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February 7, 2009

NYCC 09: DC Universe Panel – Tape-Delay Liveblog

Filed under: Articles — Chris Eckert @ 10:20 pm

It is said you must blog a mile in a man’s shoes before you may criticize his convention panel reports. So today, I have laced up another blogger’s shoes and covered the DCU panel yesterday at the New York Comic Con. Circumstances mean this is not nearly as timely as a professional site’s coverage, but there you go. Editorialization will come later.

Dan Didio introduces the panel:

  • Ian Sattler – Senior Story Editor
  • Mike Carlin – Senior Group Editor, Trinity
  • Pete Tomasi – Writer, Green Lantern Corps and Outsiders
  • Keith Giffen – Writer, Reign in Hell
  • James Robinson – Writer, Superman and Justice League
  • Sean McKeever – Writer, Teen Titans
  • Dan Jurgens – Writer/Artist, Booster Gold
  • Philip Tan – Artist, Green Lantern
  • Sterling Gates – Writer, Supergirl
  • Geoff Johns – Writer, “Everything else we publish.

James Robinson kicked off the panel describing the upcoming Superman titles, describing how “for reasons that makes complete sense and are not at all contrived” Superman will move to New Krypton, and “for the first time <sic> Superman will not be the star of Action Comics and Superman.

Robinson’s Superman will feature a number of heroes trying to fill the void Superman leaves in Metropolis. In addition to the characters already seen in his run, Zatara will join the ensemble. Robinson described him as “a little shit”, but promised he has a heroic destiny.

Robinson continued that Greg Rucka’s Action Comics will focus on Nightwing and Flamebird’s Metropolis adventures, bringing Rucka’s more street level sensibilities to the overall story. Ursa will also play a major role, which Robinson suggests is due to Rucka’s “obsession” with the character and the femme fatale archetype she embodies.

Rucka and Robinson are co-writing a book referred on the panel as Superman: World of Krypton, which has also been called Superman: New Krypton and Superman: World of New Krypton at various points. This Krypton book will “drive all the other books”, as events in it will be reflected in the other titles. The panel stated that all of these titles and plots from Johns’s run on Superman “going back to Last Son” are building to a “big 2010 event”. Adventure Comics will also fold into this event.

Moving onto Green Lantern, Tomasi stated that upcoming issues will involve a riot on Oa, which will “have some major repercussions happening” so that “nothing wll ever be the same on Oa.” The story promises “a lot of changes”, and the introduction of another Green Lantern Law. GLC will focus on three planets: Oa, Daxam and Korugar.

Upcoming Green Lantern artist Philip Tan joked he was “just trying to survive” all of the concepts thrown at him by Johns, and mentioned how much he enjoyed developing new alien species. “Geoff likes to say that the Green Lantern story is our Lord of the Rings in space, and my corner is a whole bunch of Gollums,” Tan said, describing his development of the greed-based Agent Orange.

Johns promised the next issue of Green Lantern will reveal “the two catches of being a Blue Lantern, and that Agent Orange’s oath is “cute” and “short”.

Johns went back and forth with Didio briefly about what he could reveal about the upcoming Blackest Night event, and was not allowed to reveal much besides that it would start in July. He asked Didio if he could reveal “the format” and was shot down, but this suggests it is an unusual format, perhaps the “different type of” weekly series that will follow Trinity. Johns also added that he has prepared “new material” for the Free Comic Book Day Blackest Night #0, but would not specify how much new material there would be.

Keith Giffen announced his next project, a relaunch of Doom Patrol. After asking the audience if they were fans of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol, he told the crowd “you’ll be really disappointed.” He said fans of the original Doom Patrol would also be disappointed, as he’s not basing the series of any previous incarnation, but rather “taking the concept and filter it through [his] sensibility and try to make it an accessible DC comic.” No artist or characters were announced for Doom Patrol, but Giffen revealed that each issue will have a ten page back-up story reuniting the Justice League International team of Giffen, JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire.

Dan Jurgens discussed his upcoming projects, including a Brave and the Bold story teaming Booster Gold with Magog, in a story addressing the fact that “people want to know Magog’s future.” Coming up in Booster’s own title, Giffen will write #20, a one-shot set during the 1950s in America and guest-starring Sgt. Rock. Jurgens will return for #21, where Booster visits the origin of the original Teen Titans that will tie into the present through “something happening with Dick Grayson”.

The big announcements, the ones they busted out the big projection screen for, was Final Crisis Aftermath.

Four six issue mini-series will launch in May, and Sattler claimed these will explore the question, “What does it mean to be a hero or a villain in the DCU? What happens when you come across something you can’t punch your way out of?” Sattler described these series as being “an amped up crystal meth version of the DCU” that will explore “sleazy” elements of the DC Universe. “Each issue will have an event where you cannot believe something like that just happened,” and he assured the audience that he understands the difference between, “gross or sleazy for the sake of being gross/sleazy, or things that happen for a reason.” No creative teams were announced or alluded to for these mini-series.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Run follows the Human Flame, or as Sattler called him, “Fire Weasel”. The Flame wakes from a coma after the events of Final Crisis and finds himself hated by the heroes and villains alike. Sattler claims Run will show how “maybe evolution doesn’t want [the Human Flame] to be in the DCU anymore,” and that the book will be “fast moving; lots of people die!”

Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape will be edited by Dan Didio and will follow Wonder Woman’s Nemesis being played in “Super Gitmo” by the Global Peace Agency. Didio describes it as “a combination of The Prisoner and Saw.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink will follow the Tattooed Man, who in the image looks strikingly like 50 Cent. Having played a role in saving the world in Final Crisis, Tatooed Man will find himself a hero with a big reputation on the streets. And while he will “try to be a hero”, Sattler says Ink will be about a man who has “an addiction to evil” and will explore “what happens when you can’t stay away from the bottle.”

Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance features the Super Young Team, who emerged from Final Crisis not understanding anything and become “corporate shills”. The team will try to be heroes while maintaining their media popularity. Sattler claimed this book would be particularly “sleazy”, and the contents along with the cover color scheme represents “the crystal meth influence” of the books.

Sattler insisted that “all of these books will matter” and not be off to the side of the DCU. They’re all part of their bigger plan, they just represent “an ugly way of getting there.”

Johns informed everyone that Flash Rebirth is still coming out starting in April.
McKeever discussed the Teen Titans membership drive, which will eventually bring the team up to eight members in time for the Deathtrap crossover where Jericho attempts to “out-Deathstroke Deathstroke” and kill the team.

Carlin praised the creative team on Trinity for their consistency, stating that at its conclusion Trinity “will be a pretty impressive storyline to be done by one set of creators in such a short time.”

Didio concluded the presentation portion of the panel by talking about how DC is now “concentrating on our key franchises” in order to “make our great characters even better.” and specifically mentioned the Superman books, Batman books, Green Lantern books, Wonder Woman, and a desire to “push all the Flash characters.”

There were many non-commital/non-answers during the “Lightning Q&A” but here are things people said:

“What comes first, “Batman R.I.P. or Final Crisis?”

DC has prepared a PowerPoint presentation for this question, though Morrison himself has provided a different reading order.

“Future plans for the Terror Titans?”

Teen Titans #69 will fold their story into the main Titans book.

“Has there ever been a comic book series that was canceled or changed that broke your heart?”

Giffen: “Broke my heart? They’re comics.”
Didio: The original Jonah Hex
Johns: Suicide Squad
Someone else on the panel: Chase

“What is The Fifth World?”

Initial joke answer: Mars or Jupiter
Serious Didio answer: “The Fifth World is our interpretation of the DC Universe as it stands after Blackest Night.” Didio also referred to this upcoming new status quo as DC’s Fifth Generation.

“How many Oan laws are there now?”

Four or five, they were not certain.

“Will every Color Lantern get their own spotlight storyline?”

Johns: “All of them but one color.”

“Will there be a new Robin after Tim Drake?”

Yes.

“What do the Indigo Lanterns represent?”

Johns: “Compassion.”

“Will there be a Cliff’s Notes for Final Crisis?”

Didio joked(?), “Look for them in the Absolute Final Crisis it’s $100 and comes out next year.”

“Will Static Shock or the Spirit be integrated into the DC Universe?”

Didio: Static already is, on the Spirit: “Talk to me later.”

So there you go! A DC Universe panel!

7 Comments »

  1. Really glad to see Super Young Team being used… just hope they don’t mess it up. Could be really fun.

    Comment by Fearing — February 8, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

  2. I’m cautiously optimistic about DC’s plans for the Superman books going forward. I’m really hopeful that Adventure Comics will be, among other things, a good Legion book. Also, maybe the coolest news out of this whole Con– Giffen’s Doom Patrol book!

    Comment by Jim — February 8, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

  3. “Sattler claimed this book would be particularly “sleazy”, and the contents along with the cover color scheme represents “the crystal meth influence” of the books.”

    Really? Wow. I wonder who the creative team is going to be.

    Comment by Josh-2 — February 8, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  4. Yeah, Sattler uses the term “crystal meth” and “sleazy” so many times i think they should institute a drug-screening program at DC.

    Comment by not mike carlin — February 9, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  5. Do they really think there are people sitting around who want to see more of the Human Flame? Or am I mistaken, are there people sitting around who want to see more of the Human Flame?

    I guess I should withhold judgement until creative teams are announced.

    Comment by Dave Snyder — February 9, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

  6. It’s sad that the nice news of Doom Patrol has been sullied with Matthew Clark being angered at his exclusion from the announcement.

    And Dave, I assume that someone saw the Human Flame as their chance to do the Defiant Ones/Rogues on the Run story from Countdown and “do it right this time”. Hopefully The Human Flame will get shackled to a homophobe who is angered by his fabulous name, and DC can finally make the commentary about acceptance they intended to make in Countdown but totally forgot about!

    Comment by Chris Eckert — February 9, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

  7. I’m looking forwards to the Human Flame story for one. Any concept can work so long as it’s written well. If it’s written badly they won’t get my money past the first issue.

    Comment by Kieren — February 10, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

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