Two of comics most notorious figures, Jim Lee and Dan Didio, held court with fans at San Diego Comic Con.
Here are some highlights of the panel, along with this reporter's commentary:
- They discussed Talon, in which a Court of the Owls assasin (featured in the Night of the Owls storyline in Scott Snyder's Batman) leaves the fold and strikes out on his own, leaving the Court displeased. It will be written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, doubling the count of DC books not written by Scott Lobdell or Rob Liefeld.
- Lee talked about Sword or Sorcery, saying the title introduces the fantasy genre to the DC Universe, part of DC's attempt to expland beyond the superhero genre. Lee would not elaborate on whether this intiative was because the superhero genre was "so gay." It debuts in September.
- Lee also talked about Team 7. The roster will include Steve Trevor, Amanda Waller, John Lynch, Cole Cash, Slade Wilson, Black Canary, and Batman, who is contractually obligated to appear in every DC publication. The book will explain a lot of what happened in "the five year gap." It debuts in September.
- Didio talked about The Phantom Stranger, which he is writing. Didio and others have crafted a backstory that will affect the DC Universe as a whole and which will begin in Phantom Stranger, because it is always a good idea to put a non-writer in charge of setting the direction for an entire universe of comic books.
- Didio will also be bringing his vanity writing talents to Justice League International Annual #1, along with Geoff Johns. Didio volunteered to co-write the book in order to get another chance at writing OMAC.
- Lee said that Justice League villain Graves is more sympathetic than past DC villains, with characters being able to understand his motivation as he sincerely believes the Justice League are responsible for the death of his family. It has only taken DC 50 years to catch on to the concept of "the sympathetic villain" Marvel brought to comics in the 1960s.
- Justice League #12 will be an oversized issue, which Lee says is a "must-get issue" that will have "repercussiosn in the DC Universe for years to come," or at least until the next continuity-shattering reboot.
- Lee is excited that Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been embraced by fans, allowing them the opportunity to introduce the Rotworld crossover and make buttloads of money from crossover sales.
- Lee talked about Batman: Earth One, praising Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's street layout of Gotham City, comparing it to Amsterdam, where he once "got lost for about three hours," presumably while on drugs. At least he found his way back to civilization, unlike the Wildcats reboot from a few years ago.
- Lee said that 40% of the people who bought the Smallville digital comic said it was their first comic book purchase. 3000 comic book shops around the country immediately closed their doors forever in response to this devastating news, as it has long been known the success of digital comics will destroy the print comics industry.
- Lee talked about the Vertigo graphic novel adaptations of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, coming out in November, about six months after everyone in the world had become absolutely sick of anything having to do with that property.
- Lee reitereated earlier news that DC would be adapting the unabridged script of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained comics, which will be like a four-hour version of the movie, and thus, with the decompressed nature of comic books, will be published in 120 issues.
- Didio said that Neil Gaiman refers to his Sandman return as "During Sandman, not to be confused with any other project at DC right now." Alan Moore hexed Gaiman in response.
- Fan Q&A occurred.
- Lee said that the idea for the DCnU reboot started in October of 2010, which implies that the subsequent year's worth of comics were a complete waste of time.
- Didio addressed Scott Lobdell's assertion that Tim Drake was never Robin, saying that Drake became Batman's sidekick, but decided to use the name Red Robin instaed of Robin after Jason Todd's death, not wanting to take the same name. This perfectly reasonable explanation will be ignored on internet message boards ever as fans obstinately complain that the DCnU continuity is completely incomprehensible due to this change.
- A fan asked if canceled books might continue as digital only comics, to which Lee responded that the digital only books were designed to bring in readers, not cater to the 5000 or so people that read Voodoo.
- Didio said that DC decided not to adapt Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movies into graphic novels because the company has a strict policy of publishing no more than 150 Batman books at any given time.
- Multiversity will come out whenever Grant Morrison feels like completing it, but possibly the middle of next year.
- Didio said that Green Arrow will hold a grudge against the Justice League for refusing to let him join.
- Lee said that Dan Didio hired a shadow artist to draw Justice League pages at the same time as Lee, in case he was unable to meet the demanding schedule of drawing five issues at a time before using a fill-in artist. Lee would like to see the pages collected in a special edition one day.
- A fan asked what the hardest part of working in comcs was, to which both Didio and Lee replied, "separating being a fan from being a professional," which means that that both men must keep a separate message board aliases to threaten to commit suicide over their own mistreatment of Stephanie Brown.
- A fan asked if there would be a new Wildcats book. Lee said there was nothing planned for the short term, but he might start one issue and then forget about it again sometime in the future.
- Didio insulted the entire readership of comics, their families, and America itself by saying there were no current plans for Wally West to appear in the DCnU.
Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror