Here we are at Day 2 of WonderCon, the weekend nerdfest in Anaheim, CA – Disneyland adjacent. The parking was miserable, it's rainy and crappy, and thus, it's my first panel of the day. It's about to kick off, and I'll live blog it as it happens, so forgive typos and what-not. I'm fast on the keyboard, but not perfect. Enjoy the news!
On the panel, we have Bob Harras, Eddie Berganza, Scott Snyder, Joshua Hale Fialkov, J.T. Krul, Adam Glass, Ryan Sook, Kyle Higgins, Brian Buccellatto, Scott Lobdell and Bernard Chang.
Batman Incorporated cover #2 is shown. Harras says what happens in this book will take you places with Batman you wouldn't expect to go.
Jim Lee Batman sketch for Earth 2 is shown. James Robinson and Nicola and Trevor Scott (no relation). This is a bigger picture than the Justice Society of America alone. It's similar but different. The Jay Garrick cover is shown, and 'what do you think of that costume?' is given a very lukewarm at best response. A black and white spread sketch of the Trinity fighting Parademons. This issue may not end the way you expect, going in a new direction.
Worlds' Finest is shown, with the #2 cover image and the Power Girl tracksuit thing. The agenda she had in Mr. Terrific will lead into this series. They're getting back to their roots. We see what they were before – Supergirl and Robin, before Power Girl and Huntress. George Perez does the modern tales and Kevin Maguire handles the flashbacks.
Dial H is shown, and they kept it 'dial' and not 'Text H' for very specific reasons. The image is of a dude in an old school phone booth. It's more in the spirit of Animal Man and Swamp Thing as far as the tone. A creepy freaky dude is shown as the type of character coming out of the Dial H world.
G.I. Combat is shown, military vs. dinosaurs in The War That Time Forgot. In the back will have an Unknown Soldier piece by Jimmy Palmiotti by Justin Gray. J.T. Krul says when he was 12, he snuck into Predator and loved it, and this is like that, a tale of true survival and trying to escape the dinosaur world. Getting into soldiers' heads about pure survival mode. They did a lot of dinosaur research, too. Shots of soldiers shooting pteranodons. They're taking a dinosaur and going a little velociraptor with it as more of a smarty type of thunder lizard.
Ravagers #1 is shown, Ian Churchill's return. It's about a group of kids whose lives have been torn away from them. A sketch of Warblade is shown as reimagined by Jim Lee, joining Rose Wilson. Terra and Beast Boy are also in it. Their freedom of choice will be examined – overcome or succumb to their training.
Batman sketch from yesterday is shown. Snyder says it's the cover to #9, where Bruce has been beaten up for the last few issues, and it turns around and he's going into punishment mode with heavy artillery. The Battle for Gotham's Soul in a battle against the Court of Owls. Batman #7 will reveal the biggest secrets, and a new female character will be introduced that he's excited about.
Swamp Thing image from yesterday is shown, where Swampy fights a weird naked man thing. Snyder talks up Yanick Paquette, and thenaked man is probably Anton Arcane, as he returns to comics and plays into the crossover between Swamp Thing and Animal Man, beginning in earnest in #12. Snyder's exploring Alec Holland before he was Swamp Thing, as there wasn't much of that, and they're doing the same with Arcane, and Francesco Francavilla is on board to help out.
Batman: The Dark Knight has a new writer in Gregg Hurwitz, and again, he's already 6 issues in after the first week he got the job, and David Finch is staying on art. Batman with his mouth sewn shut is grody.
Flash is shown, and the new look Weather Wizard on Flash #10. Buccellato says a new character named Turbine is in #8, and #9 brings in Gorilla Grodd and Gorilla City in a new way, showing a connection to the Speed Force and the Flash that never happened before. Then #10, then Heat Wave, and then a huge big Rogues battle with the Flash is being led up to.
I, Vampire is next. Fialkov talks about new cover artist Clayton Crain, and a crossover with Justice League Dark in the wake of the death of Andrew Bennett, and this primordial evil origin of vampirism has appeared, jacking up all the puny vampires with a lot of magic that requires the Justice League Dark team to help prevent the vampire apocalypse, and it doesn't end well for anybody. Then there's an ancient cult of vampire hunters as the basis of the literary version of Van Helsing. Then he'll be doing something he calls 'vampires vs. zombies!' He grew up in Pittsburgh where Dawn of the Dead was filmed, and he's been waiting all his life to show these sissy boy vampires what zombies can do. We find out what happens when a zombie bites a vampire. Can zombies be turned? These questions will all be answered! This is exactly why I'm still reading a vampire book, because it's by Fialkov. He also hints that Stormwatch will be showing up in the book, too.
Kyle Higgins talks Nightwing, saying he's got werewolves coming up, but that might be a joke after Fialkov's bit. Eddie Barrows does the cover of a beaten-up Nightwing cover. He's restrained in what he can talk about because Nightwing 7 isn't out yet. The crossover with Court of the Owls is happening, and Higgins will be flashing back to the Gates of Gotham era. There will be a bit of a new direction in #10, starting with the Tomorrow People and the Republic of Tomorrow. Dick Grayson will be getting a new job.
