DC Comics opens up the spotlight to the broader New 52 for this Friday evening panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego. Check out the official description for an idea of who might show up, and keep refreshing for the latest news as we cover the panel live right here!
Official Description: Learn what's coming next with the New 52 from Tony Daniel (Action Comics), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing), Geoff Johns (Aquaman, Justice League, Justice League of America), J.H. Williams III (Batwoman), Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Green Arrow, Justice League Dark), Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western, Batwing), Gail Simone (Batgirl, The Movement), Charles Soule (Red Lanterns), James Tynion IV (Red Hood and the Outlaws, Talon), Robert Venditti (Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps), and others.
Kicking things off, moderator John Cunningham welcomed fans to the panel, saying he has "so many stars back stage" he needs more energy from the crowd.
Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Tony Daniel, Kyle Higgins, JH Williams III, Jimmy Palmiotti, Gail Simone, Charles Soule, Robert Venditti, Ray Fawkes, and James Tynion IV took the stage for a very crowded panel that started with Trinity War (see our full coverage at the link above of that panel), and the Trinity War trailer video that fans who have attended as many DC panels as I have here now have memorized.
Johns joked that they "spoiled the ending" with the video that says the villains win. The story started with Superman "seemingly losing control" and killing Dr. Light. He reiterated from earlier panels that he and Lemire want the story to be more of a mystery than just a superhero throwdown (though that's there, too).
For the uninitiated, after Trinity War comes Forever Evil which also includes three tie-in mini-series called Arkham War, ARGUS, and Rogues Rebellion.
Moving over to Aquaman, Geoff talked about the series saying, "thank you all for supporting a character that people thought was a waste of time. Everyone that's still making fun of Aquaman, that's fine - he can't get too cocky." The current story has Arthur learning more about the first king of Atlantis and his own ancestry. He praised artist Paul Pelletier saying he "stepped up his game" for this book, and loves his "beautiful, powerful Mera" especially.
Lemire and Johns remarked that Trinity War is the end of "the first era" of the New 52, with many series' extended plotlines coming to a close.
Next up is Superman/Wonder Woman, and artist Tony Daniel said they are "two of my absolute favorite characters to draw." He said the project "came out of the blue" but he accepted it immediately. "You guys are going to be blown away" by Charles Soule's ideas, the artist promised. The first issue of the book will have a three-page gatefold cover, including "as many people from both sides" in one image, which foreshadows "crazy stuff happening" in the near future.
Green Arrow #24's cover got a lot of applause. Lemire said he couldn't "believe how much I'm enjoying it." He's enjoyed "building a new mythology" around the character, and building up the Arrow Clan versus the Outsiders. Shado and Butcher and Vertigo have all come in, and what he looks at as "Season 2" of Green Arrow will start right around when Season 2 of the live action series does, which he says is serendipitous.
The series will also tie-in to "Batman: Zero Year" and "it all builds up to his return to the island, coming early next year."
Sticking with Lemire, Animal Man "focuses in on the Baker family and Buddy, and explores his celebrity." Brother Blood is trying to access the Red, and Rafael Albuquerque is coming on as artist starting with #24 to bring that to a head.
The newly announced Harley Quinn ongoing series, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner was next. "We're going to handle the series with madness. We're just going to go crazy." It's the first time the real-life couple is co-writing a book, and they're both very excited. "We're going to really get into who she is, what makes her tick, and everyone around her should be afraid that she's in the neighborhood."
Jonah Hex is now in the modern world in the pages of All-Star Western, another of the original New 52 launches. Now he's running around with Amadeus Arkham's great-grandson. Jonah looks at the modern world, the senseless violence and we see it through "Jonah's point of view." "Every issue we're trying to get crazier and crazier," said Palmiotti. The "Mutants" gang from Dark Knight Returns will show up in this month's issue.
