For many people your work in the DC universe was a touchstone or introduction to the world of comics. The era of Superman you’re involved with was epochal as far as numbers and interest in the industry. How does that make you feel and do you think the New 52 is an event on that scale?
I’ve been involved in some pretty big projects, but the New 52 launch was probably the most ambitious of them all. The Superman events basically involved four books, though we did all we could with them. Starting 52 new titles from scratch while changing up the universe at the same time is really a major undertaking.
Justice League International has a number of characters to juggle and the re-launch gives you a blank slate of sorts. You’re a veteran of team dynamics but is the new status quo affecting how you approach the new relationships? I mean its nice to be able to start from scratch but I can imagine it also being fun to build on things already defined
Yes, with JLI some things are defined. For example, the character attributes of Guy Gardner, Booster and Batman are basically the same. However, the other characters have more open backgrounds that we can play with a bit. I think we’re working hard to key in on the balance of that which is familiar, along with that which is new.
With that in mind will previous story lines be addressed here?”Time Masters: Vanishing” Point revealed a lot about the future of Booster Gold and the past of Rip Hunter. Are we likely to see much of those concepts as they already are in ‘Justice League: International’?
As JLI unfolds, I think we’ll certainly give a nod to FB and what happened in Booster’s past, as well as the rest of the cast. It isn’t a Booster solo book, but he’s probably the best vehicle to use in mentioning some of those things.
The second tier status of the team will lend itself to a lot of comedy as they stand amongst the tall trees of the DCnU. That humour must have been appealing as a writer?
I don’t know that straight comedy is ever going to be the goal. However, the mix of characters and situations they find themselves in will often be a good set-up for humorous situations. Batman is the ultimate straight man, in comedic terms.
The book can also make points based on International relations and foreign affairs within the new universe, your thoughts on the state of those things in the book?
There’s no doubt that the international scene will play a strong role in the book. Our characters are from a variety of countries with a lot of different background experiences so, yeah, that will be a strong part of the book.
Booster Gold has been your most enduring creation at DC. Were you ever surprised by just how much he was embraced by readers and how he’s grown in stature within the DC universe? Must be a kick to see him represented in other media as well.
I’ve been very gratified at Booster’s ability to stick in both the DCU as well as hearts of fans. He’s unique, as is his background. He makes a good counter to some of the more classic characters DC has.
Batman is a surprising addition to the book but serves as a bridge between the two Justice League teams. Will his tenure in the book be long term and has it been it hard to reconcile with where Batman is in his own series and his role here?
Yes, I intend to keep Batman around. He adds a very unique presence to the books that makes for a very interesting team dynamic.
Guy Garnder is another character you have a real handle on in terms of the conflict he can bring to a book. How doyou make the character brash but still likable or is that even a concern?
Within a group context like JLI, I think it’s necessary to push each of the characters a bit more to the extreme side of their personality traits in order to more clearly define them. Guy is brash, but more acerbic than most of the others for our purposes.
It can be hard for me to hand the artistic chores over to others but that is not at all the case on JLI. Aaron and Matt are doing fabulous, fabulous work here. I couldn’t be happier with what they’re doing.
Finally, although your primarily known for your DC work you’ve done things for other companies. I remember your Sensational Spiderman being a particularly bright spot in a very turbulent time for those books. Your approach to stories really suited that character and you stated that since it was Ben Reilly and not Peter Parker you’d be eager to take another shot at the character. Bearing in mind the New 52 what did you make of Spider-Man’s reboot and Marvels attempt to streamline the property?
I don’t know that I have a clear enough impression of what Marvel has done with Spidey to comment. I had fun writing the book but that was a long time ago.
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