I had the privilege of interviewing writer and artist Dan Jurgens on his current weekly series for DC Comics: The New 52 Futures End. Pepper throughout the interview will be spoilers & preview pages from this week’s issue: The New 52 Futures End #4.
Dan Jurgens was quite candid in talking about the project, the challenges in the current medium and what readers expect from DC Comics, and a lot more.
Recaps and spoilers for The New 52 Futures End series are below to get you caught up:
Plus, we also have all 41 of the full solicitations for DC Comics’ September 2014 line-wide New 52 Futures End 3D cover month here.
And, with explosive events of Forever Evil #7, we know have a sense of why all three of DC’s weekly books and Grant Morrison’s Multiversity all end in the same month in the Spring 2015; the granddaddy of DC events has its 30th anniversary next year after all.
Ok, onto Dan Jurgens!
– In your view, is the production of weekly comics like DC’s The New 52 Futures End, Batman: Eternal and Earth 2: World’s End a way to reach the new younger generation of readers who appear to crave more immediate forms of entertainment on their iPads and other digital forms of entertainment and gaming?
Dan Jurgens – In part, yes.
But I also believe there’s a way to build drama and character interest on a Weekly book that can’t quite be replicated with a monthly book.
We have an amazingly large cast in this book and we’ll be weaving in and out of stories to really build something big by the end.
So, if you happen to be one of those readers with a short attention span, this should be a bit of an antidote!
Nexus – I believe you worked on 12 issues of DC’s 1980’s Action Comics Weekly. How has the process changed on putting together a weekly comic in 2014? Certainly technology must be a greater enabler today, but any other differences?
Jurgens – I remember saying, back when I worked on Action Comics Weekly, that no one in their right mind would ever do a weekly comic again.
Shows you what I know– not much!
But there were obviously times that the Superman titles turned into what was essentially a weekly comic book and we managed to use that to our advantage. ACW was basically self-contained, while we eventually learned to really push the format and tell bigger, much more sweeping stories.
It’s a method of storytelling that can really work great.
Nexus – After a moratorium on time travel in the New 52, DC seems to be going full throttle into it with a Future Flash in the pages of the Flash, Jonah Hex and Booster Gold in previous issues of All-Star Western, of course The New 52 Futures End, and at least eight other examples. Is this all a deliberate plan that will have all of these “time anomalies” intersect at some point?
Jurgens – Time Travel is too good a concept to leave on the shelf.
It’s as simple as that.
Nexus – It has been reported that The New 52 Futures End will cover the past of the New 52, the present, 5 years into the future and 35 years into future. Will there more time travel beyond that? How do you as a writer, and the writing team, keep the timelines clear in your collective and individual minds? Big old wall map?
Jurgens – Keith Giffen, Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire and I do what we can to keep things straight. Ultimately, it’s up to editors Joey Cavalieri and Kyle Andrukiewicz to keep us on the rails.
So far, we have a pretty good handle on things.
Nexus – Beyond Batman Beyond, the characters announced that will be showcased in the New 52 Futures End are not “Tier 1″ DC characters. They are entertaining and interesting choices. Is part of the mandate of the New 52 Futures End to showcase to readers why Grifter, Frankenstein, Firestorm and the others are really important to the DC Universe?
Jurgens – Certainly. I think we have a real chance to reframe some of these character for fans.
We feel that all those characters have worth– it’s just a sense of trying to find the right formula to make them work.
And we’ll be seeing other elements of the DCU with more recognizable names coming in as well.
Nexus – Is the Batman Beyond we see in The New 52 Futures End the same one from the beloved TV show and digital comics or is he from a different future timeline?
Jurgens – The Batman Beyond you’ll see here is very much like the animated version, but definitely a product of the current DCU.
Nexus – Jack Kirby is one the great creators in comics history. DC has tried very hard in the New 52 to bring his creations to a modern audience. Why is OMAC the right kind of evolved Jack Kirby concept to be featured in The New 52 Future End?
Jurgens – Kirby’s imagination was apparently infinite in nature.
That stuff is so powerful and sweeping in concept that it begs to be used.
Nexus – I understand that one of the other mandates for The New 52 Futures End is to introduce viable new characters. With readers increasingly coming to DC and Marvel for their pop culture and recognizable properties, borne out by sales figures, like Justice League, Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men, etc. the companies pump out more books under those franchise tent poles. Do you think readers will give new characters from the Big Two a real chance at solo title success? If so, how does a writer/artist like yourself create the “winning conditions” in a book like The New 52 Futures End to do get new characters off on the best foot possible creatively with an eye to something more?
Jurgens – We will have new characters appearing in the book.
All we can do is frame them in the best possible light and hope that readers latch onto them.
It’s weird. Readers say they want “new”. Their shopping patterns say otherwise.
Nexus – Anything you want to tease for fans eagerly anticipating The New 52 Futures End?
Jurgens – I’m privileged to work with some really great writers who are investing tremendous effort on this book. We have some wonderful artists who’re blowing us away every time they send in pages. We have Ryan Sook doing incredible concept/character design and tremendous covers. We’re building a sweeping story that builds to an amazing crescendo.
And, if that’s not enough…
…our first issue was free!
We have another interview coming up soon with Dan Jurgens talking about his ongoing series Aquaman and The Others as well as his Booster Gold issue for September 2014’s Futures End 3D month.
What did you think about the spoilers & preview for this week’s The New 52 Futures End #4?
Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.
Tags: Batman: Eternal, Dan Jurgens, DC Comics, Earth 2: World's End, Multiversity, New 52 (DC Comics), The New 52: Futures End