In "Earth 2" #8, James Robinson re-introduces us to Steppenwolf and Fury, as the rest of the team takes a brief breather from the complex, multiple-reality-laden story lines of "Earth 2." I spoke with Robinson about issue 8 about his approach to these two villains, the emotional place of Alan Scott and if the this world will meet DC's New 52 reality.
MTV Geek: At the end of "Earth 2" #7 we're teased with the introduction of both Steppenwolf and Fury. Can you tell how they'll be integrated into this storyline?
James Robinson: Well, issues 7 and 8 are basically intended as standalone stories that are added to the backstory of the large tapestry of "Earth 2" and didn't deal with the main heroes to any large degree--7 features them somewhat--it's basically a solo story featuring Steppenwolf and Fury. It features a country within Earth 2, whilst during the war, through a pretty amazing use of treaties, isolated itself from the rest of the world, and it's basically Steppenwolf realizing that that is the place that he needs to be in in the world at the moment, and the exciting and violent ways that he brings about making that happen, whilst also using Fury, who we will learn is someone he has trained for this role as ultimate female warrior, that is, second in command, or ace assassin, you'd call her.
Geek: So much of this story has been about the Green Lantern finding his footing, can you go a little deeper into where Alan Scott's emotional state is?
JR: Alan Scott's emotional state is that he has this power and he's a guy that always keeps things balled-up. So you see there's some humanity to him, but at the same time, he's this guy that always tries to stay in control, and we'll see that's a good thing and makes him a good leader, but at the same time, isn't always the best thing for him. So finding why the train crash happened, which will be a b-plot that we'll be pursuing in the future will be his driving thing. He wants to put Sam to rest, both emotionally in his own heart and also--he feels like he's doing his lover a disservice by not avenging him. Originally he was part of team called the Justice Society after all. It'll be his journey to find Sam's killer, it'll be a story that'll go on and on and on for a while as one of the secondary plot points in the book. So that's his emotional state, but at the same time he's learning how to be a better Green Lantern all the time, but he's doing it much more assuredly, and with a lot more confidence than Jay Garrick, who is much more inept in using his powers, but has this noble heroes' heart, which makes up for it.
Geek: Do you feel that he's the emotional core of the story? He really stands out to me as a character.
JR: My hope is, at times, they'll all be the emotional core. But yes, he is one of the focal points of the team and the positive reposnse to him by people has meant that we've certainly pushed his presence within "Earth 2" and within the team of heroes, so I'm glad that you feel that way. But I would add that at times you'll see that Jay Garrick is also the heart of the team in a different way, and is sort of the everyman becoming a hero aspect, which I'm also having a lot of fun with.
Geek: We also have seen Mr. Terrific make an appearance, can you tell us about him and how he will play into all of this?
JR: Well, he will play into this because of all the future plotlines where: A) he has this super-intelligence which the side of good--if you want to call it that--needs, but also through his association with Sloane that we will learn more about in future issues. He also has insight into the guy that we will explore. And also, we learn in "DC Comics Presents" #0--which I don't know if you even read, I'm not sure how many people read that comic--but the Mr. Terrific solo story that I wrote in that reveals that in the original 8 issues of his comic, it was the inspiration of the ghostly vision of his son that died when his wife was pregnant, in his vision, the child has grown up and tells him that he has to become this hero, we learned in that issue that it was actually Sloane pulling the strings of Michael Holt's life to make him be this person, so that will be an aspect of Michael Holt/Mr. Terrific as he begins to see Sloane for who he is and take him on, genius for genius, that will be a storyline in the future too.
Geek: How often are you looking at what Geoff Johns is doing over in "Justice League" and what's going on in the New 52, how much does that effect what you do?
JR: Obviously I keep abreast of what's going on in the New 52 and read Geoff's work, because I enjoy Geoff's work as well. Obviously at some point we will be going towards a meeting of the two Earths and I have my eye on moving towards that, but at the same time I try to tell stories that are satisfying within this new world at the same time.
"Earth 2" #8 hits shelves on January 9, 2013.