Paul Levitz is inventing a whole new story for DC concepts like Krypton, Superman, Thomas Wayne, Batman and Wonder Woman in Worlds' Finest, as the series changes directions in October to tie into the Earth 2: World's End weekly.
The series will go into the past of Earth 2, depicting what Levitz calls "moments" from a timeline he's created for the alternate world's history. And although the origin of Earth 2 Batman and Superman will be central to the stories Levitz is telling, readers can expect to not only learn about other heroes from Earth 2's past, but also learn secrets that tie in to the weekly World's End.
Levitz, who's not only a legendary writer, but also the former president and publisher for DC, launched Worlds' Finest in 2012. The comic has focused on Huntress and Power Girl, who've been stuck on Prime Earth since being accidentally transported there from Earth 2 . But over the next couple months, the two heroines are returning to their home world, meaning a whole new direction for Worlds' Finest come October.
In the first part of our interview with Levitz, we discussed the next few months of Worlds' Finest, including its Futures End tie-in issue in September.
Now we talk to Levitz about what's coming in the future for Worlds' Finest… or rather, the past … and whether Levitz is tying this into his ending to Legion of Super-Heroes.
Newsarama: What does Worlds' Finest become in October? And why did this story interest you as a writer?
Paul Levitz: It's a really interesting challenge. The guys asked me to do stories of the Earth 2 Superman and Batman. And the way James launched Earth 2, he picked them up essentially a second before they died.
We've had a little earlier information revealed, but not very much. So I re-read all of the Earth 2 material that's been published, so I can find all the little factoids, all the elements that I could use to build a timeline, and say, alright, let's do, essentially, the secret history of Superman and Batman. Let's look at their origins on Earth 2.
We've seen something of Batman's origin in the Thomas Wayne storyline that they've done, but that's certainly not all of it. And we've seen almost nothing of Superman's origin on this world.
It's sort of an Elseworlds sort of environment. So what else can have changed? What are the key moments?
I tried to pick out a set of moment spread over the time from the beginning of their origins to the moment the invasion form Apokolips really begins. And I spaced the story out over six months to tell that key information.
Nrama: Can you give any examples of what might be different in this telling of the Superman and Batman origin?
Levitz: There's a very different set of things happening on Krypton. And I tried to build on what the guys had set up with Thomas Wayne [who's still alive on Earth 2, and Bruce Wayne knew it], to play a little bit more with the Batman origin and reveal a little bit more on Thomas.
And you're going to get, I think, interesting glimpses into Lois Lane and into Ma Kent, and a number of different characters who'll be meaningful to the World's End weekly, because you'll see them in earlier moments in their life through all of this too.
Nrama: You said you were spacing it out over six months. What I'm envisioning is six little, like, vignettes set in different time periods over the history of Earth 2. Is that what you're describing?
Levitz: Yeah, although I don't know if I'd use "vignettes," but "moments" along there.
The first issue is very much immersed in the Krypton story, told a different way, with a slightly different dynamic going on.
And a moment when Bruce is an infant, where his father — whom we've previously seen having some challenges with his behavior — he gets himself potentially in some fresh trouble.
The title of the first episode is "Temptations."
So you don't have, actually, an adult Superman or Batman in the issue at all that month.
And then we'll leap forward in time meaningfully in each of the different stories.
Nrama: You mentioned Lois and Ma Kent — will we see Wonder Woman at all?
Levitz: Oh, absolutely. Remember that Wonder Woman on Earth 2 is not the same age as Superman and Batman. She's very much the immortal who's been around quite awhile.
So I think she's going to show up in the second issue, before they're even adults.
Nrama: Interesting. Almost like a mother figure, instead of a colleague.
Levitz: Ahhh I don't know that I would count her as a mother figure.
Levitz: Yeah, she'd be a pretty tough mother. But she's got an important reason to be there.
Nrama: You said Lois will show up. I think there are a lot of people that miss the marriage between Lois and Clark, and even the romance and companionship they shared before the New 52. Will we see any interaction between them as a married couple?
Levitz: I think you'll definitely see moments within the marriage. I don't know if we'll see a tremendous amount of romance, but we'll see the two of them together in that relationship.
We've never seen what happened to Lois. It's been alluded to, but we haven't seen that story. So that's probably a key moment in the evolution of this.
Nrama: I noticed that you said this story runs six months — and I'm sure Newsarama readers will pick up on that too. Is this approach to Worlds' Finest limited to just running six months, and then something different is going to happen in April 2015?
Levitz: We'll figure out what comes next when it comes next. There's a limit to how far advanced to plot that. That will time it out so that it will end around the same time as the weekly will. And that kind of makes sense, with the way the pieces connect together.
And then I'll figure out what the next thing I get to is.
Nrama: And last but not least, Paul, is a question about the Legion of Super-Heroes. At the end of your run on that comic, you had told me you thought the ending you wrote was rather open-ended — that DC could do with it whatever they wanted — but a lot of people read it to mean the Legion was specifically on Earth 2. Now that you're doing a timeline of Earth 2, is there any chance we'll see a clarification of the ending of Legion – or any Legion characters, or any allusions at all to the Legion of Super-Heroes and whether they came from Earth 2, at least that you're aware of or working on?
Levitz: No, I think that's somebody else's to play with.
Nrama: Wow, I thought you'd dance around that question. So it's definitely a no, for you anyway? Because I know I'm not the only one who'd like to see more of the Legion, or at least a clarification of where those stories took place.
Levitz: I'm sure we will again. But three times around on the same book… it's probably enough. Even though I love them as characters, and I love writing them enough that I would do more stories of them, the world may be better served by somebody else taking the next stab.