The futures of over a dozen titles were previewed at the DC New 52 panel at Emerald City Comic Con. On hand were David Finch (Justice League of America), Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing), James Tynion (The Talon), Jeff Lemire (Green Arrow), Ray Fawkes (Justice League Dark, Constantine), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing), Tony Daniels (Action Comics), Ethan Van Sciver (Batman: The Dark Knight), Gail Simone (Batgirl), James Robinson (Earth 2), Kevin Maguire (World’s Finest), Brian Buccellato (Flash) and Matt Kindt (Martian Manhunter). Larry Gannon moderated.Leading off with the announcements, Ray Fawkes will be scribing a new Trinity of Sin: Pandora series, with art by Daniel Sampere. “Pandora is the woman who has shouldered the blame for every bad thing that happened in the universe.” Fawkes said. “She’s spent millennia in tears and lamentation but she's done with that now and she's angry. She's going to kill, and kill, and kill. She thinks she's been set up and she will not stop, bend or bow for anyone who thinks she's wrong.”
Daniel spoke about being able to get back to concentrating on drawing with his upcoming Action Comics run with writer Andy Diggle. “It's been a few years trying to push myself as a writer so going back to just drawing is a breath of fresh air. We hope you guys enjoy.”
Finch and Kindt represented Justice League of America. Finch is drawing the main story with Geoff Johns writing. Kindt is writing Martian Manhunter backup stories that will establish his origin for the DC New 52 Universe. "I always thought Superman would be the hardest character to write,” Kindt said. “But Martian Manhunter is like Superman with mind powers which is even harder."Snyder recapped what he said about Batman in Friday’s DC All-Access panel. #18 will be a reflective story about Damian Wayne, through the eyes of Harper Row, while #19 and #20 will be a tribute to the Batman: Animated Series cartoons. Then #21 will begin an 11-part story that is his “favorite story” they’ve done on the book. Snyder also did his best impression of Greg Capullo to pass along his thanks to the fans in attendance.
The last issue of Snyder’s run on Swamp Thing will come full circle and will be returning to Louisiana after ‘Rotworld,’ The writer said of the incoming creative team, “Charles Soule and KANO’s ideas are wonderful. I hope you'll be supportive of them.”
The Court of Owls gets exposed in the upcoming issues of Talon. Tynion said, “This is where things start ramping up. We’re going to meet the grandmaster of the Court of Owls and a major character will be coming up who you won’t expect.”Tynion kept control of the mic to talk about Red Hood & The Outlaws, which he takes over with April’s #19, “I wanted to tell a big story that uses all the potential to go in all these crazy directions including Starfire’s space sci-fi, Arsenal’s tech-based action, and Jason Todd will give a fantasy and magic potential plus all that comes with a Bat-character.”
Tynion hopes to bring “a quest-style storyline that will pick apart the characters, and show why it matters that these three characters fight together.” Also look for Cheshire’s debut in the New 52, who has big history with Roy in the previous continuity, being the mother of his child in the old universe.
Higgins made a quick appearance at the podium to speak about Chicago becoming the new home for Nightwing and become a new world to explore for the DC New 52. Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund will supply the art. “This is going to be our huge opus,” Higgins teased.
Next up was the Lemire block of books. He spoke briefly about Animal Man and how he wants to look at Buddy’s celebrity status and our culture’s obsessions with celebrities.Speaking of capitalizing on popularity, Lemire wants to take advantage of the CW’s hit-TV show Arrow to usher in a new wave of potential readers. His first issue of Green Arrow was #17, which was carefully written like a #1. Additional details of Oliver Queen’s life Lemire wants to explore include the island, his heritage, classic villains and some new ones too, like Komodo. The DCU Blog is also giving away Lemire #17 sketch variants.
Hearing Van Sciver talk about working on Batman: The Dark Knight showed his great enthusiasm for the project. First, he took time to recognize David Finch who was sitting on the other side of the stage, for setting it up. Then he gave readers something to look forward to, “Gregg Hurwitz picked my least favorite villain, the Mad Hatter, but I was able to do redesign him in a way that made me happy.” Also look for #18 to be a comic that no one is expecting. “DC almost didn’t let us do it.”
Sticking with the Bat family, Gail Simone got to pull the covers off the New 52 Ventriloquist in Batgirl #20, who looks like the stuff that haunts dreams. “For those who thought we were going to lighten up after ‘Death of the Family’ – Wrong!” Simone followed that emphatic statement by saying the new Ventriloquist “is terrifying, her beef is so modern and that it's very scary to me. If you're going to have the heroine, you got to have the villainess.”Simone fans will have another book to add to their pull list in May with The Movement. “It’s totally different from anything you’ve seen from me.” The superhero adventure story–which takes place in the DCU–revolves around a group of poor teenagers, angry about a corrupt system of corporation, police, and authority. Freddie E. Williams II is the artist on the series and Simone compared the material and reading experience to that of a Secret Six or The Authority. The cover of issue #1 wore a tagline, “Meet the 99%.”
Now that The Flash completed the Gorilla Grodd storyline, the Trickster is up next. Then, readers will get to settle in on The Reverse Flash, who returns in the New 52. Understand, he’s it’s not the same guy readers have known to be Reverse Flash. His powers are also unknown, Buccellato explained, “He has his own agenda… the Flash moves space and time forward, Reverse Flash does the opposite. Buccellato also warned the panel crowd that he would not entertain any Wally West questions.
Earth 2 is continuing the origin of the New 52 Dr. Fate. Robinson praised artist Nicola Scott who will draw the entire arc and said “she raised the bar even further.” Captain Steel is an important piece to a major event in 2014 and issue #13. “The Annual will introduce the new Batman of Earth 2, with art by Cafu.” The fold-out cover for Earth 2 #11 will introduce two unexpected characters.
The panel was opened to the audience for quick Q&A.Robinson was asked about any more Starman related spinoffs and replied, “The problem with The Shade is that it did not sell very well.” He has not given up on the characters however and is trying to find a way to pitch a mini-series with the Shade and Batman to help the sales as a best of both worlds solution.
Snyder was asked why Bruce Wayne is the only one who didn't get a reboot. Why was that? “We had the option to start things over,” Snyder replied. “We loved the history as it was, but a lot more (of Wayne’s New 52) history will be explained soon.”
A fan from Vancouver compared comics publishing to television series and wondered why comics weren’t released in “seasons” or “volumes” each year. That wasn’t met with much of a response but September will be a special event for DC 52, like the #0 issues last year.
Gannon finished the panel in lighting round mode, giving the frustrating answer of “Stay tuned” to Earth 2 solo titles, an Atom series, and Booster Gold. Gannon said that it’s not an answer people like, but joked it just means that the readers are a few months ahead of them.
And another fan asked, what is going happen to the Batman & Robin title with Robin dead. Will that change the title? The response he got was, again, “Stay tuned.” The next issue will be interesting though.
The final question for more Cassandra Cain got big support from the room, but received an even more frustrating response of “I don’t know.”Correction: Our headline originally had the typo of "New 25." We promise, DC did not announce the cancellation of half their ongoing series. Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!