Earth 2: World's End #15: Jimmy Olsen, are you a god?

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 rise of a sidekick and the death of a hero. Even though the Jimmy Olsen of Earth-2 is not the same we've known for generations, there is a certain ironic symmetry in his achieving becoming something more than human in an issue that also has Superman facing his end as a mere mortal. This, along with the continued butt-kicking the avatars are receiving courtesy of the furies, adds up to an issue packed with action and emotion as the plot advances.

We have detonated the nuclear weapons on Apokolips, but Barda says the attack failed. Were the nukes just a waste of time?

Yeah, they were a waste of time. Nukes are boring. Everyone always wants to use the nukes; I’m sick of the nukes. We’ve made fun of them a little bit before in the series. The World Council says, “We have only one choice,” and Khan is like, “Let me guess: the nukes.” It is always our solution to everything. It is our most powerful weapon that humans ever thought of, and it is our go-to device when aliens attack. So it was nice to take them off the table. 

There is a pivotal moment with Jimmy Olsen where he loses his Mother Box, but he doesn’t lose his powers. It tells him he is of the source, not a god and not a man. What does that mean?

There were a lot of internal discussions about Jimmy’s long-term future; it’s some pretty cool stuff we’ve been cooking up since the very beginning. We will see ultimately what happens there, but he’s going to be out of my hands after this series. I know what I’d like to happen! But essentially what’s happened now is he was fused with a Mother Box, so he has been elevated to being more than just a human. Now he is in touch with a god-level of knowledge about big moving parts and what’s going on with this universe. We kind of see that coming out from now on. He is almost sort of a muse. It fits with him and his character.

He does say the transmission he picked up from Khan is a Generation Ship. Can you talk more about what this is?

So that’s what’s floating out in space, near where they picked up the Shackleton. I forget what issue it was, but I said in the interview there was a certain page I mentioned you should pay close attention to. If you look very closely, you can see the Generation ship behind the Shackleton. I think it was accidentally drawn! I saw it and said, “Whoa, we can’t give that away yet,” so it was put behind some camouflage. That’s how Sloan was hiding it there. But this ship has already been built, and it is part of Sloan’s long-term plans and he did not expect anyone to find it was there. This is part of Sloan’s deeper plan, and I can’t give away more than that.

Famine, or the former fury that was Famine, gives us insight that these beings can be undone. They can be returned to their former states. But they don’t particularly want that, do they?

No, they don’t. They’re chosen to be champions, and are champions of extinguished worlds. They don’t have anything to go back to. And they were chosen because they make good furies. The monthly goes into the backgrounds of the furies, and what world they came from. War in particular has a great backstory; she’s just a little savage. Here we get a little glimpse of the backstory, and it’s kind of fun to think they came from a doomed world and they’re continuing the mission on our world. And they pick up a champion from our population. 

Has Sam, the White Avatar, been killed here?

No, he hasn’t been killed. He might have been hurt. 

It sort of looks like that. Once again, it looks like the avatars are getting their butts kicked lately. 

They are. They are scrambling to get the avatars together and combine their strength. Their goal is to defeat these furies. All they’re able to do at this point is protect others from getting hurt by the furies, but they’re not winning. 

Is Ted Grant happy with the actions of Dick Grayson? Is he happy with his pupil’s advancement?

You can see Ted in the background, watching as Dick picks those thugs apart using what he’s learned. I would say he’s happy Dick is doing so well but always worried. He is hoping he’ll turn out to be the right kind of hero.

In a great image that recalls the "Death of Superman," the issue close with the second death of Clark Kent, who allows his blood to flood into Desaad’s machines to destroy them …

Yeah, we’re seeing that Clark has sacrificed himself to save them. We find out more of the repercussions of what he’s done in the next issue. But he has struck a major blow for the humans to destroy the armies in waiting.

In the final image we have Lois/Red Tornado cradling the dead Clark with Batman, Power Girl and Val-Zod looking on. But Yolanda, the Red Avatar, is creeping behind them. Is she still a threat?

That is a little ambiguous on purpose. It is clear they’re mourning Clark, and the Red Avatar is not attacking. She has been set free. It isn’t clear what is going to happen to her, but she has been set free of Desaad. This is a big win, I think. And yeah, how great is that art?

What is your favorite moment in this issue? 

Marguerite wrote some really great dialogue at the end when Lois is saying goodbye to Clark. I really like the last page; it has a great combination. It is sad but has an amazing, scary monster rising up behind. Altogether, it is a crazy amount of emotion on one page. 

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