As Worlds' Finest heads into 2013, series writer Paul Levitz promises some surprises for Power Girl and Huntress.
The two characters were thrust unwillingly into the DCU's main earth, taken away from their alternate world (known to readers as Earth-2). Now they're hoping to return home, while also defining their new role as part of the New 52.
Recently, Huntress started working with Damian Wayne, getting to know her pseudo-half-brother as they team up within the pages of Worlds' Finest. And according to Levitz, there will be more interaction between the two displaced heroes and the characters of their new world.
Earlier this month, we chatted with Levitz about his work with Keith Giffen on Legion of Super-Heroes. Now we ask him about what's coming up in Worlds' Finest, finding out Huntress will probably meet some more of this earth's versions of her family.
Newsarama: Paul, one of the driving forces behind this comic has been the mystery behind how they got to this Earth, and how to get home. Is that going to be the focus going forward as well? Even as they're fighting these adventures on this Earth?
Paul Levitz: It's certainly the main part of what drives Power Girl. She's very focused on that. She's very conscious that she would be probably the most powerful character on Earth-2 if she was back there. And she has a responsibility. She's supposed to have been ready to take over for Superman. Superman's dead. And now, where is she? She's not able to be there to do her job.
So that's certainly her agenda in life, and that will continue to be until such time, if ever, she manages to find a way back. But that's a fairly tortured journey.
Huntress seems more comfortable with building a life here, for the time being. She doesn't view herself as being irreplaceable in the same fashion.
And I've been having a lot of fun with her meeting up with Damian. It's kind of a Robin meets Robin moment that we've done there. And that will continue to play out over the next few issues to a logical conclusion.
And I think you'll see more opportunities for both of the women to connect in with the mainstream DC Universe characters as they're here longer and more things happen.
Nrama: You mentioned that the interaction between Damian and Huntress will continue for a few issues. Can you describe what's coming up?
Levitz: Issue #7 is Robin and Huntress following up on leads of who's been tapping into Bruce Wayne's money, and how those puzzle pieces cross connect in.
Issue #8 is very much a story about the hunting of the Huntress, and what happens to her in peril. Hunter be hunted.
Nrama: There are a lot of plans for the Justice League franchise in 2013. Huntress is already bumping up against the Bat-family. Are Power Girl or Huntress involved at all with the big Justice League events?
Levitz: We're just starting 2013, so it's a little early to say on that. For right now, we're kind of operating at the periphery. But I'd be very happy to have them show up and be part of those things.
Nrama: Are you working with James Robinson on his Earth-2 story?
Levitz: We're in touch. I mean, we were bouncing back and forth on one thing over the weekend. And part of it is just trying to keep myself aware of the world he's building there. When you build an entire world, you don't answer all the questions going in. You try to answer all the key ones and then different things are revealed over time. So I'm trying to have the characters I'm writing awareness of the differences between the two worlds be informed by what James is doing, and have it make sense relative to what he's doing.
Nrama: Their clothes are being ripped up quite a bit lately. Are there new costumes on the horizon?
Levitz: No, I just thought we needed a little running gag. Given how many people were annoyed by Power Girl's more covered form, it just seemed to be a fun running gag to go through a few issues of this type of thing. Wally Wood, who really *ahem* developed Power Girl's figure -- Joe Orlando designed the original character, and Ric Estrada was the original penciller, but it was Woody who sort of went out of control on it. Woody, for a number of years, did a wonderfully silly strip for the military newspapers called Sally Forth. And rule No. 1 of Sally Forth, who was this very buxom Wally Wood military gal, was that he had to find a way for her clothes to get ripped every "x" number of pages. Of course, we're not quite doing that with Power Girl, but at least for awhile, it was fun to play with that trope. I don't think we've got that continuing straight through.
Nrama: There have been some mysteries introduced regarding radiation survival and differences between this earth and Earth-2. Are you going to be looking more at those mysteries?
Levitz: Oh sure. You see more in issue #9, and a couple of times going forward. You learn some things in issue #9 that tie back to the first issue. Things keep developing and keep connecting.
Nrama: As Huntress and Power Girl deal with their situation, how would you describe their relationship so far, and will it evolve going forward?
Levitz: I think these women have grown into being incredibly close friends. One of the things most of us cherish is having relationships that remember the same things from the past that we do. And in the case of these two gals, at a very young age, their whole world went away. The favorite candy store, the favorite bakery, the street that they used to walk on, the spot where they had a first kiss. Every reference point and every human being who mattered to them is gone, so they're deeply attached to each other, in a way that perhaps no superhero team, at least in the DC Universe, has ever been.At the same time, they're very, very different women. And their solutions to the dilemma of what life on this new world should be are very different solutions. Power Girl has a very singular mission in her head about going home, and she's doing amazing things to pull that off. But if, in the meantime, if she can have some fun, she's certainly going to have a good time doing it.
Huntress, on the other hand, is dealing with the heroic issue on a much more retail level. If I can save somebody's life, I'll save somebody's life. If I can save the life of someone in a way that's particularly related to some of the causes that were important to me and singularly were important to my mother, the things I was brought up in, I'm going to deal with that.
Nrama: Will we see more of a supporting cast in the book?
Levitz: The Huntress doesn't have much of a supporting cast on this planet. I think she's very determinately doing this solo. This isn't her world, and she feels like she's here to do a job. She lost the people she cared about and she doesn't need to go through that again.
I think we've seen a little bit of Power Girl's supporting cast. But part of it is just the challenge of the number of pages to work with. If you have 20-page stories and you have two characters as diverse as these two, and you want to get some other folks showing up from time to time, like Damian is now, that's an awful lot to jam in the pages.
Nrama: We also saw a vision of Michael Holt fighting Power Girl in the future, and he's over on Earth-2 now in that comic. Does that vision mean you know where their quest to get home is going to end, or lead, in the distant future?
Levitz: There are ideas of where things are heading. A lot will depend on how the rest of the DC Universe moves in the time to come. The way the DC Universe is constructed these days, lots of the big stories move from one book or one character to another, and you want to keep the flexibility to participate in all that.Nrama: You mentioned all these bits and pieces about their former life that are gone, and how they want to hold onto those memories in a way that connects them to each other. Yet I think readers would love to see them more integrated into the New 52 earth. I know you've started that a little with Damian and Huntress growing closer. Are they able to be integrated more, or are you more interested in exploring the mysteries about their past?
Levitz: I don't think the two things are incompatible. It's certainly an interesting thing to look at life in comparison to a baseline -- "this place is richer, this place is poorer, this place is greener" -- and react to it. So I would think that will stay a part of their conversations. But one of the goals for the next year for the book is to do things that begin to get to the "what will happen when they meet 'X?'"
Nrama: Could the "X" be Batman and Catwoman?
Levitz: That's a strong possibility.
Nrama: I get the feeling there might be some big surprises coming up in 2013. Anything you want to point out or hint about as we finish up?
Levitz: The February issue, I think, will be a very cool issue for people. That's one where we're going to have a little bit of special fun. I think it's one that people will notice and care about.