More dinosaurs in Scott Lobdell's Superboy. He says he's telling us everything, not just what's in solicits. Superboy is going to discover Wonder Girl's heart belongs to someone else – and it's not Red Robin. She had a boyfriend before the New 52 started, and he'll be coming back and complicating everything. In Superboy #10, he'll be getting his tattoo on his arm after spending an evening hanging out with Bunker in Times Square.
More dinosaurs vs. Teen Titans, same image from yesterday. A three-issue arc will reveal Wonder Girl's origin, and Kid Flash's origin will also be explored. No relation to the Flash, he assures Buccellato. Superboy, Wonder Girl and Red Robin are hitting the road, and hot teens on the road – look out. Amanda Waller has set her sights on the Teen Titans, since they are kids and shouldn't be running around free with superpowers.
He also tells folks about Red Hood and the Outlaws – Jason will date the flight attendant who hit on him in #2, and it will go terribly because he has no dating experience. Blackfire will also show up soon, and "for everybody who enjoyed my interpretation of Starfire, you're going to LOVE the new Blackfire." That is perhaps poking at the negative response to Starfire initially.
Adam Glass talks Suicide Squad, and a crossover with Resurrection Man – the Suicide Squad against the guy who can't die. Tons of fun! Then they'll start exploring characters that aren't Deadshot and Harley Quinn, and now Black Spider, King Shark, and El DIablo will be focused on. Iceberg is a new character coming into the mix. They'll start learning that somebody in the Squad might not be on the up and up and might be a mole.
DCU Presents #10 is shown, the Vandal Savage arc, with covers by Ryan Sook. The whole storyline has some really interesting developments in the character of Vandal Savage. Bernard Chang does the interiors for writer James Robinson, who Chang worked with before on Superman. His new daughter Cass, an FBI profiler, will be focused on, while Vandal is stuck in jail. He may or may not help her out. It may or may not actually be Vandal Savage – he might be full of crap.
Captain Atom #10 cover is shown. Krul says the next big arc starting in #7 will jump into time displacement in a different way. Freddie Williams is the closest experience he's had working with an artist in a long time. They're ratcheting everything up, given his messiah complex, and we'll see future versions of Captain Atom he comes across. The elements in the previous issues will all play a role in this bigger story and Captain dealing with his huge powers.
Q&A To Start!
Q: Where is Thirteen as a heroine from Flashpoint? Will she show up? She's magic, you might already have seen her! No plans stated.
Q: Will Worlds' Finest crossover with Justice League International? There will be new members of JLI. Then Bob Harras says something that's not into the mic so it was inaudible.
Q: A new Teen Titans fan comes up and says he asked about Geoff Johns about why Cyborg was the New Black Hero, and he was embarrassed by that question. So now, when do they think about introducing more diversity, what do they do? Lobdell says, for Teen Titans, when Bunker was enlisted to become a gay Mexican teenage superhero – after 30 years, they hadn't had a gay hero on the team. Krul says he did Solstice with that kind of thought in his head, bringing in an Indian story in that mythology. Fialkov says the reality is that the best way to encourage that is to buy the books they are in, like Mr. Terrific, Static Shock, etc.
Q: Dude dressed as Wonder Girl asks about Donna Troy coming back, and will the New 52 be just another world? No, this is Earth 1, and Lobdell's joke about how he rocked the outfit is the only Donna Troy response. Berganza jokes his outfit makes them reconsider Wonder Woman's pants.
Q: A comic shop dude from Bellflower says New 52 has doubled their sales, and he just wants to thank them on behalf of retailers.
Q: A Superboy/Titans fan says this may be his favorite iteration of the team ever, because he appreciates the diversity, and Bunker specifically. Lobdell says he looks around at the diversity of Con crowds, and the characters should reflect the readership.
Q: The Court of Owls is brilliant. Where did it come from? The idea came when Snyder was working on Detective Comics and it dawned on him the history of Gotham City would be scary to bring it to bear on Bruce, who depends on the city as his ally. He tried to layer that in with Gates of Gotham, dating them back to the founding of the city. You'll get a lot of history in #7 as to how far back it really dates. The best is yet to come. Night of the Owls makes him happy to have everybody tying in with it – he called up Mike Martz and everybody on the team and asked other Bat-titles to tell whatever story they wanted by incorporating Court of Owls characters with a select few rules. Snyder's loving the stories, even tangential ones like Catwoman.
Q: Another Lobdell fan asks how he approaches writing as being "from the 90s" as a veteran comic writer. He says he just feels that there's a tremendous amount of fun chaos when he was starting out, and he doesn't like to plan too far ahead because you don't get surprised by characters showing up. He' very fluid. Crux was going to be one of the Outlaws, but then figured out he didn't really belong there, so in #6, they do the worst thing possible to get rid of him without killing him. He prefers to surprise himself with kinetic anarchy.
Q: Kid asks a confusing question that doesn't make any sense – asking about new characters coming into Green Lantern. Free Comic Book Day will surprise folks in that regard.
Q: When are the old Legion characters we lost in previous incarnations coming back? Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen are going to be teaming up soon, and you'll be happy.