With the appearance both on the cover and at the end of the issue of mastermind villain Dr. Zoom in last week’s Time Masters: Vanishing Point, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund have made the tie between Bruce Wayne’s return and Geoff Johns’ upcoming Flashpoint miniseries much clearer. Still, what his involvement is exactly and how he plays into both the apparent death of Batman and the just-resolved tale of mystics and mayhem both at the end of time and in the distant past is unclear. For a little illumination, we talked to writer/penciller Dan Jurgens, who…well, we’ll see…
The Gold Exchange: Is the flashback/flash forward framing device going to play directly into the A-plot? The attacks on the Carter family make me wonder if we’re going to see who the attackers are here.
Dan Jurgens: Yes, the flashback sequences will play into the “A” plot, but perhaps not quite so much as what you’re asking. It’ll be a bit more subtle than that.
GX: Have you always had this “origin” in mind for the building at Vanishing Point?
DJ: I don’t know if I would say “always”, but it’s certainly been there for a long time. Kind of a full circle sort of solution in a way.
GX: Is that a Christmas ornament Hal attaches to the winch to bring them out of the vortex, or a wrecking ball? Being green and translucent makes it seem very festive…!
DJ: While it is sort of seasonally appropriate, it wasn’t designed to look like a Christmas ornament. But I can see why you asked. And if the readers want to take it that way, well… ’tis the season to be jolly.
GX: Is this all happening before Bruce got back, or do our heroes just not know what’s up back at home?
DJ: This is happening before Bruce actually gets back. That will all be explained next issue.
GX: What’s to stop them “saving” Bats by doing the same thing Rip did to save Michelle? Go to the moment when he’s about to be blasted and steal him, leaving everyone to assume he’s dead and the impact to still happen?
DJ: I don’t want to give too much of that away, but by now you’ve seen the cover to Time Masters #6, where we see Rip looking in on that moment. I think it’s save to say we address that.
GX: Whose mind did they pluck the A-bomb from? It seems like any of these folks would have had more damaging weapons hidden in their psyche.
DJ: Hal’s. In my original script I had a line where he remembers seeing a photo of it in one of the old test range bars he visited. I took it out for the printed version because it just felt a bit too “planted”.
GX: That said, is it maybe more about the fact that the atomic bomb was not only a powerful weapon, but shaped the landscape of world power more than something like a Sinestro ring has?
DJ: It’s a bit of both, really. I’ve always found the Manhattan Project to be a tremendously compelling story, for a whole lot of reasons. So, in and of itself, the beginning of the atomic age was an interesting episode to touch on, and Hal would be a natural to have awareness of that particular test site.
GX: I love the Right Stuff homage panel when the castle is collapsing. Was that intentional?
DJ: Absolutely! Glad you caught it!
GX: What are the chances we see some variation on the Time Pool again? A collapsed castle might stop Serhattu, but there are plenty of people who could just lift it away if they wanted access.
DJ: As I’ve mentioned with other things, it’s a natural to be touched on again.
GX: Alright, so Daniel has been talking to Rose this whole time. When did they get married?…Or are we maybe dealing with future versions of the characters?
DJ: Supernova and his wife will be addressed next issue.
GX: Every so often, you get to write a truly insane piece of dialogue like “Waverider’s corpse–with this I am unstoppable!” Doesn’t it make you love writing superheroes?
DJ: Oh, yeah. Because you sometimes have to stop and look at it and say, “Is this what I want here?”
GX: One of the recurring themes of your Booster stories is that they run into four issues of problems and when the conflict is finally resolved, it’s in the course of a few panels. Is that an artistic choice? It certainly makes the stories seem more thoughtful and less like a shoot-’em-up action movie.
DJ: As a general rule, what I sometimes try to avoid is the 12 page fight scene that solves the problem. There are times when it works, and others where it does not. Each story requires its own solution.
GX: Now, it’s been said that this story will bridge the gap between The Return of Bruce Wayne and Flashpoint–how directly will it tie into the latter, given the appearance of Zoom?
DJ: Once again… issue #6 is key! Stay tuned!
GX: Zoom appears to be poised for a fight–how much time will we have for denoument next issue given that the mission statement of this story was to help define time travel in the DCU?
DJ: Again, not to sound evasive, but much of that comes into play in issue #6. I think we can get more in-depth with questions and answers at that time.