*Membership spots not really limited!
Attending the panel were DC creators, Brian Azzarello, Chris Burnham, Cliff Chiang, Tony Daniel, Kyle Higgins, Jimmy Palmiotti, Gail Simone, and Scott Snyder, Editor in Chief, Bob Harras, Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns, Editorial Director, Bobbie Chase, Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, and Senior Vice President of Sales, Bob Wayne.
Starting off the panel was a look at Batman, Inc, one of the books being released in New 52's Second Wave of titles. Chris Burnham (Batman, Inc's artist) expressed his enjoyment of collaborating with Grant Morrison: "Grant's like my favorite writer and to be the second guy in the world to see what Batman's up to is crazy." He also mentioned that those crazy ideas were right there in the first draft and were sometimes hard to wrap his mind around. The book will mix "gritty Dark Knight stuff and 60's pop art Adam West."
Following Batman, Inc was another Second Wave book, Earth 2. DC EIC, Bob Harras told the attendees that the book would be taking a new twist on established DC characters while giving them a familiar threat. While set in on another earth from the normal titles, this book will "directly effect the DCU."
With World's Finest, Harras described the theme of the Second Wave as "world building." The book will feature art by Kevin Maguire and George Pérez and is "part of the big plan we have coming up." One of the stars has accepted her new life on New 52 Earth but the other is still trying to find her way back home.
Dial H came up next. Harras explained that the book is in the spirit of Animal Man and Swamp Thing. Again, this book would lead to greater things with the New 52 U.
Jimmy Palmiotti spoke of his involvement with the Unknown Soldier back-up feature in the Second Wave book, G.I. Combat: "The book has dinosaurs in the beginning and a lot of hardcore gore in the back." Palmiotti and Grey's back up will NOT feature dinosaurs.
The Second Wave book, The Ravagers, will be a spin-off book to Teen Titans. Caitlin Fairchild and Beast Boy will feature. Beast Boy has apparently dyed his hair red to be more edgy. Or maybe it's part of the story relating to events in Swamp Thing and Animal Man. Howard Mackie is writing. Ian Churchill is penciling.
Moving on from the Second Wave books, the subject moved on to the Free Comic Book Day comic. Geoff Johns: There's a lot of new characters in here. It sets the stage for everything we're working on for quite a while." One special audience member was allowed to read the book but was sworn to secrecy. Expect a blog posting all about it by the end of the weekend.
Johns revealed part of The Villain's Journey storyline from Justice League with art by Jim Lee. The story will leave the team "radically different." The big bad is Devin Graves, the author of "Justice League: God Among Men," which featured in the end of the first story arc. It just goes to show that writers are and evil and mysterious lot.
Of Aquaman, Johns proclaimed that the book would continue to be a highlight New 52 book. Wayne announces that "this is the one time period ever in the history of DC when Aquaman has outsold every X-Men and Avengers title." Johns adds Spider-Man to that list. This is the point where I get just a little depressed at the comic book industry.
Ethan Van Sciver will illustrate the upcoming Green Lantern Annual during a story arc about the Black Hand.
Wonder Woman goes to hell in her own title. Tony Akins is illustrating the hell issues (#9 and #10) with Cliff Chiang returning for issue #11. Azzarello announced that after the hell issues "It gets worse."
Industry darling and friend to the Outhouse Pirate Podcast, Scott Snyder, got a chance to talk about Swamp Thing. He talked about Abby turning into the Avatar of Rot.
Snyder moved on to Batman and the Night of the Owls story. After having Batman get beaten pretty badly, issue #9 will be the turnaround issue. Expect a brand new Batmobile (with "heavy artillery") and all new toys.
Batman Annual #1 will come out during the Night of the Owls and will have both the Court of Owls and Mr. Freeze within it's very pages. The story sets the bedrock for Mr. Freeze in the New 52.
Tony Daniel spoke about Detective Comics. He told the audience that he "had a blast" working on the Night of the Owls. Detective will take place in Arkham Asylum and has Batman take on a couple Talons. "A good portion of the book is told from Jeremiah Arkham's point of view."
Ed Benes will be on art duty for three issues after the Night of the Owls issue of Detective.
Batgirl fights a lady Talon in issue #9 of her title during Night of the Owls. Following Night of the Owls, Batgirl will be moving in a more independant direction and Simone plans to create an "arch-nemesis" for her hero in the form of a new baddie called Nightfall.
Higgins describes Dick Grayson as "the prince of Gotham in my eyes." The title will explore that direction of the character. Nightwing will remain in Gotham City for the foreseeable. Higgins noted "the accusation that he was supposed to be a killer for the Owl Society really shook him."
All-Star Western will tie into Night of the Owls by showing us the past dealings of the Court of the Owls. The book gets to reveal this while also throwing "the nastiest cowboy on Earth into the middle of it." Palmiotti thanked everyone who is reading All-Star Western with Johns adding that the book was very good and worth a read for those who haven't checked it out.
Q and A:
More Larfleeze later this year. Yay.
No concrete plans in place for Azrael.
Black Adam will show up before Billy Batson turns into Captain Marvel. The Captain Marvel family will all be showing up. Even the tiger and bunny.
Palmiotti told the audience that Jonah Hex will remain in linear story-telling mode.
Snyder responds to a question about Cass and Steph (former Batgirls): "They are characters that we love too, we talk a lot about using them. We want to bring them back in a way that really matters. They're on the table, we promise we want to use them as well."
No plans for Superboy Prime but he's out there somewhere in the multiverse, ruining someone else's comics.
There are future plans for the Joker. In the future.
Story and universe continuity is being held together by ongoing exec/editor meetings in an attempt to keep the world consistant. They also use duct tape and bailing wire.
Is Elongated Man still dead? "It's the New 52 man, anything can happen!"
Redesigns: The creators looked at a character and tried to figure out "why they do what they do."
Swamp Thing and Animal Man will be further integrated with the rest of the New 52 DCU post crossover.
JSA fans will enjoy Earth 2.
Chiang is responsible for most of the greek gods' looks, describing the process of wanting to "really show these gods are NOT human." Tony Akins came up with designs for Poseidon and Hades. Azzarello chimed in that these interpretations are not just of gods that were "worshipped, they're to be feared."
The "life story of Talia" will be told in issue two of Batman, Inc. and will be pretty much her old history.
Tony Zucco and some of Snyder's Detective Comic run story elements will appear in Nightwing.
Cyborg's solo book is on it's way. In the future.
Johns seems really taken with the idea of a Mogo Beach Ball toy from DC Collectibles which came up in a previous panel.
And that's it, people! I hope you learned something. At the very least, I hope you didn't forget anything you had already learned. You never know when a Crisis will hit you.
Written or Contributed by: SuperginraiX