Fan Expo Canada attendees were buzzing Friday after the DC Entertainment announcement that the Justice League of America will head to the Great White North next year. “Justice League of Canada” will be written by Toronto’s Jeff Lemire and drawn by Mike McKone, and will spin out of the “Forever Evil” series. Lemire said the new title will pair familiar faces with newcomers to the New 52 like Adam Strange, who will be reintroduced as Canadian.
“We are moving the team here and naming the team Justice League of Canada for a while,” Lemire said to the packed panel. Besides the reintroduction of Adam Strange, Lemire told fans to expect other new members to join the team, including a new Canadian member.
Lemire then spoke of his work on “Trinity War” crossover with writer Geoff Johns. Lemire said he thinks the two were working on the “Trinity War” story line before they were actually working on it.
“As Geoff and I sat down and talked about how to tie the ‘Justice League Dark’ into a larger franchise, I think those really were the discussions for what became ‘Trinity War,'” Lemire said. “We locked ourselves in a room and wrote this thing, and I had a blast doing it, too.”
“Forever Evil,” which starts in September, springs out of the end of “Trinity War.” Moderator John Cunningham swears the first issue of the “Forever Evil” miniseries will “light the internets on fire.”
Debuting Oct. 9 is “Superman/Wonder Woman,” written by Charles Soule and drawn by panelist Tony Daniel.
“It’s a perfect combination of what I wanted to do, and they are two of my favorite characters,” Daniel said. “I think we can create a book that reaches the female readership that’s been growing, and a book that has a little bit of romance in it, a little bit of sex appeal.”
Daniel said it took all of three seconds to agree to sign on to the project. “They told me I would be working with Charles Soule and I read up on him. I read his issues of ‘Swamp Thing,’ and I like his ideas,” he said.
Audience members saw a sneak peak into the cover for “Superman/Wonder Woman” #2 as well as the first few pages. “Actually during this scene they are talking about a date they are going on,” he said pausing. “I’m just kidding, they’re not.”
Eddie Berganza, DC editor, agreed it’s an awesome team-up. “Like Tony was saying, we don’t explore romance enough in our regular titles,” Berganza said. “Here we have two of our most epic icons and what Tony is doing with the pages is just amazing.”
Berganza also hinted that there’s a villain on the cover of “Superman/Wonder Woman” #1 that’s going to play a big part in the series. “We have not seen him yet in the New 52, and so the whole thing is going to be really huge,” Berganza said.
In December, Lee Bermejo is launching a new project with Vertigo called “Suiciders” that he will be both illustrating and writing.
“It’s an ongoing series and my first foray into that kind of storytelling, so I’m looking forward to stretching it out and seeing what the monthly thing is like,” Bermejo said.
The series is set in post- apocalyptic Los Angeles.
“I’m sure everyone has heard about this earthquake that could hit Earth at any moment? As a kid growing up in Southern California, you hear about it all the time, the big one. ‘Oh the big one, when the big one hits it’s going to change everything.’ So, that’s the basis for the stories. This earthquake decimates Los Angeles, and this is what happens 30 years later,” Bermejo said. He calls it L.A. noir mixed with “Mad Max.”
Calling writing and illustrating terrifying, Bermejo said it’s great to be able to play around in this world he’s created.
“But what happens when you start world building is you need to start funneling all these ideas that you had into something that’s cohesive and into something that works,” Bermejo said. “You bring a lot of excitement, especially when something is yours and there’s a tendency to want to do too much, and that has been the biggest struggle.”
Berganza likened “Batman/Superman” #5 to a summer blockbuster. “It’s huge. It’s got the larger-than-life characters, and we are starting this story where it looks like Nightwing and Batman are having some sort of death duel and what it evolves into and what big villain comes after them is again, a huge story, and it deals with how do Superman and Batman relate. They are so different and yet they are buddies,” Berganza said. He explained there is a list of characters the series will be going through including one he calls a “chaos bringer.”
But ultimately no matter what they face, the duo are fun to work with. “They are the only two who can treat each other that way,” he said. “That’s what you can take away from this. It’s DC. It’s all about the bromance.”
“Green Arrow” #23, written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Andrea Sorrentino, will tie into Batman’s “Zero Year” event.
“This is going to be a great opportunity to go back and fill in some pieces. We see an early Oliver Queen just returning from the island. We see his first meeting with Batman, and we get to reveal a couple other pieces of the puzzle that we have been building there,” Lemire said.
Lemire noted Sorrentino’s unique style on the title.
“I’m so lucky to work with Andrea Sorrentino, who is an Italian artist drawing the book, and he brings so much to it in terms of the storytelling and the visual of the book,” Lemire said. “We are actually going to start sharing a co-storytelling credit soon instead of separating the writer/artist thing because he really does add so much to the book.”
Lemire added, “Comics are a visual medium. I think really the best collaborations should be like that. My scripts are just a jumping off point for him to really take it and visualize it.”
Launching into audience questions, moderator John Cunningham shut down a question about what panelists think about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman in the Batman/Superman movie. “If you think any single person on this panel here is going to answer that question, you are crazy,” Cunningham said.
When panelists were asked if they had any desire to do work for children, Lemire expressed an honest and open craving to do such work.
“I think that’s something I would really like to do one day. Right now I’m pretty busy with what I have,” he said. “But you know, I have a kid, too, so I always want to hopefully create something he can read.”
“You can just add something to your schedule right now?” Cunningham said.
“Yeah. Sure. Let’s do it,” Lemire said, beaming.
“That’s an announcement.” Cunningham said slyly.
Female audience members targeted Daniel’s earlier statement about gearing the “Superman/Wonder Woman” title toward women through notions of romance. “That’s not all you’re doing, right?” the fan asked.
“What are you talking about, like butt shots of Superman? I’ll make sure to keep it even,” Daniel said, laughing. “I think you will be blown away. She’s very strongly written. She holds her own. You’re going to like the interaction between Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as in their private lives as Diana and Clark. We have a lot of fun with their interactions, and we’re going to have that drama on a lot of different levels.”
The panel ended with Lemire assuring Canadian fans the “Justice League of Canada” will represent the multicultural nature of the country. He noted the first issue will take readers through Toronto, to British Columbia, to Winnipeg and to Northern Canada. “Some characters will reflect how multicultural Canada is,” Lemire said.