Brian Michael Bendis brought a little wonder to New York Comic Con. On Friday afternoon, Wonder Comics-- his new imprint at DC Comics -- took over the con. Dial H for Hero team Sam Humphries and Joe Quinones, Wonder Twin creatives Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne, Amy Reeder and John Timms offered a little insight into how the line of comics came to be and what's next for the property.
"Well, I guess my side of the story is that I heard that he was going to bring Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld into Young Justice," Reeder teased. "Andy Khori reached out... they wanted me in and, at the time, I was actually more planning to go and do my own creator-own thing... Both Andy and Bendis have been giving me a lot of space to dream things up."
"I really wanted to do fantasy next... I just really wanted to have a place where there's no rules," she explained. "It's been amazing to work on. I believe it comes out in February. A six-issue miniseries. It's all about her in Gemworld. It's a lot of worldbuilding... psychedelic fever-dream stuff... they all ride their different animals... They're going to meet another friend too, who's of the water."
"Her name is actually Amy, which is actually really fun because my name is Amy. So [Bendis] was describing her as Little Ms. Perfect," she recalled. "She's a well-meaning person who cares about doing the right thing... A lot of times, it's easy to take things at face-value," she said, pointing out that sometimes what we are told is right and wrong is not the case. "That's kind of the major theme for her, just kind of pummeling herself a bit... She's going to be among the people."
Asked to use three words to describe the series, she added, "Purple, sparkle, fighting."
"I think, at its heart, we wanted to use space aliens as being a metaphor for being young people," Russell explained. "A lot of it is about the bravery of learning to think for yourself... we're going to make our own mistakes."
"We wanted to have a character who looked vaguely like Lionel Ritchie who dressed as a lion and went by Lion L. Ritchie," he added. However, legal wouldn't let them include it in the book."
"Jordan [Gibson] is our kick-ass colorist," Humphries shared. "This book would not be what it is without what Jordan puts on the page." He explained that the comic transforms around the transformation of the hero as soon as they press the "H" dial. "It's a change in the dialogue and the art style and the lettering."
"It's so much fun. It's a ton of work," Quinones added. "Especially for the second arc, it's not solely comics."
"There's so much mythology about the 'H' dial... and now we get to take all those mysteries and do those one by one," Humphries said.
"There's stuff that we didn't get to play with in the first arc," Quinones pitched in.
"It's been a thrill to see how to people respond to this book... because it is a really goofy Silver Age concept," Humphries said. "The characters transform, the worlds transform... so it really opened up the door for us to interpret how Dial H for Hero would be."
"We embrace all style of comics," he added, "All forms of comics are beautiful and amazing and fun and badass."
According to Russell, he sees the Wonder Twins as one well-adjusted person who "is tragically split in half." "I try to work within that dynamic, where [Jayna] is the soul of the duo, and Zan is the superego of the pair. They complete each other in a way that doesn't always work out well... When they work together, they work together well... it's about learning to take your attributes and traits... to do something meaningful with them."
"Before doing comics, I worked in animation. It's like movies, comics and animation share a lot of stuff, but they are not the same... they're different. It helps with characters like Harley Quinn or in Young Justice," Timm shared. "I like the fighting stuff."
"There is a story, rolling in the background, that will [be] revealed in maybe the next two issues," he teased.
The moderator announced the Wonder Twins and Naomi will soon join Young Justice.
"Mostly, the idea is really that my story is going to come after Amethyst goes back home. She's got to take care of a whole world... [Bendis] is helping set me up with that," Reeder revealed. "One thing that he really wanted to have happen in Gemworld is that he wanted Gem-tech... I'm definitely not doing Sword and Sorcery. Basically, with Gemworld, but it's like 12 realms and they're based on the different Earth stones... so I drew from that. He really likes Dark Lord Opal, so he'll be in there... "
"She comes back home and realizes that all of her people are gone... without a trace. Nobody seems to know what's going on or willing to tell her. That's the premise," she added.