Every week, we have spoken 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. The comic is instrumental in the lead-up to the publisher's upcoming Convergence event, and in this Blastr exclusive we explore the issue with Wilson -- along with the rest of the writing team, Mike Johnson and Marguerite Bennett -- and offer a sneak peek at what readers can look for in this final installment.
In the following conversation, we discuss the unique challenges of Earth 2: World's End, as well as some of the writers' favorite moments and characters. Also, we explore how the series leads into the upcoming Earth 2: Society monthly, also written by Wilson.
Marguerite Bennett: I love the introduction of the Furies. The first time we see them is a promise of just how weird this series was going to get. I love their visual designs, and personalities.
Daniel Wilson: I love it when Green Lantern sees the Multiverse, and we get that callback splash page. There is a spiraling line of generation ships, and that refers back to that opening page and we saw all the differing planets. I love that, because it pulls everything back and reminds us it is now all about escape. It is all about protecting human lives, and not dirt and rock. I also love when Apokolips opens up to consume the planet. I want that as a toy.
Mike Johnson: My favorite moment wasn't a big one, but I loved writing Ted Grant beating the crap out of Dick Grayson, and teaching him how to fight. It felt important in that moment for Dick to come to grips at that moment and decide whether he was going to keep fighting or not. With all this horrible stuff going on, Ted didn't sit there and say, "Everything is going to be OK, don't worry, let's go find a beer ... in the rubble." Instead, he gives him some tough love.
Were there particular characters you fell in love with over the course of this?
MJ: One I didn't work on but absolutely love is Jimmy Olsen. What Daniel did with him was an incredible journey, and symbolic of the whole series. He went from a Point A and rocketed into something you'd never conceive of him going.
DW: I really enjoyed watching Kara come into her own. Everything that happened with her, I'm really proud of. I think it is a lasting, interesting, positive contribution to her character. To see her go through this crucible and step up, and assume the mantle of Superman ...
MB: Absolutely. Kara was my favorite, also. Her relationships with Val, Huntress and Lois were meaningful to me.
And you covered up the cleavage window! That's also a lasting impact. Who has emerged from all this as the most powerful character, considering the power-ups you've given to Kara, Green Lantern and Jimmy Olsen?
DW: I think that's clearly Green Lantern. He has got all the Parliament, all the Avatars; he's learning how to lens the power of all the earths. He is just this conduit for a massive amount of power. That amount of power completely overwhelms a person and you have to say goodbye to being a human. He becomes almost an elemental force.
What are some unique challenges of this series?
MB: Working with a series this large? At 26 issues, and as a weekly with a six-month window? By the time your first issue comes out, you're almost done writing the whole series. And you have to see what's working or not. There are demands of plot for our series, and for a series this ties into, that requires characters to do things we didn't think were in character. We had to come up with solutions to serve the needs of characterization. There was a learning curve there being that this was the first weekly for all of us.
DW: DC is moving from New York to Burbank while Convergence is coming out. As a result, there was a unique situation where a major series were being written simultaneously. We had to know where we were going and had to stick to it. That creates an inflexibility. We took it as a challenge, and every time someone threw something at us and said, "Oh, by the way..." If they were well into Convergence and this stuff is happening, they were picking up our characters and someone had to be there at this time. You have to roll with it. There was complex coordination.
MJ: One of the things I was apprehensive about getting into a weekly was having too many cooks in the kitchen, but it's helped having Daniel. It has been a problem in the past when weeklies have been attempted, but when you have somebody like Daniel crafting the overall story streamlined the process. Our workflow helped the book in the end.
DW: We definitely got into a groove. I'm so new, so if you want to blame anything on anyone, blame it on me. These guys did an awesome job making everything they got better. But we did reach a groove, but there was a lot of learning.
MB: Daniel is a beast; I've never seen someone turn out plots as exciting with the speed and rigor as he did.
MJ: I'm going to miss it, actually.
DW: That was my introduction to comics, so turning to this monthly [Earth 2: Society], I am like, "Well, how am I going to only write one comic a month? Can I just give you all of it?"
MB: We've been in this foxhole situation, this boot camp. We've gone through this weekly together. I was at a holiday party with an editor at another company, and he was like, "Hey, I hear you're working with Mike Johnson; what's that guy about?" I got really cold and frosty with him. He was joking because they're friends, but I was just, like...
MJ: We've been through a weekly together! Don't talk about my comrades! Thank you, Marguerite.
Who is really left on Earth-2 at this point?
DW: Last page of issue 26, the world has ended: There has been a flash of light, and we're missing some people, that being Yolanda Montez, Val-Zod, Flash, Green Lantern, Thomas Wayne, and Dick Grayson. Everybody else is on the surface. Now it's just Darkseid and the Court of Apokolips drinking mai tais on the surface of this Earth they've taken.
So, this is now Darkseid's planet?
DW: Yes. It is a big food pellet for Apokolips. It joins many others.
Is Darkseid going to be content with this?
DW: I believe we will see Darkseid stirring up more trouble. He has essentially built up an army, and refueled his battle stations.
What is the Society of Earth 2: Society, which is the series that picks up after this title and Convergence?
DW: There is a lot of mystery, and it's going to be revealed through Convergence. But from my perspective right now, looking to Earth 2: Society, it is the survivors on those ships, and how they are going to rebuild a new world. What I love looking at from my godlike viewpoint is this looks a little like World's End from a different perspective. It is people showing up to a planet and taking it over for their own. That is exactly what Apokolips just did to Earth-2. It is going to be an interesting storyline, and see it interesting to see it play out from the perspective of people who have just been conquered.
And these characters are very important for Convergence. We've known that from the first day. What we were doing was important set up work for Convergence. You'll see a seamless transition from this to Convergence.
What do each of your look at most fondly from your experience on this title?
MJ: I'd be happy to work on a weekly again. I was nervous at the beginning because I heard horror stories about working on a weekly. But this was a lot of fun, especially when Daniel is doing most of the heavy lifting! But I love how a bunch of creative people come together.
MB: I think Mike hit the nail on the head. I think we really made something here. We did more than survive. And we need to pour out something super fancy for all of our artists, our team. There were so many people working on it, and they were just phenomenal.
DW: This series will always be special as my inaugural voyage, my first real serious foray into comics. I'm thankful DC gave me the opportunity and so much trust, and allowed me to learn so much over the course of this. I'm so invested in these characters that I'm also thankful to continue the story with Society.