A number of WonderCon attendees wrapped their weekend experience Sunday afternoon with DC Icons panel, an hour dedicated to allowing guests to speak to DC Comics’ pros about the projects they are currently working on.
Moderated by Bob Wayne, DC ‘s Senior Vice President of sales, the panel opened with a viewing of the WonderCon trailer for “Green Lantern,” much to the audience’s delight. After the trailer, Wayne was joined by writer Judd Winick, artists Amy Reeder, Frank Quitely and Ryan Benjamin and editors Ben Abernathy and Joey Cavalieri.
Abernathy fielded Wayne’s first question, which concerned Friday’s announcement of “Retro-Active.” “It’s a big summer plan that would pay tribute to the great legacy of DC Comics, of its characters and its creators,” Abernathy explained. “Retro-Active” will be divided into three eras, the ’70s, the ’80s, and the ’90s with the creators involved telling “long lost stories” from their respective eras. Each issue will feature new content as well as a reprint of a definitive issue of the creators’ run.
The next question centered on Amy Reeder’s upcoming work on “Batwoman.” Reeder recalled that she was originally approached by Dan Didio for the project. She had been working as a freelance for DC’s Vertigo line but wanted to move into the DC Universe and Didio offered the “Batwoman” assignment along with an exclusive contract. She readily accepted, especially when she learned she would be working along side J.H. Williams.
Wayne next introduced Ryan Benjamin, to the crowd’s loud applause. Benjamin said that he hadn’t really paid close attention to his job offer from DC, simply snapping up the “Batman Beyond” gig because it contained the word “Batman.” It was not until later that day that his friend told him what he exactly he signed up for, since he’d never seen the television series.
Frank Quitely told the crowd he was quite surprised by Grant Morrison’s enthusiasm about the animated version of “All-Star Superman” since Morrison had a “reputation of not being easily pleased.” As for the artist, he’s currently working on pages for the Absolute edition of “We3” along with an issue for Morrison’s “Multiversity.”
Judd Winick discussed his current work on “Justice League: Generation Lost” as well as his upcoming run on “Batman and Robin.” “I got more crap when it was first revealed that I was on ‘Generation Lost.” But I have been pleased with the reaction since the book has come out.” The last issue will be released in the same week as the final issue of “Brightest Day.” Winick touted the finale as containing “the most awesome fight in comic book history.” Winick’s three issue run on “Batman and Robin” will be centered on the first meeting between Jason Todd and Bruce Wayne since Wayne’s return to present day and the first team-up of Jason Todd and the Dick Grayson Batman.
At this point, Wayne opened the panel up for questions from fans. The first fan explained that she was a lifetime fan of Dick Grayson and was extremely pleased he’s currently in the forefront of the DC Universe and begged Dan Didio to not kill off Grayson, to laughter from the crowd.
A young man nervously asked if there will be more Lanterns deputized at the end of “Brightest Day.” “We don’t really want to tell you exactly what happens at the end of ‘Brightest Day’ at the fear that no one will buy the comic,” Wayne said, jokingly. “You understand that there is a self preservation thing? If no one buys it, then I don’t have a job. The job market is tough right now and there aren’t any jobs out there where I can get free comics. So please, don’t make me tell you the answer to this.”
A reader asked Amy Reeder if there was a connection between Kate Kane (Batwoman) and Martha Kane, Bruce Wayne’s mother, as well as inquiring toward any involvement of the Question in the book. Reeder promised she would discuss the idea with Williams at their next meeting before saying that the first arc will cover all aspects of Batwoman’s past and will involve the Question but she does not know the extent of it.
A fan of Winick’s animated work asked if more of his comics would be animated, specifically calling out “Trials of Shazam.” Winick explained “boring marketing decisions” as well as “timing” are involved in creating animated features. “After ‘Dark Knight’ came out, I was speaking to a WB executive who needed ideas about animated features. I explained the pathos and psychological mess of ‘The Red Hood” and pitched the animated feature. That is a perfect timing and [an example of] how things come together.”
The next fan explained how much he loved Scott Snyder on “Detective Comics” and asked the panel what they were currently reading right now. Judd Winick has been reading the manga “Pluto” by Naoki Urasawa. Amy Reeder has been catching up on Batwoman appearances while reading “Joe the Barbarian.” Ryan Benjamin explained he has been too busy with work lately but was reading “Superman” before then. Frank Quitely has been reading a gift his kids came him, “Alec: The Years Have Pants.”
A fan questioned why the Spectre and Anti-Monitor never really accomplish anything in major events and crossovers. “We make him look bad because we don’t like them,” joked Winick.
Winick confirmed he will be staying on ‘Power Girl’ with artist Sami Basri, with Superman, Batman and Zatanna guest-starring in future issues.
Reeder confirmed that “Batwoman” has been delayed for marketing reasons when a fan asked how many issues are currently done. “The latest push back had nothing to do with me or J.H. being late. It was more that they wanted to give it a big promotional push. Hopefully, it will mean a lot more safety for the title. J.H. has been working on the book consistently and I’ve been working on stuff that is coming out next year.”
As the panel closed, Reeder commended on how “awesome” everyone’s costume was, whipping the crowd into a frenzy as cosplaying fans rushed the panel to take pictures with their favorite pros.