Futures End is off to a devastating start, post-Terry McGinnis’ arrival in the pages of last week’s Free Comic Book Day offering, and at the center of it all is writer Keith Giffen. No stranger to the future from his days as Legion of Super-Heroes scribe — or his current run on Justice League 3000 — Giffen is joining writers Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Brian Azzarello in crafting a world five years from now that is quite a bit darker than our own. The writer was willing to do a quick chat about the characters he’s working on, how he conceptualizes the future, and more!
Matt Santori: Thanks for taking time out of the weekly grind to chat Futures End, Keith! How has the collaboration process with the other three writers been going so far?
Keith Giffen: Effortless. Everyone’s checked their egos at the door and if disagreements arise, they’re always related to what’s right for the book, not what’s right for the individual. Although the Canadian kid can be a bit trying at times.
MSG: Dan and Brian were quick to share with me that Grifter is your character to direct in Futures End. What drew you to the character initially?
KG: He was one of the two (the other being King Faraday) left on the table once the smoke cleared. I tend to step back when “who’s doing what characters” is being determined. I just take whoever’s left. They tend to be the most flexible characters, in terms of rethinking them, and that’s more attractive to me than Superman or Batman or whoever. I really believe that there are no bad characters, just bad handling.
MSG: What advantages or challenges are you experiencing in writing a book set 5 years in the future, character-wise, technologically, culturally?
KG: For me it’s remembering to advance the technology. Since I don’t care about continuity, story’s not a problem and putting five more years on a character can really enhance the character so, for me, it’s the damn technology that becomes an issue.
MSG: With issue #1, we see the wholesale destruction of Stormwatch as we know it, with at least Apollo meeting his end for certain. What led to this decision and is there an Authority waiting in the wings?
KG: You’d have to ask the Canadian kid that. Bloodthirsty bunch those Canadians…
MSG: Do you have another character, other than Grifter, who you are particularly responding to in the process of writing the book?
KG: Hell yeah! Fifty Sue. And, no, I am NOT kidding.
MSG: One of the things both of your ongoings, Futures End and Justice League 3000, have in common other than a future setting is the concept of a man (or people, as the case may be) out of time. How does this perspective help drive the narrative for you and are there any other similarities for you in working on the two books?
KG: Not really. JL3000 is 1000 years in the future and it stays 1000 years in the future so it’s kinda, sorta isolated from the DCU proper.
Futures End is a time travel story set dead center of the DCU. Actually, the two books couldn’t be more different.
MSG: Speaking of Justice League 3000, we’re still reeling a bit from the first set of revelations about the Justice League’s identities. What should fans be watching out for as we enter the second half of the first year?
KG: The revelations will keep on coming. Hal’s got a stunner heading his way. You’ll also meet the Injustice League and a few of the members of that group should raise some eyebrows.
MSG: Any final thoughts or special teases for the Comicosity audience?
KG: Don’t get too comfortable with anything or anyone. We’re REALLY untrustworthy. Really.
Every week features a brand new issue of New 52: Futures End, with issue #1 just arrived in comic shops on Wednesday! Keith Giffen is also the co-writer on DC Comics’ Justice League 3000!