Speakers: Ann Nocenti, Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV, John Layman, Peter Tomasi, Scott Snyder
Official Description: Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s epic storyline, BATMAN: ZERO YEAR, has taken over the Bat-Universe! Witness the creative process and see how this crosses over with the creative teams of the Caped Crusader in his other books and find out what’s in store for the Dark Knight Detective in the coming months!
John Cunningham introduced the panel after welcoming fans to New York Comic Con.
Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV, Marc Andreyko, Kyle HIggins, John Layman, Pete Tomasi, and Ann Nocenti all took to the dais to talk about their respective books in the Batman universe.
Of course, the biggest Batman news, about a new weekly series called Batman: Eternal, hit the day before NYCC. With Batman's 75th anniversary next year, it was sure to be only part of the celebration.
Like at the DC All Access panel earlier on Friday, Scott Snyder thanked the fans for reading, and explained the origin of this origin story, from trying to piece in parts of "Year One" until they realized it wouldn't work that way. He described the Batman we see in Batman #24 as a "celebration" of what Batman can be when he's just wild and fun.
Greg Capullo jumped in, saying "I don't want to give you one panel that you'll be disappointed in. DC cuts the checks, but I'm working for you, and I'm giving you my all. Every time I sit at the table, I'm preparing to give a knockout punch, thanks for all the love and support."
Batman #25 pages were put up on the screen next. It's all about how The Riddler knocked out power to Gotham and said "turn it back on, dare you." Alongside that, Batman will be solving his first case as a detective. There's a "surprising animosity" between Gordon and Bruce Wayne that will be revealed in this story. "There's a mystery behind what happened in crime alley, and Gordon is kind of at the center of it." Bruce will learn that, and it "really sheds light on Gordon in a big way." The first section was "secret city" and the second is "dark city," and finally the third section will be "wild city," which he revealed will feature Poison Ivy as a major villain.
There will be blimps back in Gotham, an homage to the animated series. Snyder insisted on that, "this whole story is a love letter to all things Batman from us." The Zero Year Batmobile is "the most badass hotrod you've ever seen," and Capullo told him to stop spoiling stuff from the book. "Stay away from Scott Snyder unless you've already read the book," Capullo joked.
Batman: Eternal, the aforementioned weekly series was up next. Snyder called Tynion the "unsung hero of Gotham," and said that he's doing amazing work in the series.
They allowed a question from the audience in the middle of the panel, and it was about Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain.
"Your love for Stephanie Brown has been so inspiring to us, she's a character we really love, and we're proud to announce she'll be coming back in this series!" Snyder said with a smile. "Tynion found a way to bring Spoiler into the story and into the New 52, and it's really perfect." She'll be appearing in Batman: Eternal #3 and will be a central character to the series.
Batman & Two-Face #24 changed the pace a bit. Tomasi said this starts a five-issue arc and introduces a new character who has a "mad-on" for both Batman and Harvey. It does a reverse origin story for Two-Face and plays a lot with the ideas of duality, shadowing characters.
Detective Comics #24 is a "fight fight fight" issue, teased Cunningham. John Layman said "we just wanted to blow things up!" and he had a lot of fun with the issue. #25 will be a Zero Year tie-in, and it focuses on Gordon solving a mystery as a young police detective. "It's a good, tough cop story."
Andreyko said he's a huge fan of "everyone up here" and of what JH and Haden have done on Batwoman, which makes him "hugely intimidated."
"I am taking it very seriously, this is an impressive group to try to keep up with." His first issue will be out in about four weeks, so "I'll be looking for what you say on the internet and hopefully not crying."
Nightwing got the spotlight, and HIggins said he specifically wanted to "get Dick out of the shadow of Gotham." They used the story of Tony Zucco's survival for that, as the impetus to bring Nightwing to Chicago. He ran into the "Prankster" who is a cross "between Jigsaw and a hacktivist group."
The Zero Year tie-in for Nightwing has "the dark streets of Gotham as a haunted forest," where he has to find his way home alone as all hell breaks loose.
Catwoman #24 features Joker's Daughter, and Ann Nocenti is working to create a "new Gotham Underground." She praised Rafa Sandoval's work on creating these new "different worlds" under Gotham.
Tynion mentioned that he's incredibly thrilled to be a part of Batman: Eternal before talking about Red Hood and the Outlaws, which he recently took over. He promised we'll see much more of Gotham, "we have so much room to tell so many stories with so many characters including Stephanie Brown. I couldn't be more excited about it." Snyder added to that, "The Batman in Batman: Eternal is the Batman tha we'll bring back into my Batman book after Zero Year, so you need to see him there."
Snyder also praised line editor Mike Marts and editor Katie Kubert for "cultivating a sense of commeraderie" amongst all the creators in the office. "This year coming up is the most sensational year that we've ever done."
"I don't care if it's corny or hokey, but we love Gotham. When 2014 ends, you'll think it's the most game changing and exciting stuff that's ever happened to Batman and these characters," Snyder enthusiastically promised.
Back to Red Hood after that interlude, Tynion said #24 will show how everything that's happened in the last year happened. It also has Lady Shiva riding ninja Man-Bats into battle with a spear.
In Talon, also from Tynion, he and Batman will have a "team-up" but "Batman is not happy that there are any Talons operating in the city." It will also find Felix Harmon as the star of a story he's "been waiting to tell since I pitched the book!"
There was only five minutes for fan Q&A. We learned the Zero Year tie-ins are not origin stories, just ones that take place at the same time. Snyder said, "the mandate was just for them to tell a good story with that character in that setting."