CCI: DC Big Guns

DC editor Eddie Berganza led an all-Q&A session that was supposed to be focused on the central characters of the DC Universe -- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman -- but quickly devolved into questions about Ambush Bug, Jonah Hex and everything in between.

On hand for the panel was Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, Dustin Nguyen, Ivan Reis, Carlos Pacheco, Mark Verheiden, Bob Shreck, Matt Idelson and Mike Marts, with late arrivals from Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek and Gail Simone.

A fan asked about Trickster and Piper, who in "Countdown" seemed to imply that they weren't directly involved with Bart Allen's death, but then read "Flash" and saw them doing the dirty work. Dini simply apologized, saying that sometimes information didn't flow properly within the company, but Johns jumped in to say that the Rogues would all have to deal with what they did in the upcoming "Salvation Run."

Another question wondered who would die next and would it be more lasting. Berganza answered, "That's a Dan Didio question, you'll have to ask him, he's always looking to kill somebody."

Why is Kyle Rayner's Parallax the only hint of Green in the Sinestro Corps? "We went with the green parallax, because parallax likes to screw with people," Johns said with a smile.

Verheiden is working on the Teen Titans movie, and said, "I'm probably going more for the Wolfman/Perez version. They've asked me not to identify the team we're using, but Nightwing is a part of it."

There was a healthy amount of discussion about Wonder Woman, including one reader asking if she's going to have heels. "We had this argument last night," Morrison said, "so with 52 universes, we decided that in some she could have heels. Everyone gets what they want and what they deserve."

"Right away we're gonna find out who tried to kill diana on the night of her birth," Simone said, "and I'm gonna establish that the lasso is one of the most dangerous weapons in the DCU. By the end of the year, everyone's gonna know who Wonder Woman is, what she's about. There's not gonna be any question. we're gonna establish that she is the greatest warrior on earth. She's gonna have one of the scariest, most shocking villains coming out."

When a fan asked a philosophical question about the central characters of the DCU based on a Geoff Johns quote ("Superman hovers above us, Batman hides from us, Wonder Woman preaches to us, and Flash runs along side us"), Kurt Busiek mused on the importance of these characters. "They're the nucleus, everything that happens revolves around them," the writer said. "With characters like the Metal Men, you can have them or not, it's a matter of preference, but they really work best together, they're the core of the Justice League. If Zatara had been a big success in 1938, it would be a very different DC Universe. But with DC, they're a foundation, whereas with Marvel, they have foundations that don't have to do with one another. Spider-Man's not a part of the Avengers, not a part of the Fantastic Four, and the Hulk is somewhere else."

Morrison gave some tidbits about "Final Crisis." "Everyone's in it. It's like Lord of the Rings for the DC Universe," Morrison said. He also noted that Ralph and Sue Dibny, Ghost Detectives will return in its pages.

Johns revealed that a storyline called "Alpha Lanterns" will follow the Sinestro War, Paul Dini said we can expect "Tweedledum and Tweedledee, gang bosses of Gotham," and Busiek said his Superman work will include "a bottle city ... not the one you think."

The questions started to get a little loopy as the panel grinded on and people came back for seconds. One fan, for example, asked Bob Shreck if he thought about continuity when working on books like "All-Star Superman" and "All-Star Batman." "I completely ignore all continuity, because who cares" Shreck quipped.

"It shows in your work," the fan deadpanned. He then asked Berganza the same, and in reply Berganza simply held up the "Dan Didio Must Die" shirt from the DC New World Order panel.

When asked what got him interested in working with comics, Paul Dini replied, "Uncle Scrooge ... I'm not kidding, I thought the stories were amazing."

Random data included the fact that there will be a Billy Batson Captain Marvel on Earth 5, a new series featuring Hawkman and Hawkgirl in 2008, that the rights are tied up for Plastic Man precluding an animated series despite interest at Warner Brothers Animation, that there really is motion on a return for Ambush Bug, the reason for Black Adam regaining his powers will be explained in an upcoming mini series and that Mister Whisper will likely not be seen again ("He was taken away by the devil, so to see him you'll have to go to hell," Morrison said). Time ran out before things could get any more random.

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