Infinite Crisis Returns to Comics: A Talk with Dan Abnett
Infinite Crisis, a videogame that was inspired by a comic series, is now a comic book series itself. Previously announced on DC All Access, the Infinite Crisis comic will provide some crucial backstory to the epic-scaled action, developing and enriching the personalities of the game’s numerous champions. And that’s a good thing because who doesn’t want to learn more about Arcane Green Lantern, Atomic Wonder Woman, Nightmare Batman and Gaslight Joker? (Though in the case of those last two, we’d prefer to do all of our learning from an appropriately safe distance away.)
Like many of you, we were eager to find out more about this upcoming new comic, so we braved the untamed wilds of the Multiverse, crossing the darkened alleys of Gaslight Gotham, dodging attacks from Atomic Poison Ivy, reprogramming drones to protect us as we made our way through enemy territory…until we realized that we could just email Dan Abnett, the writer of the comic. So that’s exactly what we did.
Cover art by Gene Ha.
Hey Dan, Infinite Crisis has a cool premise, but it’s not really a story-driven game. Does that make it easier or more difficult to spin off into a comic series? What are some of the challenges in dealing with such a large-scale property?
Actually, I’d kinda disagree with that. The gameplay might be combat-oriented, but it’s driven by a ferociously strong meta-story, one that draws directly from some of the greatest stories in DC history. That’s what I’ve been looking at particularly—a comic series that showcases the characters and action you’ll find in the game, but which sets those elements against the greater context of the Crisis. Most of the characters have a very strong sense of what’s at stake, what’s driving them forward and the timescale. That propels the plot and provides a very muscular story. Also, of course, the story in the comic is about the characters’ discovery of, and growing understanding of, the events enfolding them.
You’re helping to flesh out exciting new Multiverse characters that were created specifically for this game, like Atomic Wonder Woman, Arcane Green Lantern and Gaslight Batman. Any favorites so far?
I’ve yet to meet a character I didn’t like! I think they’ve been wonderfully conceived. I guess Atomic Wonder Woman is a bit of a fave. But the fun in writing this is not only getting a grip on the new “Elseworld” versions of the characters and doing them justice... it’s also about writing classic Earth Prime characters and integrating them convincingly with their counterparts. Batman is a good example. He’s sort of the focus character at the start. With him, the reader encounters the other Earths and the variant heroes. So we’re kinda along with Batman for the ride of discovery. We’re right there with him as the multiversal magnitude of the Infinite Crisis is revealed to him.
What can you tell us about Atomic Two-Face? He’s a character who was created specifically for the comic, right?
Yes, and that was great. A real synergy with the game designers. It’s very gracious and inclusive for them to create a character that the comic gets to play with exclusively. It gives us a little freedom and yet integrates us perfectly with the game. Atomic Two-Face is a true monster... instead of one man split into his two polar halves, he’s two very opposite beings fused together by the Atomic horror, at war with ‘itself,’ and driven by the clash of identities locked into one form. Scary!
[Editor note: For a LOT more on Atomic Two-Face, check out DCComics.com this Friday!]
Can you tease the story a bit? What can we expect from the first storyline?
As I said, we start on Earth Prime with Batman, though I’m going to tease a lot of the epic backstory as a way in, and then focus on Batman as he tries to solve a crime in Gotham that appears to be the handiwork of one of his regular villains. It isn’t. Solving the crime opens the doorway, metaphorically and literally, into the Multiverse and the desperate battle going on across the 52 strands of reality to stave off the monumental threat of the Infinite Crisis. He’s going to encounter a lot of very cool variant heroes and villains... and maybe bring some of his Earth Prime allies into the fight too.
I am known for major twists and turns, so I hate to give things away, but be prepared. Big, universe-changing things happen as the story advances. This isn’t a little ‘side-story’ accompaniment for the larger game. It’s epic!
Finally, have you ever gotten distracted from writing because you were playing the game? Honest answer!
Uhm, well... of course! All in the name of research, naturally :)
Sign up for the Infinite Crisis open beta and start playing for free today at http://www.infinitecrisis.com. Look for the Infinite Crisis comic book to be released this spring.