The DC Nation Panel on Friday was led by Executive Editor Dan DiDio, who arrived with three costumed characters. The three joined him on stage and included evil Mary Marvel, Black Canary, and Spoiler as Robin.
DiDio first introduced himself by saying: "I am the current and future editor of DC comics," to which the crowd cheered knowingly.
Also on the panel were:
- Writer Gail Simone
- Writer Sean McKeever
- Senior Coordinating Editor Jann Jones
- Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne
- Tiny Titans writers Art Baltazar and Franco
- Artist Ethan Van Sciver
- Writer Geoff Johns
- Artist Tony Daniel
DiDio asked someone in the audience to explain what Final Crisis is about. A few fans tried but struggled, which garnered laughs from both the crowd and the panel.
"Barry Allen's back," a fan yelled. DiDio polled the audience to see what Flash they liked best. Jay Garrick and Bart Allen didn't win, but Barry Allen and Wally West were both favorites.
"Martian Manhunter died!" another fan yelled.
DiDio then asked the panelists what they thought of the death of Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis.
- McKeever: "Who is that?"
- Johns: "No comment."
- Jones: "More Chocos for me."
- Daniel: "I'm the one guy who's pissed off.
- Van Sciver: "Now that Tony said that and got applause, I'm outraged!"
- Wayne (to DiDio): "I thought you could spell Nightwing better than that."
- Baltazar: "Can we bring him back in Tiny Titans?"
- Simone: "Good thing I believe in reincarnation."
DiDio then opened the panel to questions from the fans.
- With Barry Allen back, does DC have a better plan for what to do with Barry than "what you had for Wally?"
Van Sciver: "Oh of course."
DiDio: "Wally will be around. He's part of the Titans team right now, and he'll be part of that team for the foreseeable future."
- What's the latest on the kids line? Jones: Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam is coming out in July (and will be previewed her on Newsarama early nexst week). "He picks up on a lot of the threads left by Jeff Smith," Jones said. "It really captures the charm of the character," DiDio said.
- Were copyright issues behind the creative changes to Captain Marvel, Blue Beetle and Captain Atom? DiDio: Blue Beetle and Captain Atom changes were purely creative choices. With Shazam, "we'd like the title character to have the same name as the title of the book. Simple as that," DiDio said.
- Will there be an Ambush Bug Showcase? Wayne: It is "under consideration."
- Will Final Crisis become more clear? DiDio: It does become more clear as the story develops. The first three issues set up what's coming. It is the heralding of the Fifth World, and Darkseid twists it for his own needs. "How it affects the other heroes will come out in some of the one-shots and the rest of the series."
- Are we ever going to see the original Aquaman again? At that point, Johns and Van Sciver began whispering, saying "can we say it?" Finally, Van Sciver stated, "We'd like you to refer to Blackest Night for the answer to that."
- What is going to happen with The Spectre? DiDio: "He's all over Final Crisis: Revelations." It's all about Crispus Allen and how much he's needed for Final Crisis.
"And also see Blackest Night," Van Sciver added.
"And Tiny Titans," Jones laughed.
- Are there any plans for Captain Atom? Johns: He will be in the Superman and Action Comics stories that he and James Robinson are doing and will pay a "major role."
McKeever: Fans will also see Bombshell in Teen Titans, who has similar powers.
- Can Simone share who the two new members of Secret Six are? Simone: The team will be Deadshot, Catman, Scandal, Ragdoll, an "A-list Batman villain and a new character I've created. The first issue of Secret Six starts with a huge, huge trip from San Francisco to Gotham, and we see a new villain I've created that is such a bastard that even re-reading a script I've written, I was freaked out."
Simone said that in the second issue, "we have a certain fight coming up with two characters who are similar in powers. Both have ears, both have capes."
- In Blackest Night, did Grant Morrison want Bruce Wayne to be the leader of the Black Lantern Corps? Johns: "Blackest Night's a story we've been working on, and Grant's never mentioned that story to me. We do have a leader of the Black Lantern Corps."
- Will DC do anything about Marvel outselling DC? DiDio: "We put out the best books possible. What we control is the books that we make. And we try to make them the best the possibly can be."
- A fan asked Gail about the talking monkeys in Wonder Woman's apartment, indicating he didn't like them. Simone: "What do you mean? That's the best part!"
"Monkeys are like cheese. They make everything better," Jones added.
- Will Earth-2 Kal-El become a member of the Black Lantern Corps? Van Sciver: "Maybe." Baltazar: "Tiny Titans #11."
- What ramifications will the Terror Titans have on the regular title? McKeever: "Anybody who read Titans #60 knows Ravager is no longer on the team. She's going to be front and center in the Terror Titans, and she'll be around after the mini-series is over. As far as how the Terror Tians affects the regular book, the Teen Titans are going to have a lot of other things to be busy with.
- Is Bart Allen coming back? DiDio: "You read the first issue of Legion of Three Worlds, right?"
At that point, Johns put his head down and shook it, then leaned toward the microphone in front of him and said, "You'll read it now."
"No plans at this time," DiDio said with a laugh.
- Any more Elseworlds? DiDio: "As a matter of fact, we have a couple in production right now... We have one story coming out from Cary Bates."
- Will Cyborg Superman be in Blackest Night? Johns: "Yes."
