As Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel team up for Image’s new series Nocterra, Snyder recalls how Daniel influenced one of his biggest Batman stories.

While the upcoming Image Comics series Nocterra marks the first major collaboration between creators Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel, the two also worked alongside each other at the start of the New 52.

As Snyder and Greg Capullo began their acclaimed run on Batman in 2011, Daniel took the helm on Detective Comics as writer and artist the same month. Daniels’ opening issue ended with the Joker’s face gruesomely cut off, with the shocking development directly setting up Snyder and Capullo’s fan-favorite story “Death of the Family.” Snyder recalls that Daniels’ Joker development was borne from the promise that Snyder would write the subsequent follow-up on his own title.

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“We became friends ten years ago when I started on Batman, he was like a mentor — he was already an industry veteran — and he was kind to me when I was starting Batman in the New 52,” Snyder told CBR. “We bonded over what we were going to do with the Joker: DC wanted us to kill him or lobotomize him and Tony and I came up with the idea of taking his face off together. And he was like ‘If I do that, you’ve got to have a story for it!’ and I was like ‘I have a story for it, I promise you!'”

Snyder revealed that he approached no other artist to co-create and develop Nocterra, with the two comic book creators preparing to immerse readers in the high-octane tale of a world shrouded in eternal darkness. And while “Death of the Family” brought horror to the heart of the Bat Family, Snyder and Daniel are looking to double down on the terror for Nocterra.

Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Tony S. Daniel, Nocterra #1 goes on sale March 3 from Image Comics.

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