Monday, September 9, 2013


Wrapping up my final thoughts on some of the larger stories that would've comprised my "Recruitment Drive" extended arc for Justice League Beyond. After such a long stretched out "Konstriction" story, made longer with how everything got spread out in release; I made a concentrated effort that adding new members to the League would happen in quicker shorter stories. A new Flash, Captain Marvel, and Lobo would at this point be part of the team.

At one point, I even considering adding Martian Manhunter but in a much different format. I thought it possible that in his martian race, their people would eventually fade away into ghosts as they lived into old age. I thought it only made sense with his intangibility powers of being able to disappear, that it would be a precursor towards how they'd fade away in death. So if I added Martian Manhunter to the team, he would be sort of an "Obi-Wan Kenobi" type…a ghost that would appear in the Watchtower to provide a voice of experience. But he wouldn't be able to do more than that. But once I found out that Martian Manhunter would be used differently in the Superman Beyond storyline, I just nixed that idea.

But here are the last of the larger ideas that we never got to…


Anyone that knew Supergirl from the animated continuity, knew her struggles to fit in on the Justice League and her longing for something more. She decided to travel into the far future (much further than the Batman Beyond timeline) to join up with the Legion Of Superheroes, and with a budding romantic relationship with that future version of Brainiac; leaving her cousin Kal behind. And that was the last we saw of her. But the story I had planned would be the next large arc. Here's my original outline to her story:

In the far future, Supergirl is dating a fellow member on the Legion who happens to be a heroic Brainiac. His death leads to a Brainiac War, with multiple versions of Brainiacs across multiple realities and timelines being drawn to the future, all with the intent of killing Supergirl.

The idea was that by introducing love into the equation of an artificial intelligence, it damaged Brainiac's programming and caused a sort of rift amongst all the different versions of Brainiac. They'd travel to the future to kill the perpetrator, leading to the destruction of the Legion. Going against the very guidelines set up by the Legion not to affect the past through time travel, Supergirl makes a last ditch escape to jump back in time and find a way to fix things. To warn her past self not to go to the future (feeling responsible for setting all this in motion). But something goes wrong with the wormhole and she ends up in the Beyond timeline. It's in her past, but not far back enough. Her Legion ring is damaged so she's now stuck permanently. Luckily her cousin Kal is still alive but he too is older than last she remembered.

Since she wasn't able to stop herself from going into the future, she now goes to Plan B. She'll need to find the Brainiac of this timeline and upload a program (virus) into him that essentially stops Brainiac from ever creating the version that she fell in love with. It will prevent it's creation which led to its destruction that creates the Brainiac War in the first place. Essentially, this is like some future norplant story to stop Brainiac from ever reproducing both good and bad versions of itself.

In the Beyond timeline, Brainiac is living a quiet peaceful existence having turned a new leaf. It's come to the realization seeing its past failings, it sees the solution to humanity. Instead of attacking and trying to end them, it's up to Brainiac to evolve them. To "upgrade" humanity so they're part of the equation rather than the problem. It's decided to share its technology with everyone for the advancement of the planet. The truest of altruistic intentions without any trappings of money or power. Much of Neo Gotham and even Metropolis owes its technological advances to Brainiac, regardless of how Bruce and Superman feel about their past adversary.

Brainiac now resides in his own living city. An island of technology and high rise buildings. It's a part of everything there and also it's own individual amongst it. A nation or island unto itself. Supergirl with the JLU travel to the city for their mission. To confront Brainiac, explain the situation, and hope it understands why they must do this to him.

The Legion ring that Supergirl was given to her by the Legion Brainiac as a show of love and acceptance to the team, actually contains part of Brainiac's technology in it. So when Supergirl traveled back in time, a future version of Brainiac came with her. And even though the ring is damaged, it still allowed for a new female Brainiac emissary to emerge who is tracking down Supergirl. The ring is left with Bruce Wayne to study its technology, not knowing the secret Brainiac it's about to unleash in the cave. The Emissary is able to tap into the Batcomputer to gain access to information of this timeline and become even more powerful. It leaves to go hunt down Supergirl in Brainiac City.

