CCI: DC: A Guide To Your Universe

DC Comics is holding a panel discussion on upcoming projects Saturday afternoon at Comic Con International in San Diego, and CBR is bringing you live coverage from 12:45-1:45 PST. Panelists include Mike Grell, Gail Simone, Grant Morrison, Brad Meltzer, Aaron Lopresti, Nicola Scott, Ian Sattler,Jann Jones, Geoff Johns, Keith Giffen, and Judd Winick. Dan DiDio holds the podium as moderator.

Dan DiDio began by calling individual creators to the stage, and first recapped the announcement of Geoff Johns's "The Flash: Rebirth," and invited Johns to the stage. "If you like good comic books, I think you'll enjoy the book," Johns said. The series begins in January.

DiDio also announced that DC has acquired the licensing rights to the Archie Comics superheroes, who will be appearing in J. Michael Straczynski's "Brave and the Bold." Each character will be fully integrated into the DCU with an origin story.

Next, DiDio announced the return of the Milestone characters in the DCU. Static will be joining the Teen Titans.

Mike Grell then took the stage to discuss a new "Warlord" book. "We have some interesting surprises for you, revisiting some old stuff, and some new tricks up our sleeves," Grell said.

Grant Morrison came next to discuss "Batman RIP." "Following RIP, there's a two-part story that is sort of the last Batman story," Morrison said, while a "Batman: Battle for the Cowl" slide showed behind him.

Johns revealed that the New Krypton crossover would see the Kandorians claiming Earth as "New Krypton." "But Superman doesn't have that long hair" shown in the slide, Johns said.

Jann Jones then arrived to talk about the kids' line, including "Tiny Titans," "Shazam!," and "Supergirl: Adventures in the Eighth Grade."

Gail Simone ascended the stage with Aaron Lopresti and Nicola Scott to discuss "Wonder Woman" and "Secret Six." "Everything that Wonder Woman has felt she deserved for the last 60 years she will be getting, everything that she has preached will be happening," she said. On the "Secret Six," she said "at least half of the DCU are after them," there's "a real bastard of a villain," and "there will be a major Cat/Bat fight."

Brad Meltzer spoke of "FC: Last Will and Testament" which is about "the night before everybody knows they're going to die, and what they do." "When you're trying to face death, you seek answers. And you don't always find them, but you keep seeking," Meltzer said. "I can tell you for sure that Geo-Force seeks revenge on Deathstroke for killing his sister."

Greg Ruck came next, and joked that he was "seated with the bald team," near Meltzer and Morrison. He said "FC: Revelations" would involve include many of the DCU's mystical characters like the Spectre, and that it involves "a lot of time in church... and the Spear of Destiny."

"We have an upcoming arc that will include every include everyone that's ever been a Titan," Winick said.

DiDio tried to move on, but Jones insisted there was one more panelist. "He embarrasses me at panels," DiDio joked, before bringing Keith Giffen on stage.

"We have Darkseid doing karaoke, the Mauve Lantern, the usual stuff," Giffen said of "Ambush Bug: Year None."

DiDio then opened the floor to questions.

No plans for more of John Ostrander's "Suicide Squad." "We're focusing on 'Secret Six' as our villains book," DiDio said.

"Yes, there will be a return of the New Gods, but they'll be a bit different than they were before," Morrison said.

A fan asked whether Flash Wally West would be replaced by Barry Allen. "You'll have to read 'Flash Rebirth," Johns said. "I hope I've shown I am a Wally West fan--I wrote the book for five years."

Following up on Meltzer's comments about Geoforce's revenge, "Anybody who read 'Identity Crisis' knows I love Deathstroke... I dress as him... I won't tell you what Greg [Rucka] dresses as," he joked. He said the character would feature prominently in "Last Will and Testament."

A fan suggested "Salvation Run" villain Kid Carnevil, who "threatens to skin people," should appear in "Tiny Titans." She laughed and said that the Joker will be appearing, but not Kid Carnevil.

On the final page of "All Flash" which includes an image of a Batman costume coming out of a Flash ring, Johns said "I think Mark [Waid] just wanted to put a Batman suit in a ring."

Morrison said that there are no plans for his "Seven Soldiers" Bulleteer character.

A man asked the panel what characters DC would look to acquire next, in the tradition of Charlton and now the Archie heroes. "Marvel," Morrison joked.

Asked about plans for the surviving members of "Young Justice," DiDio asked who's left. "Grant, you were asking about characters to kill in Final Crisis, right?" "Thank you for bringing them to my attention," Morrison replied. "I need Black Lanterns," Johns concluded.

Does JSA's Damage "get to keep his face?" Johns said he loves the character and that "he's in the first part of his arc."

"We have Black Adam fighting Mary Marvel in 'Final Crisis' #5," Morrison said in response to a question about the character. "Mary Marvel fights everybody!"

Any plans for the Heckler? "No, no he's dead and gone," Giffen said. Johns added, "Sure, Black Lantern."

Dr. Fate will appear in "Reign in Hell," Giffen said. "We're trying to push him to the next level. Morrison added "Final Crisis" will have "a Doc Fate from Earth-20, who's kind of Doc Savage meets Dr Fate."

JMS described "Brave and the Bold" as existing "in a really nice apartment right next to continuity," and interjected to suggest that Morrison should write an "Ambush Bug" one-shot.

DiDio announced that there will be an ongoing Zatanna series starting next year.

Clarifying the status of the Milestone characters, DiDio said "they are appearing with their origins in place--we didn't want to change that." Some, he added, would be introduced and "feel like we're seeing them for the first time," but that the characters would not be revised.

Asked for more "Warlord" specifics, Grell said that he would be doing some covers but not illustrating the series. "But, somewhere down the line, you can bet I'll be drawing it," he said.

A fan asked whether Martian Manhunter was "dead-dead or Geoff-Johns-needs-a-Black-Lantern-dead." "Geoff Johns needs a Black Lantern dead," Johns said.

"There's a big Jason [Todd] story after RIP," Morrison said. Winick then piped up, saying DiDio had asked him to talk about Jason Todd. "How would everybody feel about Jason Todd being Batman?" Following a chorus of boos, Winick said, "That's unfortunate."

In "Ambush Bug" #2, "we see the real reason Ted Kord died," Giffen said. "Can you tell I'm making this up as I go along?" He then added that he "wanted a scene where Mary Marvel loses her virginity to Ambush Bug, and goes from the white costume to the red."

Meltzer's father stood up to ask his son about his new novel. Meltzer said that "Book of Lies" involves the unsolved murder of Jerry Siegel's father, which he suspects contributed to the creation of "a bulletproof man called Superman" and the mystery of the murder weapon Cain used to murder his brother Abel.

Asked about key DC books, Giffen offered "52," while Meltzer said to read "All Star Superman." Morrison said that "there's no gateway drug to the DC Universe," and that fans should read everything to find what they like. Grell supported this view.

"Aquaman's in 'Final Crisis' #3 and there will be more plans for Aquaman," Morrison said of the much-missed character.

Winick will be leaving "Green Arrow/Black Canary" after issue #14.

Asked whether he would do any cosmic characters as in "Annihilation," Giffen joked that "I think now is a good time to announce that I've signed an exclusive with Marvel." Sattler applauded.

"James [Robinson] and I will be playing with Captain Atom in 'Superman,'" Johns said.

Rucka said he is doing two series that "I CAN'T TALK ABOUT!" "I haven't been able to talk about them for a year!" he cried. "I thought I would be able to talk about them today, but Dan said I couldn't!"

Now discuss this story in CBR's DC Universe forum.

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