NYCC: DC All Access - The Edge/The Dark

At the DC Comics All Access: The Edge/The Dark panel Saturday at New York Comic Con, the creators behind the DC Edge and Dark books gathered to talk about the titles and upcoming issues.

The panel began as "Swamp Thing" writer Scott Snyder walked onstage. After a few fumbles with the microphone, Snyder told the audience that he was very intimated with tackling the character at first.

"At the end of the day, Swamp Thing is a character that made me want to write comics in the first place," said Snyder. The writer then told the audience when "Brightest Day" started Geoff Johns called Snyder after hearing he liked the character and asked the "Batman" writer him to pitch his ideas.

"My favorite Swamp Thing stories are... a man wrestling with this monster, which is really internal," said Snyder. For his take he wanted to do something different, Snyder told the audience.

"What if it's a monster wrestling with the loss of his humanity, maybe he's a man who deep down knew he had to be that monster?" said Snyder. He added that Abby and the Arcane family represent the opposite force as the Green, called the Rot, as seen in the first issues. He then thanked all the fans for reading, promising to do his best "not to let [them] down" to thunderous applause.

Snyder also showed the cover image from "Swamp Thing" #3, showing a pig monster attacking Alec Holland. According to Snyder the pig is an agent of the Rot who can manipulate rot in people's bodies, "so if you have a cavity he can use that and take over your whole head," said Snyder.

"Animal Man" writer Jeff Lemire came onstage next and said he was not intimidated coming on the book as Animal Man has been done by other writers after Grant Morrison's famous run. "The [characters] can survive different interpretations by different artists and different writers," said Lemire.

Showing a panel of Maxine and Buddy falling through space with animal bones from issue #3, Lemire praised artist Travel Foreman's art. "Travel has an incredible visual imagination," said Lemire, explaining that he often adapted his scripts to what Travel drew.

He also showed a page that introduce the Totems, the Red's version of the Parliament Of Trees, and revealed that Maxine is the true heir to the Red, not Buddy. "What Swamp Thing is to the Green, Maxine is to the Red," said Lemire.

He then switched to "Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E." telling the audience, "This book is the exact opposite of Animal Man in a lot of ways -- it's good to be able to bounce from one book to another."

He then plugged "Frankenstein's" upcoming crossover with "OMAC," saying the two comics would tell the same story from their opposite perspectives. "So you don't have to read OMAC," joked Lemire.

"Hey!" shouted Keith Giffen from the audience as fans cracked up.

Giffen then came onstage, showing an image of Frankenstein punching OMAC, the cover from "OMAC" issue #5.

"I think this is the first time in my career I'm going to draw the book the way I doodle at home," said Giffen of the Kirby-esque style he employs in the book. He then showed a page with OMAC fighting Sergeant Steel. "I think we have five super secret organizations in the DCU right now," said Giffen, saying he wanted to take an "old fashioned" approach to Checkmate to differentiate it.

Joshua Hale Fialkov, the writer of "I, Vampire," came up next to the stage, asking the audience if they read "I, Vampire."

"Because if not, I'm going to go," joked Fialkov as the audience laughed.

He then displayed the cover for issue #5, which showed the main character Andrew staring up at the Bat Signal in the sky. "I don't know what that is!" Fialkov joked again. He also revealed that in issue #4 John Constantine will show up.

The audience broke into thunderous applause as "All-Star Western" co-writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray entered. They showed the cover to issue #5 onscreen, showing Amadeus Arkham and Jonah Hex wading through a cave with bats. Palmiotti then said that in this new series stories will be broken up into three-part tales, rather than their old done-in-one format on "Jonah Hex."

"It felt important to make the book stand out from the 'Jonah Hex' run," said Gray.

"I think Arkham is great!" added Gray.

Showing a page from issue #2 where Jonah Hex is chased on horseback by masked fighters, Palmiotti said he enjoyed incorporating Jonah Hex into the DC universe. "I've been in Artist Alley and I had so many people come up and say, 'I never read Jonah Hex but I love this,'" said Palmiotti. The two also praised the work artist Moritat is doing on the title, making him stand up in the audience as fans applauded.

