Announced as part of DC Comics’ Second Wave of New 52 titles, “Huntress” writer Paul Levitz teams up with artists Kevin Maguire and George Perez to bring readers “Worlds’ Finest,” a new ongoing comic book series that follows Earth-2’s Helena Wayne and Karen Starr as the displaced heroines try to find their way back home.
Levitz created Helena Wayne back in 1977 and recently brought back the daughter of Catwoman and Batman in “The Huntress” miniseries, written by Levitz with art by Marcus To, which saw Helena fighting her way through Italy. While there was much speculation that the title would roll into an ongoing series, with “Worlds’ Finest” the characterization Levitz began in “Huntress” continues as the writer adds Power Girl to the mix and the two women struggle to return to their world.
Levitz spoke with CBR News about the title and, while mum on the plot details of the new series and Earth-2, he willingly spoke about the genesis of “Worlds’ Finest” and how the new Huntress and Power Girl differ from their earlier counterparts.
CBR News: “Worlds’ Finest” is obviously a title that has, traditionally, been a Batman and Superman vehicle. Paul, what made you want to flip it over and tell stories with Huntress and Power Girl, specifically the Earth-2 versions of the characters?
Paul Levitz: That was a DC decision; I had been campaigning to do more with the Huntress, after the recent miniseries which I enjoyed doing, and the editors suggested connecting Power Girl to her old friend, and it grew organically from there. I think playing off the resonance to the two core characters they relate to is fun, and the wordplay of “Worlds’ Finest” fits nicely.
You mentioned campaigning to do more with Huntress — beyond your role in creating her, what is it about Helena that really fascinates you as a storyteller?
The combination of her strength as a character and the intriguing overlay of what it might have been like to be brought up by two people as interesting and complex as Batman and Catwoman.
Though Huntress and Power Girl are now from Earth-2, initially (at least) they are stuck on the New 52 Earth. What do you gain by having these two operating as fish out of water in New 52 Earth that you wouldn’t have if the series covered stories about the pair set on Earth-2?
Ah, you’ll need to read the stories for that. They had totally different identities on Earth-2 — remember, this is a new DC Universe, so it’s a new Earth-2. There wasn’t a Huntress or Power Girl on this Earth-2, so it would have been a very different series!
In that case, are you getting a chance to define the new Earth-2 world as well in you series?
James [Robinson] is in the lead developing Earth-2, and I’m following his work. It’s fun enough developing these two characters and their paths.
How closely will events in “Worlds’ Finest” be tied to James Robinson’s “Earth-2” series, also recently announced as a New 52 Second Wave title? Will there be any crossover in the future?
Hopefully, the two will be very closely related — at least we’re starting with coordinating how the women get to our Earth, and with ideas about [how] the stories can connect over time in some pretty ominous ways.
When you started working on “The Huntress” miniseries, was the plan always to roll that into “Worlds’ Finest?” Will the end of the miniseries tie into “Worlds’ Finest?”
By the time we finished the first issue the beginnings of the plan were beginning to come together, and gave us the opportunity to develop some of the clues that the readers have been enjoying and debating all along. The last scene brings the two together, and gently leads towards their next exploit.
Touching on the characters, how is this Helena Wayne different from the one you’ve written before?
[This Helena] had a very different life than the previous Helena on Earth-2 — some of which will be revealed in the first story, more of which will be revealed over time. She’s been hardened more, and as you can see in the miniseries, has more willingness to go to the limits for her goals.
Along those same lines, how different is this new Power Girl from the pre-relaunch version? Will this Karen Star be the same one who appeared in “Mister Terrific?”
I’m newer to writing the new Power Girl, so she’s still evolving, but it’s definitely the Karen Starr from “Mister Terrific,” and I think she’s got a much clearer sense of mission than any version of Power Girl we’ve seen before. The events that brought her here provide compelling reasons for her future destiny.
How would you describe Huntress and Power Girl’s relationship dynamic in “Worlds’ Finest?”
Really good friends with seriously different ways of dealing with a traumatic life change, and some very different approaches to life.
On “Worlds’ Finest” you’re working with two artists, Kevin Maguire and George Perez. What has it been like getting to work with George and Kevin, both of whom go way back with you at DC?
[I’m] just starting — I’ve done one story with George a few years ago, which was a delight, and this will be my first experience with Kevin. But it’s exciting to describe scenes and visualize how such talented men will bring them to life.
Finally, how does the collaboration between the three of you work — will the two of them take turns on the book, or will each one take a character and be the primary artist drawing things from their hero’s perspective?
I think it’ll probably vary. The first script has George on the ‘current’ events and Kevin on the ‘how they got here’ events — and I suspect we’ll have whole issues by each of them, or whole arcs, depending on how schedules and story structures come together.