Interview: Joshua Williamson Talks FLASH: YEAR ONE & Upcoming BATMAN/SUPERMAN

Monkeys Fighting Robots chatted with writer Joshua Williamson at MegaCon 2019, where he talked about his current Flash: Year One story, and what to expect from his upcoming Batman/Superman.

Watch the full interview with Joshua Williamson here:

Why is now the right time to tell Flash: Year One?

“Oh man, well, for me we’ve been building this big story with Barry since issue one, and we’re trying to tell this big narrative and sort of my view on who Barry is. Right now, in the story of The Flash, he is kind of at his worst. It’s like all the stuff that happened with Wally, all that stuff with Kid Flash, Iris is gone … he’s kind of alone.

During the Trickster storyline, he was confronted with the idea that he was questioning being happy. It made him reflect on himself, like, ‘what’s going on with me that i think being happy is weird?’ It made him confront how pessimistic he’d become, which is not who Barry Allen is, right? Barry Allen is an optimistic, hopeful person. He’d become so pessimistic.

At the end of the Trickster storyline, Trickster won. Like, The Rogues all escaped. Iron Heights was destroyed, The Rogues escaped, Trickster got away. And now you look at Barry and he’s like, ‘all The Rogues are free, Hunter is out there, I’ve got all these forces, all these things are happening,’ it’s just weighing down on him and he feels very pessimistic, he feels very overwhelmed by all this stuff. And then he meets Steadfast in issue 69 who’s like, ‘you need to remember something, you forgot something really important.’ And that’s what makes him relive that memory.

I wanted to put Barry at his most pessimistic before we do a story about… You know, he was an optimistic, hopeful kid. After his mom died he became this pessimistic person. What Geoff Johns said best was that after [Barry’s] mom died, he was always standing still, and then the lightning hits him and he becomes The Flash. But I wanted to show a story about how it wasn’t that easy. The powers don’t make him optimistic. The powers don’t make him hopeful. I wanted to show how he goes from this pessimistic person who then has the powers who then becomes the hopeful, optimistic person again. And so that’s what I was able to do with this story. I wanted to show that story again. And it’s perfect timing for this book because yeah, Barry’s pessimistic, but then for the next thing that’s coming – the thing after “Year One” – he needs to be optimistic and hopeful again. Even though there’s a lot of intense stuff coming at him, I want him to be that person again so he can tackle those problems.”

What can people expect from Batman/Superman?

“It’s got Batman and Superman in it, I’ll tell you that. It’s going to be spinning out of some of the stuff that’s been going on with Metal and some of the stuff that’s been going on with the Batman Who Laughs series. But it’s going to be its own story.

If you want to know what’s going on in the DC Universe, this is one of those books to keep an eye on. Stuff that happens in it will impact what happens in the DCU in 2020 in a major way.

But what’s happening is that Batman and Superman find out that there are characters in the DCU that are being possessed by the dark multiverse version of themselves. So kind of like there was the Dark Knights? We’re doing something like that where there are characters being corrupted and replaced by those people, and [Batman and Superman] have to figure out who they are. Which heroes, which characters have been turned, which have been infected by the Batman Who Laughs? So Batman Who Laughs is in it more as a presence; it’s more about them investigating these characters and trying to figure out who it is. Can they keep this a secret, or do they bring everybody in, right? Who do you trust in a situation like this?

So it’s mostly about that. David Marquez is drawing it and it looks awesome. I’ll show you a page when we’re done, but dude, it’s so good.”

He did show me a page after the interview, and I can confirm that it is, in fact, so good.

Was there any discussion about who’s name was going to come first in the title?

“Oh sure, but you know who won. It was Batman. We talked about that a lot in the beginning, and we kind of went back and forth, but the decision was made to make it Batman/Superman, which I was fine with.

To me, it’s both of their books. Just because [Batman’s] name is on top… It’s both of their books. And a lot of it has to do with a lot of Superman stuff. A lot.”

You can read Josh’s The Flash right now, while Batman/Superman #1 hits stores in August. You can also pick up his indepedent comics NailbiterBirthright, and Ghosted from Image Comics.

Thanks again to Joshua Williamson for taking the time to talk with us!

Anthony Composto - EIC
Anthony Composto - EIC
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.