Welcome to CBR's live coverage of DC: Countdown To Crisis at New York Comic Con. Check back to this page every few minutes for news and surprises from Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, Jann Jones, Ian Sadler, Ethan Van Sciver, Sean McKeever, JG Jones, Stephanï¿½ Roux, Dan DiDio and Bob Wayne!
Dan DiDio welcomed the New York audience to the panel, which was completely packed with fans.
DiDio opened the panel with a discussion of DC Universe Zero, which comes out in two weeks and is only fifty cents. "Its one of the most fun experiences I had working with Grant," said Johns.
"What are we supposed to say? We can't tell you what happens. It starts in the Heavens of the DC Universe and ends up in the dark, in front of a strip club. IT kind of sets up all the new stories for the next year. When you read this, the entire tone of the DCU changes, and after it's completely different."
Morrison and Jones mentioned a new Final Crisis character called Most Excellent Superbad. "He has the best super power ever," said Morrison. "But I'm not telling you what it is."
Regarding Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge, Johns said the story depicts Captain Cold being offered a position in the Secret Society, but he says no. The Society doesn't take no for an answer. "And they fight," said Johns.
DiDio then discussed TRINITY, for which Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley will create twelve pages a week with backup material by Fabian Nicieza and a rotating team of artists.
Regarding Rann/Thanagar: Holy War by Jim Starlin, Sadler said the book ties together storylines that have been setup over the last couple years. It involves Lady Styx, and "it's all-out war in space."
"This is the devil you know versus the devil you don't know," said Sadler of REIGN IN HELL. The story involves all the mystic characters of the DCU.
Morrison said of Batman RIP, "He doesn't rest in peace. There's no rest for Batman. THis is a big culmination for Batman. It's got the the scarriest Joker you've ever seen. Tony Daniel has him as a cross between Joe Gray and a road accident."
In Wonder Woman, Gail Simone said future stories feature someone who believes they've discovered a mathematical formula to defeat Wonder Woman. Additionally, someone tries to create their own amazons, with a new Wonder Woman -- who is a man. Or "Manazon," DiDio insists, although Simone refers to him as The Olympian.
Roux said, "I like all the DC characters, and I like drawing girls," so his work on BIRDS OF PREY works out well for him. Roux is also the illustrator behind the "villain" ads seen in many DC books.
DiDio then discussed a new project called JOKER'S ASYLUM, a five-week event that focuses on the various members of Batman's rogues gallery.
Dwayne McDuffie will continue to write JLA, including a Van Sciver-illustrated Final Crisis tie-in issue coming soon.
The slide for JSA: Welcome To Earth-2 was met with loud applause from the fans. The Jerry Ordway-drawn Annual finds Power Girl meeting Huntress and other Earth-2 characters. "And they fight," said Johns.
DiDio then displayed a slide for the new POWER GIRL ongoing series by artist Amanda Conner and writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.
The slide for BOOSTER GOLD was met with huge applause. Johns explained that in issue #1,000,000, Booster meets Peter Platinum, "a character who's a hundred times more arrogant. We also find out who Rip Hunter is."
A slide was then shown for Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade," edited by Jann Jones. "We've been getting a lot of requests for an all-ages Supergirl book," she said. Linda Lee will draw the project.
BillY Batson and the Magic of Shazam, by Mike Kunkel, is coming out very soon, with the first arc tackling Black Adam.
"Series like this is something that we've heard consistently over the last couple of years," said DiDio. "Hopefully this is a way to bring young kids into enjoying the comic book experience."
"Thanks to everybody for reading Green Lantern," said Geoff Johns. "We learn about the masacre of sector 666 and what the Guardians had to do with that, which leads into Blackest Night." Future arcs will feature the Orange Lantern, who Johns said is his favorite Lantern character.
Gail Simone then announced a new Secret Six ongoing series, which the audience reacted to thunderously. Catman, Deadshot, Scandal, Ragdoll and an A-list Batman villain. Also a new character created with Nicola Scott, called Jeanette. Scott will illustrate the book. "It is literally going to be the most ballsy DCU book out there," Simone said. "TWO red headed women. How about that?"
DiDio confirmed All Star Batman & Robin is continuing, to which one audience member screamed, "WHY?" He was booed heavily.
