CCI: DC Universe Panel

Thanks to convention center wifi kicking in, CBR is Live! at DC Comics' DC Universe panel. Keep refreshing your pages to see all the news from the panel.

"I've got a whole bunch of people with me today," DC Executive Editor crowed at the start of the panel adding, "I don't want to do this one alone." He was soon joined by VP of Sales Bob Wayne, Andrew Kreisberg, Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler, Eric Trautmann, Eric Wallace, Nicola Scott, Gail Simone, James Robinson who he introduced saying, "Whatever you want to write, it's yours." The final member of the panel was incoming "Lobo" writer and Anthrax singer Scott Ian.

Comic-Con presented Wayne with this year's Inkpot Award, leading to a video slideshow set to the tune of "Memories" celebrating "Time Masters," old photos of a younger Wayne and plenty of Dr. Pepper references. "Thanks to my friends at Comic-Con for this, and my friends at DC who contributed all those graphics, I know who you are," said Wayne.

Geoff Johns just made it in!

J Michael Straczynski has laryngitis and couldn't make it to the show, but Didio previewed some art from his first "Brave & The Bold" issue featuring Batman and Robby Reed from "Dial H for HERO." "This is a great time to have Joe working for us," the executive editor said. "To have him write Batman for us is a good thing."

Didio then showed art from Doom Patrol which he joked was "Third time's the charm" for his run at DC thanks to writer Keither Giffen.

Johns promised a new speedster coming out of "Flash: Rebirth" and running right into the "Blackest Night: Flash" series he's doing with Scott Kollins. And once "Blackest Night" ends, Johns will be writing a Flash monthly book. Johns later said that he wanted to do the same thing with the Flash franchise he did with Green Lantern. It's his favorite character, and to build the franchise Sterling Gates will come on to write "Kid Flash."

Art was shown for Robinson's upcoming run on "Justice League America" with artist Mark Bagley. A new lineup was teased of which Robinson said, "At the moment, I don't think the team is everything it should be. I want to make the team great again." With "Cry For Justice" taking place just before "Blackest Night," Robinson's run starts proper with "Justice League of America" #38 including two issues tying into "Blackest Night." "You're going to see a character I believe can be great...female Dr. Light against Black Lantern evil Dr. Light," the writer teased, adding that the new team will feature Mon-El in a new Superman-inspired costume, Dick Grayson as Batman and Donna Troy who "I'm going to make her kick ass in this book."

The cover for the new "Booster Gold" story with "Booster's biggest fan" - G4 TV personality Blaire Buttler. "I think it's a lot of fun to have her involved," Didio said joking that while the T-shirt is available at the con's Graphitti Designs booth, Butler will not be.

DC has finally acquired the rights to "T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents" and will incorporate the characters into the DC Universe much like the publisher has recently done with the Red Circle characters and the Milestone heroes. "I absolutely love the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents," said Robinson. "The great art, the great stories, the fact that one of them was a traitor...this stuff was ahead of it's time." He added that he "couldn't wait to be a part" of bringing them into the DCU proper. Didio later said that since the papers were signed "last week" there hadn't been time to put together a full creative team, but the characters would first appear in other DC books.

"Noman and Dynamo you'll see. You'll see Lightning, Raven. Everything you love about these characters will make this book great," Didio explained and teased that there was a reason Noman wasn't in the preview art.

Ian spoke briefly on "Lobo" saying that as a longtime comics fan, he was looking to put everything anyone's ever wanted to see in a comic into his series, adding later that he also wanted to write Batman at some point, "I had a bunch of ideas that maybe will fly after the Lobo book comes out...of course it would be my dream to work on a Batman book at some point. We're moving forward and talking about a couple of things." Jason Blood is a possibility, and Ian said that he would only write something that he had something to add in terms of his personal voice, noting that he wrote Lobo as himself in most scenes. Sattler confirmed the singer would writer more books for DC.

The panel spoke briefly on the plans for the Red Circle characters with Trautmann saying of his new series, "I was as shocked as anyone when Dan asked me to do the Shield. It's two-fisted military action." He also noted that the book would look at a hero who was officially part of the military inspiring some soldiers and stepping on the toes of some commanders who "don't expect a weapon to talk back to them." Many classic DC characters will appear in the first arc.

"Green Arrow/Black Canary" had a moment in the spotlight, with Kreisberg saying of the cover where the husband/wife team squared off "we'll get more conflict, a lot more him firing arrows at her and her screaming at him." Didio also said, "We keep building around key franchises" citing Batman and Superman of late and now with the JSA. "Green Arrow and Black Canary should feel like people who are important to what's happening in the Justice League."

Wonder Woman crosses into "Secret Six" soon. "Coming up in this next year we'll have possible a Black Alice appearance with maybe a Secret Seven" planned, said Simone. And on the Wonder Woman front, next up is a single issue centering on a cage fighting before the arc "War Killer" which follows up on the questions seeded for a while in the series. Simone said Ares will take over Paradise Island while Wonder Woman declares herself not an Amazon in defiance of the gods. "We're going to see her more as a superhero than she's ever been," the writer said.

"[Ambush Bug #6] is never coming out," joked Dan Didio before saying honestly that it should ship in a few months.

A fan asked when will there be an explanation of what happened to Bruce Wayne after "Final Crisis" which Sattler said was like asking when all stories would end so one could set their Tivo.

More about Ion will be revealed in "Green Lantern Corps."

When a fan asked for Johns to come back onto "Teen Titans" and work to "fix" the franchise, the writer said that Superboy, Kid Flash, Tim Drake and Wonder Girl will all appear in the first arc of "Adventure Comics" and that he had spoken with the new writers taking over both that series and "Titans" saying, "They're going to be really, really good books." Deathstroke will become the leader of the Titans team when Wallace writes "Titans" later this year.

The Batman franchise and "Blackest Night" will be connecting over the coming months, with Johns promising that he'd spoken on story plans with Grant Morrison.

Didio explained that someone started a letter writing campaign to get "Wonder Woman" renumbered to #600, and he's been posting the notes on his office door. There have been about 20 postcards to far, and he says, "When we get to 600 cards, we'll talk" adding that he felt the lower numbers help bring new readers in.

A fan complained about Batman "breaking his anti-gun rule" at the end of "Final Crisis," to which Sattler simply replied "He didn't." Didio said that "Batman has to win" and given the odds against humanity, the gun scene made sense for the character and the book.

Johns promised that "Blackest Night" will be treating Metamorpho "really good." Former Azrael Jean Paul Valley may appear in the series as well.

Calling out for one more great question, a fan screamed "All-Stat Batgirl?" to which the executive editor replied "wrong one!" Instead, a fan asking after a "rage kitty" action figure from the Red Lantern Corps was told that the cat would fight Krypto in Blackest Night.

And that's it for now, gang! Check back later for more from Comic-Con and CBR!

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