Post(s) tagged with "new 52"
- IGN Comics: You first began directly teasing Trinity War with the FCBD special last year, but as far as Pandora goes, she was there at the very beginning of the New 52. How long would you say you've been planning this story?
- Geoff Johns: There have been seeds of it since that far back. And as the New 52 grew out of that and evolved, the story kind of had elements that we were going to hit on, like obviously Pandora and the box and certain things that happen in this storyline. But Jeff and I cracked the story and what the story is really going to be about and how it was going to explore the teams and everything. It really takes a lot of threads that have been set up since Justice League #1 and even Flashpoint that pay off in Trinity War.
- IGN: Jeff, what point did you get drawn into this project? Was this something you started prepping for once you took over Justice League Dark last year?
- Jeff Lemire: No, not really. It happened fairly organically, because the story was in a different stage as far as what it was going to be. Once it became a Justice League-specific story I became involved, because obviously I'm writing one of the Justice League books. Once Geoff decided it would be a League-specific story, that's when it he kind of officially brought me into the process. He decided we were going to work together to break the story down.
- IGN: So far, all of the big event storylines in the New 52 have been crossovers rather than separate, individual mini-series. Why do you think that approach works best for Trinity War?
- Johns: Because it's about the Justice League. And we've never done this before. I can't remember the last time there was a Justice League event along the lines of a Green Lantern event or a Batman event or a Superman event. It really grew into a Justice League-specific story about the teams and the differences between the characters on the teams. Just because they're on one team doesn't mean they'll side with that team during this storyline. It's really an exploration of what the Justice Leagues are and what the differences are between the teams and what their purposes are going forward.
- Justice League titles should feel big and feel like they're the center of the DC Universe.
- Lemire: When Geoff and I started talking informally about me coming on Justice League Dark, one of the first things we talked about was why "Justice League" is in the title of that book. So I kind of actively tried to make that book a bigger part of the Justice League franchise and that family of books -- tying A.R.G.U.S. and Steve Trevor into it and everything. Once you had that, it became easier to make Dark become a part of this thing, because the connections were already there. We definitely talked even back then about trying to make the Justice League books feel like a family the way the Bat books feel like a family and the Green Lantern books do.
- Johns: Yeah, we spoke, and you came on pretty early with Justice League Dark. We talked for a while about A.R.G.U.S. and Steve Trevor and the connections they could have. They felt a little too separate for us, and they really are the same world. So we talked about bringing these books closer together and how the characters and storylines would come together, and Trinity War was an opportunity to focus on the Justice League. It was an opportunity to bring the books together rather than do a separate mini-series, and really make the books where the event is. Justice League titles should feel big and feel like they're the center of the DC Universe. That was our goal with the story.
- IGN: With these three Justice League teams, you've got different mandates, different members, and different personalities. How would you describe the dynamic as they all encounter each other for the first time?
- Johns: Speaking specifically to Justice League and Justice League of America, it's very antagonistic. The JLA members are undergoing training to take down the Justice League members if it ever comes to that. In Trinity War, it comes to that. Something happens where the JLA have to confront the Justice League, and things don't go down very well. And I think the Justice League look at the JLA and wonder about the government leading a team like this without any of their input or involvement.
- Lemire: And the Justice League Dark, by the nature of what they are, they don't see themselves as being part of this bigger world of superheroes. Even though they kind of are, they don't see themselves that way. There's something about the mystery of magic that the other teams aren't really comfortable with. They're kind of the unwanted step-brother of the Justice League family. They're the outsiders. Because of that, their role and how they become involved in the story makes them pretty interesting. They see Constantine as this force and this wild card they can't control.
- Johns: I feel like Constantine has this chip on his shoulder that he brings to the team and their viewpoint of the other Justice Leagues. Even with Zatanna, she was kind of forced out of Justice League Dark by Constantine. She comes into this story through Justice League. She's got a new uniform that reflects more of her superhero side. It's something Constantine acknowledges. Jeff wrote that scene, and I think it's a great little scene. But it definitely bothers him. They're doing the dirty work that the Justice League either don't know about or couldn't do.
