We talked to Ethan Van Sciver at his table in Artist's Alley at the recent WizardWorld: Chicago as he was drawing a Batman in a Sinestro Corps uniform. Fans of his work on Sinestro Corps might guess that he does that one a lot, but he said he's only drawn Sinestro Corps Batman three times, and he gets a wide variety of requests for characters as Sinestro Corps members.
"Somebody asked for the Scarecrow as a Sinestro Corps member, and I know we flirted with that idea -- Geoff and me -- but really, he's got an odd costume. He's just sort of made of straw and has a strange hat on his head, and it was very difficult to translate it into the rigid sort of conformity of the Sinestro Corps uniform. But you know, I am a genius, so I was able to do it," he said with his usual wry smile. "And very convincingly too. He had a sickle that was a construct and he had little yellow crows all around him."
The artist had just come from a DC panel where Dan DiDio seemed to always turn to him to answer any question about The Flash. We asked: Why is that?
"Because he's a sadist, deep down. He even told me that. He said, "I just like to see you squirm.' I honestly have no idea. He likes to get the rumors going," Van Sciver said.
We talked about the rumor mill and how most fans think his upcoming "secret project" with Geoff Johns is either Aquaman or The Flash.
"Aquaman's leading the pack?" Van Sciver said in obviously feigned surprise. "Wouldn't it be nice if it was Aquaman though? You know who wants Aquaman? Shane Davis. And I like Shane Davis, so I said, you know, Shane, I will never mention Aquaman again. If you want Aquaman, I will not stand in your way. And he drew Aquaman for Superman/Batman and it was awesome. And he deserves it."
We pointed out that he had just said in the DC panel that Aquaman was showing up in Blackest Night, although it was obvious that Geoff Johns, who was sitting next to him on the panel, had whispered and told him to say it.
"I turned to Geoff and said, 'Geoff, what do we say about Aquaman?' And he said, 'Tell 'em to wait for Blackest Night.' I went, 'OK. Wait for Blackest Night.' That doesn't mean I know. I don't know everything. In fact, I know barely anything about what Geoff is planning for Blackest Night. So you'll have to refer that question to Mr. Johns," Van Sciver said.
However, the artist does know about his upcoming Wonder Woman project with Gail Simone, which was announced at that same panel.
"I can only say that it is totally awesome. We're taking an old classic Wonder Woman villain that nobody seems to care about and uplifting her and making her into the sickest and probably the most realistic supervillain in the DCU. This is going to be a drastic change from what people might expect from me and Gail on a Wonder Woman story. I think it's going to surprise a lot of people," he said, then joked: "But we're both geniuses and we're wildly unpredictable. We get ideas, and who knows where they come from. The ethers of the cosmos. And we have to run with them. We have no choice."
The two have discussed working together on Wonder Woman for awhile, Van Sciver said, but he thinks maybe Simone didn't take him seriously. "I've been saying that to her for years, but I think she thought I was kidding or something, and finally, I dreamt this idea up. I just had this idea for this character and a new approach for this classic villain, and I said, 'Gail! Now's the time! Let's do it!'" he said.
After Van Sciver told the idea to her, "She said, 'Oh my God!' and the next day, she had a million of her own ideas," he said.
Van Sciver isn't sure when the Wonder Woman story will come out. "We're just playing it loose. I don't mind people knowing what it is. Gail wanted to keep it secret, but I don't really know why. It's what people claim they want. It is a self-contained, stand-alone Wonder Woman story, and it will come out whenever it's finished," he said.
And as we have done for almost every "floorbuzz" article we've done this year, we asked Van Sciver if he has found a writer for his already-greenlighted Plastic Man series. Every other time we've asked, the answer has been no.
But not this time...
"Plastic Man got resolved this weekend!" he said. "And the writer will crack everybody up. Especially if you've ever attended any DC panels. It's very ironic."
However, Van Sciver said the series won't come out for awhile. After his "non-Green Lantern" project with Geoff Johns (which will be announced in San Diego) and his Wonder Woman project with Gail Simone, he said he has something else lined up that will come even before Plastic Man. "It's coming though," Van Sciver said. "Plastic Man fans should not be discouraged. We have a writer now."