Meltzer Bridges Final Crisis with "Last Will and Testament"

Best-selling novelist, television series creator and acclaimed comics writer Brad Meltzer knows no boundaries. Fresh from a visit to Los Angeles where he attended Book Expo America in support of his new novel, "The Book of Lies," and also pitched a TV show to studio execs, Metzler sat down with CBR News to discuss "DC Universe: Last Will and Testament," the "Final Crisis" tie-in coming August 27 from DC Comics.

Illustrated by Adam Kubert and John Dell, the one-shot is the New York Times best-selling writer's first work in comics since his critically and commercially successful re-launch of "Justice League of America" in 2006-2007. Meltzer wrote the first thirteen issues before handing the series off to Dwayne McDuffie. Previously, Meltzer penned the controversial hit Justice League story, "Identity Crisis."

"I'm constantly scheming with [DCU Executive Editor] Dan [Didio] and Geoff [Johns], and knew I really wanted to do something when the novel was done, so this was the idea I pitched to DC," Meltzer told CBR News. "I love them doing the big 'bang,' but my brain just so much prefers the small stuff."

"DC Universe: Last Will and Testament" is set between "Final Crisis" #3 and #4, a planned break in the series according to writer Grant Morrison. "It's the last night before the battle that will end it all," revealed Meltzer. "You know you'll die tomorrow, so what do you do on your last night. In truth, this book is about how the characters deal with death. It's such a simple easy thing to say. But reactions to death are far more complex when you finally see it. This is the night you say thanks and give thanks and sometimes do something entirely different."

The teaser cover image depicts a number of familiar faces from the DCU, literally split in half by a bolt of lightning, featuring two generations of hero on either side. "This book being about how we all deal with death, family obviously plays an incredibly significant role," teased Meltzer, who has had to endure two deaths himself of late, as both his mother and his grandmother have passed away in the last two months.

Meltzer confirmed the trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman will all be featured in "DC Universe: Last Will and Testament," as will Starfire and Nightwing from the Titans and Rocky Davis from Challengers of the Unknown.

The writer said he had the scripts for "Final Crisis" while writing "DC Universe: Last Will and Testament," so he was well aware of who was still alive, or at least active, in the DCU when plotting his book. "DC has really streamlined their continuity. The continuity cop is the great and all knowing [Senior Story Editor] Ian Sattler, so it was easy to figure out who was around," said Meltzer. "I'd say, 'Can I use him?' They'd say, 'Yes' or 'No, he's dead.' I'm overstating it though. I knew the plans for J'onn, so it was pretty easy to get the rest."

Meltzer's next scheduled comic work is writing the penultimate arc of Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8" for Dark Horse Comics. The long-time Buffy and Whedonverse fan said it was too early to share any details on who and what his storyline may or may not include. "Sorry, no news to report yet because I'm near the end," said Meltzer. "C'mon, do I really look like a spoiler?"

This September also sees the release of Meltzer's latest novel, "The Book of Lies." After cross-promoting his last novel, "The Book of Fate," in the pages of "Justice League of America," Meltzer's latest offering has even more geek cred as it features some historic comic lore. "It's about the murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel and the weapon that supposedly killed Jerry Siegel's father," teased Meltzer.

The story of Cain and Abel, the first and second son of Adam and Eve, is told in Genesis 4:1-16. Jerry Siegel is one of the two co-creators of Superman. His father Mitchell died when the young man was still in high school.

Check back with CBR News tomorrow for more "Final Crisis" as Greg Rucka joins us to discuss "Final Crisis: Revelation."

Now discuss this story in CBR's Final Crisis forum.

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