- IGN: A lot of the speculation so far has involved what trinity the title is actually referring to. You've got the Trinity of Sin, the three different Justice Leagues, and this dynamic between Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Can you talk a little about how these various trinities factor into the conflict?
- Johns: I think what trinity it's referring to is a bit of a mystery tied to the whole thing, and it'll definitely be explored within the book. Is it about the Trinity of Sin? The trinity of Leagues? Is it about Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman? What does "trinity" mean? What is it all about? That's something that the story explores. The cover is beautiful and really sells the action of the story, but at its heart it's a mystery. It's a mystery that's very character-driven. And that Trinity War and what that is is at the heart of the story.
- The Question almost embodies the entire approach to this storyline. He's a big mystery.
- IGN: As far as the Trinity of Sin goes, we've seen a lot of Phantom Stranger, obviously, and Pandora has popped up here and there since the beginning of the New 52. But The Question has only appeared a couple of times in the build-up so far. Is there any reason why he's been kept off the table more than the others, and that he's the only one of the three that won't have his own solo book by the time Trinity War begins?
- Lemire: I think what Geoff said about this story being more of a mystery at its heart than a blockbuster action story, that's reflected a lot in The Question. It's obviously a mystery in terms of who he is and how he's going to interact directly with the DC Universe, because we haven't seen him much. The Question really is at the heart of the mystery aspect of the book. Pandora has been there from the beginning, and Phantom Stranger has his book. This story is a great platform to introduce The Question in a really big way; I've always loved the character. To me, writing scenes with him has been the most fun so far.
- Johns: Yeah, The Question almost embodies the entire approach to this storyline. He's a big mystery. And you'll know who he is and what he's all about by the end of this story as well.
- IGN: Both Justice League and Justice League Dark kicked off new storylines this month. I'm sure you guys wanted to have fresh jumping-on points in advance of Trinity War, but are there any elements in these stories that are specifically building towards the event?
- Johns: Justice League #21 is the conclusion of the Shazam storyline that Gary and I have been doing for over a year. It really closes out this first chapter of Billy Batson as Shazam and everything with Black Adam, and it leads directly into Trinity War. Justice League #19, which is already out, and Ivan Reis and Joe Prado did a beautiful job on it, and Justice League #20 are basically the prologue to Trinity War. There are things happening here. Someone broke into the Batcave and stole the Kryptonite ring, and now Despero has it. Who did that, and why? What is the purpose behind that? The mystery of who's hacking into the Watchtower and all of that is paid off in Trinity War. So Justice League #19 and #20 and #21, the conclusion of Shazam, are all kind of setting the stage for where Justice League goes next.
- Lemire: In Dark, we saw Zatanna leave the team at the end of the previous arc. That obviously leads into Trinity War. You'll also see the Flash join the team in this current arc. This is sort of the first chance you'll get to see one of the main Justice League members interact with the Dark team. That interaction leads toward the bigger story coming up.
- IGN: When you have crossovers like this, part of the challenge is always in trying to maintain a consistent visual tone with the different artists. Can you talk about how the story is shaping up in that regard?
- Johns: We have some of the best artists in the business working on these books, so it's been great. We've got Ivan Reis and Joe Prado on Justice League #22 and #23. We've got Doug Mahnke, who's coming off of Green Lantern, doing JLA #6 and #7. And Mikel Janin, who's been doing great work on Dark and is doing those Dark issues. So we've got three of the best artists in the business on this storyline. They're all partners on this.
- You look at that cover by Ivan and Joe, and they deliver that scope and they bring the power and action of it. But they also bring emotion, and that's something I know Jeff and I look for. The action is awesome, and the mystery and intensity and reveals are great, but there's got to be emotion behind all of it. It's got to affect the characters in a real way. Obviously the artists on this are uber important, and we've got the best.
- The ending is going to change just about everything.
- Lemire: And also, I think having the three regular artists doing these three books helps keep each book's identity. Even though it's one story, each chapter keeps the identity of Justice League Dark in the Dark issues, and so on.
