Artist Cully Hamner is working with writer Joe Casey involving on TENSES, a two-issue Batman story targeted for next year.
"Now, originally, way back when, this was going to be a six-issue arc in LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, and somewhere along the way, DC decided that they'd rather have it as two 64-page issues in the Prestige format," Hamner says.
"I suppose that this better fits into a TPB later on. But for anyone who might complain about the price, I say this: you're paying the same amount of money, actually, that you would for six regular-sized comics, and you're getting better paper quality, and a longer-lasting binding. Where's the downside?"
Here's how Hamner describes TENSES:
"TENSES is about two guys: Bruce Wayne, who is trying to mold his past and present into something he can use; and Ted, an abject loser who's desperately trying to avoid a horrible future encroaching all around him.
"It's basically a 'Year Two' story, in which Wayne (who's only been back in town for about a year, after traveling the world) is causing a big stir among the Gotham elite with some unusual business practices. Nobody seems to know why he's doing the things he's doing (selling major assets, laying off workers, closing businesses). We can assume, of course, that he's getting all his ducks in a row, in order to finance his just-beginning War on Crime. But he's doing all this without considering that he might be creating the kinds of conditions that actually cause more crime.
"Ted is the kind of guy that you feel sorry for in your heart, but you can't help tripping every now and then. Born loser. Nothing about this guy says that he will ever be successful in anything. His father left and started a new family when he a little kid; all he had left was his mother, who has recently died, and his job at a department store. And he has visions. Visions of the future.
"Anyway, these visions start to drive him off the deep end. He loses his job -- apparently due to drastic layoffs mandated by the store's corporate owner, Wayne Industries -- and eventually ends up on the street to be used by unsavory types for unsavory ends."
Hamner says he's having "a blast" finally getting to draw Batman.
"It's amazing to me how easy and natural it is to draw this character," he says. "I guess it could be because I've drawn him since I was, like, five or six; I'm used to it.
"Joe Casey's given me a lot to work with, character-wise, so I really wouldn't expect your usual slam-bang action-fest. There's plenty of physical stuff to it, but there's a psychological dimension that makes it a bit more interesting."
Dexter Vines is inking TENSES, with Sean Konot lettering and Lee Loughridge handling the colors.