Evan Narcisse and Abel Batman: Gotham Knights – Golden City has delighted fans who can’t get enough of the world presented by the new video game. Occurring before the events of gotham knights, the story follows Batman and the rest of the bat family and retraces the history of Gotham City and its rogues. The series also features a mysterious masked hero known as Runaway, who acts as Gotham’s original protector.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, artist ABEL talked about his experience working on the series while the game was still in development. Additionally, the illustrator revealed some of the unexpected inspirations that played a part in creating the look of Gotham City’s past. For those who would like more information on Runaway, ABEL revealed how he and Narcisse worked together to design the character.
CBR: Thank you very much for your time, ABEL. What Did the project appeal to you?
ABEL: Nice to talk to you guys! When I got on board the project, it was amazing knowing that it would be a comic related to the gotham knights play. I’ve always loved video games and even though I haven’t played much lately, it would be awesome to do a comic related to them. It’s Gotham City, the Bat-Family and all the boys! On top of that, working in a 19th century Gotham City got me. It’s a very charming era to work in, and it’s great to imagine the darkness of Gotham City in such a glamorous century.
Working in Batman: Gotham Knights – Golden City before the video game was released it must have been an interesting experience. Were you in contact with the game developers? What kind of materials were shared so that you could recreate the game world?
It was really very interesting! I have all the references and concepts I needed from the start, and all the characters and costumes tie in well with the game. I watched trailers and some gameplay to get the mood of the game, and I think it really helped me feel comfortable building off of what was already established.
As an artist, who is the only character in Batman: Gotham Knights – Golden City What did you find most fun to tackle and why?
Batman is always the correct answer I think! I love how we can explore the uniqueness of each character when we see them in action. Robin and Nightwing are cool figures with acrobatic abilities, and we have a lot of them in the comic. But I must say that it was great to discover Runaway’s uniqueness, his fighting style and how they move in the shadows. Definitely my favourite!
What were some of the references you used to create the architecture of Gotham City in the past?
I really like to bring some movie references to the comics, and I thought of New York Gangs all time. But I tried to keep one thing in mind: how [does] Did this 19th century Gotham become that dark, modern Gotham City we all know? So, trying to achieve such a resemblance between the past and the present, I was always looking at old photos of a New York growing up and trying to relate them to what we have of Gotham in comics and movies.
The fight scene between Batman and Nightwing in Batman: Gotham Knights – Golden City #2 is a fantastic moment for the fans. How did you and Evan Narcisse approach this scene? Was it introduced beforehand, or did you have more flexibility in deciding how it flowed across the pages?
I think this scene is especially cool because we see Batman and Nightwing talking to each other, both with words and punches (or blocks, sometimes). evan [did] great job here in giving us the depth of this fight, so he outlined each panel, pointing out the key actions, and I followed it up with a fair amount of fun, playing around with camera angles and fighting poses. I felt very comfortable with the instructions that Evan wrote in the script, because everything in this scene made a lot of sense.
in a previous interview with CBR, Evan Narcisse explained how he provided a sketch of the Runaway. Tell us more about how you added to The Runaway.
It seemed to me that Evan had a clear idea of what he was thinking for Runaway when he sent me the sketch with some key features, like the machete, throwing knives, and the hat with the feather. All I had to do was polish this concept and add some fancy details, shabby clothing, and an extra belt for more throwing knives (and because I think two belts look great!), and it was a lot of fun doing it. I think we got to a final version pretty quickly because Runaway was already there.
Batman: Gotham Knights – Gilded City #2 is out now.