width="127" height="190" alt="" align="right" border="0">DC's main Saturday event at Wizard World Philly opened with a trailer to the upcoming "Superman Returns," which will open Wednesday, June 28th, rather than the 30th as previously announced. From there, DC's Dan Didio discussed upcoming DC projects, including "52," "Justice League of America" and "Batwoman."
Didio was joined by DC's Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne as well as Shane Davis and Rags Morales. As the panel progressed, some stragglers trickled in, including Jimmy Palmiotti and Andy Kubert.
The opening slide show began with the cover to "52" Week 18, featuring Doctor Fate and Detective Chimp. Didio announced that weeks 5 and 6 are where the story really starts to take off, as the ramifications of the return of the space heroes at the end of week 4 begin to become clear. A space storyline will open up and the question of what happened to Alan Scott's eye, and who has it, will be explored. Didio denied that it had anything to do with the Emerald Eye of Ekron.
Coming in August will be the new "Justice League of America" book by Brad Meltzer. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are the only announced members of the new team, and the first few issues will feature a recruitment drive. Before that, however, will be a zero issue in July, also by Meltzer. The three founding members of the Justice League meet every year on the anniversary of its founding to discuss whether they still think the League is a good idea. The book will explore the past, present and future of the league through these discussions.
"JSA" will be relaunched in October, written by Geoff Johns with Alex Ross consulting. New characters will be introduced. "Wonder Woman" is also being relaunched, written by Allan Heinberg with art by Terry & Rachel Dodson. The first issue will also have an alternate cover by Adam Kubert. Initial issues will explore the ramifications of Wonder Woman killing Maxwell Lord.
We know that the new "Flash" book will be written by Paul DeMeo and Danny Bilson, who were previously involved with the "Flash" TV series, and drawn by Ken Lashley, but we do not know who the Flash will be. Didio offered one statement: "Barry Allen is not coming back. Move on!"
The successful "Green Lantern Corps" mini series will be followed later this month by an ongoing series by Dave Gibbons with art by Patrick Gleason and Prentis Rollins. For more on "Green Lantern Corps," check out our recent interview with Gibbons here.
There will be a number of hero crossovers in the coming months. Hawkman will soon be returning in "Hawkgirl," and the Doom Patrol and Metamorph will be appearing in "Justice" #7. "Teen Titans" #39 will feature the all-new Zatara, and the Suicide Squad will return in "Checkmate" #5. The Doom Patrol will fight the Secret Six in "Secret Six" #4.
Readers can sample six upcoming new books in the low-priced 80-page special "Brave New World." The book will feature the new "Atom," "Martian Manhunter," "OMAC," "Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters," and "The Trials of Shazam." The books themselves all debut in July and August. The Atom will be a new character, and Martian Manhunter will be a changed character. As he will discover, he may not be the last surviving Martian.
"Mystery in Space" is a new 8-issue mini series written by Jim Starlin. The lead story will be a murder mystery starring Captain Comet and drawn by Starlin. It will flow out of events in "52." There will also be a backup story featuring The Weird drawn by Jim and Al Milgrom.
Following events in The Rann-Thanagar War, the Omega Men continue to fight the Spider Guild in a new "Omega Men" mini-series beginning in October. Written by Anderson Gabrych, the series will be drawn by Henry Flint.
Supergirl will continue to be a part of "Legion of Super Heroes" as long as sales warrant. In August, Brainiac 5's plans to resurrect Dream Girl are finally set into motion.
Matt Wagner will follow his successful Batman and the Monster Men with another riff on an early Batman tale in "Batman and the Mad Monk." A collected edition of "Batman and the Monster Men" will be released in August in conjunction with the first issue of "Batman and the Mad Monk."
"Batman and Son," by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, spins out of the events in "Batman: Son of the Demon," which, not coincidentally, will be reprinted. The story begins in "Batman" #656, on sale in September.
When the floor was opened for questions, Didio again clarified that there are no current plans for a Titans East book, although the Titans East will be appearing in Teen Titans. Of course, if enough readers demand it, a Titans East book could materialize.
There is a project in the works from Steve Gerber now that "Hard Time" has been canceled, but no details are available. James Robinson has been discussing a "Starman" project as well, but again, the project is in its initial stages and may not materialize.
Asked about Batwoman being a "token" character, Didio stated that her sexual orientation is only one aspect of her character. She is a superhero first, and a lesbian somewhere farther down the line. It's not as if she had lesbian super-powers! This led to a round of jokes speculating as to what lesbian powers might be.
The changes in the character of Nightwing and his narrow escape from death, first discussed in the previous day's panel, were mentioned again. Some of the changes will be explained in "Nightwing" #125.
A reader asked about the Milestone characters, specifically Static. Didio would like to use the characters, but they are bound by contractual obligations that will take time to work through.
Roy Harper and Hawk and Dove are among the characters whose fates have not yet been decided. However, Didio stated adamantly that Barbara Gordon will never walk again.