When Supergirl confronts  Brainiac, the fear is that he won't accept. That he'll decide his time of peace has expired and it should go back to its evil ways, collecting technology, and killing their hosts. Instead Brainiac understands the proposition and agrees to the procedure. But not before the Emissary arrives with it's own plan. Not just to kill Supergirl but to mate with Brainiac and start breeding new offspring. To take over the planet with multiple Brainiacs, and then the galaxy.

Both Brainiacs are stopped, possibly sacrificing itself. Brainiac City is destroyed and sinks. And Supergirl joins the team, heartbroken for the loss of her friends, her love, and her life in the far future. But hopeful for new opportunities to reconnect with her cousin Kal. And of course, that young Batman is kinda cute. Supergirl would have an updated costume and name, now going by "Superwoman".

With this longer story arc, there's no need for a Beyond: Origins, since much of it will be covered in the actual story about Supergirl and her decision to go into the future with the Legion.

So there's that. A first pass at a much longer story arc. It would've been about half the size of "Konstriction", but definitely longer than the preceding recruitment issues. And I just liked the idea of someone even further in the future, now stuck in the Beyond universe. And after so much tragedy that befell Superman, he now had a familiar family face to relate to again. To see that his younger "cousin" had grown up since last he saw her. Of course, he is much older as well, so there'd be plenty of humor to be had between the two of them.


I think right around the time with all the press concerning Superman and Wonder Woman pairing up in the New52, there was talk about having Wonder Woman show up in the Beyond universe. I brainstormed some ideas with my editor just to explain the continuity of the character from the Justice League shows and how she wasn't in Batman Beyond. But in the Justice League continuity, they had developed a growing relationship between Diana and Bruce Wayne. With that insight in mind, the brainstorming quickly lead to the idea of them having consummated their relationship with a child.

Now…adding offspring to any established character has all sorts of headaches that come with it. And giving Bruce a kid here, when he already had Damian in the New52 (and Terry was already his biological son in the Beyond universe, even if Terry didn't know it at this point of the story), well…my initial reaction was a groaning reluctance. It felt like ground that had been covered. But then I thought, does it have to be a boy?

Bruce has only ever had sons, either surrogate wards, partners, or biologically (at least in the animated continuity…discounting the Huntress of the alternate comics universe). But here was a chance to try it out. That once Diana became pregnant, and keeping it a secret from Bruce, she decided to quit the League and retreat from the world of man to raise her daughter back on Themyscira. Diana would become queen, to replace her mother. But now some threat would bring the Trinity back together…older Superman, old Bruce, and Diana. And it would concern this daughter, introduced to Bruce for the first time here. Feeling too old to play "dad", Diana would still encourage Bruce to introduce her into man's world, to train her, and at the same time he would get to know her. By the end of the story, she would eventually become the new Wonder Girl. And might depart to go explore the Beyond universe (ultimately joining the Teen Titans Beyond, which was being toyed with as a new comic title they might do).

There was a lot still to be hashed out, but DC was pushing for a Trinity Beyond story to be the first big crossover between all the Beyond titles: Batman Beyond, Superman Beyond, and Justice League Beyond. I think it was going to be a 6 part arc that would last two months. The only problem…every one of our titles was already in the middle of our stories, and planned out for the year. Even knowing this, they wanted to put this Trinity storyline smack dab in the middle of all of our current arcs going on. As if the fans weren't already annoyed by the release schedule of all of our titles grouped together in Batman Beyond Unlimited (including the Origin stories that were sprinkled in), now we'd have this Trinity story on top of things, to interrupt our main stories. I don't think we were halfway through the "Konstriction" arc when this idea was trying to be pushed forward.

Thankfully after a lot of back and forth between all sides, it was decided to wait to do this. There were too many wheels in motion and this would've really thrown a wrench into each of our titles. If it had gone through, the already stretched out "Konstriction" arc would've taken over a year to complete, for something that was essentially a 6 issue story (minus the Origin stories). Whew!

It would've been an interesting story. Some unrequited love between Diana and Bruce. A lot of unfinished business that could only add to the drama. Bruce feeling betrayed by both Diana and Clark. She had kept his daughter a secret, and requested Clark not reveal it to Bruce in order for him to continue his mission as Batman. She would raise the daughter on her island like all daughters before her did. Also without knowing it, Terry would have a chance to spar and team-up with, what would essentially be, his step-sister. All sorts of interesting avenues to explore.

