WonderCon '09 - DC Nation Panel (with Dini-Bat news)

DC Comics held its first panel of on Friday afternoon with its regular offering DC Nation.

Substituting for DC Nation’s usual host was DC Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler. Panelists included: Judd Winick, Paul Dini, James Robinson, Aaron Lopresti, Liz Gherlin, and VP Sales, Bob Wayne.

<i>Newsarama Note: As with other panels at WonderCon, the DC Nation reiterated much of the news and many of the announcements made at New York Comic Con.

Sattler kicked off the panel with video teaser for the upcoming Superman books which focused on the General Zod taking command of New Krypton, and the forced on Earth realizing the threat that a planet full of Kryptonians poses.

Sattler then turned the panel over to Robinson, who said that in this week’s issue of Superman, the reason and rationale for Superman leaving Earth was seen, which sets up Superman: World of New Krypton, and his presence on the new planet. “World of New Krypton is the train that drives the engine,” Robinson said, noting that what happens in that book affects Superman, Action Comics, and Supergirl.

As for Superman, Robinson said that it will take many heroes to guard Metropolis is Superman’s absence, and the series will showcase Steel, Guardian, Black Lightning, and other heroes.

Robison said that the history of Nightwing and Flamebird and the history of Daxam (from its discovery to the time on Mon-el) will be explored in upcoming Annuals.

The Superman titles are moving to a big adventure in 2010, and everything that’s been seen in the titles to date (beginning with Atlas, Krypto and earlier) will all pay off. Robinson said that the writers are keeping in mind all the smaller details of Krypton and Superman and Kryptonians that make the books fun for readers via weekly conference calls, stressing that he returned to comics for this work, and he’s certainly not going anywhere soon – with that last, he apologized to audience members who may not like his work.

Moving on to the Batman titles, Sattler praised Battle for the Cowl’s first issue which is complete, and that it brings in many, characters that have been in Batman over the past two years.

Reiterating the announcement at of eight Batman-themed books in June, Sattler announced that Paul Dini will write both Batman: Streets of Gotham and Gotham City Sirens. Dini said that he’s still breaking down what will be in the books, saying that Streets will take place all over Gotham City and involve a lot of people – from cops to citizens to other super heroes and villains, anyone who has a connection to Batman, but don’t know who Batman is. Their perceptions will offer a different view of the character than has been seen.

“You only know Batman as much as the people he confronts know him,” Dini said of the book’s approach. Dustin Nguyen will illustrate Streets of Gotham.

As for Sirens, Dini named Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn as the leads who are thrust together out of necessity and self-preservation. This is not Gotham Girls or a humor book, Dini said, adding that this will be a new take on the characters in a way that readers haven’t seen before. “Yeah it’s Harley, but it’s playing by different rules now,” Dini said.

Before moving out of Gotham, Sattler added that Manhunter/Kate Spencer is the new DA of Gotham City.

Moving on to Doom Patrol, Gherlin said that the upcoming series will encompass a wide range of creepy things as writer Keith Giffen is looking to bring horror back to the concept and title. Reiterating the previous announcement of the book, Gherlin added that Metal Men will be the series’ co-feature, with J.M. DeMatteis joining Giffen on the writing, with Kevin Maguire illustrating.

Sattler then opened the floor to Q&A:

Asked if Commissioner Gordon will play a role in Streets of Gotham? Dini: “Yep.”

Does the recent cancellation of Nightwing have anything to do with the fact that there will be a new Batman soon? “It has to do with that, but also notice that we cancelled Birds of Prey,” Sattler joked, adding that to bring in so many new books, some had to go away.

A woman who was given questions to ask by her boyfriend (who admitted, laughing, that she didn’t know what the questions meant) asked if the Wizard Shazam will return as the rightful custodian of the Rock of Eternity? Wayne: “Maaaaybe.”

Will Alan Scott play a more active role as a Green Lantern in Blackest Night? Robinson: “Yes, Alan Scott will play a role.”

What did the Omega Sanction actually do to Batman? Sattler, joking – More questions and more answers will be revealed coming up later this year. “If we just said, this is what happens, it kinds of takes the fun away,” Sattler said. “It takes the sales away, too,” Wayne added.

Also – Ra’s al Ghul will be appearing again soon – “Along with his family,” Sattler said.

Will we see Starman again? Robinson again cited his upcoming Justice League, which will launch in June which will feature the blue, alien Starman, as well as Shade and other Opal City residents, but has no real plans to go back to Jack Knight.

Asked about Birds of Prey leading into Oracle: The Cure, Sattler said that the upcoming three issue miniseries is full of information about how and why Birds of Prey ended, and should answer questions remaining around the character.

Asked if there will be any female team book coming to replace Birds of Prey, Dini offered that Gotham City Sirens will be a “bad girl team up book,” but there are no current plans for a super heroine team up book.

Are there plans for Eric Trautman (who has worked with Greg Rucka) in the DCU? “Yes,” Sattler said, teasing that there were three words, with the middle one being “versus” and that the project is six issues.

Asked if any Black Lanterns could be named, Sattler said, “If they’re dead, they’re possible.”

Are there plans for the multiverse? Sattler: Yes – Grant Morrison gets first crack at the multiverse when he comes back to the DC Universe later this year.

Will The Daily Planet face a collapse like every other American newspaper? Robinson: That’s interesting, because you’re going to see the return of Morgan Edge, so there may be something with television.

Reiterating their announcement at New York Comic Con of eight Batman-themed books in June, Friday afternoon at WonderCon 2009 DC editor Ian Sattler announced that Paul Dini will write both Batman: Streets of Gotham and Gotham City Sirens. Dini said that he’s still breaking down what will be in the books, saying that Streets will take place all over Gotham City and involve a lot of people – from cops to citizens to other superheroes and villains, anyone who has a connection to Batman, but don’t know who Batman is. Their perceptions will offer a different view of the character than has been seen.

“You only know Batman as much as the people he confronts know him,” Dini said of the book’s approach. Dustin Nguyen will illustrate Streets of Gotham.

As for Sirens, Dini named Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn as the leads who are thrust together out of necessity and self-preservation. This is not Gotham Girls or a humor book, Dini said, adding that this will be a new take on the characters in a way that readers haven’t seen before.  “Yeah it’s Harley, but it’s playing by different rules now,” Dini said.

Before moving out of Gotham, Sattler added that Manhunter/Kate Spencer is the new DA of Gotham City.

Look for a full report from the panel later Friday evening.

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