Since the launch of the New 52 in the DC Universe in September 2011, the month has been a special one for comics readers. Last year saw the coming of Zero Issues of your favorite DC mags, featuring origins or untold stories of these “new” heroes.
This September, the villains are taking over, and in the thick of things is writer Greg Pak, who is scripting books with three titans of cosmic awe and power.
To discover the answers behind this trifecta, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer cornered Pak in a structure within the bottle city of Kandor and exclusively questioned the writer about his three fierce foes.
Cosmic Book News: First, Greg, for those who have been under a rock, tell us the concept behind DC’s Villains Month in September.
Greg Pak: In September, every regular DC book will be replaced by one-shot stories starring key villains. I’ll be writing the General Zod, Darkseid and Doomsday one-shots.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8910:]]CBN: How did you happen to get assigned three of the most powerful cosmic baddies in the DCU?
Greg Pak: I’m very grateful to editors Eddie Berganza and Mike Cotton, who pulled me on board. Eddie’s my Batman/Superman editor, so naturally we’ve been talking a ton about Superman and his various villains over the past few months. We’d also had a lot of conversations with Mike, who edits Earth 2, to coordinate the Earth 2 elements of the first Batman/Superman storyline. And of course in the New 52, Earth 2’s history is closely intertwined with Darkseid. So I guess over the weeks and months, we’d bounced around a bunch of ideas that laid the groundwork for some of these books.
CBN: With General Zod, will you be looking towards the Man of Steel movie in the building of this New 52 character?
Greg Pak: I actually finished the script a couple of weeks before I saw the movie, so the movie didn’t directly influence the story or characterization. But after seeing the movie, I think there’s some nice parallels there — they did some great things with Zod that resonate pretty nicely with some of the elements we’re introducing in our book.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8911:]]CBN: How will the New 52 Doomsday be different from past iterations? Is this the same entity every Kryptonian child had nightmares about?
Greg Pak: We’ll hear about Doomsday from three different characters during the course of the story. Readers will have to judge for themselves whose stories are the most reliable. But yes, this is a Doomsday that’s haunted Krypton in various ways for many, many years.
CBN: Darkseid was here at the beginning of the New 52 reality fighting the Justice League. What developments will we see in this classic cosmic baddie?
Greg Pak: We’re going to his homeworld of Apokolips to get the first New 52 glimpse into his terrifying origin. We’ll also learn the secret history of a character who’s having a huge impact on a few key DC heroes and who just might be the greatest thorn in Darkseid’s side.
CBN: Will the heroes whose books are being usurped this September make any appearances in your trio of tales?
Greg Pak: Darkseid is taking over Justice League, and yes, you will see a Justice League in the pages of the book. (Wink, wink.)
General Zod takes over Action and Doomsday replaces Batman/Superman for the month, and everything in those books will eventually have a huge impact on the world of Superman.
CBN: What is the incentive for a reader to lay down four bucks to read about a villain?
Greg Pak: Because villains are awesome. In countless interviews, actors talk about how much fun it is to play villains. I think the same thing can be said of writers and readers. Villain stories can be enormously fun and scary. We’ve got some deliciously horrifying twists in here that we think you’re going to love. Also, we’re doing some surprising new things with these villains that could only be done in the New 52, so this is a great place to be surprised and get excited about what comes next.
CBN: I know it’s in the solicits, but tell me about the artists bringing your tales to life.
Greg Pak: Ken Lashley is drawing the Zod book. He’s bringing a great, jagged savagery to some key images in there that are blowing my mind.
Brett Booth is taking on Doomsday. We’ve just started working together, but man, his enthusiasm is so exciting and he can draw anything, can’t he? He’s posted some concept sketches on his website that are already making me cackle. This is going to be an epically big, scary book.
Paolo Siquiera is drawing Darkseid, and if you’ve seen his Voodoo covers, you know he’s got the big imagination necessary to explore Apokolips in the New 52. I think there’s also something about his clean, beautiful lines that’s going to make big, craggy Darkseid even more scary. I can’t wait!
CBN: Were you a fan of any of these villains? Anything major from their past appearances working its way into the New 52?
Greg Pak: Yes and yes. But I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers. Wait, I will say one thing… One of the glories of the New 52 is that we’re free to embrace awesome elements of classic characters while reimagining how they work in this new world. I’m hoping long-time fans will feel the love we all share for these characters while thrilling to the big, crazy new stories we’re opening up here.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Greg Pak for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank DC’s own Alex Segura and Alex Nagorski who helped make this interview possible.
Villain’s Month hits the DCU New 52 in September with JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.1: DARKSEID, ACTION COMICS #23.2: ZOD, BATMAN/SUPERMAN #3.1: DOOMSDAY, and more!