Newsarama: Dan, let’s start over with something kind of easy – Mary Marvel, Granny Goodness and Eclipso. That’s obviously referring to the “Seduction of the Innocent” storyline from Countdown where Mary Marvel was corrupted by Eclipso originally, and then chose to stay where she had landed…
Dan DiDio: Absolutely correct. And also if you notice, behind Granny Goodness is the shield of Hippolyta. The reason that’s there of course is that Granny was tied to the Amazons and was pretending to be one of the Greek gods. So, the larger image was that Granny was playing a role as a god, and also played a role in the conversion of Mary to evil.
NRAMA: And also, given where and how Mary ended up in Countdown - Eclipso’s arm around her waist…that indicates possession?
DD: Absolutely. She’s in control of Mary, and then Mary struck back, but yet Mary did not pull free from evil’s grasp.
NRAMA: Moving above those three – Martian Manhunter, Joker and Catwoman…
DD: That was part of the Salvation Run storyline – as the teams were breaking up on the Salvation Run planet, we knew that Catwoman would ultimately turn and betray Martian Manhunter, which is why he’s holding the knife – he’s been stabbed in the back by Catwoman.
NRAMA: Before we move on – has everything in this teaser image come to pass?
NRAMA: Okay then, moving to what can’t be overlooked – the head of Darkseid. Is that representing the fall of Darksied as seen in the end of Countdown?
DD: Is it? You’re only seeing his head. Is he coming or is he going?
NRAMA: He’s popping up through the earth? He’s on the rise?
DD: That’s something for people to still determine as we move forward.
NRAMA: Moving on to Kingdom Come Superman, Cyborg Superman and Superman Prime – starting with Kingdom Come Superman…he’s been in Justice Society lately, and he has the sign of the Atom on his hand…
DD: We used that as a mark of the multiverse – shorthand on his hand, really. We wanted to show that that particular Superman was one that came to our world from the multiverse, and that’s what the mark stands for.
NRAMA: And Cyborg Superman?
DD: You’ve got to remember that when this poster came out, the Sinestro Corps War was still getting going, and people didn’t know what kind of return he was going to have and the role he would be playing in it. That was a hint of that.
NRAMA: And that also goes for Superman Prime?
DD: Right. At that moment, Superman Prime was Superboy Prime, and he was part of the Sinestro Corps War and was working side by side with Cyborg Superman, but ultimately, he came to play a role in Countdown with the black costume. Remember at the moment of the teaser poster, he wasn’t in the black costume yet, so we wanted to show the intimacy of the two – the relationship, conspirators, that they would share.
NRAMA: And if people didn’t figure out he was Prime, but took him to be, for some reason, Superman, all the better for controversy and conversation?
DD: That’s right.
NRAMA: Moving down – Piper, DeSaad and Penguin. An odd grouping, but yet they did get together in Countdown, if only tangentially…
DD: You want the truth, or do you want me to make something up? [laughs]
NRAMA: Let’s start with the truth, and if that gets weird, we’ll go for the made-up version…
DD: What happened was – one of the story beats actually changed since the poster was made. Originally, that grouping was to signify that both Penguin and Trickster were working side-by-side with DeSaad. Both had come over to DeSaad, had seen where things were heading, and both were trying to negotiate their own lives and their own safety in regards to what was happening with DeSaad – and both of them would ultimately turn on DeSaad in the future. You saw some of that with Penguin, and a little with Trickster. Ultimately, Trickster was going to betray Piper to DeSaad. That’s why he’s holding the pipe.
What happened though, as the course of Countdown continued, there was a radical change in how the story was going to be handled, and ultimately, Trickster died. So that particular storyline did not play out the way we had planned it to when we were constructing the poster.
It’s funny – as we were putting the series together, and I saw the changes coming, the poster was in the back of my mind, but I did not want to get involved in changing the flow of the story to match something that was, in the end, a promotional piece of art. I figured I could take my lumps on that one part of it.
NRAMA: While we’re still looking at them, then three of them are standing on the capes, cowl and sword of the Trinity – the image that was connected with 52 - what’s the significance of that?
DD: Remember how I said certain things haven’t played out yet? That’s one.
NRAMA: Moving on to the left – Luthor crying with blood on his hands…it wouldn’t be a teaser poster without someone crying…
DD: [laughs] Yeah – we couldn’t put Superman crying on there again, so we had to get someone close to him. But that image ties in to Salvation Run #7.
NRAMA: The device between Trickster and Luthor – something that people noticed on the first teaser image too.
DD: It signifies both the New Gods and Boom Tube technology, which played a big rople in Countdown, and isn’t done playing a role yet.
NRAMA: And the book on the other side of Luthor?
DD: The Crime Bible! It shows up in the first issue of Final Crisis, and maybe even earlier…
NRAMA: In a book this week?
DD: I’d say there’s zero chance of it not showing up this week in some book.
NRAMA: Continuing our track, Black Racer’s skis broken…he is the messenger of death for the New Gods, so that one’s pretty obvious…
DD: Right – Death of the New Gods. And his skis are beside a Mother Box.
NRAMA: And finally on the ground – the broken arrow…
DD: Remember – when this came out, the Green Arrow/Black Canary wedding had yet to happen, so that was a tease to that, and then later, to the notion that Connor would be the one who would be “broken.”
NRAMA: One last thing – the skyline – the city on fire, and the very suggestive spiral in the sky –
DD: And Kirby dots, plenty of Kirby dots! Again, this was before we had announced the direction for Final Crisis - this was before we’d revealed the tagline for Final Crisis - it shows the destruction of a city, the end of mankind.
NRAMA: Any plans to do another one of these?
DD: We’ve got some fun stuff coming…we’ve got the Rip Hunter time boards that are coming up in the DC Nation page in this weeks’ books, and we’re also going to get pictures of our heroes summer vacations coming up later this year. We’ll be premiering those in San Diego.
And we’ve got one last motivational poster coming up…with Ambush Bug.
So – the Time Board should keep folks busy for a while, I think.