Jeff Lemire's latest graphic novel Trillium is available this week and he also talks to us about Future's End and Justice League United.
Charlie Chang: Last time we spoke we talked about Future’s End, one of the coolest things for me is seeing what you’ve done with Frankenstein and how you’ve made him such a centerpiece of that that story. What is your favorite thing about that character and why did you decide to make him such a focal point?
Jeff Lemire: I really enjoyed writing the Frankenstein monthly comic. I felt like I ended my run too soon and it felt unfinished. For me this was a chance and a big project and the main superheroes, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman didn’t need to be the centerpiece and we could focus on secondary characters so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to reconnect with Frank and tell the end of his story. I’m not sure exactly what appeals to me so much about Frank but the fact that he’s this monster that’s so civilized and so human and clearly more human than some of the characters around him. There’s a great sense of humor to him because he’s such a straight character and so you put him in wacky situations and it always amuses me you know? Mixing science and magic is always fun to play with.
CC: Frankenstein being the monster figure that he is, who would you say is a clear villain to Frankenstein’s “good guy” monster?
JL: I think in a perfect world, seeing Frankenstein fight the Incredible Hulk would be great, I don’t think we’re going to be seeing a Marvel crossover so I don’t know. It’d be fun to see various DC monsters against him like Manbat or a good Gotham story with Manbat and Frank, that’d be a lot of fun.
CC: Another piece of Future’s End, what we’ve seen of Terry McGinnis, he’s been such a solid side character in the DC Universe. Now that you’ve got a chance to put him into the main DCU, what has been the most fun for you with regards to the character and story?
JL: Yeah, Terry is a character that Brian Azzarello is really spearheading that but the great thing about bringing him into the DC Universe is that the Batman mythology is so vast and seeing where that goes into the future and what the character might become is so intriguing. I think that’s why fans love Dark Knight Returns and things like that. When you take these mythical characters and see different iterations of what he might become. I think Terry is such a great version of that, I think he’s like younger, fresher, and so much more positive than Bruce ever was and you get to see the legacy surviving and evolving with him.
CC: Let’s move on to Justice League United. What are some of the highlights for you so far and what are you looking forward to fans getting to see.
JL: I’ve always loved fun cosmic superhero stories so this was my chance to do that. I really enjoy the galaxy spanning aspects, getting to see other planets and alien races and seeing these character jump around space. It’s kind of old school but really fun and getting to write Animal Man and Green Arrow, characters that I have a lot invested in and in a team setting is a lot of fun.
CC: It’s been very cool seeing Adam Strange getting thrown back into the mix.
JL: Yeah it really has been a lot of fun and the next arc is the Legion of Superheroes comes back and so it’s a massive cast of characters.
CC: Now that Trillium is out now in a collected trade it’s got to so cool to see such a different monthly book finally put together.
JL: Yeah, you know, I really played around with format and storytelling in the monthly issues with flipping and everything else so it was almost like we had to reconceive the book for trade and see what aspects of that worked in the floppies but wouldn’t work in a collected edition on the bookshelf. So some things had to be switched or changed back to normal and some things could stay the same so that was almost like a whole other process, a secondary process where usually when I finish drawing a book I’m done with it but it was like a whole other level that had to exist beyond the normal monthly comic experience.
CC: Were you thinking ahead at all when you were doing the monthlies?
JL: No, I wasn’t worried about that at all *laughs*, not at all.