All the big names gathered to discuss the future for their titles: Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Justice League, Aquaman), Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing) Scott Lobdell (Teen Titans, Superboy, Red Hood and the Outlaws), Rob Liefeld (Deathstroke, Grifter, Savage Hawkman) , Amanda Conner (Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre), and Jimmy Palmiotti. Also present was DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras.
Each title discussed at this “DC Now!” panel was broken into two parts – the issue that will begin the next plot arc in the series, and issue #0, which will be the added “origin” story for each of the New 52. Panel moderator John Cunningham dove right in with successfully juggling a circus-act’s worth of titles. Geoff Johns explained to the audience that the first year of the Justice League was about who the team is, but this next year will focus on who the team is supposed to be. And the man to make that happen? It’s a bit surprising, actually. Aquaman calls out the heroes stating that if they are going to be a team, they need to start acting like it. Additionally, in Justice League 13, we will see the revisiting of the classic villain Cheetah and her ties to Wonder Woman, which will lead into the Trinity War for next year.
Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Batman, were all discussed as beginning new story arcs starting with issue #13 and origin #0’s that will explore the New 52 versions of these long-standing characters.
Along the lines of what we’ve been seeing lately in Batman, a new series is spinning out of the Court of Owls arc. The title character, Talon, was once a talon for the court. In fact, he was the only one to escape their sleep. It helps that he used to be an escape artist in the circus. He has spent his life being hunted by the court, but after the Night of the Owls the tables have turned and he says, no more!
Also new to the current DCU lineup is Phantom Lady. This character hasn’t had a tune-up since the 90s. Expect a new Phantom Lady, a new Doll Man and a new creative lineup. The origin story of this heroine will be revealed right out of the gate.
DC: Tales from the Dark and the Edge
This panel focused on the darker heroes of the DCU. Bob Wayne, Senior VP of Sales acted as the moderator to this panel.
Wayne opened by engaging Jeff Lemire on Animal Man and the looming crossover with Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing. The Rot is taking over and the crossover event focusing on this evil will begin with issue 12 of each series. Part one of the event opening will be in Animal Man 12 and part two in Swamp Thing 12. Lemire stated, “Me and Scott are really excited. We’ve been right from the start planning this big story. I think people will really be surprised at the scope of the story.” From issues 13-17 of both series will be separate narratives that come back together for the big finally in the 17th issue.
Wayne asked directed the question to Lemire: have you been happy with fan response? He answered, “Oh absolutely.” It was one of those series you wouldn’t know how it would take, and people seem to really be enjoying it.”
Wayne then asked, how Lemire’s other series, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E will fit into the series. Keep in mind that Frankenstein’s new author will be Matt Kindt in the future. Lemire answered that originally the event was to be contained to the two focus books, but the truth is that he really spent a lot of time building up Frankenstein. Therefore, Frankenstein will offer a back story as to how the Rotworld comes to be and how it takes shape through Frankenstein’s eyes.
Wayne moved his focus to Rob Liefeld who spoke to the titles Deathstroke and Grifter. He focused on how the upcoming #0 articles will delve into to both of these characters. The #0’s are all to act as origin stories. For Slade Wilson the reader of the New 52 story will better understand Slade’s military background, the deep impact that falling in love had upon him, and what now drives him in all of his actions.
As for Grifter #0, the creative team strives to culminate everything that happened since issue one. Grifter will get his Yoda/sensei figure, which will have a huge impact on his character. Liefeld spoke that these zero issues are a great in so much as the authors get to reveal more to the audience about what motivated the characters. For Grifter this will be setting the stage for a big, new arc in the fall.
When Jimmy Palmiotti took the microphone he immediately won the favor of the audience by declaring, “Now we know who the actual comic people are at comic-con!”
He loves his character, Jonah Hex, from All-Star Western. There was no meteor or radiation to give him powers. He’s just a man who’s had a hard life. He’s more like what you or I would become if we became heroes. Look for the Jonah Hex #0 to really explore the roots of this man.
In other news, a new series is set to debut. Amethyst Sword and Sorcery #0 (as in the first issue) is big deal. Amethyst, like Phantom Lady, hasn’t been brought back since the early 90s. Christy Mark and Aaron Luprest will head this title.