British scribe Emma Beeby made comic book history in 2013 as the first-ever female writer of iconic 2000 AD character Judge Dredd. Now Beeby has delivered a dream team-up with DC Comics’ ultimate odd couple in “New Talent Showcase” #1, which is available now.
In “The Amazonian Job,” a short story illustrated by Minkyu Jung, the graduate of DC’s Talent Development Workshop scripts a super-spy thriller starring Wonder Woman and Catwoman – arguably the two biggest female characters in all of DC Comics – as co-conspirators in a caper that would make Michael Caine proud.
CBR connected with Beeby, who shared her thoughts on why the partnership between Diana and Selina works, revealed which male character that she would love to write for DC Comics and compared Judge Dredd to not one but three Gotham-centric characters that if mixed properly – or improperly – would combust into explosive action. Literally.
CBR: I love the title, “The Amazonian Job,” and the high concept. How did you dream up this team-up of Wonder Woman and Catwoman?
Emma Beeby: I couldn’t choose. It’s simple as that! We could write any character from the DCU, and if you can write anyone, you pick your favorite, so it was either Wonder Woman or Catwoman. It was like picking a child to abandon! So I decided to write them both, and the challenge became thinking of a way to put them together that made sense, and was fun enough to do the pairing justice.
Well, you certainly did them justice. Selina has this great line: “What is it you think I can do that you can’t?” This brilliantly sums up this ‘working’ relationship. I’ve read the story, but for readers who haven’t yet had the chance, what is it that Diana wants Selina to do?
That’s exactly it! There’s no contest as to who can kick the most ass; Diana doesn’t need any help to win her battles from a cat burglar. She needs Selina to do what she can’t, and that also happens to be what Selina does best: stealing. In this case, she needs her to steal something from the Amazons of Themyscira.
I’m guessing that you believe that Wonder Woman operates a bit too directly for life as a cat burglar.
There used to be this stealthy aspect to Diana, where she worked to fit in in the world of men with a day job, secret identity and even an invisible plane, but now she’s an all-day, every-day unstoppable super heroine extraordinaire, and she doesn’t hide who or what she is. I love that, and having that presence is part of getting the job done. It does mean that there’s now a space for a bit of stealth and secrecy that a partner like Catwoman can occupy.
‘Spangle Pants’ is maybe the greatest nickname in comics for Wonder Woman. Do you think Catwoman calling her as such would amuse the Amazonian Queen?
When I was first trying to work a story out, I immediately saw them facing off, and that was what Selina called Diana. It was the first thing she said. It’s pretty much what made me sure I could get a story to work. And no, it’s not something I’d say to Wonder Woman!
“New Talent Showcase” only gives us a taste of what’s possible with exciting new creative types like you and artist Minkyu Jung. But I love this story. When and where will we see its conclusion and if offered the opportunity, do you have more stories in your utility belt for the new and improved dynamic duo of Wonder Woman and Catwoman?
Thanks! I’d love to tell the full story. Minkyu Jung draws them so beautifully. It would be a great mini series. I love those little character moments that come from throwing them into each other’s worlds. There’s so much fun to be had there. I do think they could work together on more than this mission, and that might open up a whole new way of working for them, and for us to see them as we haven’t really had a chance to before.
Are there other characters at DC Comics that you would like to write?
That’s easy: Batman! “Detective Comics,” in particular. I love the whole Bat family, and there’s all that scope in “Detective” to explore.
Obviously, you could write a book about your experiences at the DC Talent Development Workshop, but I was wondering if you could share some brief thoughts about the master class. Specifically, the master himself – Scott Snyder.
I had the strange experience of being the only person joining the class from the other side of the Atlantic, so it was a very late night class for me. I was up until 1:30 a.m. once a week! And it was worth it every single time. It’s a pleasure to learn from Scott, he has great insight into how superhero stories work, is totally candid, and goes out of his way to offer advice and support. I learned a lot.
Is there any DC superhero – or super-villain – that compare to Judge Dredd, a character that you famously wrote as the first female writer in his 40-year history?
Dredd is pretty unique. He is the hero and the villain. He can be funny, but never cracks a joke. He is a violent fascist, and we still root for him. The closest comparison is maybe Batman, though it’s a little unfair to Batman! Maybe a bit of Batman, Bane and Jim Gordon all mixed together. Maybe.
Finally, do you have any updates about future projects with iconic British characters like the aforementioned Judge Dredd and Doctor Who?
Currently I’m working on a new series of Judge Anderson, who is a telepath and pre-cog. She works with, and has a history almost as long as Dredd. Like Dredd, she ages in real time, so she’s in her 50s now. It’s a joy to write a female character who is older, a leader, and isn’t there to be anyone’s love interest!
“New Talent Showcase” is available now.
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