NYCC 2011: DC All Access: YOUNG JUSTICE Panel


DC put a spotlight on its young heroes on the last day of the New York Comic Con with its Young Justice panel Sunday.

"I want to say thank you for making this 52 event an event," DC Executive Editor Eddie Berganza told the audience. "You're making it really amazing, and we're kicking butt, so give yourselves a round of applause for making this such a success."

Tony Bedard, writer of Blue Beetle, was the first to be called on the stage to discuss Jaime Reyes' future.

"Buenos días, my name is Tony," he said. "I caught a little flack from some people who thought I put a little bit too much Spanish in the first issue."

Bedard continued, "I was the biggest fan of the last Blue Beetle series, I was really intimidated coming to this run on the series -- everything's tougher with Jaime, we're making the relationship with the armor more adversarial, and not everyone knows about his secret."

The cover for Issue #5 has supporting character Paco with what looks like a bullet hole in his chest.

"The armor is technically an illegal alien -- everything was fine with his family till that came along," Bedard said. "That was a terrible, terrible joke, I know."

The scarab was sent by the Reach to be a one-man wrecking crew that wrecks the entire planet, Bedard explained, but because Jaime's was damaged, it can't control him the way it wants to, so he's trying to teach the scarab human values.

Paco does not know who the Blue Beetle is, Bedard said; this is Jaime's first time in action with the suit, too. Berganza: "This is kind of our little beginning."

Jaime will have a mentor, Berganza said, responding to a fan question, but it will not be Booster Gold, who will be busy in Justice League International.

Bedard said that Berganza described the series as "Spider-Man meets Green Lantern," but Berganza says it's more like "Green Lantern meets Star Wars," with Jaime as "Luke Skywalker. Or Senor Luke Skywalker."

Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld, the writer and artist of Hawk and Dove, then arrived on the stage to discuss their book.

They started off with a cover with Issue #5 with Hawk looking savage and ready to strike, with the arm of an unconscious Dove hanging off-panel.

Issue #3 is the battle for the White House versus Condor and Swan, the other avatars, Gates said. Condor is the anti-Hawk, Swan is the anti-Dove, and Issue #3 will have them fight through the East Wing of the White House.

"A year and some change ago, Rob called me and said he wanted me to write this book, so we decided to come up with alternate avatars," Gates said.

He said that Issues #4, #5, and #6 are only going to get louder.

"I wish we had just called the book Dove, because she's just awesome, I love drawing her, I keep wanting to give her all of the book, but we've got to share with Hawk," Liefeld said. "Issue #3 is balls-to-the-wall great, they don't know about the other avatars, they're going to be so surprised."

Swan is a 14-year-old girl who killed another avatar to get her powers, Liefeld said.

"They're really great characters by themselves, but wait till you see more of who they are and where their powers come from," Gates said. "No one got into why they were chosen… they have a very specific reason for being part of the New 52 and the DC Universe where it is now."

Dawn's relationship with Don Hall, Hawk's brother and former partner, will be explored in Issue #7.

One set of rowdy fans continued to chant "Avatar of War!!!" much to Gates and Liefeld's amusement.

Paul Levitz, Francis Portella and Chris Batista were then called upon to talk about the Legion of Superheroes and Legion: Secret Origin.

Levitz said that not disavowing what went on before, he would be putting more emphasis on some of the younger, newer characters, such as those from the Legion Academy. "If you want someone to try a dish, you serve it to them piping hot," he said.

Levitz said that his collaboration with Walt Simonson was "20 one-page stories."

An upcoming story deals with a "watch world," which stands guard over the Dominators, who have created a Superman-like Daxamite. He feels quite competent to stand against five Legionnaires. In the pages shown, the Daxamite throws down Marvel Lad, who is caught by a shapeshifting Chameleon Boy.

Legion: Secret Origin, is a miniseries drawn by Batista. Levitz said that when he was approached to take on the series, he said, "if we're going to do a book called Legion: Secret Origin, we need to do a story that emphasizes the secret."

Batista said that "this is almost the real zero issue here. There needs to be a reason for the Legion." Why the Legion was allowed to grow and take over -- and how RJ Brande got away with all this -- is something that will be addressed. You learn about how the United Planets were a mess at the time, and some interesting people being involved with all of this.

Batista said he had a lot of fun updating the Legion costumes. "I didn't take them too far away from where they were in the first place," he said. "You can see the personality that Chris puts in his characters," Levitz said, showing an image of a young Brainiac 5 being scared by an intangible Phantom Girl.

Berganza then discussed Legion Lost, recalling the story of telling Levitz how they were relaunching that series, as well. "We weren't taking away any of the Lads or Lasses," Berganza said. "We were just taking seven characters." Levitz deadpanned: "Yeah, just characters I created."

The series, by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods, will have an attack on a mall. "There's a lot of cool surprises at what's going on," Berganza said. "These guys are castaways -- they might as well be in the Stone Age… they can't even reach out to people they know, like Superman. The longer they stay in our time, the worse things are going to get for them."

Teen Titans editor Bobbie Chase then came onto the stage to talk about her book, which had a cover for Issue #5 with Kid Flash running circles around Superboy and seemingly striking him with lightning.

"I hope everyone who's picking up Teen Titans is also picking up Superboy, which are very tied together," Chase said. "It's going to take until Issue #7 to firmly establish what his place is in the Teen Titans group."

Not only are these character meeting each other for the first time, Chase said, in the New 52, this is the first incarnation of Teen Titans, ever.

When a fan asked what that meant for Starfire's previous relationships, mentioned in Red Hood and the Outlaws, Chase said that those relationships did happen, but they didn't necessarily happen as Titans.

The family aspect of the book will have to evolve over time, because the Titans are still learning to trust one another.

One fan asked if Tim Drake was still an orphan, Chase said she wouldn't answer, but said he was still part of the Bat-family, something that would be reflected upon soon. When asked about Wally West, Chase responded, "who?"

A fan asked who the smoky girl on the cover of the first issue was, and Chase said it was Solstice. Chase also confirmed that there were plans for both Beast Boy and Raven.

When a fan asked about whether we would see more of the cast of the Wildstorm book Gen 13, Chase said, "never say never, but you're going to have to wait and see, because it's too early to give anything away."

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