Ian Sattler, Senior Story Editor hosted Friday’s DC Universe panel, welcoming fans to the first DC panel of the Heroes Con 2009 weekend. Panelists included Jamal Igle, artist of Supergirl, Dustin Nguyen, artist on Streets of Gotham, and Editor Brian Cunningham.
Sattler began the panel by asking the panelists about their respective projects, beginning with Nguyen. The artist said that there is a difference between drawing Dick Grayson in the suit rather than Bruce Wayne, which is something that he reflects in the fighting style of the new Batman.
Streets of Gotham is the book in which DC is showing that the city of Gotham is different due to Bruce Wayne being replaced, noting that while Commissioner Gordon recognizes Dick as Batman on some level, and trusts him, still, there is an unease, as the last time someone else showed up as Batman, they became progressively more armored.
Moving to Supergirl, Igle said that “Guilding Day” is the next Supergirl story coming up, in which Supergirl celebrates her birthday, and must choose a Guild on New Krypton. That story will lead to the “Codename Patriot” crossover which will kick off with something that happens in World of New Krypton #5.
Moving to Cunningham’s books, the editor joked that while he’s “seriously biased,” R.E.B.E.L.S. is one of DC’s best books. In regards to the upcoming Starro appearances, Cunningham said that despite all of the appearances to date, the real Starro has never been seen, but is basically a Frazetta-style conqueror.
Sattler then opened the floor to questions from the audience.
First up, a fan asked about series and projects such as Irredeemable and After the Cape, and asked the panelists if they knew why that style of storytelling has taken off recently.
Sattler said that he sees those types of stories as being influenced by society’s push for access that we see with celebrities, and a desire to pull back the curtain on the heroes in question.
“I think it’s a trend like anything else,” Igle said. “You’ve got Watchmen and have had it for the past couple of years leading to the movie, so you’re going to see stuff that’s influenced by it. But also – deconstruction isn’t something that’s unique to comics, it happens in every media. Twilight is a deconstruction of vampires. And by the way, vampires don’t sparkle.”
Asked about how he’s drawing Batman and the changed characters in Gotham City, Nguyen said that, with Batman, he draws Dick as more slender than Bruce was. Bruce Wayne, the artist said, was broader, with a more square jaw. And speaking of the jaw, Nguyen said that Bruce Wayne has the cleft in his chin – Hush-as-Bruce-Wayne doesn’t.
Asked if Adventure Comics will have the “shield numbering” to tie in with the Superman titles, Sattler said, “Not immediately.”
And while Blackest Night will preclude co-features in Green Lantern about other members of the Corps, after Blackest Night, anything is possible.
When Dan DiDio’s absence at Heroes Con was pointed out and a fan asked if it there was any truth to the persistent rumors that he may lose his job at DC, Sattler assured the audience that DiDio was at WizardWorld: Philly, and presenting panels there.
Will Barbara Gordon and Huntress be appearing in any Batman books soon? “Yes to both,” Sattler said.
A fan thanked Igle for adding the shorts to Supergirl’s uniform, the artist thanked her for liking them, noting how a simple pair of short under a skirt was very divisive among Supergirl fans.
Asked about “missing heroes” such as Risk, Argent and Steel, Sattler said, “There’s a book coming next year that you’ll enjoy.”
Asked why DC acquired the rights to characters like the Red Circle heroes and then changes the uniforms and, in the eyes of the fan who asked, what makes the characters the characters, Sattler said that in their eyes, it’s a refreshing of the characters rather than changing them for change’s sake. Sattler said that he feels even long-time fans of the characters will find them familiar and enjoy them, new elements and all.
The rules for bringing characters back from the dead will be changed after Blackest Night, Sattler said in response to a question about what a fan saw as the arbitrary way in which characters return from the dead. “That’s a major theme running through the summer.”
Will we be seeing Captain Marvel return in a new series soon? “No comment,” Sattler said.
Will the Teen Titans roster be settling down soon? a fan asked. Cunningham said that the arc that starts in #72 will “change things slightly in an awful way for our characters…they’re not going to like it.”
“There’s a definite plan that Brian and his team are driving towards, and we’re going to get there, but there’s a bumpy road between here and there,” Sattler said.
“If I could, I would,” Sattler said in response to a question about bringing back Major Bummer. “The chances are not awesome, though.”
Are there plans for Bruce Wayne? Sattler said that what Paul Dini and Nguyen are doing with Hush playing Bruce Wayne in Streets of Gotham is one of his favorite storylines in the new Batman titles, and the revelation in issue #2 will surprise many people.Are there plans for the Milestone heroes now that they are in the DC Universe? “We definitely have plans,” Sattler said.
Will Aquaman be playing a role in the DC after Blackest Night? “If he stops harming people, yes.” Sattler said.
A fan noted how the Joker seems to have scars sinceThe Dark Knightand asked if this was a marketing move to bring in more casual readers. "Mine doesn't," Nguyen said. Igle then noted it often boils down to the creator's preference rather than any kind of artistic dictate.
Will Gotham City Sirensfocus only on Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman? "It will mostly focus on those three," Sattler said. "And they get into a pretty specific storyline right off that keeps them all together....you'll see other characters, but it will be their story written by Paul Dini."