Palmiotti stayed in the spotlight for Batwing, which featured a new character in the role with Palmiotti and Gray's takeover. Luke Fox (son of Lucius) is still learning to be a hero and will be dealing with Lady Vic, then globe-hopping for awhile. "He's a completely different Batman character, he's what Bruce Wayne would be in the Batman suit," meaning he uses that style of persona when he dons his costume. He'll continue to tweak the suit, both for better and worse.
Batwoman and Williams came next, and he said they're "playing a long game" in the stories in the series. "Hopefully at the end of each arc you feel like you've read a significant piece of Batwoman lore." She's just starting to fight some known Gotham villains, while simultaneously exploring her past and the people who trained her. Like other series, this all culminates, in #24 with a "major conflict with Batman." He's excited to "pit them up against each other," with how hard-headed they both are on their approach.
Batgirl got hoots and hollers from the crowd. Simone praised the covers and the interior art, both as some of the best she's ever worked with. She loves the way they make her Barbara moments just as exciting as her Batgirl moments. She promised a moment where "Gordon punches Batman in the face" for encouraging Batgirl to exist.
The Movement is a book that doesn't have any existing characters as main characters - just a bunch of new, pissed-off kids who want to change the world. Rainmaker from Gen 13 has joined the cast, and Simone promised a major New 52 guest star in the next couple of months.
Nightwing came up on screen, and Simone said "Look at that butt!" Higgins said, "that was my note, actually, more shiny. I know my audience." Will Conrad came on as artist for the series as Nightwing is now in Chicago trying to hunt down Tony Zucco, the man who killed his parents. "Along the way, we've been having a lot of fun building Nightwing's world in Chicago." The new take on the Prankster will see Nightwing using him, in a way, to get at Tony Zucco. The storyline with Prankster will wrap in #24. An annual comes after that showing off Nightwing and Batgirl's relationship in the New 52. New villains are promised for beyond.
Red Hood and the Outlaws sees Jason Todd having "to reevaluate his life and figure out who he wants to by," said Tynion. The League of Assassins gets involved and is trying to mold him to what they want him to be. "Jason is a pawn on a very large chessboard that he does not understand yet." Roy and Koriand'r have "a lot of feelings" about what he's going through.
Talon, likewise by Tynion "has been a blast writing that book." He notes that "things aren't going too well for Calvin Rose... well, I killed him a few issues ago, so that wasn't great for him." Parallels between him and Bane are being drawn, and they'll be running into each other again. Batman will be coming around in October's #12 as well, in response to the Court of Owls return.
Green Lantern with new writer Venditti has Hal Jordan trying to figure out how to lead the Corps. "He's a fighter pilot, not a platoon sergeant. He's very heroic, but it's just him whose life is on the line." Soule, who is also working in the world of the Lanterns (on Red Lanterns) and Venditti are excited to continue to explore what it means to be a Lantern in this world where there are now so many of all different emotions.
Speaking of, a cover showing Red Lantern Guy Gardner punching Hal in the face comes from the various writers "talking all the time" so that they can co-ordinate really well. When Guy first puts the red ring on again, he goes nuts with rage. Once he controls it a bit, he decides he wants to "go get a house" said Soule, because they're just living on Ysmault in barren nothingness.
Soule's Swamp Thing has been "seeding" a villain "whose name is Seeder! Ha!" His plants are magical. He makes a whiskey tree in Scotland, and things go terribly quickly. In #24 and the Annual, it will all climax and Seeder will really turn villain.
Turning to talk about Superman/Wonder Woman, Soule said that "it is a thrill." "I think how I would describe Superman/Wonder Woman is an awesome, action-packed story featuring two gigantically powerful people who happen to have a relationship," likening it to the Han Solo/Leia romance in "Empire Strikes Back." Both he and Tony Daniel teased that Issue 6 is a huge one.
Ray Fawkes is writing Pandora and Constantine in Trinity War, the "two crazy wild cards." Pandora thinks she can fix the world. Meanwhile, Constantine "goes too far" when he steals the power of Shazam from Billy Batson. "People are not going to like him when they figure out what he did."
No time for Fan Q&A here.