CCI: DC's Premiere Teams

DC Comics rounded out its Sunday programming at Comic-Con International in San Diego with an informal panel discussing the publisher's several superhero team titles. Editor Mike Carlin introduced the packed panel to the crowd, naming writer of "R.E.B.E.L.S." and "Green lantern Corps Tony Bedard, oncoming writer of "Justice Society of America" Marc Guggenheim, "Teen Titans" writer J.T. Krul, writer of "Legion of Super Heroes" Paul Levitz, "Justice League of America" scribe James Robinson, writer of "JSA All Stars" Matthew Sturges, artist of "Teen Titans" and "Birds of Prey" Nicola Scott, and artist of "JSA All-Stars" Freddie E. Williams II.

Each writer, and artist, spoke a bit about their respective books, with James Robinson starting things off discussing "Justice League of America." Robinson told the audience that his current lineup for the team-"my own Big 7"-would be around for quite some time, a few years' worth of stories at least. His current storyline, a crossover with "Justice Society of America," began with his taking one little piece of Green lantern lore not dealt with in "Blackest Night," specifically Jade and Obsidian, who represent the darkness and the light of the Starheart, which gave their father, Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott, his powers.

"I hope you like how I leave Alan Scott after... he's my favorite Golden Age character," Robinson said.

Issue 50 will feature the Justice League going up against their villainous counterparts in the Crime Syndicate. Also, coming up in "Brightest Day," there will be a single panel to look out for that will play into the next year's worth of "Justice League of America" stories.

Marc Guggenheim next spoke about his book "Justice Society of America." Guggenheim takes over the series after Robinson's crossover is complete.

"The team starts with only 6 members, will grow to 8...more later." The team will eventually become a real "society," Guggenheim said, more so than when Geoff Johns was writing the book.

The JSA will move to a new, fictional city called Monument Point. Soon the entire city will be made up of JSA members.

"Most fun I've had in a long time," Guggenheim said of the series.

Matthew Sturges shared a story of his first experience on a panel at HeroesCon, where he was asked what was in store for his then-current book "Blue Beetle," and gave a nonsensical answer about the characters just hanging out, no mention of villains or anything. "Blue Beetle" was canceled. This time, for "JSA All-Stars," Sturges made sure to relate that his team would be fighting humanoid jaguars in golden armor on monkeys with lasers.

Mike Carlin and Sturges were both excited about the new series, and loved the fact that a new character who was only introduced 2 or 3 issues ago, Anna Fortune, already had fans dressed up as her for the convention.

Freddie E. Williams II revealed that he is currently working on issue 11 of "JSA All Stars." He also said he had an incredible time drawing an upcoming scene with Power Girl in which she is isolated by herself in Los Angeles as evil gods attack the city.

Former DC publisher and current "Legion" writer Paul Levitz began by thanking the crowd before saying that issues 4 and 5 of "Legion of Super Heroes" finishes up the "Earth-Man's Choice" arc, which will wrap up the dilemma of who should be the future's Green lantern.

Coming up in that series, fans will see Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl fight for their children, a new Legion election, and Phil Jimenez will guest illustrate one of the stories in issue 5. Also, #6 will feature the return of the Legion Academy, with some returning students along with brand new ones.

Levitz also mentioned that "the next issue of 'Adventure Comics,' I'll guarantee will either be loved or intensely hated by long time fans."

J.T. Krul then spoke a bit about his upcoming run on "Teen Titans." Damian Wayne, the new Robin, will be poking his head around during his run, and Ravager "just has to be on the team." More members will be stopping by as time goes on. Krul's first arc will be 4 issues, and will debut a new villain for the team, while the second arc will be 3 issues and will debut a brand new character and member of the team, although the writer said there may be a quick glimpse of the new character in the first issue of his run.

Nicola Scott shared her thoughts on drawing "Teen Titans" for the first time, "I got a 7 page brief of character breakdowns....it couldn't get any better," she said. "It's my first time drawing about every single one of them."

Tony Bedard's critically acclaimed "R.E.B.E.L.S." will finally see Lobo join the team as a member, "I've been begging for him since the beginning. Upcoming storylines will see Vril Dox pitting his "Justice for profit" team against the Green Lantern Corps, as well as Lobo versus Brainiac.

Fans took control of the panel at this point and began asking questions, the first of which being for J.T. Krul on how he will depict Bart Allen, Kid Flash. "Bart still has that innocent, lighthearted side, but he's grown past the Impulse personality...he's more like Changeling (in Wolfman and Perez's run)."

Krul and Nicola Scott were also asked who their favorite adult and teen Titans were. For Scott, "Dick Grayson, he's awesome, he's friends with everyone in the DC Universe...And Donna Troy." The artist couldn't decide on her favorite teen because she's still discovering how much she likes them and cannot yet make a decision.

Krul agreed with Scott on his favorite adult Titan, "Amazing to see Dick grow into Batman...It's an exciting progression of the character. My favorite teen Titan is Ravager." He described the young heroine as dynamic, emotionally vulnerable and tough. "Damian and Ravager in the same room is a lot of fun to write."

Asked about whom he enjoys working with the most, James Robinson jokingly replied, "I'm a dirty whore." The writer enjoys working with just about everyone.

Paul Levitz was asked about the current status of Cosmic Boy and Night Girl's relationship, "There is an interesting moment coming up soon," is all the writer could say.

Robinson then chimed him with a request for Levitz. "I said the same thing to Geoff ]Johns, who wrote the 'Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes' arc re-introducing the classic Legion], please don't change Sun Boy's costume. It's great." Levitz agreed, though he did say it may be slightly altered soon, but will still basically be the same design.

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