Exclusive: First look at DC's Infinite Crisis digital first

If you are having a rough time navigating your way through the universe, you should feel really bad for Batman. The Caped Crusader, along with the Flash, Cyborg, Zatanna and a host of heroes from other parallel worlds, has been trying to make his way across multiple universes on a mission to prevent colossal destruction.

Based on the multiplayer battle arena game of the same name from developer Turbine, the DC Comics digital first title Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse is a worlds-spanning adventure where versions of familiar characters team up and face off. Written by Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy), Infinite Crisis involves a super-weird super team assembled by Harbinger and the last Monitor to battle the Two-Faced, who is bent on causing multiversal collapse. So far Arcane Green Lantern, Gaslight Catwoman, Atomic Wonder Woman, Nightmare Robin and Batman (just Batman) have been traversing the “bleed” between universes, but Mecha Superman, Gaslight Lex and Arcane Zod have also joined the effort.

Along with an exclusive look at Chapter 14, which debuts on DC digital this Monday, Abnett joined Blastr to chat about Fight for the Multiverse.

Q: Why is it fun for you to write within the multiverse? Which multiverse character are you having the most fun with?

Dan Abnett: The DC Multiverse is an amazing place, with such a wonderful range of classic, iconic characters ... and all the possible variations that follow. It’s fun because it’s playing with, let’s be honest here, some of the greatest characters in the world, and then finding ways of extending them, finding new iterations, finding connections and fun twists on famous pieces of continuity … My faves so far ... ooooooh, too hard! But I think it would come down to a tie between Prime Flash and Nightmare Robin. And Batman. And Arcane Green Lantern ... and ... and ...

Q: What are you looking forward to fans seeing in this installment, Chapter 14?

Abnett: I loved this episode, and Tom Derenick’s art is killer. We’re on Mecha Earth, where the heroes are robots. It’s so stylized and techy. Flash, Zatanna and Cyborg, the "classic" versions from Earth Prime, are seriously out of their depth and adrift, cast into the Mecha Earth to help Mecha Superman (loving him so far, K.A.L. is so loyal and kind) fight a truly monstrous threat. Take Godzilla, magnify him, you get the mythical titan Arcane Doomsday. Metropolis is being crushed. How can they even begin to stop that ... and live?

Q: Why is Chapter 14 especially important to the story arc?

Abnett: I guess it’s the place the story starts to change, and the Prime heroes, drawn involuntarily into the Crisis and initially puzzled and confused by the revelation of the Multiverse, start to become proactive. The Monitor’s chosen champions start working with a purpose. They start to show their true courage ... they start to show what makes them world-class (Multiverse-class?) heroes. 

Q: Have you played the MOBA game?

Abnett: Yes, and it utterly rocks. Though I write games (Alien: Isolation, Shadow of Mordor, Guardians of the Galaxy etc), I’m not much of a gamer (too busy writing, to be honest -- gaming takes time and commitment). But I love IC.

Q: How has that enhance or affected your writing?

Abnett: I thought it was essential that I play it, to understand what Turbine is doing. I want the comic to reflect the game, without trying to literally reproduce the experience. I wanted to produce a story that echoed the playing experience, and perhaps added greater context. The comic tries to take the fierce combat experience of IC and shape it within an ongoing narrative.

Q: What is the appeal to revealing content through a digital first format?

Abnett: I don’t know if it’s an appeal, exactly. DC has chosen to publish digital first, then print. That’s fine with me. Writing for digital format means learning new layout and storytelling skills (because of the differences in page "shape" and "structure"), but it also offers the chance to try new things and exploit the format. I’m having a lot of fun finding out what I can do with the digital format, while still producing stories that work in print form too. Double-page (print) spreads, for instance? They can happen. You just have to think about the different format presentations and then blend them.

Q: If you have spend an extended period on any of these Earths, which would it be?

Abnett: Gaslight appeals very much. Atomic is dangerous, Nightmare is lethal and scary, and I just flattened Mecha. So I’ll go with Arcane. I’d go with Arcane anyway. An amazing place of beauty, ritual and magic, with deep codes of honor and tradition. And Zod. Good old Zod. With his hammer. 

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