In August of 2011, DC Comics made comic book publishing history and ended every title they were releasing, re-launching each new and returning title with a bold “#1” printed on the front cover. Ever since that New 52 initiative, originally named for the number of books being published on a monthly basis, the company has been hinting at a major storyline with ramifications for the earth and all of its superheroes.
Within the pages of the Flashpoint mini-series that gave rise to this monumental change, a mysterious, hooded character named Pandora was instrumental in the fictional representation of the New 52. For eagle-eyes readers, she actually had a cameo in every published new first issue!
This summer, the promise of that major storyline, now nearly two years in the making, is fulfilled. Not only will Ray Fawkes’ writing in Justice League Dark be instrumental to that story, the character of Constantine will also play a pivotal role. In addition, Fawkes will also be writing the monthly adventure of the enigmatic Pandora in her own solo series, beginning this June.
You can read the first part of our conversation regarding Fawkes’ interest in the supernatural and his Constantine series here. In this short second, and final part of our discussion, he talks about the upcoming epic DC Comics Trinity War storyline and the importance of ensuring emotional connections between characters within big crossover stories. He also sheds some light on the mysterious character called Pandora.
JP Fallavollita: Let’s move on over to, I guess, the big news this summer from DC. This summer has got Justice League Dark and Constantine as titles that are intricately involved with the whole Trinity War crossover between the Justice League titles. But you’re also writing Pandora, debuting in June, I believe. She’s the character that started the whole New 52!
Ray Fawkes: Yeah, in many ways, she pulled the trigger.
JP Fallavollita: For the most part, you’re a writer and illustrator of personal stories. What are we going to see in a big crossover like this? I don’t want you to give away any spoilers, obviously, but what can you say about the big crossover event?
Ray Fawkes: One of the great things of working with people like Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire is that they never lose sight of the personal, emotional connection in their stories – especially with the larger stories. They really hang on to it. I got the opportunity to, in my dealings with the story, in my crossovers, the Pandora story and the Constantine story will both be very direct and personal for the characters. It’s not like they’re just showing up for a giant punch-up and then backing out. Everything that happens has a very deep connection to them and Pandora, especially, she’s going to be right at the centre of what’s happening in a very, I almost want to say, in a very moral way. What’s happening is going to have a lot to do with what’s she done in the past and what she intends for the future and she’s going to have to do a lot of self-examination because of the Trinity War. I’m speaking slowly and carefully because I don’t want to give anything away!
JP Fallavollita: No, we don’t want you to give anything away. We want to be surprised! Spoilers are good sometime, but not in this particular case. There’s a lot of responsibility on this particular series, it’s the first big post New 52 crossover!
Ray Fawkes: Yeah! Part of what we’re dealing with here, back when the Flashpoint ended and the New 52 was created, Pandora said that the three universes that she was dealing with, needed to be combined to strengthen them. Well, the Trinity War is going to show us what it needed to be strengthened against!
JP Fallavollita: This will be great summer reading for comic book lovers!
Ray Fawkes: I certainly think so!
JP Fallavollita: Congratulations on the Justice League Dark work that you’re doing and the first three issues of Constantine have been getting better and better every issue and continued success with them, Ray. I really appreciate you spending time out of your day to talk to me.
Ray Fawkes: Thanks a lot, JP!
Many thanks to Ray Fawkes for taking the time to talk to Biff Bam Pop! and thanks to the folks of DC Entertainment for helping set up the interview. The fourth issue of the monthly Constantine series will be published on June 12. The long-waited for Trinity War storyline, slowly building over the last two years, begins in earnest this July within the pages of Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark.
You can visit Ray Fawkes at his website: www.rayfawkes.com or follow him on Twitter at: @rayfawkes