Morrison confirmed that Frank Quitely has finished drawing the second-to-last issue of All Star Superman. "I don't want to save too much, but the last page of the last issue is one of my favorite ever endings that I've done."
DiDio then turned the floor over to questions.
A Blue Beetle fan wanted to know if Ted Kord is around for good or not. "I can't tell you that," said Johns.
"What is going on in SUPERGIRL? Because I have no clue," asked a fan. Ian Sadler said to hold on tight, and that Supergirl will be more closely linked to the Superman titles.
"Supergirl is going to be integral to the SUperman plans for the rest of the year," Johns confirmed. "We've got a story that will kind of tilt her on her head -- but in a good way."
A fan wanted to know if Stephane Roux had plans to draw interiors. He answered the question French so as to completely confuse everybody, but the gist is that he plans to draw something "soon."
"So you can kill Batman but there's still no Batwoman book? What's up with that?" asked a fan.
"We're not killing Batman!" DiDio said.
"Okay, then where's the Batwoman book?" DiDio consulted the two Mary Marvel-costumed fans standing beside him before answering, "We got nothing."
A fan asked if after Final Crisis there will be just one Legion in continuity, to which Johns laughed, "You know I can't tell you that."
Morrison added, "There might be one but with about 300 guys in it."
In response to a fan's question about continuity, multiple earths and etc., Morrison said that he and Johns will be writing nearly everything pertaining to such things, and that "It will all make sense for the first time ever."
Morrison indicated that Dick Grayson will be a major fixture in upcoming BATMAN issues. "You'll be seeing quite a lot of DICK in BATMAN!" he laughed.
Another fan asked about the role of Seven Soldiers in Final Crisis. Morrison confirmed Frankenstein appears in the series. As to returning to Klarion, Morrison said he loved the character but doubted he'd ever get around to writing another story about him.
In response to a fan's question, Geoff Johns said both GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS will explore the various Latern factions leading up to Blackest Night, and some of those factions make appearances in DC UNIVERSE ZERO.
"Any chance Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison can bring us back a kick-ass Aquaman?" Morrison said in Final Crisis #6, Aquaman fights the Deep Six from NEW GODS.
The panel indicated the events of Batman: RIP will "completely" change the dynamic of both BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS.
Is there any chance Morrison will write Animal Man in any capacity again? "He'll probably turn up in Final Crisis, but I won't be writing an Animal Man book again."
In the Legion Of Three Worlds #1, the Legion goes into the Phantom Zone to rescue Mon-El, and they meet General Zod. "And they fight," Johns said.
Are there plans for stories to take place on the 52 worlds? Morrison said one of the fill-in books of Final Crisis is called SUPERMAN BEYOND and features several alternate Superman teaming up.
Where is Barry Allen? DiDio consulted the Mary Marvels again, and both agreed that all Flashes are going to die.
"We've seen Superman's son, Batman's kids, the Flash's kids -- when are we going to see Hal Jordan's bastard child?" asked a fan.
"Hal Jordan's a version," Johns said,
Johns also indicated Superman's current continuity origin will be resolved in 2009.
"I heard you're canceling Catwoman and I'm pretty pissed off about it," asked a female fan. The panel said Catwoman will continue to appear in the Batman books. "Not good enough," she said. The audience seemed to agree.
Regarding Zatanna, the panel said she is definitely appearing in REIGN IN HELL, and possibly in a Paul Dini project in the future.
A fan asked whether Superboy would rise from the dead in BLACKEST NIGHT, and Johns admitted he'd never thought of it.
Will 8th grade Supergirl have a super cat? "Yes she will," Jann Jones confirmed.
A fan sasked Morrison to eulogize the Martian Manhunter: "He was a good man. He was a kind man. He was a green man."
What is Morrison doing after Final Crisis? "Sleeping for a year."
Is Connor Hawke in Final Crisis? "Yes, everybody is in Final Crisis."
Why aren't characters like Aquaman and Hawkman given more high profile creative teams? "They'd still only sell fifteen copies!" Morrison said.
Is Vic Sage really dead? "As far as we know he died of cancer. You'll have to ask Greg Rucka."
After Final Crisis, Morrison plans to just write BATMAN and no other superheroes.