Earth 2: World's End #17: Congrats, it's a baby Deathspawn!

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Apr 29, 2019, 6:31 AM EDT (Updated)

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.

Helena is cured from death, but the heroes have little to rejoice about. Not only is Darkseid's child Deathspawn bursting like a xenomorph on the scene, his other child Kalibak pulls a Kool-Aid man through a wall, with an entrance that promises a lot of pain. Read ahead and learn about about the making of this week's Earth 2.

The title of the issue is "Rebirth," so is this the rebirth of Helena or the rebirth of evil, and the birth of this Deathspawn?

It applies to both. This whole issue is about coming to life. Thomas Wayne is a surgeon, and he uses his medical knowledge and Venom to bring Helena back. But you wonder if this is a monkey’s paw type of situation. Do you really want what you wish for? When you see her in this scene, doesn’t Helena look a little bit crazy? She’s back but is now probably addicted to Venom, just like her grandfather.

There is a symmetry to Helena gasping back to life and the Deathspawn bursting forward ...

You’re totally right. They’re on the same battlefield, and you’ve got enemies and allies both being introduced to the equation.

So, Helena is becoming a new kind of monster? 

Yes, in the same way Thomas Wayne is his own kind of monster. The Venom has certainly had an effect. We’ve seen Helena undergo a total transformation into a fury, thanks to this same substance. We can certainly expect she’ll be different. But at least she’s alive.

Also alive is this Deathspawn. Instead of engaging the heroes, it seems to have another goal.

Yeah, Deathspawn has a really specific goal and reason for existing. There is a reason he was with the Fury of Death. It is all going according to plan from Darkseid’s perspective. Deathspawn is a new, insidious, never-before-seen threat to the Avatars.

As much as last issue was when where the heroes gained ground, is this when the villains have their moment?

There are a lot of different villains. On Apokolips, they mostly have faith in Darkseid. The Court of Apokolips have their own issues, but not all of them trust each other. They’re always scheming. But the bad guys don’t feel like they’re winning. They just had a big loss, so they’re trying to put together more weapons for another assault.

We are introduced to these proto-furies. How much of a threat do they pose? Whereas the furies had personalities, and spent time with them, these don’t seem distinct. Are they souped-up parademons, or will we learn more about them?

We learn a little more about them, and see glimpses of their mythology. There is an easter egg about them in the monthly, Issue 31. They don’t have individual personalities, but they are a force multiplier for Barda. She’s more dangerous. She figures out all the good guys are now out of Atom’s Haven -- humans have fallen back to defend themselves but also made themselves vulnerable because they’re all in one place. Barda want to hurt them where it hurts, and go after the weakest remaining forces. They’re a huge threat to the survivors.

Atom’s Haven isn’t exactly the safe place it was meant to be because humans are falling apart and fighting. Is that our downfall?

You’ve got a lot of people who are desperate and put together in one place; they’re not all necessarily good people. So there is going to be some conflict among the surviving humans together. For the most part, it is the safest place to be in the world. 

Who is this guy with the glowing eyes?

That might be a surprise. If you are following closely, you can figure out what that’s all about. We’re not letting on yet, but there’s something fishy in Atom’s Haven. There is some kind of mysterious threat on the inside they’ll have to deal with.

Is this location, a city in need, a kind of place where Dick Grayson could thrive?

I like the way you think!

Let’s talk about the generation transport ship. It bears a passing resemblance to a TIE fighter …

Oh yeah, it does. Although it’s massive. What I love about the generation ship is it’s literally consuming an asteroid. There’s a huge chunk of rock embedded in the thing, and it’s using it as raw material to build more of itself. Sloan has this thing self-assembling.

So then it could continue to build itself to, for instance, house a lot, lot of people?

I think that that’s possible. We’ll have to wait and see, but that’s clearly a big problem: How to get all the people out of there.

Mister Miracle is aware that The Source has chosen Jimmy. Is Miracle fully aware of what that means? And does he have respect for Jimmy now that he’s more than human?

Mister Miracle definitely respects Jimmy more. Remember not even New Gods understand Mother Boxes. They don’t understand what their motivations are, or how they work. It is interesting to have these characters beyond men and gods. So Miracle sees Jimmy as worthy of more respect but potentially someone to be wary of. You never know what a Mother Box is going to do, and why. You don’t really have control over them, at the end of the day.

The issue ends with a very big entrance of Kalibak. This seems like it has the potential to really shake things up, yes?

On the power balance, for sure. We’re getting pretty far in the series. We’re doing 26 issues, so this is 17. We are getting down to it, and he certainly has a big impact going forward. But what are you going to do about him? He’s really powerful and brutal. And he immediately goes on to give one of my favorite, coolest lines in the series in the next issue. It involves him and Jimmy Olsen.

And Barda is surprised he’s there?

Barda doesn’t know about this, so she’s not super happy about him showing up and potentially taking the reins away in these battles. He’s an incredibly powerful adversary, and is the kind of villain to show up to mop up.

DC Comics is moving towards Convergence. The miniseries covers that have been revealed have shown a lot of Earth 2 characters. Are you worried that we know who might make it out alive?

No, that’s not my call. It doesn’t concern me, and I trust everyone else to take care of that stuff. And you still never know. If you saw someone on the cover, you never really know what’s going to happen. I am really excited these characters are such a big part of DC’s future work. This stuff matters, and we’re really building on these characters stories and they’re going to be continued.

The name of the series is, after all, is Earth 2: World’s End. So we fully expect it to end. 

But what does that even mean? That’s one thing I thought a lot about. What does it mean for the world to end? It is a purely human notion. Unless you physically destroy an entire planet, which is not very likely -- outside a comic-book universe -- the idea is the end of civilization. No more society. It is interesting; that’s what people mean when they say “world’s end.” It means we lose our culture, what it means to be “us.”

What’s your favorite part of this issue?

My favorite part of this issue is Doctor Crane and his suggestion it’d be a good idea to fit all the people on the ship by simply removing their brains and put them in jars. He’s like, as soon as you get rid of everyone’s bodies you have plenty of space. He thinks it’s a great idea because he’s a brain shoved in a robot body. I love that moment when Michael Holt says no offense, but everyone would rather die.