EXCLUSIVE: Exploring DC's new Earth 2: World's End title with writer Daniel H. Wilson

Apocalypse is headed to DC Comics’ Earth 2 courtesy of, well, Apokolips. Debuting today with a giant-sized issue, the new weekly title Earth 2: World’s End focuses on a planet within the Multiverse that has had its butt kicked -- repeatedly and severely.

Daniel H. Wilson, author of The New York Times best-selling books Robopocalypse and Robogenesis, is spearheading the worldwide destruction in a story that sees major characters die swiftly, Superman giving in to Darkseid, and parademons stepping aside for a nastier threat -- the Furies of Apokolips. But the baddies will face off against Earth 2’s new Superman and Batman, Red Tornado Lois Lane, Green Lantern Alan Scott and a crew of other new heroes (and questionably heroic characters like Mister Terrific and Terry Sloan).

In an ongoing Blastr exclusive, we’ll be talking to showrunner Wilson on a weekly basis to discuss and deconstruct each new issue of Earth 2: World’s End, which he is writing with Marguerite Bennett and Mike Johnson. Along the way, we’ll also be revealing pages and exciting teases you can't find anywhere else. After you read the interview, head to the media gallery below for a peek at the pages Wilson was talking about.

Now, a whole lot happens in this premiere issue, so let’s dive in and talk to the master of the super-apocalypse, Daniel H. Wilson:

This was a giant-sized issue for me as a reader. Did it feel like a giant task to assemble?

It is a giant-sized issue because it’s twice as big as a regular issue and yeah, it was tough to get everything in there. The goal was, in the first 20 pages, catch up the reader with everything that has happened in Earth 2. That’s including the various invasions, the fall of the trinity, where Power Girl and Huntress ended up -- just a ton of characters to catch up on. It was a huge challenge to catch up and launch what’s happening now. One thing that’s nice is the previous Earth 2 storyline jumps back and forth in time, and our Earth 2 will keep the timeline pretty strictly moving forward. It is pretty simple in terms of knowing where you’re at here on out.

What has been the most intimidating part about undertaking this weekly title?

The most intimidating part is going back and researching the characters, and making certain we stay true to the timeline and their motivations. Then it’s made exponentially harder by keeping track of all the experiences they’ve had with each other. That’s also an area of great opportunity. Reading back, I found areas where I thought, “I’d love to know more.” I would love to know more about why Jay Garrick broke up with his girlfriend or what happened to Sam after the train explodes when Alan Scott is about to propose. I get to go in and fill in those blanks. That’s scary but very rewarding.

Why kick things off with Alan Scott’s Green Lantern as the character readers first encounter?

The answer is symmetry. As you read more into the series, it will become much more clear why there’s so much focus on the Green Lantern and what role he’ll play. This is called “World’s End,” and Green Lantern’s job is to protect the world! We thought he was the perfect focal point to start this out and play an important role.

What characters do you have the most fondness for writing?

There are three writers on this project: Me, Marguerite and Mike. We split up characters, so most of the time we write our own group of characters, and I break the story. This first issue I wrote the first 20 pages; then, after that, we start splitting up the characters. Who I mostly write, who I love, are Mister Miracle, Terry Sloan, Mister Terrific, the World Army stuff. I have to say, I really love Terrific and Terry.

I know those aren’t necessarily the most popular characters out there, but they are the ones I enjoy writing. Those two are different expressions of almost the same person. If you have an amazing intellect and used it in two different ways, you’d end up with these two different characters. Playing with the contrast has been a lot of fun. I also love having human characters rolling with the New Gods. There’s a huge difference between a human, in terms of power level, and what New Gods can do. These are two mortals who aspire to use technology to gain godlike ability. That’s my bread and butter: Using technology to amplify yourself to godlike levels.

I love to hate Terry Sloan. Why do you think readers might have loathing for him?

Do people really loathe him? Hopefully they won’t loathe him after they’ve read this. What I do through those characters is explore underpinnings of this world, and how the technology is working. How do the New Gods do what they do, or how mother boxes work, and what is Apokolips all about? These guys are scientists and look at the world logically. They’re exploring how this stuff works. 

Maybe it’s just me, but I find myself wanting to punch Terry Sloan …

Are you kidding? You should see my scripts. My scripts say stuff like, “Panel 4: Terry Sloan grinning like an a**hole; Panel 5: Terry Sloan, you want to punch him in the face.” That’s really intentional. He’s a jerk. He’s always got the answer and is the jerk you can’t lay your hands on because he’s three steps ahead, and he knows it. 

So, this is leading to a payoff with the character?

You can never trust Terry Sloan. Never trust that guy! You can never seem to get ahold of him, either. He’s so slippery. 

Between him and Mister Terrific, who would you want to hang out with least?

Oh, I would never want to be near Terry Sloan. I would never say anything and wouldn’t want to appear important to him in any way, so I would never be involved in his schemes. His schemes get people killed. I would go to Holt just to get a job at Terrifitech. You probably get good benefits.

And maybe a giant face tattoo! For readers not currently into the Earth 2 universe, what is the pitch why readers should pick this up?

First of all, it’s a really epic story. Really earth-shattering things are going to occur. Huge events are coming. Also, this is a series that gets into the nitty-gritty framework of how the world works and why. We’re seeing new characters from Apokolips, the Court of Apokolips and eventually … I don’t know how much to give away about who we meet. 

The main reason to get into it is the emotionality of these characters as they go through this experience together. In the first issue, we see Power Girl and Huntress come back to this world after they’ve been gone for five years. They’ve both lost their parent figures and get reunited with Thomas Wayne and Red Tornado (who has Lois Lane inside her), and there’s real emotionality there as they go through this horrific experience.

What is the moment in this issue you’re most excited for readers to see?

I love a lot of moments! There are three writers, and my impulse is to answer this three times for each writer. I guess that would get laborious. But I love page 21, when Green Lantern is brought back to life and all of his determination to save the world all comes together in that one page. After everything they’ve been through, you realize they haven’t given up and are not going to give up. It’s a moment where you just go, “Yes! Let’s go kick some ass!”

My other real favorite moment in the first issue is when Power Girl, who is primed to fight, realizes it is Lois Lane inside this frightening Red Tornado robot body. She realizes it’s her mother in there, and it’s really sweet. On a dime she flips from about to have a huge fight with what looks like an alien to realizing someone she loves and cares about is in front of her. And Lois is embarrassed and horrified to have to appear in this scary form. It is a really sweet moment.

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