DC fans have gotten all kinds of clues from writer Dan Jurgens in the last couple weeks.
In Booster Gold: Futures End #1, the writer/artist gave readers some cryptic peeks into alternate universes — including pre-New 52 worlds. Then in this week's The New 52: Futures End #22, the latest installment of the weekly series that Jurgens co-writes, fans were told the meaning of DC's hints about "Blood Moon" and were shown a new Brainiac, the villain who is not only behind much of the chaos in the weekly series, but is possibly going to lead DC into the much-teased next Crisis in April 2015.
Jurgens co-writes Futures End with Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire and Brian Azzarello, although last week's revealing Booster Gold issue was all his own. The one-shot issue and another of last week's issues, Superman Doomed #2, revealed that the pre-New 52 universe not only still exists, but is connected to this new Brainiac. We talked to the writer to find out more about all the clues.
Newsarama: Dan, Futures End #16 informed readers that Brainiac was the villain who'd taken over Engineer. But now that Engineer introduces us to this Brainiac, it isn't the Brainiac we know at all. Who is this guy?
Dan Jurgens: Well...
It's a Brainiac that is both unlike anything we've seen before as well as like everything we've seen of Brainiac in the past.
We're taking a giant step forward with this Brainiac, elevating him to a position that really hasn't ever been envisioned before. Not only is it important for him, but the entire DCU.
It's a game changer.
Nrama: Since the red font used on Engineer's dialogue in this week's Futures End issue is the same as the font we saw last week from Booster's torturer (in your Booster Gold issue), how much are the two issues connected?
Jurgens: They're very much related.
Totally, in fact.
Nice of you to notice! I've been wondering how many people would catch that and make the connection!
Nrama: Then point blank, is this Brainiac on "Blood Moon" the same entity that was asking Booster for the location of Vanishing Point?
Jurgens: Yes. All these seemingly divergent elements really to connect to one particular source.
Nrama: Hmm… but Booster was time traveling. Did the scene in Booster Gold take place before or after this scene in Futures End?
Jurgens: This will sound like a bit of a dodge, perhaps, but I don't mean it to at all.
Since we're dealing with time travel, it's entirely possible that it takes place both before and after the end of Futures End #22.
Nrama: As a comic fan, I totally dig that answer. But the follow up to Booster's issue — teased as being "where worlds and futures end" — are you writing that? Anything you can say about the next time we see Booster?
Jurgens: Unfortunately, I can't.
But there's obviously more to come.
It certainly safe to say that there are all sorts of elements in the Booster Gold: Futures End issue that hint at a lot of big stuff looming right around the corner.
Nrama: I understand you're having to be a little cryptic with answers, but we've noticed that the font used in Futures End #1 (when Stormwatch was allegedly destroyed) is also the font used in last week's Superman Doomed #2 issue (when Vril Dox was "collected"). Yet this Blood Moon-based collector doesn't have that font (this guy's dialogue is purple). Is this Blood Moon guy the same entity who attacked Stormwatch and "collected" Vril Dox? Or is that something else entirely?
Jurgens: Wow! We're checking all the fonts!
Let's leave it at this...
We're really trying to be very careful and deliberate in what we're presenting and the way we're presenting it. It's all unfolding at a very natural pace.
Nrama: Since the entity that attacked Stormwatch said it was on the way to Earth, is this Blood Moon Brainiac coming to Earth?
Jurgens: Isn't earth always a target?
You'd think that it'd find a way to mask itself or something, especially after it's already been attacked by Apokolips with some devastating results, as seen in Futures End.
Nrama: We've seen hints from DC about "Blood Moon" before (most notably, the "When Futures End…The Blood Moon shall rise!" teaser image). How important is this "Blood Moon" concept/place to the weekly? (And can you tell us anything about it?)
Jurgens: We've been working on this and steering toward it as part of a story element for quite some time now.
As I said before, lots of seemingly divergent paths that will take us to a very particular point.
Nrama: In the 35-years-in-the-future time period, the Brother Eye satellite is Earth's moon. And now... we find out Brainiac's on "Blood Moon." Are those two "moons" connected?
Jurgens: Stay tuned.
A lot can happen in 35 years.
Nrama: The cover of Futures End #23 not only shows this new Brainiac, but also has heroes from the pre-New 52 within a red cloud of energy that's coming from Brainiac's hand. So… uh… is this guy connected to the discovery we've seen (in Booster: Forever Evil and Doomed #2) of the pre-New 52 characters?
Jurgens: Yeah, it's all connected.
There's a big story here and the pace at which it's unfolding will really start to pick up.
This is also a great point to give a tip of the hat to Ryan Sook. He's been doing incredible work on all our covers and has also been our main character designer.
Like any weekly, Futures End is a very difficult project for artists to work on, yet Ryan and all of our artists have been kicking ass in order to make this book a success.
Nrama: Black Adam is coming to save the day, apparently being freed from the Phantom Zone. Anything you can tease about what happens when Brainiac meets Black Adam?
Jurgens: Black Adam tries to do something really unpleasant to Brainiac.
Unfortunately for Black Adam, it doesn't go well.
Nrama: Well, I suppose I should ask something about the rest of the issue! First, don't you think Billy kind of deserves a beer?
Jurgens: Yeah, he probably does. The young man has had a tough time of it lately.
But you can't really blame Tim for not serving him.
Nrama: OK, Futures End #22 established that Jason and Ronnie are only a "few blocks away" from each other, and Ronnie's playing good guy again. Any chance these two will meet up again soon?
Jurgens: Ronnie and Jason obviously have to meet up again. There are too many unresolved issues for them not to do so.
Not the least of which is the fact that Green Arrow obviously used them.
But in terms of where this particular story is going, well... it's not at all what people would likely expect. I think we have quite a curveball coming.
Nrama: Batman Beyond found out in this issue that Brother Eye is on Cadmus Island. And we learned in issue #21 that Oliver Queen and his small band of heroes are going to Cadmus Island. When do we see all these threads come together (issue #30?), and can you tell us anything about that?
Jurgens: Issue #s 29 and 30 are both big steps for us.
#29 deals with some very notable character developments.
#30 is large-scale story that centers around Cadmus Island and Oliver's team. Both these issues represent something of a turning point in the series.
Nrama: What will we see in next week's issue #23? Solicitations say "discover what the victorious Brother Eye has in store for The Joker 35 years from now." Are you taking the story to 35 years in the future?
Jurgens: As a matter of fact — yes!
I'm quite envious of Aaron Lopresti. He got to draw as incredible sequence at the end of #23. I would have killed in order to draw that scene.
In other words, it's a good thing for Aaron that he lives 1,500 miles away.
Nrama: And with that mystery before us until next week, is there anything else you want to tell fans about what's coming up in Futures End?
Jurgens: I've said all along that we have a very big story to tell — one that's going to take us some amazing places with some notable developments and surprises along the way.
That's more true than ever now!