DC's Nazi fighting Earth-X dream team, the Freedom Fighters, are making a triumphant return in the Rebirth era with a brand new twelve issue limited series by writer Rob Venditti and artist Eddy Barrows, set to hit shelves this winter.
Featuring some new takes on the familiar faces of the Freedom Fighter's original roster: Human Bomb, Black Condor, Doll Woman and Phantom Lady Freedom Fighters #1 is set in Earth-X's version of 2018, where the population of America has lived in fear of an oppressive Nazi regime since their ultimate victory in World War II. We sat down to speak with Venditti to get some more details about this new take on the classic DC concept, as well as get some insight into just who, and what, we might expect to see.
So let's jump right in -- talk to me about building out Earth X in the Rebirth era. What sources are you pulling from? What's your take here?
Robert Venditti: For me, it was interesting because I mired in this headspace and dealing with material because of the graphic novel Six Days I have coming out with Vertigo, which is about a battle my uncle was in at the D-Day invasion and, you know, just really kind of put me in the mindset of thinking about that more and the sacrifice and how much it meant to history. To have an opportunity to have Freedom Fighters and really kind of look at that same material from an opposite angle -- you know, what if that sacrifice had gone a different way, what would be like?
So I'm doing a ton of world building, dealing with real history and also the timeline of the story story, bringing in the elements of superheroes. We get to see how 2018 America looks if the Germans won WWII, but also what the status of superheroes is in that kind of environment as well. It's a lot of fun because you get to just kind of build everything from scratch and really get to throw a lot of concepts out there and it's something that takes place in the wider DC multiverse but not being set on this Earth means it isn't as constraint as other stories might be.
We're really drawing from the Multiversity one shot, so that's established some elements but we're really working a lot from scratch. Eddy Barrows is really doing a fantastic job rendering this world and handling the designs.
Have there been any major real world historical moments you wanted to put an Earth-X spin on for this series?
Yeah! We're starting our story on November 22, 1963 which is the day of the JFK assassination, you know, in the real world. But JFK was never president here on Earth-X so we're taking that day in Dallas and dealing with the death of a different hope America had. It's the idea that the dates themselves have significance and power.
When we start out, the team is Black Condor, the Human Bomb, Doll Woman and Phantom Lady. These are all newer incarnations of the characters, and we'll learn new backstories for them, what motivates them and why they're Freedom Fighters. Uncle Sam in 2018 is missing in action. The American spirit was crushed when America was conquered by Nazi Germany, and so the Freedom Fighters are now coming back to try to remind the American population that there is such a thing as heroes and here's what America stands for. They sort of re-stoke that American spirit with the hope that by doing so, if they can stoke it enough, Uncle Sam can return and they'll have this very powerful, you know, fighting force on their side