Performing in front of a virtual horde of comics fans, Bob Wayne, Dan DiDio, Ethan van Sciber, and Greg Rucka talked about what’s happening next in the DC Universe.
The first part of the show was an announcement of upcoming projects. There were no new announcements, but there were some interesting details of some upcoming projects that were worth nothing.
- When the panel came to Wonder Woman, one fan in the crowd asked what the follow-up to the “Sacrifice” arc was going to be. The image on the screen at the time was that of Wonder Woman and a line of apparently Amazon Warriors. In reference to this, Rucka replied that the follow up to “Sacrifice” was going to be “hot women, in armor, on a beach…” After the laughter subsided, Rucka seriously responded that Brother I loves Max Lord. Well, since Max Lord was killed, Brother I saw it, and Brother I has some “anger management issues”, some of the “gory, bloody details” of “Infinite Crisis” were going to be detailed in “Wonder Woman” 223-225.
- When the panel came to Green Lantern, Ethan van Sciver noted that “Green Lantern” #6 would feature the return of the “new, scarier, more selfish” Black Hand, who was now, “truly, truly sick.” Van Sciver also noted that he would be illustrating “Green Lantern” #9, which features Batman’s first encounter with Hal Jordan after the events of “Green Lantern: Rebirth” #6.
- In discussing “JLA,” Dan DiDio noted that the events of the “Crisis of Conscience” event were going to feed directly into “Infinite Crisis.” He then asked the crowd how many people had read “JLA” #119. Many, many hands in the room shot up. He then asked, “How many of you are wondering whether there’s going to be a JLA #120?” About the same number of hands shot back up. “Me too,” DiDio responded.
- After the panel noted the new “Jonah Hex” series, Rucka stopped and noted that the “art is unbelievable.” All four of the panel seemed very excited about this book.
- The panel also stopped in admiration for the announcement of “Hard Time: Season Two.” DiDio noted that Steve Gerber is a masterful storyteller and noted that this was one of his favorite books. Ethan van Sciver chimed in by saying that “Hard Time” was his wife’s favorite book, too.
- In discussing the new ongoing “Supergirl” story, DiDio noted that issue 4 would be featuring Supergirl “taking on the whole Justice League.”
When the panel got to “Adventures of Superman,” Rucka said issue #646 would feature the return of Mr. Mxyzptlk. However, Rucka noted that as a result of the “Day of Vengeance” arc, we’d being seeing what exactly that imp is like without any magical powers. Rucka also said that the Ruin storyline would be completed.
- When the Powerpoint page reached “All-Star Superman,” the audience spontaneously applauded. Wayne noted that there is “more story in the first issue of this comic than there is in six months of other comics.” DiDio noted that issues 1-12 are completely plotted out and that Morrison touches on every iconic Superman beat.
After the discussion of upcoming projects, the panel then opened up the floor to fan questions. Among the many questions asked were the following:
- One fan asked if the Suicide Squad was going to make a comeback. DiDio replied that, for the intents and purposes of the DCU right now, “Task Force X” of Checkmate is Suicide Squad. He pointed out that they would be explored along with the rest of Checkmate in upcoming months.
- Another fan asked if Harvey Dent and the Joker would be making any appearances in the near future. DiDio simply turned to Rucka and said, “Greg, how much do you love Harvey Dent?”
“A lot,” Rucka replied.
- Another fan brought up Mark Waid’s recent comments that Batman would be lightening up after the events of “Infinite Crisis” and whether they had any basis. Rucka replied that Batman would begin calling Robin “chum” again. DiDio added that he would be bringing flowers, candy, and profound apologies to all of the members of the Justice League.
“Oh,” interjected Rucka. “Did we mention that he would be non-violent?”
After the laughter died down, DiDio commented that, in all seriousness, the events up to and involving “Infinite Crisis” had a lot to do with Batman, and that he would have to be doing a lot of self-examination before he’ll be able to move forward.
This issue was followed up by a question about whether the DC Universe would continue it’s darker tone. DiDio commented that, “Ten years ago, all of you fans voted to kill Robin! That was pretty dark to me.” He added simply, “We are going to continue to tell compelling stories with our characters.”
- One fan brought up the issue of diversity in the DCU, pointing out that it’s “pretty white” and asked if there were going to be more characters of color in the future, citing the new Firestorm as an example. Rucka stated this was definitely going to be the case. However, they wanted to take their time and do it right in order to ensure that new characters “would have staying power.”
- Another fan asked if Hal Jordan was going to play any role in “Infinite Crisis.” “None whatsoever,” quipped Greg Rucka. “After going through all that trouble to bring him back, he deserves a vacation.” DiDio added that Hal Jordan was definitely going to be in the last issue of “Infinite Crisis.”
- The Charlton Comics characters were brought up by another fan, who wanted to know whether there were any plans for those. Bob Wayne pointed out that Captain Atom would be involved in a WildStorm Universe crossover. Rucka interjected that there was definitely one Charlton character that “we have really cool plans for.”
- One no doubt financially concerned fan asked whether it was necessary to read other DC books in order to understand the story involved in the “Infinite Crisis” issues. DiDio replied that it wasn’t necessary, noting that “‘Infinite Crisis’ has a definite beginning, middle, and end. For many.”
- When asked whether Barry Allen was coming back, Rucka replied, “Maybe.” Similarly, when asked what was going to happen to the hypertime concept, the response was, “Wait and see.”
- Another fan asked whether, with all of the recent changes in the DCU, there was going to be a new “Who’s Who in the DC Universe.” Rucka replied yes, but first we have to “wait until all of the bodies have settled.”
- Another question involved whether there were going to be any new books after the events of “Infinite Crisis.” DiDio responded that there will be new books, cancellations, new costumes, and new characters. Rucka added that “anything that can be changed, will be. Arbitrarily.”
“It’s as though these characters all exist on multiple Earths!” DiDio exclaimed.