When launching a new series last week in “Aquaman and the Others” #1, it should have came as no surprise that he would take the opportunity as an awesome way to kickstart his other upcoming project, the weekly series “Futures End” he is spearheading with Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen and Jeff Lemire.
“Aquaman and the Others” features a new character named Sayeh, the sister of Kahina the Seer, a former member of the Others who died in “Aquaman” #7.
Like her sister, Sayeh can forecast the future and Jurgens told CBR News it was a no-brainer that she would foreshadow the events of “Futures End” within the pages of “Aquaman and the Others,” illustrated by Lan Medina.
That this prophecy occurred in the first issue worked out perfectly to tease “Futures End,” which launches May 3 with #0 as part of Free Comic Book Day and continues four days later on May 7 in “Futures End” #1.
Jurgens also shared his delight about a second DC Comics title featuring Arthur Curry as a headliner — something believed near impossible before the character’s New 52 rebirth courtesy of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis in the “Aquaman” ongoing series.
The fan-favorite creator also teased what readers can expect in the past, present and future pages of “Aquaman and the Others,” which characters from his new series may also appear in “Futures End” and the importance and origin of the Atlantean relics that feature prominently in the series’ opening arc.
CBR News: “Aquaman and the Others” #1 hit stores last week and while the whole issue was a lot of fun, everyone is talking about the reveal looking ahead to the “Futures End” timeline featured on the last page. Did you know that this direct line between the two projects was going to be there when you signed on for “Aquaman and the Others?”
Dan Jurgens: When you look at how the timeline came together for me, just in terms of a work schedule and everything, I had already started on “Futures End” and we were into development on that before I started writing “Aquaman and the Others.” Once that came into play, just the idea that if I go back to where the Others initially appeared in “Aquaman” and the fact that one member of the group was somebody that could tell the future, I started to put it all together. “Futures End” takes place five years from now and having a member of this cast that is able to see into the future, that’s a natural — you can’t walk away from that.
When we talked about the makeup of team a few months back, and even as the team is featured on the cover of “Aquaman and the Others” #1, Sayeh was never considered as an Other. Will she be a featured member of the cast moving forward?
As you see the issues unfold, it’s fair to say that there will be a place for her in this book as we bring everything together. If you go back to the original material, which Geoff [Johns] and Ivan [Reis] put together, it’s really tremendous storytelling. When Kahina died she talked about having a husband. She talked about having kids. And right away, you go into that idea of who is watching the kids? Who is taking care of all this?
I think there is a way for this to come together in a very unique fashion and that’s what we’re setting out to do.
As Sayeh is ripped away from Kahina’s husband, readers see the vision of the “Futures End” timeline revealed in her eye. Will the crossovers between these two projects remain moving forward?
Yes, we have more of that coming up, for sure. Obviously, I have to make sure that I don’t give too much away here but we are certainly dealing with someone who can see aspects of the future and that blends in for me, as a writing device and a character, perfectly for some of the stuff that we’re going to be playing around with on “Futures End.” There is definitely going to be some connectivity there.
Do any of the characters in “Aquaman and the Others” play a role in “Futures End”?
The first issue of “Futures End” comes out in a month on Free Comic Book Day. And while some of these characters may not show up right away in the first issue, it’s safe to say that Aquaman certainly makes an appearance fairly early on and I think we will see more beyond that.
In the first issue, the Others are dealing with some masked militia types but I have this sinking feeling that they are not operating on their own. Have we met the real villain pulling the strings in the opening arc yet?
We have not totally met the person yet. Everything that we are going to do is going to unfold in “Aquaman and the Others” #2 and #3. We’ll find out who they are with, why they are doing what they are doing and exactly what their interest is in the Atlantean relics, as well as the team. And what is it that they have not only against the group, but Aquaman specifically.
Prisoner of War, Ya’Wara, The Operative, Sky Alchesay — all of the Others except Aquaman — are having troubles using their Atlantean relics of late because they seem to be losing power, but not Aquaman. Aquaman actually seems to be fueling the Trident of Poseidon quite effectively. Does Aquaman serving as a power source for these relics play a part of what brings the team back together?
Yes. [Laughs] One of the things that we are examining is what is the nature of the relics? Where did they come from? Obviously in “Aquaman” #24, we saw a panel of Atlan forging the relics. But I think that there is more to it than that and it is, if these things have some sense of magical power, do they then need to stay together to provide as much power as they are capable of providing. Does that become one aspect to why the group stays together as they do? With this, I think it’s fair to say that the group represents different things to different people.
Ya’Wara is a loner. The Operative has very much been a loner. And for him, the Atlantean Key that he has is just another tool in his toolbox. Whereas at the same time, if you look at someone like Prisoner of War, who is someone walking around with the memories of so many different people and the emotional feeling that he has for those that were left behind. Gosh, for him, I think the Manacles of Force represent stability. And I think they represent part of belonging to a group in a way that’s very difficult for him. These things do mean different things to each of the team members.
In this issue, all of the online chatter is about the tease of “Futures End” on the final page but it actually opens 1,000 years in the past. Will you be returning to the past and the time of Atlan and The Alchemist in future issues?
You’re going to see more of what happened in the distant past as that relates to what’s happening now. Not only that but it’s important to note that even now, despite the fact that we have seen Aquaman and the Others, one of the most interesting points of them to me is that they came together before there was even a Justice League. If you go back to “Aquaman” #7 where the Others first appeared, it starts out six years in the past. And the way the New 52 is constituted, obviously this team was together when Arthur was a different person certainly not as mature as he is now but certainly before there was a Justice League. They pre-date that. And we have not seen the story of how they all came together for the first time or how exactly did these get these Atlantean relics — there is a lot more out there be told. As well as, what’s going on right now with the team and where are they going with all of this.
A number that jumped out at me early in the issue was The Alchemist telling Atlan that there were only 10 gold bars left to forge the Atlantean hardware. We know about the Trident of Poseidon, the Manacles of Force, the Globe of Transformation, the Seal of Clarity and the Atlantean Key. Does that mean that there are five more relics, one per relic, out there because 10 seemed like a very specific number to mention?
Stay tuned. [Laughs] We’re sneaky, what can I say? I look at this as a long-term project. Part of what I do and I think what most writers do is say, “Here’s my first story,” but part of what a first story does is introduce enough possibilities that you can give hints of where you might want to go and might want to deal with in the second arc, the third arc and beyond. That’s very important to do.
Finally, we’re talked about just about everything in this issue except for your leading man: Aquaman. As a long-time fan of the character, it sure is nice to see Aquaman get his due in the New 52, headlining not one but two series. Am I right?
Oh yeah, very much so. I have always liked the character. If you go back to what he was, he was king of an entire country. He was King of Atlantis under the sea but the jokes were still there that all he does is talk to fish. Geoff [Johns] and Ivan [Reis] did two tremendous things. First, when they brought Aquaman back as part of the New 52, they took that on in the very first issue. Basically, they had someone come up to him in the very first issue and said he was a joke superhero and Aquaman set him straight. Geoff and Ivan took it on right from Day 1 and they put it to bed in that issue.
And secondly, it was Geoff and Ivan who created the Others. And they did such a fabulous job conceptually in what we have here. To this day, I am just as pleased as punch to have Ivan and Joe [Prado] doing the covers on the book. What they left me to work with is really quite deep.
And I should add Lan [Medina] does a fabulous job. He is really great at differentiating the different characters. They all have different facial traits and personalities and more than anything, when it comes time to convey that sense of emotion in their faces, he does that really, really well. And that’s so important in a team book.
“Aquaman and the Others” #1 by Dan Jurgens and Lan Medina is on sale now.