Every Wednesday, we speak with author Daniel H. Wilson for a detailed recap of Earth 2: World’s End, the weekly DC Comics title he’s spearheading about an alternate earth devastated by its prolonged war with Apokolips. In this Blastr exclusive, we explore the issue with Wilson on the day it hits stands and offer a sneak peek at what readers can look for in future installments.
After accidentally freeing Darkseid in the last issue -- while trying to kill him (oops!) -- Mister Miracle has a knock-down, drag-out fight with his dad. Except Miracle is the one who receives most of the knocking down. But while "Father's Day" shows the Big Bad of Apokolips returning to his throne, and reveals Barda was in league with him the entire time, the issue set entirely on the god planet is largely dedicated to the loyalties of Miracle and Fury. Following some insight from the always-slippery Terry Sloan, the pair choose a side between the humans of Earth-2 and the New Gods.
The first thing I thought when I was reading this issue was, “C’mon Barda!” She’s been playing us all along.
Yeah, she threw them under the bus for the big man. But couldn’t you tell? I like Fury as a character, with her backstory. She is pulled in two directions, and has a lot in common with Miracle. When you think of Steppenwolf and Wonder Woman, she has light and dark. Barda, from the beginning, you can tell the darkness of Apokolips runs a little thicker in her veins.
By the way, my favorite part there is when Holt and Sandman are hanging on for dear life, and Holt asks, “What can we do?” And Sandman says, basically jack sh-t, these are gods. We can get out of the way.
Then the humans are pretty much out of the story for this issue. Then we have a back and forth with Miracle and Darkseid. Could those Boom Spheres hurt Darkseid?
Oh, they could. He is actually in danger, but he manages to force the spheres to touch each other, which destroys them (if they can eat anything, it can eat each other as well). This is the kind of a moment where it’s a force of will. Who is going to take control of the Boom Spheres? Miracle thinks Darkseid will take them away, but he does something more clever.
There is an interesting point Darkseid makes, which is that Miracle was born a god, but he wasn’t. He made himself into a god. That self-made man thing is an important point, and speaks volumes about Darkseid. He was able to achieve that much, starting from nothing. That’s the difference between them.
In what seems like a very un-Darkseid thing to do, he extends his hand to Miracle. Is this a sincere gesture from him? Does he want his son by his side?
It is. That is absolutely sincere. He never pulls punches, so when he’s fighting Miracle, he’s trying to kill him. Miracle survives, and that’s the moment Darkseid sees he’s a worthy ally. But he says he’ll extend it once, and you’ll say yes or die. It is one of my favorite lines. I like this idea: “Fight alongside me or I will sharpen myself against you.” That is a compliment, the idea that Darkseid could have upped his game by fighting and defeating Miracle, but having to work at it.
Then why doesn’t he follow through? The next time we see Miracle, he is still alive in this torture chamber.
As you see later, Darkseid is not completely able to do anything he wants. He has certain peace treaties to respect. It is not explicitly stated, but you could imagine there are agreements with New Genesis and potential value in keeping him alive.
And Fury says she’ll align herself with Darkseid, and joins the Court of Apokolips after Barda betrays her.
Barda was elevated to Doyenne of the Furies as a result of freeing Darkseid, but then gets defeated. And Fury is elevated to her position. She is given a similar decision of join me or die, and she acquiesces.
Was Fury always planning on duping Darkseid, or was she convinced to switch sides by Sloan?
She was duping Darkseid the whole time and was planning on saving Miracle no matter what. She was doing what she needed to do to survive for the moment. Sloan gives her this information, and you realize he is an oily snake but is doing everything he can to save his own world -- and save Earth-2. Even though he is a snake and his goals aren’t aligned with the people of Earth-2, he has some kind of humanity. He reaches out to Fury to give them the answer they’re looking for to the question “Who should we fight for?” And we see Miracle realize in that last scene, there are no gods he wants to fight for.
And this Sloan, wherever he’s from, has a treaty with Apokolips and New Genesis to sacrifice Earth-2 as food to save his own world -- wherever that is?
They’ve all agreed they’ll sacrifice this universe to Darkseid. That’s what really sickens Miracle. And remember, we don’t know where Sloan is from or how powerful he is. We know one of these universes belongs to him, and Darkseid wanted to take Sloan’s version of Earth, but he found a way to shift everything so they went to the next Earth. It is nothing personal, but Sloan is now here and sees what he’s done, so he’s trying to do what he can to help the people of Earth-2. Saving the people of his Earth are still his first priority. He is a bad guy with a silver lining of humanity.
Why would Sloan show his hand to Miracle like this? Might not Miracle tell others that Sloan has been playing everyone?
What Sloan is showing is that this is bigger than him. He is facilitating communication between the most powerful entities in the universe, and is showing Miracle there are no good guys. If you go to wherever the hell Sloan is from, he’s probably the biggest hero that ever lived! He would be the hero of that universe. He is showing to Miracle how epic and momentous this situation is.
Wait, what happened to the guy in the throne on Apokolips, the personification of the planet?
That’s a good question. I guess we don’t really address that. He was always thought of as being part of the throne. He is drawn as a total character, but he was drawn back into Apokolips. He was a physical manifestation of the planet so now he’s gone back into. In the original stuff I wrote, I had an idea we’d see him grow out of the throne, and we’d see him appear, but that kind of never happened. At some point he became the character we saw.
Maybe he is off on his own adventures now …
Yeah, there’s a page missing of Darkseid punting him off the throne!
I don’t know if there is time for love in this saga, but are we seeing a budding romance between Miracle and Fury?
You know, that looks like it could be where it’s going, but we’ll have to see how that plays out. I think they’re perfect for each other! That’s my personal opinion.
In my opinion the final page is really great and epic feeling, but what’s your favorite part of this issue?
Definitely my favorite image is that last image. It is a heroic pose, everything is aligning, and you realize humankind has two new powerful allies.
It balances out that earlier Darkseid pose where he stood above everything. That was his big villain pose, and this is the big hero pose. This image feels straight out of an old Flash Gordon serial …
Yeah, the old Star Wars posters! I like the classic hero pose. It gives me the tingles, the goosebumps. The villain pose is fun; there’s always a heap of good guys dead in a pile. That fills you with anxiety, which motivates you to read. But the hero pose fills you with hope. You look forward to a lot of ass-kicking.