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SDCC CONversations: An Interview with Tom Taylor

SDCC CONversations: An Interview with Tom Taylor

By Tim Beedle Sunday, July 21st, 2013

It’s a lot of responsibility writing an ongoing title based around a popular DC Comics character, so imagine what it’s like writing a title that’s centered around an entire world.

As the new writer for Earth 2, Tom Taylor is facing just that. But with experience writing alternate versions of popular DC Comics super heroes in the best-selling Injustice: Gods Among Us digital first comic, he’s more than up to the task. But on the fourth day of a long convention, is he up to our exclusive Comic-Con interview? You’re about to find out…

So Tom, how did you get involved with EARTH 2?

I think it was because of my work on Injustice: Gods Among Us. That did well, so from there, DC had me in mind to get on a book and this one came up.

How familiar were you with the characters and world before coming onto the project?

Well, I had read quite a bit of it. And obviously, the characters are brand new in a way. Sometimes the only similarities they have are the powers and the names. The characters have changed completely because they’ve been updated for their new world—for this new Earth 2.

So I was familiar with quite a bit of it and of course, I’ve done a pile of research since. And I’ve always been a fan of the JSA as well, so I’ve read a lot of those books.

That’s interesting because it is an alternate universe with different versions of these characters, but  you can say that about Injustice as well. Do you like moving away from the established continuity and getting to take these characters somewhere new?

Absolutely. Moving away from established continuity gives you a freedom you don’t have otherwise. I’ve written Star Wars for a lot of years, and obviously there’s a lot of continuity with that, but with Injustice, I’m just writing the characters I know and love and they’re the characters that I’ve known since I was a kid. I’m writing characters that I think people are really familiar with. They’re not new characters, and their voices are really familiar to readers and I think that’s why it’s resonated so well.

Currently in EARTH 2, the world is at war. You’ll be taking over following the completion of that storyline. What can you tell us about what the world will be like once you join the title?

Yes, the world is at war at the moment and I can’t say too much about what is going to happen. But I will say that James Robinson leaves Earth 2 with a bang.

Which characters are you looking forward to writing the most and why?

It’s interesting, actually, because there are characters that the fans don’t know about yet, and I’m very much looking forward to writing a couple of them in particular. Two of them that are going to change things in a big way and present a brand new voice in the DC Universe.

What can you tell us about the new Batman and the role he’ll be playing in the series?

Oh, he’ll definitely be a big part of it. On the subject of Earth 2’s new Batman, I know a lot of people out there want to know who he is. Well, I can tell you that I peeked under the cowl, and I just saw fists flying at me. That’s all I saw, and I was unconscious for three days as a result. I woke up in Tasmania, and I have no idea how I got there. So I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you who he is. It really didn’t go well the last time I tried to find out!

If you’re a new reader who is unfamiliar with Earth 2, is now a good time to start reading it?

It’s a great time to start. We’re welcoming new readers with our run. Obviously, it’s a little richer if you’ve read what’s come before. But I don’t think anyone would be in the dark if they just started reading the comic now. We’re certainly going to do what we can to bring people up to speed.

Excellent! Well, I only have one more question and I’m sure you’re asked it all of the time, but it’s something that I know a lot of comic book fans wonder about—you share a name with the main character of The Unwritten. Is that just a big coincidence or what?

Oh yes, so Mike Carey created a book called The Unwritten starring Tom Taylor, and it came out just as I started writing professional comics. And his dad’s name is Wilson Taylor, and I was working with a guy named Colin Wilson. So if it’s a complete coincidence, it’s a strange one!

But related to that, I actually did an installment of Legends of the Dark Knight with Nicola Scott—it was the first thing we worked on together and now we’re collaborating on Earth 2. Anyhow, we put a character in there called Mike Carey, as a nod to that. Of course, we couldn’t resist putting the character through the ringer just a little bit! After all that’s happened to poor Tom Taylor, it seemed the least we can do.