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Interview: Ray Fawkes on writing JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK

The writer discusses the mystical side of the DC universe.

The New 52 has quite a few books revolving around its dark corner of the universe and JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK is at the center of all that mystical madness. Back on issue #15, Ray Fawkes began co-writing the title with Jeff Lemire (GREEN ARROW, ANIMAL MAN). DC Comics was kind enough to let us chat with Ray for a bit about what the future holds for this title.

Comic Vine: With things being set up between the Justice League and Justice League of America, could we see the Justice League Dark team get involved?

Ray Fawkes: Yes. That is my full and final answer.

CV: Will we see any changes in the roster anytime soon?

RF: Also, yes. There’s people who will leave, people who will join, and people who will come back.

CV: At the conclusion of issue #18, A.R.G.U.S. seems to view JLD as a potential threat. Because of this, will we see these two groups go at it?

RF: Yes! Steve Trevor’s a military man. He looks at the Justice League Dark as a collection of people with access to powers he doesn't understand, so he wants to have at least some kind of control over it. When Constantine says they don’t take orders from him, it really becomes a you’re with us or against us situation – they become a potential threat to Steve. He now has to view them as a collection of powered individuals he has no control over and it’s makes him really nervous.

CV: This last arc ended with the JLD parting ways with Timothy Hunter and his father. What can we expect from this character, in future issues and story lines?

RF: Well, Tim and his dad are off on another planet essentially being Gods. If we do see them again, they’re going to be real different from the way we last saw them – they’re going to be rebuilding this planet and ruling it.

CV: The Dark Books (JLD, CONSTANTINE, ANIMAL MAN, and SWAMP THING) are all in their own pocket within DC. Do you think this strengthens the books because you can spend more time building and focusing on ideas and characters or hurts it since adding more popular characters to a book tends to lead to more readership?

RF: I think the books really benefit actually from grounding them in the rest of the world, showing how they’re different. And when they encounter the rest of the world, it gives you a chance to see what the dark characters think of people like Green Lantern and Flash… and it gives a chance to see what people like Green Lantern and Flash think about dark characters. I think that makes the whole world sort of mature, fuller and more interesting.

CV: What has it been like to jump head first into the New 52's mystical side of things?

RF: A total blast. I love the mystical side of stuff. It’s where the collection of freakiest and weirdest characters all lie and that’s where my inclinations lie. I love the brightest of the heroes and the guys who have very clear objectives but there’s nothing more fun to me than people who ride the line between good and evil and the people who do what they do sometimes because it helps the world and sometimes because it helps themselves. It’s fascinating to me.

Like when one of these really weird characters – someone like Frankenstein – jumps in and starts hacking away at something and you’re not even exactly sure if it’s a good thing he’s doing which to me is totally compelling. I want to know what this guy’s doing, what he’s all about, why this is happening.

CV: If you could add any DC, Wildstorm, or Vertigo character to the JLD roster, who would you pick and why?

RF: If I had the chance, I would, for some limited amount of time, put Lex Luthor on the team.

CV: How do you find the time to write all of these books?

RF: Well, I basically don’t do much else. I don’t go to the movies and I don’t sleep. I've always wanted to be a writer and I really do it as much as my free time allows – I’m reading and I’m writing all of the time, as much as I can for as long as I can.

CV: Thanks, Ray!

The next issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK will hit the stands April 24th.

19 Comments
Posted by comic_shaun

WTF?! Please tell me that these sample pages are to do with the House of Mystery messing with Frank. As I can remember his child was killed and Lady Frankenstein was away on solo efforts. Thes pages don't bode well.

Edited by BlueLantern1995

Hmm...Justice League Dark sounds interesting.

Posted by longbowhunter

Been digging the book since Lemire took the reigns. Curious about the direction of the next arc. Luthor seems a really bizarre dream choice for the team.

Posted by lifeboy

I liked ray's answer to how he finds time to write; (I basically don't do much else.) Its comfortingbecause I am a student and feel like I am overwhelmed and lost contact. No friends or family anymore.

Ray also says some old characters will be returning, I hope that means shade. He was my favorite and he hasn't been around since issue 7. I have been loving this comic and it has made my renew list with no problems. Good luck RF

Posted by soumya
@lifeboy said:

I liked ray's answer to how he finds time to write; (I basically don't do much else.) Its comfortingbecause I am a student and feel like I am overwhelmed and lost contact. No friends or family anymore.

