At WonderCon in San Francisco last Saturday, a squadron of DC Comics’ top talent answered questions from fans at the DCU Editorial Presentation. The panelists included DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, writers James Robinson, Brian Q. Miller, J.T. Krul, Gail Simone and DC exclusive artist David Finch. DC Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler moderated the panel.
After joking that the panel’s name sounded like a class taught at a junior college, Sattler gave a rundown of current events in DC’s most popular titles, including “Blackest Night” and the New Krypton saga. He also noted J. Michael Straczynski’s upcoming “Superman” and “Wonder Woman” work in July, and Grant Morrison’s “Return of Bruce Wayne” this fall.
The panel opened for questions, and a fan immediately asked Brian Q. Miller if he would be wiling to revisit obscure female villains in “Batgirl.” Miller replied, “We can do that.”
Another fan asked about Roy Harper’s current emotional state after losing his arm in “Justice League: Cry For Justice.” Krul joked, “He’s not in a good space right now” and that there were “not a lot of bright colors in that book,” referring to the upcoming “Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal” miniseries.
Staying on the topic of the “Green Arrow” family, another fan asked about the decision to have Green Arrow kill Prometheus in “Justice League: Cry For Justice.” Robinson replied, “You’re going to get a fantastic ‘Green Arrow’ book. It’s about redemption.” Sattler informed the fans that the decision would have a long-term effect on the character. Johns not only suggested that fans check out “Brightest Day” #0 for insight into the future of Green Arrow, but mentioned that the script for the upcoming “Green Arrow”#1 was “The most accessible and one of the best scripts I’ve read in a long time.”
A fan asked about plans for “Batman Beyond,” and Sattler pointed out that the futuristic version of Batman will star in a miniseries in June, and both Batman Beyond and Justice League Unlimited will feature in the upcoming “Superman/Batman” annual.
When asked about the possibility of seeing other new “Lantern” characters, especially a “Teen Lantern.” John emphatically responded that there would be no Teen Lantern, but that fans would see more interaction between the Lanterns and the DC Universe.
When asked if other characters were permanently resurrected as a result of DC Comics’ “Brightest Day,” Johns responded that the only characters resurrected were the ones in the recent “Blackest Night” gatefold spread teased on the DC Source Blog.
Another fan asked about the future of Cassandra Cain. Sattler cryptically responded, “There’s a plan. I don’t know if it’s in action.”
Posed with the question of there ever being a movie based on the “Justice League of America,” both Johns and Sattler responded that they had no way of answering the question.
Another fan asked about the connection between Bronze Tiger and Captain Boomerang in “Blackest Night.” Johns took a survey of how many fans had read “Blackest Night”#8, and decided not to answer the fan’s question, as it would spoil that particular issue.
When asked if Superboy Prime would return, Johns replied,” He’ll eventually be back. He’s like a cockroach.”
The panel was asked how DC attracted their creative talent, and Sattler joked, “Food and bear traps.” Finch noted that he went to DC for the chance to draw Superman, Batman and an “over-the-top Gotham.”
With regards to DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson and the upcoming slate of Warner Brothers’ DC-related film and television shows, Johns told the audience that Nelson is leading the integration, and that the “Green Lantern” was now in week three of production and slated for release on July 17, 2011.
A fan asked about the future existence of Star City, and Krul answered, “The Star City in Green Arrow will have a heart.” Johns followed up with, “Star City becomes the most important city in ‘Brightest Day’ #0.”
Johns told the crowd that Lex Luthor, Larfleeze and Scarecrow would feature in upcoming stories.
Batwoman was another topic of discussion, especially in light of Greg Rucka’s weekend announcement. Johns assured the audience that there is a plan for her and that the character would not be shelved. The fan who posed the original query went on to ask about Greg Rucka’s possible involvement, and Johns explained, “We wanted him to write it, but he’s taking a break to focus on creator-owned work.”
Gail Simone described Barbara Gordon as now being “basically the 911 operator for the whole DCU.” Then, when a fan enquired about a possible “Birds of Prey”/”Batgirl” crossover, and Miller said to Simone, “We’ll talk about that later.”
Another fan asked about the possible collection of the Steven T. Siegel Superman stories that factored into Siegel’s autobiographical book “It’s A Bird.” From the audience, DC Vice President of Direct Sales Bob Wayne answered affirmatively.
Sattler informed the audience that there were currently no plans for DC to re-issue Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s “Flex Mentallo” in a collected edition at the moment, in response to an enquiry about the long out of print mini.
Another fan asked about the thought behind the unfortunate direction of the marriage between Green Arrow and Black Canary. Johns joked that Oliver just has “bad luck.”
When asked about the return of Joker and The New Gods, Sattler replied that he couldn’t spoil either. However, when asked about the upcoming “status” of the Bat-villain Hush, Sattler said that Hush would appear in the upcoming “Return of Bruce Wayne.”
The Batson family was also asked about, and Sattler replied that were “big plans for the Marvels.” The same fan was also wondering about Ambush Bug, and Sattler answered that the character would be appearing in “Doom Patrol.”
Taking things back a few years, a fan asked about the possibility of seeing more stories featuring the Tim Drake Batman from the future in “Teen Titans.” Johns answered, “I have a story, but I have no plans to go back to the Titans.”
Regarding the next appearance of Sodam Yat, Johns told the audience, “‘Green Lantern’ #54. Bam!”
A fan asked about the next appearance of Secret Six, and Simone noted that there was a stand-alone issue coming up.
Another fan asked what will Vril Dox’s reaction be to Sinestro’s recent turn as a White Lantern. Johns told the fan to check out Tony Bedard’s “R.E.B.E.L.S.” which will feature a GLC/Legion story.
Johns informed a Flash fan that Captain Cold and Mirror Master would appear in Issues #1 through #6 of the new “Flash” series.
When asked about the possibility of collecting the back-ups featured in recent DC titles, Wayne answered that DC does indeed have plans for such a collection.
At this point in the panel, DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee showed up in the question queue and joked with the panel and the audience. Lee then took the stage to talk about the new direction for his Batman series with Frank Miller, which will return in February of 2011 and be rebranded “Dark Knight: Boy Wonder.”
Lee also showed off his brand new iPad, and on the subject of digital comics, mentioned that while DC will pursue digital comics in the future, they will not be pursuing them as a replacement to print.
Sattler closed the panel with a slide featuring art from the upcoming title “DCU: Legacies,” noting that the book will feature the art of J.H. Williams III, Dave Gibbons, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Rags Morales and Dan Jurgens.