Convergence left the heroes of Earth 2 in a time of transition. With their former home destroyed, they must now build a new life from the ground up on a world that was once rocked by conflict and misunderstanding. Will this disparate group of survivors find a way to put aside their differences and shape the sort of society that inspires greatness? We sat down with Earth 2: Society writer Daniel H. Wilson earlier this year to ask him just that.
There’s so much happening right now with Earth 2. Does Earth 2: Society begin where the previous Earth 2 titles left off?
Earth 2: World’s End, which contains quite a few storylines and lots of characters so you have to pay attention, concludes with the beginning of Convergence. After Convergence, we move into Earth 2: Society, and so there is a little bit of a black box there in between the end of World’s End and the beginning of Society where anything can happen. So, Convergence is going to drastically effect how Society begins.
Does Earth 2: Society take place on Earth 2 or is it set on Earth Prime?
It is set on a new planet entirely. Where that planet comes from will be fun to discover. This is really about the survivors of Earth 2 colonizing a new planet. I love the symmetry too. They’ve just been attacked by Apokolips which is another race of creatures that are coming to take their planet and now they’re kind of in the exact same position. They’re showing up desperate, they need a place to live and there’s a planet there for the taking.
Society is a really interesting subtitle. It plays into what you were just saying, colonizing and building a society, but obviously there’s also a nod to the Justice Society. What’s the Justice Society’s role in this title?
It’s a transition book on the way to Justice Society. This is about society being formed and obviously there are two societies being formed. One is just Earth 2, it’s about founding new cities and getting people back to regular day-to-day life and making babies and having families and all of that hopeful stuff. But then there’s also the Justice Society that’s coming together as well. All the members are here, so we’ll see both societies get started in this series.
I think one of the things that the Earth 2 titles have done really well is they use this alternate world to address issues that are problems in our world. Can we expect more of this with Society?
Absolutely, or else, why write?
Can you give us some examples? Tease some issues?
The underlying theme here that I’m really going to drive through in every issue is the question of whether to move forward into a new world or go back and try to rebuild what you lost? That to me has a lot of resonance, and thematically, I think it relates to a lot of stuff in the real world. For me personally, my background, I grew up in Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation. I’m a Cherokee citizen. I’m not full blood Indian, but it’s part of my upbringing. It’s part of my life, the DNA. So, themes about colonization, about showing up to a new place and either adapting to it or trying to remake it, potentially violently, into whatever you want it to be, that stuff resonates with me. That’s a pretty fundamentally human issue that we’ve been dealing with forever and ever.
You can look back through history, and obviously you can see what happened in North America or in South America or in Australia—you can see what see what’s happened to indigenous peoples all over the place. But you can also look at that right now. Clashes with cultures in places all over the world where new technologies are showing up and cultures are potentially being erased. People are fighting each other to establish their cultures. First of all, it just speaks to being human, and it’s also a lot of conflict. It’s a question where you can really fall on either side of it. You can see why someone would want to go back to the way things were, and you can also see why somebody would vehemently not want to do that and not want to emulate the people that just traumatized them. It’s going to split our heroes, it’s going to cause a lot of conflict and it’s going to be a lot of fun to write.
Can you give the fans an idea about Earth 2 characters to keep an eye on going into this new series?
There’s so much stuff that’s going to be surprising and fun with this setup. A lot of characters are undergoing major transformations. I would say Jimmy Olsen goes through so much transformation in World’s End and he’s one of my favorites, so you get to see more Jimmy. I think keeping an eye on Jimmy is going to be pretty fun because he’s going to take on a larger role, gain more power and become a really interesting character.
It’s kind of an interesting time in the Multiverse in general, with Grant Morrison’s Multiversity really defining all of these different earths. Do you think about Earth 2’s role in this bigger Multiverse while writing, or do you just focus on Earth 2?
I’m Luke on Tatooine. I’m just wandering the desert. There’s so much to keep track of. There’s so much great stuff out there and for me I really am taking the opportunity now to focus even more on my niche, on my little corner of the universe. I’m trying to focus on my own stuff, especially now. This is a monthly, there’s one artist, there’s a lot more consistency and time, and I’m really looking forward to taking advantage of that.
This last question is aimed at fans who maybe aren’t reading Earth 2 right now. You’ve got the weekly title which is a big commitment, you’ve got this preexisting title that’s been around for while, but now we get Society—it’s a clean start. What would be your reason for those readers to start reading now?
I think it’s just a fascinating thought experiment. You’ve got ‘X’ number of people on what’s essentially a refugee spaceship. You’re in orbit, you’ve got super heroes, you’ve got super advanced technology, you’ve got survivors, what do you do? It’s like the Wild West combined with Battlestar Galactica. It’s just a fascinating setup. I really can’t wait to explore it.
And to speak to your earlier question about who to watch out for, as a consolation prize for anyone that’s not as interested in Jimmy Olsen as me, I would say it would also be very interesting to pay attention to Dick Grayson and his transition, how he interacts with Helena and some of the new cities that we might see on Earth 2: Society.