CBR News: Well, Grant, it appears this may be the last time for you making the press rounds on the monthly superhero beat.
Grant Morrison: Yeah, this is it. [Laughs] The monthlies are over!
Let’s start a bit with how “Batman Incorporated” has hit lately with the fans and the press. It’s been odd watching the reaction to Damian’s death and people bringing up the death of Jason Todd years ago in comparison. When Jason was killed off, he’d only been Robin in a short number of issues, and he was not well liked. Damian on the other hand was extremely popular and has established himself all over the DCU at this point. Did you think at all about what the reaction would be when crafting this story? Did you follow the response online?
I got asked about the Jason thing up front back when I did my first interviews, and it never really came up again. And that was really weird. It was kind of like Jason Todd was one of the most awful things to ever happen in comics, and is this the same thing again? But Jason Todd died because a bunch of people called on the phone, and Damian died because his creator decided to do it. It had to fit into the story and have a certain effect. Damian was built to die in the same way that Xorn was built to be Magneto [in "New X-Men"], even though people still don’t believe me. [Laughs] And I think that’s the real distinctive difference between the two. Damian was created to occupy a space in an ongoing story in a way that Jason Todd wasn’t.
And Jason went through quite a few metamorphoses, if you remember. He was the red-haired kid who had exactly the same origin as Dick Grayson. And then suddenly he was a black-haired kid who stole tires off the Batmobile because they wanted to make him seem like more of a bad guy before they wiped him out. There was less control over who Jason was, which is what makes him very different from Damian who had a pretty straight throughline all the way.
You had said very early on that your original plan was to kill Damian at the very start of this whole story. Did the plan to come back and kill him always stay in place, or did you waver on it as the story was told?
No, I knew I’d come back to it in the end because it had to happen. It just didn’t seem right in that first story. I’m really glad I didn’t do it then. It’s like that “Doctor Who” story when he meets his daughter and she dies 50 minutes later. She’s never really mentioned again. It meant nothing, and it didn’t really matter to the Doctor that she was dead and gone. So I thought by giving Damian an actual character arc, it’d make it much more important when I decided to do what I was always going to do anyway.