Not much surprises Batman, but he's about to get a huge shock when two women from another world make "First Contact."
Two DC titles, Worlds' Finest and Batman/Superman, will cross over in February and March, as Power Girl and Huntress — the Earth 2 heroes who are now secret refugees on the main DCU — will reveal their secret identities to Batman and Superman. The crossover, titled "First Contact," will span Batman/Superman #8-9 and Worlds' Finest #20-21.
That means Batman — who just recently lost his son Damian — will meet a grown woman who calls herself Bruce Wayne's daughter, as he also learns that on another earth, he married Catwoman. And Clark Kent, whose relationship with his teenaged Kryptonian cousin has been strained at best, will meet the grown woman from Earth 2 who calls herself his loving cousin.
The multiverse team-up comes from writers Paul Levitz and Greg Pak, who told Newsarama they're crafting a story that not only has "a lot of stuff that blows up," but also packs some emotional and humorous punches. At the heart of the story is the two women's quest to get home to Earth 2, but it also has ramifications beyond the two titles, as Superman and Batman become aware of the DC multiverse — and explore the possibility of travel between the different earths.
The story gets a prelude in January's Worlds' Finest #19, after Power Girl's out-of-control powers cause her and Huntress to decide they need help from their alternate earth families. January's Worlds' Finest Annual #1 will also have a few flashback story beats, as it reveals an early adventure for Huntress and Power Girl — back when they were Robin and Supergirl on Earth 2.
Then in February, the adventure begins. Will Batman and Superman discover a way to traverse the DC multiverse? Will Huntress and Power Girl return to Earth 2?
Newsarama: Paul, let's start by talking about what leads up to the crossover. We've talked before about how Huntress and Power Girl are going to reveal themselves to Batman and Superman. Is this something they want to do, or is it something they need to do?
Paul Levitz: It's more a need than a want. There's still some dispute between the two of them as to whether it's a good idea. But with Power Girl's powers having gone more and more out of control, the Huntress' point of view is, OK, if we can't figure a way out of this, at some point, we've got to get some advice.
Nrama: Why do they think Batman and Superman can help? Is it mainly because of who they were on Earth 2? Or it is about their resources to help with something like this?
Levitz: Some of it is resources. Some of it is reflex reaction, to the degree that these are father figures. Certainly, to the Huntress, a father figure, although it's kind of weird because this Bruce Wayne is about a handful of years older than she is. So that has some very weird moments attached to it, in and of itself.
But she's used to Daddy being able to solve her problems. As she puts it, if it's not her father, it's still one of the smartest guys on this entire planet.
Nrama: At the same time, Greg, your book just had Superman and Batman actually visiting Earth 2. How does that tie into the story you're telling in this crossover?
Greg Pak: Yes, spoiler alert for people who haven't read the first arc of Batman/Superman, but the Batman and Superman of our world had an adventure on Earth 2, which is where Huntress and Power Girl are from. They don't remember that adventure, because of various mystical and magical things that happened.
But one interpretation is that they are responsible, in part, for what happened to Earth 2.
So that's some potentially meaty stuff for these characters to have to deal with.
Nrama: Does that come up?
Levitz: We might be making reference to those connections.
Nrama: OK, so Huntress and Power Girl reveal themselves to Batman and Superman. What happens when they actually face one another? This must provide all kinds of great story moments for you guys.
Pak: Yeah, I was really excited about this story because, in order to tell any story, you have to have something interesting and emotional to hang your hat on. So having these characters [crossover titles] provides some great, high-stakes emotional moments for all of them.
When [Batman and Superman] are faced with people related to them, but from an alternate reality, it raises all kinds of interesting questions and challenges, because you're seeing people who have a different experience from you. And there's that question of whether or not you're going to live up to their expectations, or what they think of you. And ultimately, finding out about your "other" self basically tells you something about yourself, you know?
Levitz: There's a host of interesting personality reactions. You can play mix or match with the characters, and that's part of what we did in the plotting.
How would Helena react to a Superman who's basically her age range? She might not want to get his current girlfriend pissed off, because she's kind of a tough lady. But there might be some attraction there.
How would Batman react to finding all of this and not having known it? Not having had the advance warning? On some level, it might piss him off that he hadn't figured it out for himself. Now he's walking around in his mid-20's, with a grown daughter, and what does he do in response to that?
Pak: And Batman finds out that Huntress is the daughter of Batman and Catwoman of Earth 2. So just the idea that a version of himself would marry Catwoman and have a daughter, and then to find out what this daughter is like, is a mind-bender for Batman.
And there are just some really fun scenes there. Huntress knows how to do things that he recognizes as something he might have taught her, but he may also be very surprised by differences. And I think that kind of stuff is solid gold and tons of fun.
Nrama: Greg, what does this mean for the relationship between Batman and Superman? Because we have to remember — this is the New 52, and they aren't long-time friends.
Pak: Exactly. And in that opening arc we did in Batman/Superman, they were basically enemies. They started off never having heard of each other, and when they finally met each other, they immediately assumed the other guy was a supervillain. And they did not really trust each other.
Even though the book has now jumped forward and is in current time, Batman and Superman have worked together for some time, but not for decades. And they are still young men, and they are still suspicious of each other on a certain level. So there's a way in which their friendship, if you want to call it that, is based on a certain degree of wariness and mistrust, which is very interesting — particularly when you contrast that with Helena and Karen, who are best friends, in a very different kind of way. They drive each other crazy, of course, from time to time, but they have a level of openness and sharing, and it's very different from Superman and Batman. And that also can provide some really interesting contrast.
And because they had important relationships with the Batman and Superman of their world, they may be more ready to trust, in a way that our Batman and Superman haven't necessarily earned yet. You know what I mean? I've had experiences where another person has made it clear that they've trusted me, almost right away, and it's a little overwhelming. That happens sometimes, and it can be a real gift, because it kind of inspires you to trust in yourself, you know? It can be a really wonderful moments where it's like, yeah, I can do this. But on the other hand, it can be a burden or a very frightening or disturbing situation too. So that's another thing these characters can kind of touch upon.
End of part one...