DC prepares to 'Blow things up' in 'The New 52: Futures End'
(CBR) Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Jeff Lemire have had very different careers as prominent creators in the comic book industry, and -- based on a conversation with all four of them -- each have very different personalities. It's that mix of experience and outlook that they're bringing as the writing team of upcoming DC Comics series "The New 52: Futures End", running for 52 weekly issues plus a #0 kicking things off this Free Comic Book Day, on May 3, 2014.
Like 2006-2007's weekly "52" before it, "Futures End" is designed to focus on a number of different characters -- so far, Frankenstein, Firestorm and Batman Beyond have been mentioned as three main players -- and is promised to have major consequences on the DC Universe as a whole. The action of "Futures End" is set "Five Years Later" from current DC storylines, and though the writers are hesitant to divulge many details at this point, based on Ryan Sook's OMAC-heavy cover to #0 and his character sketches, the future doesn't exactly look bright.
CBR News gathered Azzarello, Giffen, Jurgens and Lemire for the exclusive first roundtable interview with all four "Futures End" writers, to discuss the thoroughly collaborative nature of the series, the introduction of former animated series star Terry McGinnis into New 52 continuity, the "huge, unifying event" binding the still-under-wraps plot together and the artists illustrating the story, which include cover artist and character designer Sook, #0's Ethan Van Sciver, Jesus Merino, Aaron Lopresti and both Jurgens and Giffen; the latter providing layouts through the course of the year-long series.
CBR News: Let's start at the beginning -- with a story like this, given its length and its pace, presumably a tremendous amount goes into the planning. How long have you all been working on this one?
Brian Azzarelo: Forever.
Dan Jurgens: I don't know, June? Is June right?
Jeff Lemire: I think so.
Keith Giffen: That was the first time we all pulled together.
What has the experience been like so far, given that it's clearly a very different one than writing a monthly, solo book?
Jurgens: I've actually worked on a couple of weeklies before, in different capacities. To a certain extent, doing Superman with other writers, and putting together one overall story that might last a couple of months, was somewhat like working on a weekly. I think the fun part is that in this format, you can get a number of people together to tell a large scope story that you can't necessarily fit into just a monthly book. The idea is to use the format to actually add to the story, and expand possibilities.
Lemire: Well said.
What's the division of labor like? How are you splitting up writing duties between the four of you -- taking turns on issues, coming up with plot all together, passing things back and forth?
Giffen: The individual writers doing entire issues is one of the things that pretty much did not work on "Countdown." What we do is we have conference calls wherein we explain what we're hoping to do in the next issue, and then we parse out the pages -- "I'll trade you one for two" -- and figure out who's doing what, and what order they're in. But everyone has a voice in every issue. It's really cooperative, as a matter of fact. If I need an extra page, either Jeff or Dan or Brian will cede a page from what they're doing. It's not like everyone has five pages and has to fill them, it's really fluid to each as they need from the others.
Jurgens: We also have divvied up some of the cast somewhat. Brian will have a couple of characters he's focusing on, as will Jeff, as will Keith, as will I. If we have a cast of, say, 20, we each end up with four or five characters that we rotate through. They'll encounter each from time to time, and then we start to work that wider scope thing, and then pull back and let them have their own adventures for a bit. It's all coming into sync quite well.
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