John Cunningham welcomed a crowded panel room of DC Comics fans to New York Comic Con 2013 for the Forever Evil panel.
Brian Buccellato was introduced first, followed by Joe Prado, David Finch, and Ray Fawkes.
Forever Evil #2 cover was shown, and Finch said "it's an absolute blast" to draw. "It seems like the villains have more range than heroes do, there's so much more for me to play with. I'm a few issues ahead right now, and things are happening - obviously I can't say what. It's some crazy stuff and I'm pretty sure a lot of people will be upset with us." Finch also praised the collaborative process with Geoff Johns and how much freedom the writer gives him. He also said he's only reading the story as scripts come in, "issue by issue," and doesn't know how it ends!
The homage cover showing the Crime Syndicate in the reverse of Justice League #1 was shown, and inker Joe Prado talked about the process, and revealed he and Reis did the cover overnight in one night. Justice League #24 is "really creepy," Prado said, and it shows an origin story of Ultraman. It also features a big throwdown of Ultraman vs Black Adam.
"Ultraman. He's really evil." Prado said with a laugh. He teased that he has heard the full "master plan" from Johns, and said "I want to read that!"
Justice League of America #8 is on sale now, and Cunningham noted that it ties-in to Forever Evil with a look at what happened to some of the heroes.
The series becomes Justice League Canada in a few months, though, and Ray Fawkes talked about Jeff Lemire's take on it. "It's amazing, 100% not what you'd expect. You'll get to see Justice dispensed Canadian style. (laughs) I think you guys will love it, it's in Jeff's inimitable style."
Constantine #7 takes place right before Trinity War ends. You'll see how Constantine escapes the Crime Syndicate. We'll also be seeing Constantine teaming up with some villains as a means to his own ends. "He'll be running a long con, everything he does is in service to that."
Pandora #4 will see her "getting a small gimpse of what will happen if the Crime Syndicate is able to run rampant," as she peeks into the future.
Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion, Buccellato deadpanned, features the Rogues, and "they're going to rebel."
He explained that "They're all about the score, they don't want to rule the world. They get on the bad side of the Crime Syndicate and have to go on the run because they refuse to destroy Central City."
The other tie-in mini-series, Arkham War and A.R.G.U.S. were mentioned, and Cunningham said the latter surprised him. "Steve Trevor is a bad-ass in this!" he exclaimed, also revealing that we'll see the first meeting of Trevor and Wonder Woman in a flashback in the first issue.
Asked about Johns' direct involvement with a big crossover like this, Fawkes said he appreciates the guidance and leeway he gets. Buccellato echoed the sentiment, saying that after Johns laid out the overarc of the story, "I had to fit what I'm doing around what he does. Captain Cold has a big moment in Forever Evil, for example, so at one point he has to be separated from the Rogues."
Forever Evil: Blight is the name of the story that will run across the magic books that Fawkes and DeMatteis are writing. "If you rip a hole in the universe to an evil universe, there has to be ripples that occur in the supernatural side of things. They have to go directly into the collective human unconscious to see if they can patch up some of the things that are happening. It gets really really dark and really really exciting!"
With that, the panel moved into audience questions.
Finch said he loves Frank Quitely's take on the Crime Syndicate, and that he tries to pull from various influences.
"You will see The Question" in Forever Evil: Blight, Fawkes revealed to a fan, and Cunningham teased "you'll see big things for The Question in 2014."
Fawkes also explained that "all of the dark books are running concurrently with Forever Evil, but they couldn't tell exactly when every other title takes place continuity-wise because there's a possibility of spoilers.
Asked about the similarities between the Flash Rogues gallery and Batman's (ice-themed villain, older villain trying to run the world, etc), Buccellato said that the main difference is that "The Rogues are a family." He also teased that the two groups will actually clash directly in Rogues Rebellion.
A big Nightwing fan (even dressed in his New 52 costume), asked "why?" and Finch said, "Don't worry, there is a plan. It's not over." Cunningham said, "I feel bad for you because I know what's coming," though. Then joked, "RIP Dick Grayson - NEXT QUESTION!"
A fan asked Finch if it's more fun doing Batman or Ultraman. "Batman is the most fun character of all time. I love doing Ultraman though, he's a Superman that's dark, so that's much more me."
The panelists couldn't answer a lineup question about Justice League Canada, but Fawkes said to ask Jeff Lemire about Booster Gold, seemingly hinting a role for him.
A fan asked if some of the smarter villains in the DC Universe might follow the CS's example, and Lemire only said "I don't know if we can answer that, because we can't say who will make it out of Forever Evil alive."
Based on Thomas Kord appearing in Forever Evil #1, a fan asked "Will we see Ted Kord anytime soon?" Cunningham only said "Next question."
A fan asked if the pre-52 and New 52 versions of characters could ever co-exist in a comic, and Fawkes joked "they co-exist peacefully in my long boxes."
David Finch revealed that he'd like to get back to painting when he's not as busy, maybe painting a short story for a comic.
Does Earth 3's presence open the doors wide for more multiverse action? "It seems like it," said Buccellato, and Fawkes said "I think the people on the New 52 earth hope not."
Any chances of an ongoing Rogues series? Buccellato: "I hope so. You should start a movement and say that I should write it!"