Earth 2: World's End #18: Batman takes the lead

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.

With only about two months left to wrap up the weekly series, the action continues to escalate, with Darkseid unleashing a literally world-ending weapon. But while the planet is attacked from above -- and from within, thanks to Darkseid's baby Deathspawn -- Batman and Huntress strike out on a final adventure. What happens as a result of that quest will have a major impact on Earth-2. Also, did World's End just give a glimpse into a pre-Crisis Earth?

This issue seems like a big Batman/Huntress installment. Would you agree, and is this setting up a big Batman endgame for the rest of the series?

This is definitely a big moment for them, because she’s been to hell and back. He has managed to save her, and that’s been his goal throughout the entire series. He finally has her back, and has saved her from the brink of death. And yeah, Thomas Wayne has a huge role to play in the final issues. Of course his relationship with Helena will come into it.

Jimmy Olsen warns Thomas Wayne that Ollie Queen has something important from Bruce. Do they even have time to deal with this?

We are cramming in one last adventure for Huntress and Thomas before the series ends, and I have to say, the outcome of their adventure profoundly affects Earth-2 for a long time.

As long as Earth-2 is going to last?

The adventures of these characters are far from over. A planet is a planet, but characters are a different story.

Will we feel the presence of Bruce in this final adventure between these two?

We absolutely will. This is what links these two. The granddaughter and grandfather never knew each other much, but they have this really important person in common. For them to go on this last quest together, to really preserve the legacy of Batman, is really special.

Can you talk a bit about Jimmy Olsen’s relationship to Thomas Wayne that we see here?

They have got a certain sidekick and grizzled veteran between them. Jimmy is channeling all this information, and has become pretty powerful in his own right but hasn’t lost that childlike demeanor. Thomas Wayne is the farthest thing from a kid. You get the feeling Thomas is putting up with Jimmy because he has information that he needs. Otherwise, he’d never stand for this bullsh-t. 

I noticed in Jimmy’s screen Hawkman and Flash from our Earth, or another Earth. Can you confirm that?

I can’t. I can just tell you artists put in easter eggs and little things that make them happy. I think this is an example of that. 

So, there is no greater significance to this screen showing the other versions of these characters?

If anything, it might show the breadth of Jimmy’s knowledge, what he knows or how far he can see.

There is a conversation between Kara, Val-Zod and Lois about what makes us human. Why have this conversation now?

I think it’s a little bit about why we’re fighting. The protofuries represent a mindless force to keep Darkseid’s dominance. We’re contrasting that with this humanity, and a desire to survive and support one another -- not just dominate and destroy. Basically, it’s this real emotional need to be in touch with humanity to know why you’re fighting and trying to survive. That’s something Lois struggles with and ... I can’t talk about that. But it’s something she’ll continue to struggle with.

It seems like there is a character shift for Fury where she finally is gaining respect for humans and what they can do ...

Those themes do relate and tie into the larger theme at the heart of the entire series, which is “Why do we fight to survive?” What is truly valuable? When the house is burning down, what do you run out with? World’s End: We know it’s going to be catastrophic with huge sacrifices. We know the question is, even if you sacrifice a whole planet, what does that mean? Are you able to continue on? And what for? And Mister Terrific’s scientific breakthrough is the culmination of a long storyline. He has been studying New God technology since the beginning of the series. He is an inventive, smart, optimistic scientist trying to figure out how the New Gods work and replicate their technology. And interacting with Mister Terrific is affecting how Fury and Mister Miracle think about human beings in general.

After a “go get ‘em” attitude from the heroes, there is a big tonal shift with Darkseid unleashing these terraformers ...

Yeah, you realize the heroes better be optimistic because they’re facing down the baddest threat you can imagine. 

The terraforming devices look a little like a Mother Box. Is that a coincidence?

There is a link. It is an ancient technology around since the creation of Apokolips and is part of the Apokolips mechanism. So I think it makes sense it has the resemblance to a Mother Box, arguably the most ancient device in this universe.

What is your favorite moment from this issue?

Hands down, my favorite moment is when Holt tells Fury, “If you can’t handle delay of gratification, then you’ll never learn any cool tricks.” Delayed gratification is a big part of my life. It is a big part of any scientist’s life, so it’s nice to have Mister Terrific there to say those kinds of things.

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