SDCC 2016: Joshua Williamson On Incorporating Watchmen, And The Many Speedsters of The Flash

(Photo: DC Entertainment)

Since DC launched their Rebirth initiative at the end of May, few writers have been more under the microscope than Joshua Williamson.

Writer of the acclaimed and best-selling The Flash, the Nailbiter and Birthright creator signed an exclusive deal with DC Comics before the first issues of his Rebirth series even hit the stands, and then went on to not only outperform expectations, but to be one of the only DC books that touched directly on the way DC Universe: Rebirth ties into Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's classic Watchmen.

Williamson joined yesterday at the DC Booth at Comic Con International to talk about The Flash, Frostbite, and more. The full interview is coming soon, but we wanted to tease our readers a little bit with what he had to say about The Flash.

This most recent issue of The Flash, you introduced the dozens of new speedsters. What motivated that?

The motivation for that was, I was talking to them about working on The Flash and I had different ideas and things that I wanted to do. One of the things I wanted to do, and I kept talking to them about this, was no more speedsters. Just The Flash. Nobody else.

And then I started working on my ideas and I realized, "No, go the opposite." I should do it where there's a lot. Just lean into it. Just have it where there are a ton of them and what does that mean for Barry to have so many of them? And it's the thign I hear all the time: if there's so many speedsters, what makes Barry special? And I'm like, "Exactly. That's the story." When he has a world where he isn't the only one, what makes Barry special? Why is he The Flash? Why is he this hero? And the thing you have to realize is that it isn't the speed, it isn't the powers that makes Barry Allen a hero. Barry Allen is a hero regardless of the powers, and it's him realizing that and seeing what makes him special and that's where that came from.

With the inclusion of the Watchmen element, was that added pressure?

I don't know. It was kind of weird because that is pressure. I was wondering what people were going to think about it. I knew before the Rebirth issue what was going on, obviously, because in The Flash: Rebirth Batman and The Flash are talking about it.

I don't feel like it was a lot of pressure, I feel like I had fun with it. I remember when I first turned that script in, wondering what the response was going to be from DC and I got this e-mail immediately from Geoff [Johns] and Geoff was like "Aw yeah!" and super excited and that made me go, "Okay, we're doing this."

There are times where it is kind of intimidating, and I feel that we are very careful about the stuff that we're doing. I'm already under a lot of pressure writing The Flash to begin with, so it all just mixes up, but I think it just adds to the fun of what we're doing.