I've no idea if Wonder Woman will eventually show up in the Beyond 2.0 books, but I wouldn't doubt at some point she'll be brought in. Just that I doubt it'll look anything like this version we were starting to set up.


- The mention of the "Near Apocalypse Of '09" (in the Batman Beyond show) was something brought up as the last time Batman and Talia paired together to fight and defeat Ra's, resulting in his apparent death. But as we learned, he found a way to live and inhabit his daughter's body. I always felt this was a flashback story ripe for the telling, since it was always brought up by the fans of the show wondering what exactly happened (and the show creators always saying they had no plans for it).

- Also I wanted to eventually do a story that showed what happened to the Justice League in the past that caused them to disband or move on. That there would be some great battle that tested them, frayed them, and possibly even killed a lot of them. And afterwards, they never were the same until an older Superman started to rebuild the League. I thought it could be a way to introduce a new villain that was responsible in the past, and now resurfaced in the future, causing Superman to relate what had happened. I always felt this was a huge arc in the making as it was always something the fans wondered about as well, how the future League was so small and what happened to the original League with all its members.


And with that….I bid the future, farewell.

Justice League Beyond was one of those dream projects. Something that started back when Dustin and I were wrapping up our commitments on Streets Of Gotham and Batgirl, and DC asking us what we wanted to do next. First it was to take over Batman Beyond, but then it turned into Justice League Beyond. The New52 wasn't even known at this point. We got to do all sorts of crazy stories, in a future world with open possibilities and less constraints than the regular DC universe. Worked with a whole bunch of great artists. And had a blast!  I look back on my time on the title very wistfully. Someone growing up a fan of all the animated shows during my high school and college years, never dreaming I'd get to play in that sandbox to continue the stories of the characters of those shows.

My thanks go out to my editors at various stages… Hank Kanalz, Ben Abernathy, Alex Antone, and Mike Marts.

To all the artists, colorists, and lettering that brought the stories to life.

And to all the fans that followed our crazy release schedule, whether digitally or in print.



  1. Wow, I'm really sad that that Wonder Woman pitch didn't happen. Man, I'd be super jazzed to see their daughter hang out with Terry.

  2. I would have read the heck out of Wonder Woman story. I know so many others will as well. But oh well....

  3. I just say thank god that the plan for WW never saw fruition. She was treated as a notch on Bat's bedpost and then hiding the pregnancy...what?? And Terry could be hers...Diana could hide or give up her child is rather soap opera for the sake of it. At her expense. You know sounds like WW in this verse was never about her or her development anyway than a bit on the side for Batman. The fact we have not seen her or that she would leave her mission says it all.

  4. How great is the Batman's mission in one city. It subverts Diana's and traditionally what she cares about but it's okay, who cares about what WW stands for in terms of wanting to better the world. This does not sound like not Wonder Woman. Some chick wearing her clothes.

    I'm one WW fan who is glad you did not get this pitch going. I hope the Beyond verse has a little more respect for her as an individual hero when she comes in as they do for the others like you went out of your way to show Superman and co. Not some lame plot point whose life choices was defined by Batman. You can tell DC that for me.

  5. Good thing your pitch for WW having a child by Batman did not make it. The Justice League animated version of WW that you grew up watching is not the actual WW. Read some of her comics and you'll see for yourself.

  6. glad didnt make it thats pure trash

  7. Wait a second, you were going for the secret pregnancy trope to introduce WW to the Beyond verse? You have got to be kidding me! Is that all that you could do for her development wise? But wait Gotham is more important than anything else how stupid of me. WW had no reason in this verse to do anything but chase Batgod. Her arc was going to be like an episode of Maury. The idea she needs to come have Batman to train the kid is absurd. WW is from an island of warriors.The WW by Bruce Timm was an angry brick with not much brains/diplomatic skills or real direction unless it was for Batman and disappointingly seems you wanted to had no use for her but to continue that trend. Please read WW by George Perez. Thank you.