BCC: DiDio & Co. Talk 'Zero Month' and the 'New 52' One Year Out

With "Zero Month" upon us, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio and SVP of Sales Bob Wayne came to the Baltimore Comic-Con with a planned presentation that was felled by A/V issues. To make up for the change-up, though, DC trotted out "Animal Man" writer Jeff Lemire, "Batman" writer Scott Snyder, and the artist on that book, Greg Capullo.

To start things off, DiDio polled the crowd on how many had been reading the "New 52" before praising his assembled writers as "the personification -- to me right now -- of the 'New 52'. These guys are the ones who brought it all together, they brought the freshness, the perspective, the new attitude, and they brought you guys -- the fans -- back in."

DiDio then kicked things to his "Batman" team.

"The great thing about the '52' was that what Dan told us when we started was that we really had the opportunity to do the best story that we could for the characters as long as we sort of honored what we thought the character was about," Snyder said.

Capullo later added: "For me, the biggest pleasure is being a part of a company that has the courage to do what they've done."

Capullo also recalled that he had drawn Batman and Robin for the first time at the age of 4, a sentiment that Lemire echoed when he said that "Animal Man" had been "one of the books I read that kept me reading comics when I was young."

On the subject of "Zero Month," DiDio said, "The goal for this was basically not to reset the button, but to answer some questions." He later said the zero issues were created "to fill in the blanks of the past and set up the mysteries of the future."

With the floor opened up to questions about 15 minutes into the panel, the conversation naturally turned to some fan-favorite characters.

On the upcoming Joker story arc, Capullo said little, but teased the crowd by saying that he had pictures of the Joker on his phone and offered to show them to those who made an "impression." He then showed the pictures to a girl who offered her barely dressed cosplay friend as tribute to Capullo, who fixated on getting a glance at the girl's ... well, tush.

On the other end of the spectrum, a Kid Flash cosplayer came up empty when he asked about the possible re-emergence of Wally West but then offered to take his pants off in exchange for a look at the pictures. Capullo politely declined the offer before showing him the pictures in exchange for him keeping them on.

The Green Arrow (we'll see him again), Booster Gold (We'll see him in the "Justice League of America"), Ted Kord and Tim Drake (who will pop up as a major part of the Joker arc, according to Snyder) were all mentioned.

One surprising thing that came up was DiDio's candor relating to the behind-the-scenes discussions that occurred in the run-up to the "New 52", with DiDio revealing that the original plan had been to reboot everything except "Detective Comics" and "Action Comics."

"'Action' was the key to the launch of the 'New 52.' Okay, as the story goes, when we had the meetings, I wanted to do the 'New 52', we're out there talking about the 'New 52', we wanted to get going with it, and I said, 'and we'll relaunch every book with No. 1's except "Detective" and "Action."' That's what I said, 'Detective' and 'Action,' and someone across the room turned to me and said, 'No, you're wrong. The only way they're gonna take it seriously is if we launch "Action" and "Detective" with No. 1's.' At that point, we realized that we were not giving ourselves an out to go backwards."

DiDio then continued, saying that when DC counts "up the numbers, and we see when we come near to the 900's and the 1,000's, we will make sure that we pay tribute to those things in the proper way at the proper time. Oh no, no, trust me, those are accomplishments that will not be lost on anybody."

Shortly after that and with just a few moments to go, the panel descended into the fun-madness of a "Lightning Round" of yes or no questions directed at the guests. Sadly, there was little more than dashed hopes--sorry Stephanie Brown fans, no news on her--and teases--one fan's question about a Ted Kord resurrection got a maybe.

Photo by Michella Ventres

Update: It was incorrectly reported that Green Arrow would show up on Earth 2. This has been corrected above.

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