- Why does corporate hate Nightwing? DiDio joked: "Not corporate. Just me. I'm kidding! I'm kidding!"
DiDio then became serious and said, "There is nothing against Nightwing. Nothing against Dick Grayson. He's one of the primary characters in the DC Universe. I don't think you'll ever be disappointed by what Dick Grayson does from this point forward."
- A fan said he liked Catman in Secret Six: "You're going to be seeing him in nothing soon," Simone teased.
- Any plans for Dr. Fate? DiDio: The character's taking a rest. Steve Gerber passed away in the middle of the story. "We will be doing more with Dr. Fate. Just not right now," DiDio added. "Dr. Fate will be appearing in Reign in Hell mini-series."
- Are Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone doing a Wonder Woman book together? Van Sciver: "Yes." Simone: "Yes, and it's going to be awesome."
- Who is the new Supergirl creative team? DiDio announced that the new creative team on Supergirl will be writer Sterling Gates, who was last seen on Green Lantern Corps, and artist Jamal Igle, the artist on the current Tangent Superman comic.
Johns: "James and I have been talking with Sterling a lot. And Supergirl's going to be part of the Superman books now."
DiDio: "We wanted to strengthen that character," and bring her into the Superman universe.
- Is Lobo gone completely? No, he's not. "Lobo's coming back. He'll be in a book that's coming up. And you'll be surprised where he comes from and what he's been doing."
The fan said they should put Lobo in Tiny Titans as the gym coach. Baltazar took a note.
- How fun is it working with Robinson? "I just stare at him all day 'cause he's so handsome," Johns joked. "I love working with other writers, so to work with James, a writer whose work I love and enjoy, is awesome."
- Will there be more of the Omnibus? Wayne: No more than once or twice a year. "Often enough that you won't forget about them, but our intention is to go through and do the entire series."
- Will DC finish Hitman in trades? Wayne: "We'll see what we can do. I wouldn't be surprised to see them sometime in the future."
- Online comics distribution of backissues or even current issues? DiDio: There are no pans at this time. There's something out there, but we're just not ready at this moment."
- Lex Luthor's daughter? Johns: "No plans right now."
- Wally's twins? DiDio: "Montessori School," he joked. Van Sciver: "They're going where Nightwing's going."
- Showcae Blue Beetle? Johns: "That would be really cool."
- Is Ted Kord dead? DiDio: "He's going to stay dead, right Geoff?" Johns: "Read..." then leaning over to hear what Van Sciver was whispering in his ear. "Oh wait," he joked.
- Will there be a Robinson Silver Age mini-series? Johns: "He actually feels that it's already been done with New Frontier."
- Are we going to see pre-Crisis Superman now that there are pre-Crisis characters in Action Comics and Superman? Johns: "You're going to see a post-Crisis Superman. James and I are bringing back a lot of old characters, but we're also introducing a lot of new characters."
- With characters starting to remember that the Crisis on Infinite Earths happened, how does that work with Supergirl? Johns: "Don't think too much about it."
- What happened to Jericho? DiDio: "There's a good chance you'll see Jericho very soon."
- Plans for Robin? DiDio: "There are changes in store."
- Comic adaptation of the Mortal Kombat vs. DC game? DiDio: "Great question. To tell you the truth we don't have any plans."
- Tales of the Green Lantern stories being collected? Wayne: Yes.
- Now that Robinson is back, are we going to see Jack Knight again? DiDio: "No. We had long talks with James Robinson and he feels the story's done."
- Captan Carrot going to be around? DiDio: "Captain Carrot will be inside Zatana's hat. And Zatana's getting her own series."
- Linda Danvers coming back? DiDio: Reign in Hell #1.
- Is Vertigo part of the 52? DiDio: "No."
- Is Milestone part of the 52? DiDio: "No."
- Any news about Booster Gold creative team? DiDio: "Not at this time."
- What's up with Jonah Hex? DiDio: Jonah Hex is fighting Mounties in a story drawn by Darwyn Cooke.
- Will there be ramifications with Mary back in her black costume and Billy? DiDio: "I think we have to get past Mary vs. Supergirl in Final Crisis."
- Donna Troy in Wonder Woman? "She is part of the Wonder Woman mythology, but right now we don't have any huge, long-term appearances scheduled for her."
- There was a Kingdom Come 2 announced. What happened to that? DiDio: "Thy Kingdom Come is actually what that was."
- 52 earths mapped? DiDio: Weha ve about half of it mapped. There are still "a lot of possiblities in the mutliverse."
- In Justice Society, is Lance Magog? Johns: "Keep reading."
- On Daniel's blog, he said he liked drawing Nightwing. Was that an allusion to something in the future? Daniel: "I don't know. I've just always liked drawing Nightwing. And yes, he's in the future."
- DiDio asked the audience, hypothetically, if a character replaced Batman, who should it be? Asking for cheers from the crowd, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Selina Kyle didn't win. Dick Grayson got the most cheers.
- Date yet for All-Star Wonder Woman? DiDio: "Not yet. I wish we did."
- Collecting previous volume of JSA in hardcover? Wayne: No plans to do a hardcover.
- After writing Rogues Revenge, does Geoff Johns have anything else with the Flash? Johns: "Ummm... I don't know!"
- Is Christopher Kent in Superman's future? Johns: "Yes."