Williamson] and I had started having some good conversations in the middle of his Robin rush. We started talking about how this could inform the other, and vice versa. It was partly coincidental and partly by design, but I think it all worked to make everything seem more tightly knit than we had imagined.

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ZACK: Looking ahead, can you talk about coordinating and planning what’s to come with planet lazarus? It looks like it will touch every corner of the DC Universe…

FRAMES: I deliberately wrote it with as much flexibility as I could give my colleagues, because nothing is less fun than having to write a crossover event chapter where the story has been dictated to you and you don’t feel like you have room to move. The idea with the Lazarus volcano is that, informed by the magic in Doctor Fate’s helmet, all the magic on earth is roaming the planet at once in typhoons and storms. It can have any effect on the characters that the writer wants it to have. That allows us to elevate the B-characters, it allows us to make changes to the characters that need to be made, it allows us to create some new characters, and again, it’s all magic, that gives us a pretty broad brush to paint on.

ZACK: It’s great to see monkey prince incorporated into it. Can you talk about how that book fits together?

FRAMES: When I was developing the devil nezha for The best of the world, I did not know that gene yang he was looking at the same mythology from a different angle with his book. When we realized this, what was chance became an opportunity. We were able to feed each other and make connections in planet lazarus that you will notice go back further than a month earlier with monkey prince. It all turned out beautiful, and I have Gene to thank for that. He has been as generous as a collaborator.

ZACK: It also sounds like you’re adding new characters with Red Canary and City Boy. Is that a goal for this story?

FRAMES: DC events in the past have always been amazing, but sometimes they had to do with making the world smaller or setting a new rule for the universe or a new limit for the characters. I wanted to go in the exact opposite direction and create a situation where anything could happen. That’s what all this is about.

ZACK: Do you know how many DC events you’ve worked on over the years?

FRAMES: [laughs] I have no idea, and yet I’ve only ever shepherded one or two. I’ve mostly been the guy who plays on the side. underworld unleashed It was probably the last big one I was involved with.

ZACK: Have your experiences at other events informed the way you’re framing this one for other creators?

FRAMES: Safely. Again, there’s nothing less fun than being told what your story is going to be and having to make it work. It’s much more fun to receive some opportunities than some requirements.

batman vs robin #4 is out now, with planet lazarus adjusted to start in January.

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