Looking at this line up, I have to ask -- I see a bunch of pretty stable, at least relatively sane villains here... and then there's the Joker, who is obviously going to be a whole different animal. How are you approaching someone like him on a team?
He's got a very dark role, but as the series goes on, he actually becomes more and more important to the Legion, and Luthor's reasons for picking him become more and more apparent. But! I didn't want to sort of put him out there and have him be doing everything and use him really quickly in a big way, because Joker is an extremely special character to me. If I'm gonna put him on a team, I need him to have a very specific role.
Honestly, Luthor sees him as his partner on the team. Luthor has this vision all of a sudden of what we're supposed to be as a species, what humans are supposed to be, what people are supposed to evolve to -- and he sees Joker as a great inspiration in the story. Joker is almost a touchstone for him to go back and say, "Am I doing this right? Does this bring us closer to what we're supposed to be?" Joker gleefully plays that role.
It's almost like -- if you look at Justice and Doom, I drew symbols for each of them, the Justice circle is almost a semi-circle, with these lines going through it. The Doom symbol is the same symbol, flipped upside down with a little triangle over it. They're opposites of each other. To me, if justice is something we impose on the world -- out in nature, right is not reward, wrong is not punished, but we strive to be better than this make up. We strive to be better than what we're made of. So in that way, we impose a system upon the world and there's the idea of justice.
Well doom, in its original form, is just a word that meant "fate." It implied "fate" without any connotations. So what Luthor sees is that our nature is bad, our nature is petty, predatory, we're animals. We're biologically at odds with this system we've created, so why not embrace that? Why not realize that the true heroes here are the Legion of Doom? As a reader, that's the question: are you going to pick Justice, or are you going to pick Doom?
Justice League #1 hits shelves June 6.