It’s been five long years stranded on an unfamiliar earth for Power Girl and the Huntress, but the time has come for them to make contact with some absolutely familiar faces. Come February, the ladies of Worlds’ Finest come face to face with doppelgangers of their lost parents in a crossover with Batman/Superman. Helming half the event, of course, is Worlds’ Finest series writer Paul Levitz, who was kind enough to take some time out and clue us in on how this face-to-face meeting finally comes to be, as well as share the EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW on next week’s lead-in story in Worlds’ Finest #19.
Matt Santori-Griffith: Paul, thanks so much again for taking time to talk to Comicosity! You’ve been chronicling the adventures of Helena Wayne and/or Karen Starr for over two years. How do you feel the characters have developed for you since their reintroductions? What’s been a constant and what has evolved in your mind?
Paul Levitz: Well, the longer you write a character the more textured they get in your mind, but it isn’t always easy to put those details into words…more of moments when “no, she wouldn’t say it that way.” The flashback tales to their Earth 2 days have also given opportunities to fill in blanks; I think the Annual adds to understanding Karen’s attitude towards relationships, for example. And then there are opportunities to slowly build things that are planted in the stories, which might reach fruition if you get to stay around long enough–there are certainly a few of those growing.
MSG: Of course, Huntress and Power Girl’s ties to Earth 2 frequently lead to questions about their histories before arriving on our world. How much of that backstory do you have developed already in your mind and how do you balance what you share versus contemporary stories?
PL: Since I’ve never been the primary driver of what’s the story of this Earth 2, my theories of their early days tend to be written in chalk. The needs of the main series take precedence, and I try to work around that.
MSG: Your upcoming crossover with Greg Pak’s Batman/Superman features a long overdue meeting between the women and their Prime Earth parent-equivalents. What motivated the event at this point in time and how has working with Greg been?
PL: The story was an editorial suggestion, but clearly it’s something that was a natural moment we were waiting for. Greg’s been fun–a flexible, open plotter to play with in our meetings (and thankfully he’s living locally, so we were able to do some plotting in person, which is always more fun). I haven’t done a linked tale like this since coming back to the keyboard, and it’s a very different process, so it’s been a pleasure to work with a writer in top form.
MSG: “Our” Batman and Superman, despite having met their Earth 2 counterparts briefly, are living very different lives than the men Kara and Helena grew up with. What kind of expectations does that set up for the women, and for the men as well?
PL: It’s got to be totally bizarre for the heroines, especially Helena, who is both the actual daughter of her Batman, and the more emotionally self-contained of the two. The primary heroes are less battle-scarred, and practically the contemporaries of the heroines. And in the reverse, ‘our’ Batman is hardly ready to have a daughter, particularly after what happened with Damian. There’s only room to do so much of the emotional reactions, but it was great fun to play with.
MSG: Power Girl hasn’t had quite as easy a time adjusting to Prime Earth as the Huntress, and that’s shown in a number of ways: costume changes, power losses, and more. Why is it so important to Kara’s character that she experience this kind of personal tumult?
PL: Maybe to show that having incredible powers doesn’t make life perfect? Or maybe it’s just fun to watch her go through her more external emotional reactions?
MSG: Tom Taylor’s Earth 2 book now features a very different Superman, who makes an appearance on the cover of your Worlds’ Finest #21! What’s your take on Power Girl’s cousin returned from the dead and the effect his reappearance could have on the super-heroines?
PL: Stay tuned.
MSG: Can we expect this event to lead into an eventual world crossing — Earth 2 and Prime Earth intersecting?
PL: Hard to believe that won’t happen, right? But when it does, it should be an interesting event on so many levels for the DC titles. From what I’ve heard about possible plans, I’m intrigued.
MSG: Any final thoughts or special teases for the Comicosity audience?
PL: How about one of Kara’s lines from the annual? “Kal wouldn’t approve of the fake ID either…but it’s not like he hasn’t lived his whole life with one. There’s a faint line between sainthood and hypocrisy.” It ain’t easy growing up in their shoes…
The “First Contact” crossover begins in the prelude story appearing in next week’s Worlds’ Finest #19, as well as Annual #1 at the end of the month, and continues through February and March in DC Comics’ Batman/Superman and Worlds’ Finest.
WORLDS’ FINEST #19
Written by Paul Levitz
Art by R.B. Silva and Joe Weems
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: January 15, 2014
Desperate times call for desperate measures as Power Girl and Huntress reveal their true origins to this world’s Superman and Batman!
Images courtesy DC Comics.