SDCC 2017 has been a whirlwind of attending panels, snapping great cosplay in the halls, and snagging as much swag as possible. Crazy thing though, is it also offers the opportunity to chat with series creators about their recent and new books. Joshua Williamson has been writing some fantastic Flash comics and we were lucky enough to take up some of his time to discuss his Metal one-shot, Reverse-Flash, and how he writes.
AiPT! Batman: THE RED DEATH #1 is out September 20th and it sounds very much like a horror story with “nightmare versions of familiar figures.” Just to be clear, are there any connections to Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”?
Joshua Williamson: Yeah, no, I thought the same thing, but no, it doesn’t have anything to do with that.
AiPT!: If anything Reverse-Flash, to me, is a nightmare version of Flash.
Joshua Williamson: Is he though? I have a lot of thoughts on Reverse-Flash.
AiPT!: You’ve fleshed him out quite a bit in the last few issues so he’s a complex character.
Joshua Williamson: Yeah, I don’t see him as being a nightmare, I mean he is, he likes to torment Barry…
AiPT!: He scared the shit out of me in the last few issues.
Joshua Williamson: I really wanted to show a character that is coming from a different place where it’s not just about making Barry suffer. There’s that moment when he goes into the past and he goes to the museum and see’s that Barry killed him and there’s just heartbreak on his face. I wanted to make it clear he’s not the Joker. He’s just not.
AiPT!: He’s a person.
Joshua Williamson: He’s a person, he’s somebody who worshiped Barry. And there’s something tragic about this guy who was his #1 fan who…just imagine this guy who grew up alone in the future and felt like he was an outsider. He learned about this character from the past. It became his beacon, his hope, his light, to follow in his life. And in Flash #25 he says, “In one of my darkest moments I was thankful for Barry Allen.” It was a person he never met before. But it was someone who helped him.
AiPT!: A father figure would you say?
Joshua Williamson: A little bit of a father figure. I do try to do the parallels between him and…that’s why I did that scene where he goes to the past and sees that Barry already had a partner/son figure with the original Wally. There is a little bit of a father thing there. A little bit of him looking up to Barry in the same way Wally would look up to Hunter. He’s a really tragic guy who really wanted the Flash to be his partner and be everything he wanted him to be because that’s what got him through things.
AiPT!: Obviously, AiPT has loved Nailbiter too; do you have any horror ideas fans might look forward to at DC or other publishers?
Joshua Williamson: All of the above! I took everything I learned from telling a horror story I brought all of that to “Metal” and the “The Red Death.”
AiPT!: What is your favorite method of procrastination?
Joshua Williamson: Twitter. Maybe. Twitter yeah, sadly. The computer in general. I actually don’t write at the computer. This is an inside thing, I’ll go for a walk or drive and I’ll record talking to myself. I’ll roleplay it out. I actually have a recording on my phone right now of me roleplaying as Thawn and Barry yelling at each other from issue #27 the whole argument.
AiPT!: Do you do voices?
Joshua Williamson: Not really but I got heated I got really angry. I was literally in my car hitting my steering wheel. If I write at the computer I’ll get distracted. Actually you know what, the real answer is talking to creators on the phone for hours about stories.
AiPT!: Geoff was saying just yesterday he talked to Gary Frank for one full hour on one panel.
Joshua Williamson: Yeah dude!