INJUSTICE: YEAR THREE, the volume full of magic madness, has come to an end. YEAR FOUR will put a greater emphasis on Wonder Woman and DC's Gods, but before the new volume begins, we had the opportunity to send Brian Buccellato, the writer of the series, a whole bunch of questions. Why focus on the Gods? How'd he approach the YEAR THREE finale? What would he do if he had a super powers for just one day? (That's by far the most important question, by the way.) Just a heads up, we sent the questions before the YEAR THREE finale was available.
COMIC VINE: The stakes are higher than ever before and the cliffhanger promised the return of a fan favorite character. There's a lot to cover in this final chapter and not a lot of space to do it, so how do you juggle wrapping up the enormous conflict while also focusing on such a large cast?
BRIAN BUCCELLATO: Well, this may not be the sexy answer… but it’s sort of like creative math. I know how many pages I have left to cover all of the story points that need to be resolved… so it’s really just about prioritizing the character and plot moments the best way that I can given the finite number of pages I have. The ginormous cast makes it more challenging, but at the end of the day I do the best I can with what I have. :)
CV: While writing INJUSTICE, have any of the characters grown on you more than you thought they would? Is there anyone in particular that you find yourself really wanting to write more scenes for?
BB: The easy answer is HARLEY. She’s a freaking riot. But even more than that, I’ve really enjoyed the character relationships. Writing Superman-Wonder Woman is something that I wish I could devote more time to. In year four I also want to explore a friendship with Cyborg and Damian, who are closer in age than you might think – and both have parent issues.
CV: YEAR FOUR is going to invade Wonder Woman's world. What do you think this will offer readers that the other volumes haven't?
CV: So far, a vast majority of the playable characters from the video game have appeared in the comic. Deathstroke and Bane haven't, though. They don't exactly come to mind when you think of Gods and Wonder Woman, but is there a chance we'll see them worked into the story?
BB: I have plans for them in year five. This year is about the Gods.
CV: What's your approach to writing Wonder Woman? What do you believe are her strengths and weaknesses?
BB: She is a warrior – probably the world’s greatest warrior – so that is always at the forefront of my interpretation of Wonder Woman… but my approach to her centers on her main motivations in this story. She has sided with Superman because she truly believes in his cause. And as a warrior, she is willing to live with the consequences that come with being a part of the Regime. As far as weaknesses go, I think she may be stubborn and ultimately TOO loyal to Superman.
CV: The solicitation for chapter two says we're going to see more of Harley Quinn and Billy Batson. May you talk a bit about why you enjoy that dynamic so much and tease what's to come?
BB: I really wanted to develop a new object for Harley’s attentions. No more Joker… no more Green Arrow… so she needs SOMEONE to fixate on. I chose Shazam because he is an adolescent who turns into a muscle-bound man who has to make adult decisions, which seemed like a natural contrast to the full-grown Harley… who has the impulsiveness of a child.
CV: If you had to promote YEAR FOUR in five words or less, what would you say?
BB: GODS AMONG US. FOR REAL.
CV: Did you consult with Tom Taylor about YEAR FOUR or will this be purely your direction for the universe?
BB: This is fully my own take. So if you hate it… it’s totally my fault.
CV: Aside from an emphasis on magic, what do you believe makes YEAR THREE a unique part of the overall story?
BB: I think the most unique thing about year three is that Batman got played… and didn’t figure it out until it was too late. That doesn’t happen very often. But even this failure opens Batman up to thinking “outside the box” as he tries to win this war.
BB: I think Mxyz wins this one. Dude is CRAZY powerful.
CV: YEAR THREE has been full of action. How'd you manage to pair off the characters? Are there any fights that you really wanted to flesh out but didn't have the room to?
BB: All of them. Honestly, I can’t pick just one. Each of the pairings deserve their own chapters… but we don’t have that luxury. So instead, I just tried to give them all moments.
CV: If you could take the super pill and it would give you Superman's powers for 24 hours, what would you do with the surreal abilities?
BB: Take out ISIS… and hunt down everyone on the FBI’s most wanted list. And maybe take down all the drug cartels… and then fight Floyd Mayweather for 30 million.
CV: Now that DC is publishing a Mortal Kombat X comic and Scorpion is playable in the Injustice video game, is there any chance we could see some kind of crossover in the future? Has this idea even been brought up just jokingly?
BB: It hasn’t been brought up to me. And if it were… I would yell “GET OVER HERE!” and pretend to grappling hook the person that brought it up.
CV: What's your favorite scene from your portion of YEAR THREE and why?
BB: It’s gotta be the conversation between Bruce and Dick (via Billy). Tearjerker, man… tearjerker…
INJUSTICE: YEAR THREE #24 is currently on sale.