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.
The new issue opens with Doctor Fate bugging out of London, leaving Hawkgirl and Flash rotting away as a result of a spell he cast on the fury Famine. If that sounds bad, things get worse when Aquawoman decides to basically unleash hell on the surface world and Desaad goes all Cryptkeeper on Huntress. Wilson digs into the good, bad and very ugly of the issue and teases his love for Lovecraft and the maligned movie Alien: Resurrection.
Doctor Fate casts a spell of reflection on Famine, which backfires and everyone gets infected. He then takes off and leaves Hawkgirl and Flash suffering. Is Fate on his own path?
Fate comes in and out. Sometimes, it’s Khalid, sometimes it’s Nabu. He doesn’t bother to explain who is who at any given time, and he’s really unpredictable. You never know what he’s going to do. He is really powerful, powerful enough to take out a fury, but you never know if he’ll bother to do it -- or if he’ll be babbling nonsense or be off on his own quest. Humans in this four-dimensional space can’t understand the motivations of a creature of a five-dimensional space. He is seeing the world through a fractured lens, and we can’t understand the decisions he’s making all the time. He knows a lot more that’s going on than almost any other character.
When he heads off to find Jimmy Olsen, he says the “helm of Nabu calls to its own.” Does he see something within Jimmy connected to his own power?
Yeah, absolutely. A lot gets revealed in the issue after this as far what’s going on, and what’s the connection between Jimmy and Doctor Fate. You realize also that Fate has his own Famine ability on accident, which is totally typical of Fate’s magic. It is unintended consequences; you gain something in one place and lose something in a different place. He is the one inflicting this famine all around him, and he goes straight to Jimmy. The question is why.
What was the inspiration behind having Aquawoman summoning the Lovecraftian creature Azathoth?
Just my love of Lovecraft! I just love all of Lovecraft’s stuff, and I guess I always thought, if Atlantis had something buried in its deepest basement -- something locked away forever -- of course it would Azathoth, a dark one, a nameless thing from the void. Bringing that to the world was, again, a chance to let [artist Jorge Jimenez] shine. He really created a cool-looking monster. We haven’t seen him yet; he’s being awakened and that’s just the seal in this issue. But she is awakening a Cthulhu-like entity from beneath Atlantis, and bringing that into the storyline. It is just something I wanted to do.
Does Aquawoman fully realize the ramifications of releasing this surface killer?
Yeah, she doesn’t care! She doesn’t care if that thing goes to the surface and kills everybody as long as she protects her people. At the end of the day, we’re not the same on the surface as the Atlanteans. We’re not necessarily allies. She is thinking that she can’t trust the World Army. She doesn’t care. This is the Atlantis version of a nuclear strike.
These are Superman clones in the Geneva fire pits. These are a problem, right? One Bizarro is bad, much less a whole army of them.
These are all malformed clones, and a big inspiration for this part was my love for a questionable movie, Alien: Resurrection. It is one of my favorite movies, and there are scenes in there where Ripley sees all of these malformed versions of herself fused with the alien. That was an inspiration for this scene in the fire pit. Looking at all the wrong outcomes of this research, and seeing the mutant clones. It is a great cover [next week] where we’ll see a two-headed Clark Kent and they all have Frankenstein staples; I love that.
Following that is Helena’s scene with Desaad, where it is something out of a horror movie …
It is very Saw, isn’t it? Some of the artwork with Desaad, they took his hood off and we’re seeing how truly scary that character is. Some of the artwork with him in later issues is just nightmare fuel. Earlier I hinted at Desaad being the appropriate character to play this role, and he really is. He is named after the Marquis de Sade. He is a sadistic torturing individual, and this is exactly what he’s into in the pits. It is right up his alley. And it is a super scary moment when you wonder what he’s going to do to her and will it be [affects a theatrical tone] “a fate worse than death”?!
I want to see Grundy and Green Lantern in a buddy-cop spinoff after watching their dynamic in this issue. But then we have a heartbreaking moment where we learn Sam was about to propose to Alan. Then we find out he’s the White Avatar. Is this heartbreaking, but also hopeful for Alan?
The appearance of Sam as the White Avatar pays off in the very last issue. He is integral to the story, and the role he plays is integral to the growth of the Green Lantern and what he becomes by the end. This is heartbreaking for Alan to see the person he loves come back, but he is not the person he loves anymore. Or claims not to be. They are both in this new form, and that is an ongoing theme in the series, especially with Red Lantern (with Lois inside) and seeing the Clark Kent clones. Yeah, this is a heartbreaking moment, but one with a lot of hope. Alan Scott is not a person who takes no for an answer, even if it is Sam telling him no.
What is your favorite moment from this issue?
I have to say, when looking at the art coming in, the thing that blew me away was the appearance of Ted Grant. He is so awesome! That page just cracks me up; he looks like your really tough uncle and is a great complement to Dick Grayson. You just know those two guys are going to have fun adventures together. And I think the stuff with Sam and Alan is portentous for the rest of the series.