- Johns: Also, what really kicks off this story is an unexpected death and the circumstances surrounding it, and I don't think anyone's going to be to be expecting it. And it's not necessarily about the death, but the circumstances around it. When Part 1 comes out, I think it'll become very clear what kind of story this is. This is not just a "Let's put our heroes up against each other and have them fight like action figures." This is a mystery that's going to affect the teams from here on out. And the ending is going to change just about everything.
- CBR News: By this point we've see that the gatefold cover for "The Flash" #19 is the gatefold cover that reveals the new Reverse Flash. Brian, you wrote this one solo -- does it function as a prologue to your and Francis' Reverse Flash story that begins in issue #20?
- Brian Buccellato: Absolutely. The issues were sort of written in advance of the initiative to do the gatefold covers so we were able to work in a prologue, or I guess an epilogue at the end of #19 that leads us into the Reverse Flash arc moving forward.
- Francis Manapul: I felt sort of bad for Brian because the story he was writing was really good and could have benefitted from those few pages. So I'm sorry those pages had to go to Reverse Flash, but we had to make the cover make sense! [Laughter]
- We spoke with you a while back when you were first starting on the Reverse Flash design and at that point you two said you did not want to use the yellow and red costume. What was the design inspiration for the black and red Reverse Flash bodysuit?
- Manapul: We wanted him to look scary. That's the basic thing that we wanted. Reversing the color, it's a classic idea and there's a reason for it; since this is a brand new character we were able to make his costume rise out of the story of how he got his powers. What's going to be really exciting is we'll see Flash and the way his costumes comes on and comes out of his ring and it latches onto his skin -- Reverse Flash comes out in a different way, it's a lot more visceral and I think it's going to be really exciting to see on the page. I don't think that readers have seen something like that before for Reverse Flash.
- Buccellato: It's not an arbitrary decision, the look and feel of it. There's definitely a story point to it, so hopefully people will like it.
- Manapul: It's directly tied to how he gets his powers.
- While you two are not able to say who Reverse Flash is--
- Buccellato: Absolutely not. [Laughter]
- We've seen many versions of him, some who are insane, some who are just plain mean, etc. What sort of villain is your version of Reverse Flash? How does he stand apart from the Reverse Flashes who have come before?
- Buccellato: I think he's really selfish Reverse Flash. He has his own agenda, and it's a very personal and selfish agenda, and the Flash gets in the way of that.
- Manapul: Basically their rivalry grows out of this story. He doesn't start out being his arch-nemesis but by the end he will be. Like Brian was saying, they're both on a collision course for both of their directives. Out of that we're going to get some really interesting dramatic sequences from these two. When you say Flash, outside the Rogues, the first villain most readers will think of is Reverse Flash. Were there any specific stories, characters or eras you were drawing on for your version?
- Buccellato: Not really. Because there were so many great stories told already, a lot of them are stories we didn't want to repeat, we didn't want to go down that same path. So we decided to go a different way and you're going to have to wait to see what you think of it. But at the end of the day he's not Thawne and he's not [Zolomon] Zoom; he's his own person and he has his own reasons for doing what he does.
- Manapul: We're essentially creating our own mythos with this Reverse Flash. Obviously he's extremely inspired by the Reverse Flashes of the past but we thought the best thing to do was to try to create him from scratch and take it in a new direction.
- Since we're talking about recreating Flash, one of the big pieces of recent news was the passing of Carmine Infantino, the man who revived Flash for the Silver Age. As the two guys reviving Flash for the modern age, did this give you a new perspective on the character and Infantino's classic stories? What was your reaction?
- Manapul: What's interesting about that question is that it didn't make me think we were doing something similar to what he did; if anything, what we're doing is smaller. When he brought the Flash back not only did he reinvent the character but he basically ushered in the Silver Age. It was something that impacted the industry in a very positive way, so to be able to affect the industry both from a business, artistic and aesthetic standpoint, that's a huge influence to have. Honestly, I don't think we're anywhere close to doing something like that!
