Ian Sattler, sporting ten fingers full of multi-colored power rings, warmed up a rowdy crowd as the DC Nation Panel opened on Saturday at Wizard's Chicago Comic-con. The line, possibly the longest of the day, fed into a packed room. Sattler drew applause by ticking off some of the recent DC successes, including Batman and Robin, Blackest Night, and more. He continued to suggest a lot of “awesome” thing coming down the pike.
The panel included Freddie Williams, JG Jones, JT Krul, Francis Manupal, Art Balthazar and Franco from Tiny Titans, Brian Azzarello, and Chris Yost.
Batman/Doc Savage JG Jones CoverTitle discussion opened with a JG Jones image of Batman/Doc Savage to be written by Brian Azzarello. The story presupposed a neophyte Batman in a world where Doc Savage is already established. The universe will contain Doc Savage, Blackhawk, The Spirit, Black Canary, and The Avenger (which drew some laughs from fans not familiar with the pulp hero of the singular nomenclature; Sattler joked “Big announcement!”). Sattler explained that it’s a world of blended science (hot air balloons, big computers tommy guns), but no super powers or magic. Rags Morales is drawing the series that follows the special, which drops in November.
Sattler turned to Red Robin, showing a slide of the Marcus To art from issue #6, his first issue. In issue #4, Tim will make significant progress on the mystery of Bruce Wayne.
Next up: JSA All-Stars by Matthew Sturges and Freddie Williams. Williams said that the book is essentially composed of the majority of the younger characters from JSA. The first arc makes them “into a really cohesive team.” He also promised a lot of twists and turns, and a particularly “crazy” first issue. Sattler went on to remind everyone of the new JSA creative team as well as the debut of Magog.
Sattler jokingly suggested that Tiny Titans would be moving in a “more adult direction.” The creators did allow that there would be an extremely “girly” issue (#25) coming up, cracking that men Batman/Doc Savage Variant Covershould probably “eat meat or something while you read it”.
Going on to Adventure Comics, Manupal talked about his modified style. He told Johns that maybe they should go for an “Americana” style of presentation; Sattler commented that it was “stunning to look at” with “the best Krypto ever.”
After that came the cover to Blackest Night: Titans #2, which features some, frankly, scary-ass babies. Krul said that “there’s a real weight to what’s going on.” He went on to say that “No one has gotten their asses handed to them like the Titans in the last few years.”
Sattler commented on how tightly they’re trying to control the quality of Blackest Night and that he felt that the restraint in NOT doing more than six minis was indicative of their commitment to the whole event.
The Q&A then opened, with each fan who asked a question getting a Black Lantern ring. Some highlights include . . .
Red Robin #6 Cover by Marcus ToThe first fan asked about the return of Billy Batson as Captain Marvel. When told “Not for a while,” the fan exclaimed “DARN IT!” to much laughter. He then followed with an ongoing request for Jerry Ordway.
The next question was about the split of Adventure, which will be the Superboy lead with the Legion co-feature. There will also be Legion bits in the main Superboy story. Sattler said that there will be more Legion story before getting to a dedicated Legion book.
Regarding the JLA, Sattler said, “Dude, you have NO idea what we’re about to do.”
Red Robin will “absolutely” be dealing with the return of Superboy and Kid Flash in the near future.
Will Solomon Grundy tie into Blackest Night? Yes. Also, keep an eye on Red Robin and Green Arrow coming out of Blackest Night.
In regards to co-features, they will more than likely be their own trades. For some (probably GA/BC), they’ll figure it out as they go.
In response to a question about Booster Gold cameos, Sattler asked, “Who’s going to be in Booster Gold during Blackest Night?”
Asked about the secret of the Indigo Lanterns, Sattler uttered a string of Nos, then said, “Geoff would murder me all kinds of murder.”
As for more Wednesday Comics, Sattler said, “We’re talking about it.” Fan reaction to the suggestion of more was very positive.
One fan asked “Why isn’t there a DC booth out there?” to much applause. As Sattler said, “I don’t know dude,” someone yelled “C2E2!” to some laughter.