With a virtual phalanx of creative talent on stage, DC’s Dan Didio led a panel that tried to answer any possibly unanswered questions from the other two DC panels. On hand was Bob Wayne, Dan Didio, Gail Simone, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini, Greg Rucka, Dwayne McDuffie, Kurt Busiek, Mike Carlin, Coordinating editor Jann Jones, Eddie Berganza, Nicola Scott, Tony Bedard, Adam Beechen, Sean McKeever, Justin Gray, Dan Jurgens, Carlos Pacheco, Ivan Reis, Geoff Johns and a very late arrival (with ten minutes left in the panel) by Grant Morrison. As well, they had two young ladies dressed as Knockout and the new Mary Marvel standing alongside. “We know how to dress a stage, huh?” Didio asked the crowd. “What I love about this panel in particular is it lets us see the type of talent we’ve got associated with the books.”
Many things announced have been mentioned before, but for the sake of argument the panel covered them and showed slides where possible. For example, a slide of “Salvation Run” (written by Greg Rucka) was shown, with the Flash rogues under fire. In that story, apparently, most of the villains from the Society and other sources are being rounded up and shipped to the Negative Zone, er, rather, another planet.
Grant Morrison and JG Jones will be doing “Final Crisis” (which Morrison later said, “really is the final crisis. Anthro the first boy is on the first page and Kamandi the last boy is on the last.” Morrison only added, “Krypto is in ‘Final Crisis’ and he kicks ass!” Krypto will also reappear in Action Comics in two weeks, as will the Calculator.
The Q&A started early, with fans being assured that the Sinestro Corps invasion would be contained within emerald pages outside of the Earth. A slide for “Teen Titans: Year One” was shown, which did not show Speedy but editor Berganza said that he would be involved. “Scheduling conflicts,” Loeb offered.
Kurt Busiek confirmed that after finishing the “Camelot Falls” storyline, the next story arc is called “The Third Kryptonian.”
Adam Beechen said he was writing “Countdown to Adventure,” which picks up Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange where “52” left them. Andy Barrows will be on art with Justin Gray writing a backup feature called “Forerunner” showing that character’s trips through the multiverse.
Palmiotti will be reteaming with Justin Gray on a new “Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters” eight issue mini, which will explore the characters more closely.
Greg Rucka will also be writing “Crime Bible: The Five Books of Blood,” which (in Rucka’s words), “explains why people in the DCU should be very afraid of people who follow this perverted religion. We follow Renee Montoya, the Question, as she tries to foil the plot. As with all Question stories, it asks ‘how close can you get without getting burned?'”
Dan Jurgens will write January’s “Tangent Global Decree,” which revisits the Tangent Universe on its tenth anniversary, seeing what ten years have done to the characters and the world. The slide showed the traditional Superman, Green Lantern (Hal) and Flash (Wally?).
Editor Jann Jones talked about the “Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special,” which she described as “the girliest book ever, but it’s a lotta fun.” Dwayne McDuffie’s said “I’m doing the ‘Justice League of America Wedding Special,’ which is somewhat less girly. The bachelor party does take place there.”
Of McDuffie’s new “Justice League of America,” he said, “I don’t wanna give away roster stuff, because you buy it to find out who’s on the team, and if I tell you won’t buy it … and they’ll fire me. We’re doing the Injustice League, and there are gonna be a couple of additions.”
Rucka revealed that “Checkmate” #18-20 will be a storyline called “The Fall of The Wall,” which will heavily feature the Suicide Squad.
Judd Winick and Ian Churchill will be bringing us “Teen Titans East,” a special team formed by Cyborg with some familiar faces (like Hawk and Dove) and many harder to decipher.
Geoff Johns talked a little bit about “Booster Gold,” where the “first line is ‘Week 60, Day 1.’ He says he saved the universe fifty two times at once, which Superman probably hasn’t even done. We make fun of a lot of people in it.” The Justice League appears in issue one, Sinestro in issue two, Jonah Hex is in issue four, the Barbara Gordon Batgirl is in issue 5 and in issue six Booster runs into “an old friend,” which drew a sigh of recognition from the crowd. The new Blue Beetle (who Berganza corrected the crowd to pronounce as “High-me” Reyes, not “Jay-Me”) will appear as well.
Gary Frank will be on “Action Comics,” which was likened to “going back to your old home town and finding that the people you knew don’t hang out anymore,” Didio said. Three versions of the Legion are to appear in this series.
CBR alumna Gail Simone talked about her new run on “Wonder Woman.” “She’s going to kick a lot of ass and blow a lot of minds,” Simone said. “We’re starting out with shorter, faster paced arcs. I’m kind of adding to her origin a bit, very visceral emotional beginnings for her.” She’s also guest starring in Simone’s “Atom,” and as for the search for Ray Palmer, Didio confirmed, “Ryan Choi is here to stay. How’s that sound?”
From Gotham City, the year’s end will see a big Batman crossover through the Dark Knight Detective’s comics, early next year the new Ventriloquist will be revealed, as well that’s when the Mad Hatter will be back and Paul Dini will be on “Detective Comics” through next year.
A fan asked a question of Bob Wayne which elicited this answer: “You asked me if there was a way to raise the Dale Eaglesham ratio of covers? You waited in line an hour for that? You could have asked me walking by.” Wayne shook his head in disbelief and then simply said, “No.”
Random notes included the fact that the new Judomaster will be in “JSA” #12, Waverider may be seen again in the pages of “Booster Gold,” that there’s a CSA in both the anti-matter universe and on Earth 3 (the former is Grant Morrison’s rendition, the latter is a “Golden Age” “Crime Society”), there’s a Green Arrow/Black Canary series coming out, “Countdown” will address Firestorm’s time on Apokolips, that Geoff Johns wants to do a book with the Flash rogues, Superboy Prime will be getting a new name, Jann Jones has been pushing for an Ambush Bug series and that a new team will keep “The Spirit” going after Darwyn Cooke leaves.
Finally, a fan came up to “speak for the fans …”
“Which fans?” Didio asked.
“Fans of Ted Kord,” the man responded, “Maxwell Lord, Ralph Dibny, Sue Dibny …” The fan continued to name recently deceased characters before finishing by saying “I just want to give you this ‘Dan Didio Must Die’ shirt.” Didio leapt off of the stage and ran to put it on. “It would have been better if it had all the names of the dead characters across the back!”