As the bi-weekly Justice League: Generation Lost nears the end of its 24-issue run this week, fans are wondering what's next for the characters.
Not only is there a huge mystery waiting to be solved -- and a new supervillain in Maxwell Lord who needs to be taken down -- but the Justice League International team has garnered so many loyal followers that fans are hoping they'll get a spin-off series in the future.
In part 1 of our discussion with the writer of the bi-weekly, Judd Winick, we talked about some of the stand-out characters from JL: Generation Lost. In today's second installment, we ask Judd about Wonder Woman, the future of Max Lord, and what comes next for the characters of the JLI.
Newsarama: Judd, we finished up yesterday's discussion with your thoughts on Batman's role in the JLI. But now that Wonder Woman is joining the book, I also wanted to ask you why people on the JLI team can remember Wonder Woman when the rest of the DCU apparently doesn't?
Winick: I'll tell you, and it's the truth. I was going to cover that in the comic, but I just would have had to force it in there. There was no organic place for someone to scratch their head and say, "Hey, I wonder why we remember Wonder Woman and no one else did?" I wanted to get it in there, but it never quite worked, and I hope the story hasn't suffered for it.
So as a footnote to the story, for those that are reading this, Max made the JLI able to remember him, wanting them to chase him and do his bidding and help him take down Checkmate, as they will learn in unfortunate detail in the next issue -- Beetle knows and will lay it on them. And the same mechanism that Max used to spare them from forgetting Max has kept them in the loop on Wonder Woman as well. The anomaly that surrounds Wonder Woman didn't work on them. It's just as simple as that.
Nrama: And Wonder Woman is part of the upcoming issues?
Winick: Oh yeah.
Nrama: I know you mentioned the JLI not being "DC's big ticket items," but with Wonder Woman and Batman in the book, this book is obviously affected them big guns, isn't it?
Winick: Yes, we've got Batman and Wonder Woman and the whole sweaty gang in there for the ending. And over the course of two issues, we'll have a massive, knock-down, drag-out fight. I've never had the opportunity to write something like this by design, where a series is ending in this matter where it's like, "OK, this is the part where lots of people get beaten up a lot. And it should, because we're facing up with the bad guy in a huge, huge way.The last issue is actually called, "And it all comes down to this." I'm joking a little bit with that title, because it's how all those television series have those promos with someone saying, "And it all comes down to this." So yeah, there's a little bit of fun there. But it's the JLI, so it's good.
Nrama: And the last issue is oversized?
Winick: Yeah, it's 38 pages. Aaron [Lopresti] is drawing it, and the truth is I wanted to give him lots of room to move: Big giant panels with lots of characters and plenty of room to draw this ending.
Nrama: I'm sure readers are hoping the good guys win. But you've explored Max Lord to the point that I think readers are also enjoying him as a villain. Is there a good chance we'll see more of him in the DC Universe?
Winick: I think it's safe to say we'll see more of him. I'll even go out on a limb and say Max Lord doesn't die at the end of this book. This series has been as much about Max Lord as it's been about any of these characters. In this story, you've seen the creation of a supervillain. Max has been really fleshed out now, so I can say quite comfortably that the fleshed out Max Lord will probably show up again in the DCU.
Nrama: There are a lot of fans of this series who would like to see you continue writing the JLI. Eddie Berganza was even asked about it this weekend at C2E2 and said, "maybe." Is there any chance there will be a JLI series in the near future, and if that's a possibility, could you be involved?
Winick: I can't talk about this at all. How's that? I so, so, so can't talk about any of this a little bit. And I say that with every bit of love in my heart that I can possibly muster. I'm not ducking the question. I'm not pretending something's going on. I'm saying: I cannot talk about it.I can tell all the faithful readers, who I love and appreciate very much for all their support on this series and the wonderful comments that we've had, just sit tight. The announcements will eventually be made about what's coming for these characters, if anything.
Nrama: Since we can't talk about what comes next for you, can we look back a little and talk about this format? A bi-weekly, with a team like this, must have offered you a very different writing experience. Did you like the pacing of this type of story?
Winick: I really, really deeply enjoyed doing this bi-weekly. Because of the immediacy, I got to mess with the pacing a little. And I got to take a little time to develop individual characters and tell a bigger story. You know, I always hear people complain about comics, and they say, "that could have been done in five pages!" And I think, "Yeah, but would it have been any good? Would you have really enjoyed it?" That's the whole thing. It's a story. It's meant to be entertainment. Sure, maybe it could have been done quicker, but I don't think it would have been as much fun. And going bi-weekly allows you to still have a quick pace, but tell more of the story.
And I think the readers are a little more forgiving for the multiple cliffhangers. They're like, "Oh, that's not answered yet, but there's something else going on over here." And they're OK with it, because the week after next, they're going to have another story. It hops right along.
I think we get criticized sometimes because we write storylines, and people say we're writing for the trades instead of looking at it as a monthly. But that couldn't be further from the truth in the case of this book. I was always writing it for two weeks from now. I think it will actually hold up nicely as a trade. But I don't think it will be nearly as much fun as it was reading it all these 24 weeks. We had a lot of cliffhangers, and I think it's a little more fun waiting those 14 days in between. Not that it won't make a terrific trade, and everyone should run out and buy 10 or 12 copies each! They should!
Nrama: Sounds like you'll miss it.
Winick: I already do. I'm in mourning that it's over. I'm waiting for Aaron to finish drawing, and I have to review some lettering, but that's the end. And I have to give it up. It really feels, in one sense, a relief, but also a little bit sad. That's it: 24 issues in one big giant story and we're done. It'll feel like a party when the book finally comes out and people get to react to it -- and hopefully they'll dig it.It's a rare situation where you're finishing a title and it's not being canceled, and nobody else is taking it over.
But yes, I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss writing these guys... for now. I'm sorry to see it end. If you'd ask me, could I do 10 more issues? No. It is definitely done and we've taken this story as far as it could have gone. But it was a great, great ride. I hope people really like the ending, because we do.