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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: Tom Taylor Talks Val-Zod and Worlds End...
Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:41:20 pm EDT (Viewed 474 times)

Writer Tom Taylor broke his silence on Newsarama to spill the inside story on his current Earth-2 plotlines, what to expect from next issues Val-Zod/Kal-el clash, and the upcoming Worlds End weekly series.

The whole interview is Here and I strongly recommend it as Taylor's love of the Superhero genre shines through and there is an awful lot of trivia and background notes to be had. But some of the more interesting comments he made include thje following -

    Nrama: Getting back to Val-Zod, what were you implying that he saw in Dr. Fate's helmet? And why the choice to not show it?

    Taylor: I think he says it when he takes off the helmet and he says he doesn't want to be the orphan of two worlds. I think you can sort of surmise what he saw there, without us needing to show too much.

    Partly, it's because I think it's nice and elegant to do it that way. Partly, it's because we had 30 pages and over 30 characters, to get our origin across. So part of it was because I wanted to do it that way, and part of it's because we didn't have any more pages to do that anyway.

As an excuse this may make some sense in the practical terms of producing comicbooks, but it is still a cop-out and disservice to the reader.
After carefully building up the questions of Val-Zod's pacifism and what it would take for him to finally take action to save others and end the carnage being inflicted across the globe, Tom Taylor's decision to wave Zod's dilemma away with a magic epithany short-changes the reader and shows a very poor weakness in writing ability. Did he set this plot up and then find he couldn't devise a credible rationale for Val to come to the decision to take action? The finished page seems to say so...

    Nrama: Looking at who Val is, and how determined Clark is — see, I can't even call him Clark, especially after what he did to Pa Kent.

    Taylor: Yeah, that was the moment. It was kind of funny; there were all these people tweeting at me saying, hey, he's going to be redeemed, right? And I was like, oh, there's going to be this moment where you're going to realize there's no redemption for this guy.

    It's just about the worst thing I've ever written.

    Nrama: It was pretty bad. But what I'm getting at is this showdown between the two Kryptonians. Can you describe where each of these characters are coming from, and how that will influence the confrontation?

    Taylor: Well, regardless of what Val-Zod has seen, his heart is still the same. He's not going to be heading up to fight evil Superman with the intention of beating him up. That's not who he is. He's still a pacifist at heart.

    Nrama: That's so unusual for a comic book character.

    Taylor: Yeah, it's not something we've see a lot in superhero comics. It's really interesting that superheroes — and I think I've made this clear in Injustice; I had Captain Atom talk to Superman at one stage and saying, you now, why is it we have all these abilities and all these powers, and every time we come together, we just want to punch each other in the face? Whereas with Val, he doesn't.

    He's still going to try to reason with him, or try to still get through to him with words, which may not sound that exciting. But I promise you that there's something coming up in #26 which should blow people away.

I loved Tom Taylor's thinking here, to create a character as high profile as Superman and have him be a commited pacifist who shuns violence is an incredibly bold and brave decision in todays comic marketplace. Whether it can work in real terms is an awkward question to answer, as this is a medium that is fuelled by violence and testosterone and backed by the gutlessness of editorial who balk at showing anything but...
Can Val-Zod really negotiate with the depravity of Kal-el at this point? Is there anything left of Kal-el's mind and soul to connect with on a rational level? Considering the casual execution of his own father the answer seems to be a firm no. But given none of the upcoming solicits make any reference to Kal-el what will be his fate next issue? And what can Val say to him that will make any impact on one so far gone into Zealotry and single minded mania?

    Nrama: What issue will we see Supergirl and Robin (now known as Power Girl and Huntress) returning? I think Supergirl is on the cover of #26, so is it happening in that issue?

    Taylor: It's not really. It's on the cover, but really, it's just sort of bubbling under the surface. They'll truly return as World's End begins. That's where it's all going down.

    I've actually been working on the first issue of the monthly with Marguerite Bennett, and we're hitting on a lot of that stuff.

    So we're telling stories with Huntress and Batman, and it's all exciting. I mean, throwing those two together for the first time — a granddaughter who doesn't now her grandfather's alive, and a grandfather who probably thought his granddaughter was gone too.

    There's some really powerful emotional stuff there, as well as just moments of supreme awkwardness.

This is perhaps the most anticipated element of the Worlds End storyline, as we know Helena Wayne has a great deal of unresolved emotional turmoil regarding her parents death, and her only rock of support during it all has been best friend Power Girl.
Thomas Wayne's reaction to realising his long lost Granddaughter is still alive is easy enough to predict, this man loves his family, even if they despised him. Helena on the other hand is her fathers Daughter and certainly will share his disdain and suspicion over him. The friction will make for riveting reading to see how their relationship progresses. \(beer\)