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"Wildstorm" was an especially appropriate name for the DC Comics imprint today, as this year's panel saw its highest attendance in recent memory at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The room was packed full of room and creators: In attendance were Scott Dunbier, Scott Peterson, Ben Abernathy, Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Christos Gage, Talent Caldwell, Gene Ha, John rRdley, Darick Robertson, Whilce Portacio, Brian K Vaughan, Danny Bilson, Pail DeMeo & Adam Brody. Brody was mobbed by female fans when entering, many of whom who were adjusting their makeup and hair as he entered, and many more were eagerly trying to say "hi" to the young television star. Jim Lee appeared late with cookies for all.
"I'm one of the stars of 'Snakes On A Plane,'" joked Morrison, cutting the ice at the beginning of the panel.
Morrison also opened up things by talking about "Wildcats," saying, "We're trying to reinvigorate everything by adding a dose of pop art and punk. I don't want to tell you too much. It's so cool." The series is set "the day after tomorrow" and will follow up on "Wildcats 3.0," so the acclaimed series won't be ignored.
Morrison wants to bring the energy of the early Image books, and to that end, all the Image founders will contribute covers: Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, Rob Liefeld, and Whilce Portacio. The McFarlane cover was shown to fans.
Lee's art will have more primary colors and repeated images in "Wildcats," so expect it to be quite a different look for him. "LSD comics," said Morrison.
As for why "All-Star Batman & Robin" is late, Lee explained "we're still trying to figure out if there's one 'd' or two 'd's' in 'Goddamn Batman.'"
"The point of the Authority is to change the world," said Morrison of his upcoming work on "Authority."
Ha praised Morrison's scripts, specifically the way panels are out of focus and in focus in different segments of the same panel. "It's the most realistic comic you've ever seen." The team will deal with real problems, such as fixing a regular person's marriage, and other diverse experiences. Morrison said he didn't want to see the Authority consistently getting beat up and he wants them to make a go at changing the world.
"My brain is super conducted," joked Morrison about how he can write so much.
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Gail Simone spoke briefly about "Gen 13" and said that Rainmaker and Burnout will move to the forefront of the series, as opposed to the way they were in the background in the old series.
"Stormwatch PHD" launches this November (PHD stands for "post human division") and focuses on people who have special abilities to take down superheroes. "It'll have very much the flavor of 'Gotham Central' meets 'The Suicide Squad,'" said the book's writer, Gage. There's a 13-page preview at the DC Comics booth.
Speaking about "Tranquility," Simone said, "ff you're into fried chicken and adult diapers, this is the book you want to read." It's about a place where superheroes go to get away from fans, press, villains, and frankly, everyone. There's humor and some seriousness: one character had a magic word that made him a mighty hero ... but an accident caused him to lose memory of that word, so he reads through dictionaries and books of all kinds to try to find the word.
"Red Menace" is the reason Brody was in attendance: It's a six-issue mini series, starting in November, which will be written by Brody, with Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo. Bilson compared the series to his work on "The Rocketeer" and the book focuses on the Eagle, who has been blacklisted in the 1950s, during the Communist witch hunts. Jerry Ordway illustrates the McCarthy era series. "It's important that if I did something, I didn't ruin an already established character," joked Brody.
Bilson approached Brody about "Red Menace," not the other way around. They consciously avoided writing about "The O.C" or the "Atomic County" comic book featured in the series.
When asked what comic books Brody reads, he admitted that his "O.C" character Seth Cohen is a much more "avid" reader. Brody likes X-Men, Batman, and has more mainstream interests.
Jim Lee is still doing variant covers for "Skye Runner," as well as a number of other high profile artists who will contribute variants.
"Ex Machina" will feature "a special Bradbury story because no one demanded it," said Vaughan.
In October, "Desolation Jones" returns with a new artist Danijel Zezelj. October also brings "Astro City" back to the stands, with "Dark Age," and the team of Busiek and Anderson.
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"This is the book that will kill me," said Dunbier of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier." There will be "Tijuana Bible" inserts and some 3-D pages unlike what readers have seen before in comics, he said. It's a 200 page graphic novel.
Gage said that "PHD" would deal with the last "Stormwatch" series later down the road if he has his way.
Did the Wildstorm Universe get rebooted in the recent "Captain Atom" book? "It'll be dealing with the stuff you've seen, but getting rid of the crap you've hated," said Morrison.
Brody said that each of the writers on "Red Menace" wrote two issues each and then passed issues around, to make everything mesh perfectly.
A fan asked about Morrison's "New X-Men" and why he decided to change Xorn to Magneto, but Morrison exclaimed, "He was always Magneto!"
"Ex Machina" is still slated to end at issue #50, going back to the first pages of the first issue.
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Which old Wetworks characters will be in the new series? "All of them and some of them," teased Portacio.
Do people ever get Morrison and Vaughan mixed up? "We look like the before and after. You have to decide which is before and which is after," joked Morrison.
Ridley said that "The American Way" was set in the 1960s as a commentary on where America was and where it's going, socially and politically.
There were also brief mentions of the "Friday The 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" comic books, and images were shown.
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