FAN EXPO: DC All Access on "Batman," "Detective" and Finch on "JLA"

On the final day of Fan Expo Canada, DC Comics held their "All Access Sunday" panel to discuss upcoming stories, creative team changes, and a special announcement regarding "Justice League of America."

Co-publisher Dan DiDio moderated the panel comprised of "Batman" artist Greg Capullo, "The Dark Knight" artist David Finch, and the newly minted "Detective Comics" artist Jason Fabok.

Greg Capullo began the panel by speaking candidly about "Death of the Family," his highly-anticipated Joker arc in "Batman" written by Scott Snyder. Capullo promised the story will be sick and twisted and could be better than the "Night of the Owls" story. "This is going to be like Joker meets 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre.'"

"I've been at this thing for a long time, and when Scott Snyder gives me a script, I get chills. It gets my nipples hard, y'know?" Capullo told the crowd. "I showed my wife a page of one of the issues involving someone in the Bat family, and she was like, 'Oh my god no!'"

Next, Dan DiDio talked about the new "Phantom Stranger" series debuting in September. He teased that it would provide more information about the Pandora character that appeared in all of the #1 issues of the New 52. "You should read this book because it impacts a lot of the DC Universe."

Artist Jay Fabok, who is illustrating John Layman's stoies on "Detective Comics," said, "I'm relatively new to this thing, but I already got to draw my favorite Batman villain Mr. Freeze in the 'Batman Annual.' And I got to draw Batman, it was awesome. Working with Scott Snyder was one of my career goals, and I've already accomplished that."

The focus then turned to David Finch who, after discussing his upcoming Scarecrow arc on "Dark Knight" with writer Gregg Hurwitz, announced he will be drawing a new "Justice League of America" series for writer Geoff Johns" in 2013. "I've been waiting so long to be able to talk about this with you guys," Finch said. "I'm so excited." He revealed a drawing of the JLA team in great detail, which involves Martian Manhunter, Katana, Vibe, Stargirl, Hawkman, Catwoman, the new Green Lantern and Green Arrow. Finch noted that Martian Manhunter would be the most prominent character in the book because he is the most likely to be a leader, and the most badass.

After this announcement, DiDio opened the floor for questions from the audience, the first of which was about Red Robin, which DiDio then turned back to the audience asking, "Would you guys be interested in a Red Robin ongoing series?" When the crowd erupted with applause, DiDio replied "Just checking. It's something we've definitely been discussing at DC so we wanted to gauge if there is some real interest in this character, and apparently there is."

Will the Riddler show up in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's "Batman?" "I know Scott has expressed some interest in wanting to do a Riddler story, because he's one of the Batman rogues who doesn't really have an origin story," Capullo said. "I have no idea what Scott has planned after the Joker arc, but if it is the Riddler, that would be awesome."

Will Stephanie Brown return to the DC Universe? DiDio, who has been asked this question before, fielded this question with complete honesty. "Sure. Guys, we're only one year into the New 52. Our goal is to establish a well developed and complete DC Universe."

All of the panelists were asked their thoughts on the recent situation with Rob Liefeld in which he walked off three titles and publicly trashed DC editorial, but they all declined to offer comment.

Layman and Fabok take over "Detective Comics" in September and Snyder and Capullo's Joker arc in "Batman" begins in October. "Justice League of America" by Geoff Johns and David Finch launches in 2013.

EDIT: An earlier version of this report incorrectly attributed Jay Fabok discussing a Scarecrow storyline on "Detective Comics." It was actually artist David Finch discussing a "Dark Knight" story.

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