Ready to see a knock-down drag-out fight between two groups of classic DC Comics heroes? Hope so, because that's definitely going down in Convergence: Action Comics, where the Crisis-era versions of Superman, Power Girl, and more will throw down against the "heroes" of Superman: Red Son. Indeed, writer Justin Gray and artist Claude St-Aubin have a lot of bombastic action in store for readers during the event.
We talked with writer Justin Gray about the fighting, coming back to Power Girl, and of course, as comes up in all superhero comic conversations, Stalin.
Hello again, Justin! I have to imagine there was a bit of a battle in the 'ole creator summit over who got to use the Red Son characters – How'd you pull the lucky straw?
JG: Hello to you, Lucas! I could make up something snarky, but the truth is when the question was raised I had a mental list of moments in DC history that I wanted to be a part of and I was lucky enough to land the ones I wanted. I really wanted an opportunity to work with large set pieces and titanic action sequences.
Crisis-era Superman. Power Girl. Red Son Lex. Red Son Wonder Woman. This is a group of heavy hitters. So how much of these two issues will just be all-out brawls?
JG: There is a lot of over the top action, very brutal, I was imagining the kind of epic work my friends at NeatherRealm did with the Injustice game, I hoped for a hyper kinetic battle that incorporated the physical around them. The idea was that if you were going to have Power Girl and Wonder Woman on opposite sides of a conflict that it should be memorable.
What's it like coming back to Power Girl (albeit a slightly different incarnation)? What made you want to come back to the character?
JG: I honestly love writing Power Girl, I think she's an important part of DC and she has so much more potential moving forward because you can play her like we did for those 12 issues or you can play her straight forward as one of the most powerful and compassionate heroines in all of comics.
Likewise, what's appealing about evil or, at least, philosophically opposed versions of superheroes, like those found in Red Son?
JG: Yeah, I definitely don't see them as inherently evil, but so much conflict in the world is generated by differing opinions. It's actually a disgusting human trait, but we don't have to wander down that road. I think Red Son Superman is every bit as noble as his American counterpart and the Luthor that Mark Millar and Dave Johnson gave us is incredibly complex. There are a lot of gray areas among those characters so it was interesting to put them in a position where everything they believed in was stopped by this incredible event. In convergence the idea of being Soviet or American is largely irrelevant…or is it?
Outside of bombastic action, what kind of story are we looking at here? What kind of character exploration can you do in a two-issue event tie-in story?
JG: The structure of Convergence, that is to say how the rules are applied are too spoilerific for me to give you too much detail. We get to revisit these two distinct times in a way that I hope appeals to anyone, not just fans of the E2 characters or Red Son you know? You get to see Power Girl in an actual relationship and you get to watch Lex Luthor drive Stalin crazy.
What's something that surprised you, either about a character, or the way the story played out, that you didn't discover until you were writing?
JG: I think it is more of a pleasure to have been able to write Lois Lane because I haven't had that opportunity, but I feel at least I hope I built on Lex Luthor because he really shines in Red Son. I imagine there are people that haven't read the Red Son story so I won't spoil it, but the ending is one of my favorites. I guess I like it also because it ends and I don't do anything to diminish that.