The Baltimore Comic-Con panel dedicated to Batman Day was in fact a sneak peek of all the things DC Comics has in store for its Bat-family-related titles. DC’s VP of talent development Bobbie Chase moderated as Scott Snyder, Greg Pak, Jimmy Palmiotti, James Tynion IV and Tom King excitedly talk about what they were working on.
First up was King, who started talking about how “Grayson” issue twelve was the biggest issue in the run so far. “It was the most emotional issue to write and that the emotion was on the page.” To King, Grayson is a very social character. “He’s a brother, he’s a friend, he’s a son and to come back (after having to pretend to be dead) and to be removed and to lie is emotional.” King stated that this is just the start of something bigger in store. He moved on to issue thirteen, mentioning that Dick would be back on the job at Spyral, though he didn’t get into specifics after that.
Next, Palmiotti touched on “Harley Quinn,” in particular issue twenty-one and twenty-two, getting into the details of issue twenty-two. “Harley is back with the gang of Harleys at Coney Island with the Russian agents of Zena Bendemova attacking them.” Palmiotti mentioned that the issue is a lot of fun and that the art by Chad Hardin gets even more amazing with each issue. Palmiotti continued with “Harley Quinn and Power Girl and the antics he has in store for the duo. “It’s just an insane book that you should check out,” he told the panel audience. He also touched vaguely on what he has planned for “Starfire” and “Harley’s Little Black Book,” getting into the specifics of the latter. “She decides she’s going to save Wonder Woman’s life by pretending she’s Wonder Woman and stopping the plot against her that takes place in London.” Palmiotti also took the time to introduce a new team of superheroes based out of London. “The London Legion of Superheroes…have you guys ever heard of them? That’s because we just made it up!” He then decided to name a few characters that will make up the team, which include The Pub Crawler, described as the Spider-Man of pubs, and Big Bad Ben, who is a big Ben with a giant clock on his chest. “Once you read this you’re going to want them to have their own book,” Palmiotti stated. “It’s a lot of fun!”
Snyder went next as he talked “Batman” issue forty-five. “Forty-Five is when things start coming together,” Snyder said, adding that it has his favorite opening he has ever done for Batman: “The first panel is just black and then it has Batman’s eyes and it just says, ‘In the beginning there was nothing — and then there was Batman.’ And that’s it.” He then moved on to issue forty-six, describing how it came about. “So we’re going to bring Bruce back and he’s going to be free of Batman and he has a new life and it’s going to be an epic story. I love this Bruce so much! He’s really fun to write.” Snyder continued, “Who would Bruce be if he was never scarred in that alley? And the city saying, ‘Here’s your after life,’ and he gets to be free of all his demons that you suffered through and that is his reward.” Snyder ended by saying that it just gets crazier from here.
Tynion IV took it from there as he talked “Batman and Robin Eternal.” “What was missing from the original Batman Eternal? The biggest piece that was missing was Dick Grayson. Now that he’s back in the mix, Bruce is out because he doesn’t remember he was Batman. A person considered one of his biggest sins in his early years, back when Dick was Robin, for that person to reemerge..,” But the thing Tynion IV is most excited for is that “Batman and Robin Eternal” will finally bring Cassandra Cain back to the DC universe. “What we’re able to do with these characters is incredible.” Tynion IV also brought up the “Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” crossover, the six issue mini-series in collaboration with IDW Publishing. “Watching Kevin Eastman draw Batman is just a fan boy dream. Batman is not happy that the turtles are operating in Gotham City.”
Greg Pak’s turn was next to get into “Batman/Superman.” “It’s the series I came to DC to write — it’s been a blast!” Pak continued by talking about “Batman/Superman” issue twenty-five, calling it “a great place to jump on and also a place where things start to pay off.” He continued to talk about how the recent changes to both characters, with Jim Gordon now being the new Batman and Superman’s identity now being known and losing some of his powers, affects the book. “Gordon knows his heart is in the right place but he also doesn’t want Superman in Gotham. They are on the outs.” Vandal Savage will be the big villain and has a millennia years old plan that will come to fruition. Pak also scratched on what we’ll see in “Batman/Superman” issue twenty-six. “It’ll be dealing with the new Superman and figuring out how they all work together now.” Later, Pak got asked what Superman will do once he gets his full powers back now that everyone knows his identity “We put the character into as much trouble we could come up with, which is what I think is the smart thing to do in serial story telling and that’s the drama.”
Then it was to Tom King, who started giving a few details on “Robin War,” adding that the character is in the midst of his 75th anniversary and is part of our culture, representing “what it means to be an inspiration, what it means for a child superhero to inspire people.” King continued by saying it will be a weekly event. “If you’re tired of events, my job is to wake you up and show you what they can be.” King also mentioned that the Court of Owls might show up and have a major influence on the book’s outcome. Snyder later added, “There are a lot of plans for the Owls.”
Speaking of, the panel took some time to take questions from the audience, which included a question directed at Snyder about the use of the Court of Owls in the “Gotham” TV show. “They told me they were going to use them — I’m thrilled that they are going to be part of that story telling.” The panel then got into what they think about the cinematic interpretations of the Bat characters. “That’s the glory of these characters,” said Pak. “They allow themselves to be expressed in so many different ways, so when I see new movie stuff, I’m always excited!” Tynion IV added that Ben Affleck has the Bruce Wayne look down. “This could be a very special performance,” he said, adding that he’ll be out there cheering because it will be the coolest thing he’ll see next year.
Finally, Snyder was asked, “Who would win a fight between Batman and Superman?” Snyder answered, “Batman always wins.”
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