This issue had a somewhat different genesis than my usual story. This issue came to be because I wanted to introduce Firestorm into "my" JLA universe. Having decided that I would, I quickly decided that I had to actually introduce the character, and not just feature him. You see, Firestorm has never shown up before...he had only been mentioned once, in a conversation between Red Tornado and Elongated Man. So I decided that instead of showcasing him as a guest-star with the whole JLA in his debut appearance, I would introduce him as another co-existing character in "my" universe....just like already introduced non-JLAers such as Black Lightning, Animal Man, and Supergirl. Then I figured that the best way to add him would be to have him guest-star with Superman, in the same way he did in the "real" DC Comics continuity! So I decided to base my story on a classic DC Comics Presents story. From there I hit on the idea of doing a whole series of team-ups for the issue, and from there it all fell into place.
About a year ago, I hit on the idea of asking some of my friends to do me the honor to interpret some of my stories. I wrote up a few team-ups of about 5-7 pages and asked others to illustrate them. And I asked Corey Hodgdon to draw me a cover. He graciously agreed. When he asked me if there was a theme or idea I wanted him to use, I told him that the theme was friendship. Corey came back with this charming illustration of friends helping each other fix a flat tire. Awesome!
Great work, Corey. If you want to play in my sandbox again, just let me know!
I recently saw a great film about a man in Ancient Rome who is sold into slavery, forced to fight against the tyranny and power of Rome, and who eventually wins his freedom by dying. It was called Spartacus. Oh, and I also saw the Best Picture of 2000, called Gladiator.
Full disclosure: Shakespeare In Love is one of my favorite films. Not only am I a huge Shakespeare fan, I am also a big fan of "behind the scenes" type movies (Singing In The Rain, Gods and Monsters, etc). So this film is right up my alley. And it does not hurt that one of the supporting characters is named Richard Burbage. I never took the time and money to verify it, but my family believes we are distantly related to Shakespeare's contemporary, and I am not going to argue it.
Do you think you know the story of Titanic? (Who reading this has not actually seen Titanic yet? A show of hands, please.) I can sum up this film in five sentences, so pay close attention if you don't want to commit to three plus hours of Leo DiCaprio: A rich girl meets a poor boy. She fights against falling in love with him, eventually succumbs. They are on a cruise liner which hits an iceberg and sinks. She lives, but he doesn't. When she is nearly 100 years old she returns to where the ship is buried and dies.