Thursday, April 11, 2013


After the way the first Justice League Beyond story arc "Konstriction" was stretched out due to the way it would be released, I knew right away I wanted to change things up with the direction of the stories immediately following. I wanted shorter stories of three chapters each, that could essentially be done-in-one type issues. It would be both a shot in the arm to make it easier for new readers to jump on board, as well as allow us to move around the Beyond universe quicker.

Also the idea behind it all was that I wanted to expand the team roster. The future Justice League was so small in comparison to the Justice League Unlimited show as well as any of the comics. For this future League to thrive, they would need to start adding members. So we'd start an open ended "Recruitment Drive" plan to start touring the Beyond universe, outside of Neo Gotham and Metropolis. To see what else and who else was out there.

Stories change and adapt over time. It's one of the interesting processes of working in comics, especially ones ahead of schedule, before they arrive online or in print. Not long after JLB was pitched, I was already starting to develop the next stories after "Konstriction"; pitching those even before Superman Beyond became a reality and joined the lineup in Batman Beyond Unlimited. When it came time for this "Flashdrive" story to be worked on, the villain in my initial pitch was already involved in Superman Beyond. It sort of threw me for a loop, as I try to allow myself enough time to plan stuff out in advance. Whether it just got forgotten up the editorial ladder or they decided to use the villain in a separate way than what I had planned, it meant getting rid of the idea and starting over from scratch.

My initial idea was to provide the new Flash with her main nemesis in Central City. To have her own sort of Lex Luthor type rival, who would provide the city with a lot of business and future technology. My initial pitch outline described it:

The main threat in town is King Solomon whose golden building towers over the landscape of the city. Sol and his forces have a stranglehold on the city. Imagine Capone's mafia run Chicago, except the prohibition of this time is for technology. Sol controls all technology that enters the city, and his mobsters might look like throwbacks to an earlier era, but their future tech laser tommy guns say otherwise. With Intergang trying to establish themselves in this area outside of Metropolis, we have a growing gang war problem that threatens the city. And one that Flash has been having trouble trying to keep the peace.

The reveal was that King Solomon was actually Solomon Grundy. His ability to come back from death over the years would provide him with experience and ties to the past. And this Grundy would be well spoken and competent, unlike the previous versions of the character. Only when he'd start to get angry, would he Hulk-Out into the Grundy we're all familiar with.

To add to the fun, Sol also had an older Consigliere as his right hand advisor. A man that went by the name "O'Brien", who dressed fashionably in his old age (slicked back white hair, tailored white suit with front pocket red handkerchief). If it wasn't already noticeable, we'd find out this is none other than Eel O'Brien, the original Plastic Man. He had always started out in a life of crime before he got his powers and turned legit. We'd be able to explain, either in the story or in an Origin special, that O'Brien had fallen on hard times, ditched his hero persona, and went back to his old ways falling in with bad people. But by the end of the story, the heart of a hero would emerge and he'd help the League take down Grundy.

But once Grundy was being used in the Superman Beyond story, it threw a wrench into my story. I'd ditch both Grundy and Plastic Man, and have to start over. It was recommended I might make Grodd the villain and shift the theme to ape mobsters, but I decided against that as well (I'd end up using apes in the story in a different way).
Come back for Part 2, where I'll dive into the creation of new villains as well as ties to the past revisiting the aftermath of the "Return Of The Joker" movie in relation to our story.


  1. I loved the new Flash, it was great how she was able to talk to the older versions through the speed force.

    1. You'll eventually see more of her backstory in the near future.

  2. I would love to see Grood since I hated the way he was killed off on Justice League Unlimited's "Alive". I gotta say mr. Fridolfs how I really enjoy when a writer discusses his creation process, what changed and what didn't. Looking foward for more of Dani (and the voices in her mind) on future issues!

    1. I think most writers are afraid to talk about stories that don't happen, just in case they want to use them at a later date. But for something like this, it's not something I'll ever go back to later. So why not show what could've been.