Books

Paul Dano Talks About The Batman Prequel Comic Book, Riddler: Year One

DC Comics has revealed the first look at the prequel comics book to Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Titled Riddler: Year Onethe comic book series will focus on Edward Nashton’s troubled past that gradually led him to become Gotham’s serial killer, The Riddler. In the movie, we saw how Riddler was affected by the city’s corruption. Apparently, after growing tired of repetitive failures of the corrupt city administration to do good for people, Riddler decided to exact revenge on the ones responsible. Such rage and anger point to a significantly scarred past of the character, which this comic book series explored deeply.

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Talking to IGN at the SDCC, Paul Dano, who has written the comic book himself, described how his character from the film will receive a substantial backdrop and traumatic history. Thus, filling in for the explanation concerning his troubled mental state and terrorizing personality.

My comic, Riddler: Year One, on the plot level, is about following the numbers towards corruption. But really, it’s an emotional horror story about trauma.

The comic book series will comprise six issues and will be published under the DC Black label of DC Comics. The label publishes stories that often cater to mature audiences and allows writers the liberty to make their material somewhat R-rated. Since Paul Dano has penned the series himself, and his take on Riddler was assured darker, the readers may rest that his comic book series will take that live-action brutality up a notch.

Talking about writing the issues without restrictions, Paul Dano said:

For them [DC Comics] to give us the keys with Black [label] and say, ‘do what you want,’ that doesn’t mean we are going to do anything senseless. But, it does empower us to kinda take the story where we want it to go. And I am very happy to have this support from DC.

Adding further about the writing and design process, Dano talked about his collaboration with designer Stevan Subic, who created the graphics for the series.

I am so excited to be the one to share Stevan’s voice because I think he is very good. And we have a super intense collaboration. His ink work is incredible. There’s something textural and emotional happening in his stuff that I think is really strong.

Stevan is a Serbian artist who has previously worked on issues of the Conan the Barbarian comic series. As per Dano, Riddler: Year One is Subic’s first project in the United States.

Paul Dano Has Been Penning Year One throughout The Batman Production

In the interview, Paul Dano talked about the idea of ​​converting Riddler’s story into a comic book issue. He revealed that giving his characters a backdrop is his way of getting into the character when playing them on-screen. It was a part of his process as an actorand that is where he began taking mental notes on Edward Nashton’s past.

One of the things that I do as an actor to get me into characters [is] I like to write out the backstory. I try my best to bring the life the character has lived to the scene and to page one, and I try to get to a place where sort of the unconscious of the character is at work as well.

Paul Dano said he tried to take these notes as a comic book, even on sets to match that character’s “archetypal comic book energy” with his cartoonal.


Before The Batman: An Original Movie Novel also took us back to Edward’s past. The novel featured Edward Nashton’s days at the Wayne Foundation orphanage and tried to connect the audience with a young kid growing weary of being neglected by Gotham’s elite.

However, this series will be more accurate and just to the character as it’s Paul Dano who’s writing it. The entire concept has come straight out of his observations and brainstorming about the character. Moreover, the fact that he has already put up those crazy on-screen emotions would make Riddler: Year One a perfect prequel to the film.

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