It was a packed room late in the day as the “DC Nation” panel convened in Wizard World Philly. Among the panel was Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler, Shane Davis (“Superman/Batman”), writer Jimmy Palmiotti and J.G. Jones, artist on “Final Crisis.” The room was charged, full of eager fans, and Sattler only took a brief time to go through DC’s new slate of projects before opening the floor to questions.
The first of these projects was “Final Crisis: Revelations,” written by Greg Rucka with art by Philip Tan. The series is one of only a handful of tie-ins (compared to recent summer events) and is part of Rucka’s role as one of the three major writers helming the series tie-ins. The series features The Spectre and explores his role in the events of “Final Crisis.”
The next “Final Crisis” tie-in mentioned was “Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds,” written by Geoff Johns with art by Crisis-veteran George Perez. The series will pull together the characters from three teams that have called themselves Legion of Super-Heroes, exploring the future that was shown in “Final Crisis” #1.
The next major book was “Trinity,” DC’s next weekly opus following “Countdown” and “52,” written by Kurt Busiek with art by Mark Bagley and a back-up feature written by Fabian Nicieza. “Trinity” focuses on “the big three” characters in the DCU – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – following the events of Final Crisis.
The next book touted was Geoff John’s acclaimed “Justice Society of America,” with Sattler casting some light on the development of the “Gog” storyline. “A lot of people are enjoying what Geoff’s doing,” Sattler said. “It’s only just started. Be ready for a lot of twists and turns.”
The next arc promoted was Dwayne McDuffie’s new “Justice League of America” storyline featuring Animal Man, Vixen and “a new threat.” Sattler also promoted the new arc of “Superman/Batman,” written by “Heroes” scribe Michael Green and penciled by Shane Davis. “It’s an all disco issue,” Shane joked, when speaking about the arc’s plot.
Sattler also took a moment to tout “Tiny Titans,” the all-ages title written and drawn by Art Balthazar and Franco. “A lot of the stuff they’ve been doing for us has just been phenomenal,” Sattler commented.
Lastly, the panel took some time to preview the new “Power Girl” monthly written by Jimmy Palmiotti and illustrated by Amanda Conner. “She’s going to be apartment hunting, she’s going to have her cat in the office,” Palmiotti said of the new title. “The advantage of having Amanda as the artist is that we can do a lot of character stuff.” Palmiotti then joked that Amanda wasn’t on the panel because she was drawing “Power Girl.” “This is going to be a big book, big action,” Sattler said. “Everything’s big in the book,” Palmiotti joked.
After touting DC’s upcoming projects, Sattler took a moment to share his personal feelings. “Let me tell you, 2009 is going to be one spectacular year,” he promised with a smile. “Trust me. It’s going to be great.” And with that, he opened the floor to questions.
The first question was about Nightwing and the destruction of Bludhaven. “Given that Dick owned property in Bludhaven, is he going to get a federal bail-out?” The fan asked. “Not with this administration,” Sattler replied to laughs.
One fan complained about the “slow start” in “Final Crisis” #1. “There’s a lot of stuff happening in Final Crisis but two is bigger and three is bigger,” Sattler said. “You know Grant, he builds a story. He’s not going to blow you away in the first issue because then there’s nowhere to go.” J.G. Jones quickly agreed. “It’s all about pacing. Not a lot of people died in this issue. We only killed one. But we also did a lot of stuff.” Later, Jones responded to the idea of Final Crisis starting slowly and once again re-iterated his point. “If you thought it was a little slow man, wait until a couple of pages into issue two. We’re rocking and rolling.”
“What’s going on with Captain Atom?” One fan asked. “That’s a good question,” Sattler observed. “I like that question.”
“Is it going to get an answer?” The fan asked, after a pause. “It is. But not from me today.”
Another fan asked whether Martian Manhunter might have survived his impaling in “Final Crisis” #1. “My script said ‘Libra spears Martian Manhunter through the chest and kills him’,” Jones said.
“Is there the possibility of a second Justice Society of America title?” One fan of Geoff John’s new series asked. “We’re going to focus on the Gog storyline and then we’ll see who’s left,” Sattler hinted morbidly.
“Where’s Bob Wayne?” One fan called from the crowd. “Bob Wayne’s in Los Angeles right now. He has a mixed martial arts fight,” Sattler answered to laughter. “We wish Bob a lot of luck.”
“Any chance of seeing Bart Allen any time soon?” Asked one Flash fan. “Next question,” was Sattler’s answer.
Jimmy Palmiotti also took a moment to preview what’s going to happen in his “Jonah Hex” series. “He’s going to shoot everyone,” he joked then went on to say that the best thing about the book was the artists he works with. “Obviously we have J.H. Williams and in a new summer issue, Darwyn Cooke. Now Darwyn’s Canadian. So of course in his issue we have Jonah crossing the border and killing Mounties.”
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, the writers of “Jonah Hex,” are also writing the upcoming Mortal Kombat Vs. DC game. Jimmy expressed his enthusiasm for the game “It’s going to be really cool. We just kept coming up with cool idea after cool idea and they’ll throw some of it out, but if you come up with enough stuff, it doesn’t matter.”
Finally, the panel dropped a hint for the future. “Any chance of a return for Starman?” A fan asked. “You’re going to see a Starman in the Justice League,” Sattler replied. “That’s the best I can do.” Of course, given the new Justice League title is going to be written by former “Starman” writer James Robinson, that’s quite a hint indeed.
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