- Buccellato: We don't pretend to be walking in his footsteps. That's historical and monumental. We're just happy we get to tell our stories and hopefully people who read his work and enjoyed what he did will enjoy what we do to because we try to be respectful of everything that came before, especially his work. I mean he created a whole new world for comics, didn't he?
- Manapul: That's the thing too, when Brian and I were first plotting out the stories we read a lot of those issues he had worked on collected in the "Showcase" books. Those were a huge influence on us in terms of trying to recapture that feel, the sense of imagination that those books had. His influence on not just this book but also the industry in general has been monumental, so I don't think we should be in anyway compared to what he's done!
- Any favorite Infantino stories from your "Showcase" research or any that really impacted you and the way you see Flash?
- Buccellato: I read all of those "Showcases"; there wasn't a specific story but I think they had an interesting feel. There was just something that was very him. All the bad guys had the same kind of origin and they all wanted the same kind of things, they were all thieves and robbers and had these weapons and stuff. So there's no specific one, but just the feel for who the Rogues were and who Barry was and how he related to Iris.
- Manapul: Yeah, I read a lot of that in one sitting. It impacted me in two ways: as an artist it made me want to push and figure out different ways to portray speed because you see the way he does it with multiple images and things like that. To his credit, that's a lot of work to do that. So we try to do something different, and like Brian was saying the thing that we really were most inspired by was to try and capture the same essence those books had. It was a lot more sci-fi than a lot of other superhero books out there -- but it had this charm about it, a little bit of a wink, a little bit of a smile. The villains at the time he was doing were really interesting, I really like a lot of the inter-dimensional stories that they were doing. There was a particular story where this other dimension was watching over Earth and our misfortune was our entertainment. I don't remember the name but I thought it was a really, really fun story and I think that's what we're trying to do, infuse that same sensibility. Instead of being influenced by the story we were influenced by the sensibility the early books had.
- To bring it back to what you're doing with Reverse Flash, at the very beginning of your run you guys were working with the theme of being overwhelmed. With the Gorilla Grodd story you introduced the theme of homecoming and belonging. What is the theme you're working with in the Reverse Flash story? Is it an extension of homecoming, or is it something completely different?
- Buccellato: It's probably an extension. I think family is very important in this arc, and it's really tough to say more! [Laughs]
- Manapul: Okay, if the last arc was about coming home this story is probably more so about having that home and how do you keep it. Barry Allen, Patty, you put them together and you have this great relationship. He has a home, he has somebody to love him -- now, how do you keep that? Essentially it's about being able to appreciate the now, not thinking about the past, not thinking about the future. Those are important things you have to have when you try to maintain a relationship. He's balancing being a boyfriend, he's balancing working at the precinct, he's balancing Iris who is now back in the picture, and on top of that he has to figure out the mystery of who is Reverse Flash. With all that piled on, how do you keep a home? How do you maintain a family life?
- To end, ever since it was announced you guys were working on a Reverse Flash story one name has popped up over and over about who it might be. I think the Internet would burn down CBR if I didn't ask, so here's our obligatory Wally West question: Is Wally West Reverse Flash? Manapul: You know what would burn down the Internet? If we told you yes and you put that in the title and followed it up with "...No, Just Kidding!" [Laughter]
- Buccellato: We don't have any plans, there's no plans for Wally. Who knows what the future holds -- but not right now! [Laughs] I have a question for the CBR community out there: would they rather see Wally West as a villain and have him in the universe or not see him at all? I wonder what people think about that. Is it enough to just have a dude with orange hair whose name is Wally West? Or do you want the character and the person that you really loved as a teen who was under Barry's wing and became the Flash and became the greatest speedster of all? Food for thought.
- Manapul: That's a great question. I do want to follow that up by saying nobody get your hopes up, the results of this will not change anything! [Laughter]
- Buccellato: We're not gauging because we're not changing anything!
- Manapul: They can put on their saddest puppy eyes, the little kid who dropped their ice cream looking you right in the eye -- and me and Brian are just going to keep walking! [Laughter]
- "The Flash" issue #19 is on sale April 24.
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