Writer Andy Lanning then came up to talk about "Resurrection Man" and display the cover of issue #5, which showed Mitch dying as a winged woman punches him through the chest. The original creator of the character along with series co-writer Dan Abnett, Lanning laughed and joked about staying true to the "original creator's intentions."

"I can say Dan and I were big fans," joked Lanning.

"The cool thing was, this was like a reimagining of the Resurrection Man, almost an Ultimate version," said Lanning. Adding that he and Abnett are making Mitch more proactive in this series, he then showed pages where the Body Doubles are fighting a monster made of stone and Mitch is resurrecting with new powers.

"Keep on [buying] the book because I have a mortgage to pay," joked Lanning, adding, "The response on our little corner of the DCU has been really fantastic."

"Men Of War" cover artist Viktor Kalvachev entered to show off slides of upcoming pages including soldiers fighting guerrilla-warfare style in a desert environment. Writer Adam Glass then entered to speak about "Suicide Squad."

"I'm so glad to be doing this family friendly book called 'Suicide Squad,'" joked Glass as the audience laughed.

Showing a page of El Diablo, Black Spider and Deadshot being shot at with a baby in a diner, Glass told the audience, "We're getting into the team dynamics a little more."

Glass also said that now the first issue is out, Harley Quinn fans have stopped telling him they were upset and started saying they liked his take.

"Now I just have to look out for all the Amanda Waller fans!" Glass laughed.

"Blackhawks" writer Mike Costa then came up onstage. "Back in the '90s there [was] a lot of energy in comics and I'm trying to recapture that," said Costa, touching on the art and story in the book. Showing an image of the team in the aftermath of a battle, the next page Costa displayed was of the main villain Titus, a cybernetic ninja.

"I said why not!" laughed Costa. Explaining he writes the comic as "spontaneously as possible" Costa added that he's trying to stick as closely to the real science underpinning as possible.

"I actually went to JPL with an engineer friend of mine to see what the next generation of jets look like," said Costa.

Finally, "Deathstroke" writer Kyle Higgins joined the other panelists onstage, showing a cover image of issue #5 with Deathstroke fighting a man in a purple suit.

"This is not to take away from what others have done, but it's really challenging to have a villain in a book maintain a level of intimidation," said Higgins, adding that he thought in recent years writers have only used him as a cliffhanger. He laughed when the other panelists asked him about killing off all his young teammates in the very first issue.

"Look, he's been trying to kill teenagers for thirty years!" joked Higgins.

Showing an image of Deathstroke in Los Angeles in full gear, Higgins then called the villain a "true warrior," a character who used to fight for glory and kingdoms.

"There are no kingdoms to fight for anymore -- the greatest sign of respect he can get in the modern era is how much someone can pay him," said Higgins. He then showed a page with Deathstroke killing people.

"I think I trump Fialkov in decapitations," laughed Higgins.

"I kill an entire rush hour subway train!" shouted Fialkov.

The floor then opened to a lightning round of questions, the first from a fan who wanted to know if they were going to see more of Deathstroke's family. "Stay tuned," said Higgins.

The next audience member to the microphone asked Snyder if cabbage is actually an anti-inflammatory aid, as Alec Holland uses in the first "Swamp Thing" issue. "Yes, you can wrap it on your knee and it works!" said Snyder before giving a shout out to his mother who was in the audience.

The next fan asked Palmiotti and Gray if Jonah Hex had any super powers. "Sure, he can shoot you from far away," said Palmiotti as the audience laughed.

Giffen then told a disappointed fan that he would not be doing any more "Ambush Bug" and "Doom Patrol." Lemire and Snyder then said there would be a crossover with "Swamp Thing" and "Animal Man" dealing with the Red and the Green coming up soon.

For the very last question a fan wanted to know if Glass rooted for the members of the "Suicide Squad."

"Yes," said Glass and the audience laughed, bringing the panel to a close.

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