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 newest issue of Earth 2 begins and ends with big bangs, and both happen on Apokolips. But in between, readers learn a lot about the inner workings of the New Gods. From the fate of a fallen fury to the lifeblood of Desaad's machine and even how the gods float around, our heroes become detectives to discover secrets behind Earth-2's invaders.
This is our first conversation of 2015, so do you have any nerdy New Year’s resolutions?
Well, I’ve given in a bit to the self-monitoring, health-tracking, drink-tracking craze. So I’m using technology to give in to a new generation of narcissism. That would be my resolution.
Are these health wearables the beginning of Robopocalypse?
I would say it certainly gives a malevolent A.I. an opportunity to get to know us in very intimate ways. The trick is to have a malevolent A.I. in the first place. I think it’s more worthwhile to wonder what Google is going to do with our information than the evil robots. But it definitely is an advantage to the robots.
Well, as far as issue #14, Commander Khan is on a collision course for Darkseid’s Tower. Does he realize he’s going to die?
He thinks it’s a suicide mission with a goal to deliver a surprise attack. He thinks he might get away with it, but does give himself insurance by transmitting all of Sloan’s data on that ship back home.
To what end? He says it will be salvation to humanity but the Shackleton Assault Craft is a warship.
That’s something not given away quite yet, but there’s a lot of data on that ship. This is Terry Sloan’s staging area. This is where the Traveler put a lot of his information, and a lot that’s not about just the Shackleton.
How did Khan’s death impact you? Was it difficult to let go of this character?
I felt like he is a super soldier who kind of represents the World Army. With him going, you realize there is no longer a situation where the World Army is going to be able to save everyone. It is a situation that is going to call for heroes to step in. I really like him as a character. He went out pretty hardcore. It was a bummer to have to sacrifice him, but we’re at the midpoint of the series and things are ratcheting up. He had a great ending: He got killed by Darkseid! What an honor!
Khan wasn’t a super hero, but Darkseid considered him enough of a threat to take him and his ship out …
Yeah, even though he did it nonchalant, arms behind his back, not even looking at him. He just kazapped him. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
In the newly formed Atom’s Haven, we learn there are a lot of people missing on Earth. Is this a new revelation?
Yeah, a little bit. This is the first chance they’ve been able to take stock, and get the survivors in one place. They’re just now realizing the level of devastation. This is also a call out to the firepits and the armies Apokolips has been raising.
So all these missing people are probably going to show back up in another form?
Jimmy Olsen is floating in mid-air, taking in data from the Shackleton and looking at these energy screens. Is he at the peak of his powers right now?
I think so. He’s always been a communications hub type of character on Earth-2 and all about hacking into systems, and connecting different people together. He’s always done it as a kid sneaking around but has graduated to being the eyes and ears of the World Army. That’s the role we’ll see him in. It is a big moment to intercept this information because this is where we see him mastermind a really crazy plan.
There is this training scene between Dick Grayson and Ted Grant, so what is your favorite training montage from pop culture?
I’m a huge fan of the hero’s journey and of seeing a hero start out so weak then come out powerful. My favorite example of that is probably Paul Atreides [from Dune]. He starts out an orphan little kid then you see him on a friggin’ sandworm by the end, and you realize he’s made his journey. But this is fun watching these two out there. Ted Grant is a realist but also funny, and I love he’ll just act with his fists first. He doesn’t really need to resort to words. But he’s a mentor, letting Dick take on more of the fight. He’s always there as a safety net but is making sure the people around him are able to stand up for themselves since he won’t always be there.
Back in the firepits, we see Thomas Wayne inject Superman’s blood into his body. Is this Batman’s new Miraclo addiction?
Yeah, he’s moved up a level beyond Miraclo to Venom, which is the lifeblood of Desaad’s firepits and all the parademons and his other champions. This is a continuation of the plot of how Batman deals with his addiction … now that we’re thinking of it, talking about Superman’s blood, it feels biblical but that wasn’t the intent.
It doesn’t seem like the Parliament of Earth and their avatars are gaining much ground. Should they be concerned about how things are going?
It is a fight that is going back and forth. They get the upper hand then get knocked down. Both sides are adapting. When the Four Furies lost a member, they replaced her. But the Avatars are slowly getting stronger. They’re getting more and more members assembled while they basically have the furies at a standstill. I think the Parliament should feel ok.
Hawkgirl and Flash find the body of the fury Famine. This seems significant that she no longer appears to be a fury, correct?
This is really important. They are kind of the detectives in this. They don’t have to keep trading blows with the furies just to keep the last of Earth’s survivors alive. They are off looking for creative ways to defeat them.
Speaking of detective work, Michael Holt is a science detective in this final scene. I can just imagine you enjoyed writing this scene where he learns how the light discs work that the New Gods float on.
They’re attacking Apokolips and the goal is still to detonate the nukes. The question is how do they pull the trigger without killing themselves. Holt notices the abilities the gods take for granted, and works on a theory to use them they’ve never been used before -- to create a shield that protects them during the detonation.
Was this a “hell, yeah” moment when you get to write word bubbles like “It’s always a good time for science”?
This was one of my favorite scenes in the issue for sure. I absolutely love the way Holt thinks. This is why he’s fun to write. He thinks like a scientist, and in the way I think I might if I were in the same situation. He doesn’t take anything for granted. He is in a comic-book world but still thinking like a scientist, and a way to exploit the abilities around him. It is super fun to get a character that explores something we’ve all taken for granted forever. I’m sure those discs of light were originally drawn because they’re cool-looking, and it’s fun to get deeper in the explanation.