IGN – The big Smallville two-hour event is almost here. There has been endless speculation about who we would see and how the introduction of the Justice Society of America will change the path of the young Clark Kent/Superman. Comic book writer Geoff Johns, who wrote the wildly popular Season 8 episode “Legion” has returned to write “Absolute Justice,” and I just got a chance to chat with him about the show. And boy did he give us some great info!
Johns tells us all about finally getting to write the Smallville version of Lois Lane, and how much he loved seeing Doctor Fate on screen. He also gives us some info on Chloe and her story arc (she has a one-on-one with Dr. Fate), his favorite Easter Eggs, and whether or not he’ll be back if there is a Season 10. And Twitter fans, he tells us the status of that case of peanut butter Kit Kats he ordered. Dammit! Now I’m craving them!
IGN: Michael Shanks (Hawkman) mentioned that in the original script, there was a lot more about Hawkgirl. Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Geoff Johns: Well, in one of the earlier drafts there was more…I guess, there was a scene where I went deeper into Hawkgirl’s history, and how she was connected to Hawkman, and what their shared story was. And as things go, things get cut and I had to trim back on that scene. It’s still in there, it’s just not as detailed as I originally had it. It talked a lot about…I tied it to Ancient Egypt and to the comic book origins, but it’s been trimmed back quite a bit.
IGN: I know you’ve said a couple of time that you really wanted to write for Smallville‘s version of Lois Lane (Erica Durance). What’s that been like? What are the things you really like about her?
Johns: I just love the character of Lois Lane. I love writing her. She was actually my favorite character to write in Superman: Secret Origin, and I just think Erica embodies her so perfectly. Last season when I did “Legion,” I didn’t get a chance to write Smallville‘s Lois Lane. So I was very anxious and excited to have a chance to do it this year. And she killed it. She always does.
IGN: So you’ve got all these superheroes, and then you’ve got Lois. Everyone is wondering how much interaction she has with them…
Johns: Well, she has one-on-one time with Doctor Fate (Brent Stait), so she’s right in there.
IGN: Oh, that’s great!
Johns: Yeah! And Doctor Fate sees her fate, so…
IGN: Twitter explodes when you mention “Absolute Justice” and everyone wanted to know which characters come in contact with Doctor Fate. Whose fate do we see?
Johns: Well, he has a conversation with Lois Lane, with Clark (Tom Welling), with Martian Manhunter (Phil Morris) and with Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). So just about everybody! [laughs]
IGN: Everyone loved the way she was written in “Legion”…
Johns: Good, they’ll like the way she’s written here, I think. She’s awesome, and I just think a terrific character. I actually get a little choked up at the end with her, because Allison did such a wonderful job when Martian Manhunter is talking to her about some stuff that happened in the episode, and that she has to reconsider and rethink, and there’s a moment where your heart really kind of breaks for her, and you understand where she is, and how different she is from Season 1 through now. But she’s such a strong character.
I’ve said it in other interviews, but she’s a fantastic addition to the mythology of Superman. I mean, that comes down to the writers who wrote and created the character, and to Allison who delivers a fantastic performance, a great performance every time. But I hope people like what she does. She’s definitely key in this episode.
IGN: Is Chloe a character that you’d like to tackle somewhere else in your work?
Johns: In the comic books?
Johns: Well, I’m not really on Superman anymore. I’m writing a Secret Origin series, but after that I’m not going to be on the character, but at some point, absolutely.
IGN: Everyone is describing this as sort of a standalone storyline. But is this really the beginning of the Clark/Superman that we all know?
Johns: Yeah, I mean, he’s continuing to grow into that and this is a massive step in that direction. I think seeing a group like this, and seeing costumes and seeing the good they did, and seeing the good they want to do again continue to push him in the right direction. He’s ready. All he has to do is make the choice. And the choice is hard. Clark has to make the choice, in my eyes, to go public. And to become that inspirational figure and to lead by example. And the moment he does that, it will change everything. But that requires sacrifice, and he has so many personal connections. Those will have to be forfeit somewhat. It’s a struggle for him, but he’s certainly capable. He’s certainly smart enough and strong enough and experienced enough to do it.
IGN: How did you make the decision about who we were going to see from the JSA, and who we were going to get hints about? Michael Shanks indicated that almost everyone’s story will be hinted at.
Johns: It was pretty interesting. We sat down and we talked about the JSA, and as soon as Hawkman came up, he was definitely someone that Brian (Kelly) had wanted to explore in Smallville. He always liked the visual of the character. This warrior with wings. ‘Conan with Wings’ he calls him. And then I really wanted Stargirl (Britt Irvin) in it, and I love Hawkman, so that was pretty easy.
Then there was some discussion about who would be that third character, because there was going to be three. We knew we wanted three of them. Who would be that third character? And there was…Wildcat came up. There were a lot of other characters we talked about. Who could fit that role? But ultimately we landed on Dr. Fate, who I really like, and I had an idea for him that I thought it would be fun to explore, and a take on him that was slightly different from the comic books. But that gold helmet that he wears is so visually iconic and so, I think, menacing and interesting that it became a bit of a focus for the episode as well. I guess it just kind of grew organically talking about the various characters. But that’s not to say you don’t see others. Sandman makes an appearance, as does the original Star-Spangled Kid.