Heroes Con '09 - 'DC Nation' Panel'

Mark Bagely holds up a pre-press copy of Wednesday Comics #1

DC Comics’ “DC Nation” panel kicked off the second day of programming from the larger publishers on Saturday at Heroes Con 2009 in Charlotte, NC. Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler hosted the panel, which included artist Mark Bagley, Editor Brian Cunningham, and artist Ethan Vansciver.

Prior to the panel, Sattler was showing off a pre-print copy of Wednesday Comics to Mark Bagley, showing it in its full size – that of a standard newspaper.  

Beginning with Bagley, Sattler introduced the artist as the new artist on Justice League of America beginning in October with James Robison writing. Sattler commented that Robinson’s JLA: Cry for Justice will feed into the ongoing series.

Bagley said that following Trinity, Dan DiDio called him and asked what he wanted to do, which he found as a very flattering offer. Bagley said that the plans had changed as he originally signed on for a second JLA title to be written by Greg Rucka, with Geoff Johns writing the main series, and then perhaps replace Ed Benes on the regular series with McDuffie writing, before it finally morphed into the current team. Bagley will be inked by Rob Hunter who is inking him on Batman, and noted that while he doesn’t know much about what’s coming up, he’s pretty sure Wonder Woman is in charge of the League.

Moving on to Vansciver, the artist expressed how excited he is to be working on the character, noting that at this point, readers only have three issues to judge what he and Johns have planned, but there’s a massive amount of material that’s been put into the series and the future plans for the series and character after Rebirth.

Talking about Blackest Night, Vansciver added that he has been asked to design a “very, very, very important Black Lantern for the cover of issue #4” of Blackest Night. Sattler cut Vansciver off before he could say any more about the character’s identity.

Sattler then held up the copy of Wednesday Comics for the audience to see, listing off the creators involved in the new weekly series. The crowd was duly impressed, and Sattler said that DC Comics couldn’t be more proud of the series and how it looks. Giving a hint to one of the stories, Sattler said that the Flash story features Flash Comics on the top of the page and Iris West Comics on the bottom half, but halfway through the story, the two meet and join, as the Flash literally and figuratively “runs” into Iris’ story.

“Has Marvel Comics stolen this idea from us yet?” Vansciver asked after Sattler’s presentation.

Cunningham then praised Mark Chiarello for putting together the project together, noting that the Superman strip from the series will appear in USA Today print edition for its first installment, and online at USAToday.com for the remainder of the run.

Asked if there were plans to re-birth any of the other characters that are “lame” by a fan, such as Aquaman, Vansciver said “we’ll see how it goes…but we love Aquaman. Love Aquaman. I’d love to do something with Aquaman, I’d love to do something with Firestorm.”

Vansciver said that fan outcry would tell if Aquaman would be the next character they tackled, and asked the crowd if they would make fun of DC if they did another “Rebirth,” to which the audience shouted “No.”

The artist asked the crowd to vote on three potential “rebirths” by applause Firestorm, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter. All three received equal, enthusiastic applause.

“Who is Hawkman now?” “What for it, wait for it, wait for it,” Sattler said. “Blackest Night. It’s coming soon.”

The President who won the vote in DC: Decisions was decided upon, though not named by Sattler, and will be the President when they are needed to be shown in upcoming comics.

Sattler said that Blackest Night will have a faster and more direct impact on the larger DCU than Final Crisis did, and will be seen throughout the DC Universe later this year, rather than its effects being seen after the story ends.

Will Manchester Black be seen in the DC Universe? Sattler said that “there is actually a possibility,” but declined to say in which book.

“But all of them, you’ll find him,” Vansciver joked.

Asked if he has a favorite team or run on Justice League that he’ll be looking to for inspiration, Bagley said he loves the Grant Morrison run, and loves the Big Three. “In a perfect world it would be Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in big cosmic stories, but it’s not going to be that, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a different thing…what’s really fun for me nowadays is character development and ‘acting.’ I get a sense that I’ll be doing a lot of that as we move on.”

In response to a fan bringing up Megan Fox’s quote about Wonder Woman being a lame character, Vansciver asked the fan if he was serious about it, and pointed out the list of the ten dumbest Megan Fox quotes that’s making its way around the internet.

Talking about books that people might be missing, Sattler noted that Wonder Woman will soon be appearing in Secret Six.

The Zatanna series from Paul Dini is still coming, according to Sattler.

 Kyle Rayner will play a large role in Blackest Night according to both Sattler and Vansciver.

Sattler reiterated that after Adam Hughes All Star Wonder Woman, the All Star line will take a break for a while, with no new projects planned.

Asked why Superboy is appearing in a title but Kid Flash isn't, Vansciver said, “We're going to make you so happy in Rebirth.”

Are there plans for Jason Todd coming up? "Yes," Sattler said. 

Are there plans for Bat-Mite? "No" came Sattler's quick reply. 

Sattler said that the co-features will be collected into their own volumes, but the "hows" and "whens" of the process are still being worked out. 

Sattler said that Grant Morrison's The Multiversity should hit next year. 

Ra's al Ghul will show up in Red Robin, Sattler said.

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