Ray also says some old characters will be returning, I hope that means shade. He was my favorite and he hasn't been around since issue 7. I have been loving this comic and it has made my renew list with no problems. Good luck RF

I assume it's either Shade or Andrew Bennett who will return soon.I hope it's shade.I liked this character a lot.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@soumya said:
@lifeboy said:

I liked ray's answer to how he finds time to write; (I basically don't do much else.) Its comfortingbecause I am a student and feel like I am overwhelmed and lost contact. No friends or family anymore.

Ray also says some old characters will be returning, I hope that means shade. He was my favorite and he hasn't been around since issue 7. I have been loving this comic and it has made my renew list with no problems. Good luck RF

I assume it's either Shade or Andrew Bennett who will return soon.I hope it's shade.I liked this character a lot.

I read before that Shade won't be coming back. Jeff Lemire said that he wouldn't bring him back because he was too personal a character to Peter Milligan. This means Mindwarp probably won't be back anytime soon either.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

Looking forward to the next issue, and Swamp Thing's appearance.

Posted by lifeboy

Hi ray, should you read this : again good luck and if I could offer a small piece of advice, don't skip on the details. Example, JL- although it was a 10 out of 10 issue, GJ skimmed through the the assembly of all the heros gathering for rollcall in the watchtower. I felt that there was so much content and drama happening in that room with dr magnus. I would have loved seeing more of that. Then with platinum going haywire at the end for the conflict was just so awesome. It could have been a gaint size comic easily. Again, I know GJ had his reasons with the coming trinity war but again, please don't just blow through the drama. Btw, yes I like drama more that action so I am baised.

Posted by broo1232

Loving the book and I can wait to see where the book goes next especially if Swamp Thing is joining the book.

Edited by soumya

@soumya said:
@lifeboy said:

I liked ray's answer to how he finds time to write; (I basically don't do much else.) Its comfortingbecause I am a student and feel like I am overwhelmed and lost contact. No friends or family anymore.

Ray also says some old characters will be returning, I hope that means shade. He was my favorite and he hasn't been around since issue 7. I have been loving this comic and it has made my renew list with no problems. Good luck RF

I assume it's either Shade or Andrew Bennett who will return soon.I hope it's shade.I liked this character a lot.

I read before that Shade won't be coming back. Jeff Lemire said that he wouldn't bring him back because he was too personal a character to Peter Milligan. This means Mindwarp probably won't be back anytime soon either.

It's too bad to the see the character only for seven issues.Nonetheless I trust in Jeff.Whatever he does I will accept it...anyways I,Vampire and Sword of Sorcery are wrapping up.That means Amy and Andrew will have chance to be in this title later on.

Posted by lifeboy

I don't see how v scarlet rose. I liked issues 1-6 the best so I like the heck out of peter milligan, but shade wasn't his creation. He has been around just not used until recent with jl dark.

Posted by lifeboy

RF, you have a great art team in janin and cox on your side. And I believe in you pal so have a great time, I know your going to do great!

Edited by Billy Batson

@lifeboy said:

I don't see how v scarlet rose. I liked issues 1-6 the best so I like the heck out of peter milligan, but shade wasn't his creation. He has been around just not used until recent with jl dark.

Milligan did redifine the character in the 90's and wrote 70 issues of his series till it ended, his appearances in Hellblazer and the Flashpoint mini. No one else has really used Shade but Pete.

BB

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Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@soumya: Yeah it seems possible that they could appear again.

It's annoying that the line-up will be changing again, seeing as I'm pretty sure Zatanna is one of the "people who will leave". If she hasn't left already.(My copy of #18 hasn't arrived yet)

Edited by StarKiller809

I think that the lineup feels like it changes too much in this series. I like the current team and don't really want any of the members to leave.

Posted by ThatRonB

@starkiller809: I'm with you, I think the team they've currently got works really well together.

Posted by Kneepawn

Just showing Lex Luthor some love. He hasn't gotten enough facetime at all in the new 52. But when he does, hopefully he sticks to Azzarello's rendition. Also, I hope Amethyst joins the roster as a permanent member. Her and Constantine's interactions added a borderline humorous chemistry to the team.

Posted by TeamUnitedNerds

I really have to catch up on this series

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I love Ray Fawkes' answer...so nonchalantly helps us prepare for Trinity War.