Saturday saw the DC Nation panel at the 2010 Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina. Though it started slow, it was a full house by the end of the presentation.
On the dais were Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler, Franco of Tiny Titans and Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam fame, and artist Billy Tucci.
Announced earlier on DCU Blog The Source, Sattler started with the news that this September, DC will be bringing back WWII-centric books such as War Tales, Army of War, and Star-Spangled War Stories. Tucci talked about his books and how he strived for historical accuracy, with him and Joe Kubert talking to real veterans of the 36th infantry. While the facts are legitimate, Tucci admitted he is putting his own "Quentin Tarantino" style spin on the stories. On one book he mentioned "They're really edgy. There's a lot of historical accuracies, but there's some crazy stuff." Cover artists for the projects include Geoff Darrows and Darwyn Cooke.
Sattler talked about the anniversary specials and how you really get something out of them.
Tucci is doing the Red Hood covers and he praised Jason Todd for being such a "bad-ass character". Sattler called Todd a "tragic figure" and how his life path has always been wrong. Tucci again praised Judd Winick and Todd as a character.
Franco jumped in to talk about Tiny Titans and how there are a lot of people reading it that you wouldn't think would.
Sattler started discussing Brightest Day. "Geoff is amazing with this stuff," he says. In response to the title having some pretty gory moments, "It was never an official statement that Brightest Day would be the dawn of this new age. We have stories with positive spins and some with not so much of one."
Sattler mentioned Generation Lost briefly and how excited he is about the plans for Green Arrow's relaunch. "What we have planned for Green Arrow is going to surprise you."
He brought up the announcement of J. T. Krul writing Teen Titans, seen first here on Newsarama, and how that book is going to be terrific as well.
Sattler seemed most excited to talk about the JMS treatment for Superman. "JMS's Superman script is one of the best comics I've ever read. I was just blown away by it all." Sattler praised Brave and the Bold and what JMS has brought to the table with the book. Again, going back to the Superman and Wonder Woman JMS is working on, he said, "I think you guys are really going to be stoked."
Audience Q&A was up next.
One audience member wanted to thank DC for brining back Batman Beyond, met with a round of applause, and then asked if DC will release a Showcase of Joker stories since Jimmy Olsen even had one. Sattler responded "nothing yet" about the Joker, but it was a good idea. As for Batman Beyond, he asked if the crowd wanted to see more. Even more applause than before. "The Dustin Nguyen covers rule," said Sattler.
The next fan asked if there was a chance for any more Milestone characters in the DCU. Sattler responded he wasn't sure if or when.
Next was a question about the Shazam story with Osiris and he was assured the revelation of who those statues are will be coming soon.
Billy Tucci was asked if any more Sgt. Rock is coming out. "I'd love to for sure," he replied.
An Emerald Warriors question was asked and the fan was curious about if Guy Gardener will still be a "hard ass," but was cut off by Sattler who told him that Guy's character is going somewhere. "Emerald Warriors is carrying a lot of story; it's cool to see the GL franchise expand like this," said Sattler.
A question about whether or not the White Lanterns are a passing thing or ongoing? Sattler replied that the end of Blackest Night meant the revolving door of death has ceased, but doesn't mean the stakes are gone.
An audience member wanted to thank DC for using Firestorm again. Sattler replied that he is fascinating and has so much planned for him. Long term stuff.
A fan had a three-part question: what is the status of the Batwoman series, Cassandra Cain as a character and where is Misfit? Sattler replied he's seen the pages of the Batwoman series but doesn't want to make any announcement until it's a sure thing with the timing. They are also holding off on using Cassandra right now. Misfit will be seen later down the line. That opened up Sattler to talk about the new Batgirl series and how he loves it. An audience member wanted to see more Cassandra, but Sattler insisted that they didn't want to rush her into the story and just want to time it right.
A serious topic came up about how characters who are minorities who happened to be legacy characters like Ryan Choi are killed off so their caucasian counterparts can return and how they feel like they are being cheated or sidelined out of their roles. Sattler took a more serious tone. "It's so hard for me to be on the other side because it's not our intention. There is a reason behind it all. We don't see it that way and strive very hard to have a diverse DCU. I mean, we have green, pink, and blue characters. We have the Great Ten out there and I have counter statistics, but I won't get into that. It's not how we perceived it. We get the same thing about how we treat our female characters."
On a less serious note: is Solomon Grundy getting a series? Simply put: "No plans right now."
Wednesday Comics sequel in the works? "Vote with your dollars," said Sattler, referring to the new hardcover edition of the series.
A fan asked if they thought Booster Gold is an A-lister. Franco simply replied that he thinks every DC character is A-list, and that was met with a round of applause.
Is Aquaman getting his own series? "Wait to find out."
An audience member talked about the $3.99 pricing of all DC books, but Sattler corrected him by saying that is not even the majority of our books with that pricing. We're still trying to figure it out for you, but definitely not all of them."
Has the "Who's Who?" started production yet and also, what about recap boxes so people can catch up? Sattler wishes they had the resources for a bibliography, but some people don't need them and yes the Who's Who is coming out.
Somebody then asked when did the Green Arrow books stop being a family-oriented book? Sattler told the member that it wasn't his decision but the GA relaunch will move at a fast pace and have a solo feel to it.
Is there a chance for a Legion ring promotion? Yes, we may get a Legion flight ring in the near future.
An audience member asked if there was a chance for more Vertigo creators slipping into he DCU, most notably as of late is Jeffrey Lemire doing Superboy. "It's possible", says Sattler. He couldn't talk about specifics, but you know it "should be an interesting 2010." Next fan just simply thanked them for bringing back Legion.
Are there any plans for more back up co-features? Yes, Two-Face will start in Streets of Gotham and The Atom in Adventure Comics.
What's the latest news on a Kid Flash series? Franco replied to ask him again in August.
Also they are trying to just keep it to one Legion book for right now.
Any plans for Steve Niles to return to the Spectre since he did the mini-toon for the Crisis on Two Earths? "Not right now, but that was pretty cool, huh?"
Any more kids books? Again, we're told to wait for August.
An audience member asked if we can get more Metal Men? Simply put "yes". Any plans for a Young Justice trade? No.
Has Sattler seen any of the GL stills or images of the movie? "I could not be more excited", he replied.
Why couldn't we keep anything from World of New Krypton? Sattler replied that Mon-El was always going back. Nightwing and Flamebird on the other hand, we might have not have seen the last of. "Just because they're off camera doesn't mean they're gone."
Where's Wally? "Running around somewhere."
A member of the audience asked if there will be a Green Lantern story that doesn't revolve around the War of Light? Sattler basically said eventually, just not soon.
An audience member asked what is wrong with the Cubs this year? Sattler laughed and replied "They're the Cubs."
Next question was bout the comics that were seen on the TV show Fringe. Is there a chance for any prints or merchandise from those images? "Nah, but we'll see about it."
Next question was about if there was a middle ground for kids' books and something for older readers? Franco talked about the Johnny DC books being more an "all ages" approach. Sattler talked about how it is a balancing act.
The next fan asked if Tim Drake will be joining back up with the Teen Titans again. Sattler explained not right now, but Red Robin is staying around.
An audience member asked if DC plans on bringing more "cartoony" artists like Karl Kerschl (Teen Titans Year One). Possibly, Sattler said, but it all depends on the project.
Why is Tim not chasing Bruce through time?
"Read Return of Bruce Wayne #3"