DC Metal and DC New Age of Heroes have arrived at New York Comic Con. Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Steve Orlando, Justin Jordan, Frank Tieri, James Tynion IV, Robert Venditti and Joshua Williamson stopped by the convention to discuss their upcoming DC Comics initiatives.
"First, let me just say thank you, guys... The fact that you guys have sold out all the one-shots... It's beyond our wildest dreams," Snyder shared. He recalled how he pitched the story to Capullo and how Capullo wanted in as soon as he heard the title "Metal."
"It's largely about waking up and the versions of yourself that you see around you are not the ones you like," he explained. "It's a reminder of this medium's potential... It just gets crazier and crazier… There are Joker dragons!"
"Guess what? Everyone of them has their own evil Batcave," he said.
"It's a huge collaborative effort," he continued.
"We wanted each of these stories to stand alone as something really, truly special," Tynion added. "My favorite events, going all the way back... but some of my favorite moments... happened in those little crossover miniseries... We want to create an entire ecosystem of freakin' awesome comics..."
Tynion described the Batman Who Laughs as the version of Batman who killed the Joker. However, in killing the Joker, Batman became infected, which resulted in the shutdown of Batman's moral centers. When he realized, he brought the Bat-family to the cave and told them of it, only to turn and destroy them.
"Scott usually gives me his thoughts," Capullo said of his character design. "Sometimes I land close and sometimes I land far. For the Batman Who Laughs, he goes, 'Maybe he has no eyes.' For the Aquaman Batman, he told me steampunk... I just take that and kind of run with it..." He added that he had some difficulty describing his approach, as it happens naturally. "The pencil does it for me... let the mind go."
Williamson spoke on the series Bats Out of Hell. "The core of this is the Justice League vs. the Dark Knights," Williamson explained. "They go and put them in these elaborate Bat caves... It gets brutal... People are going to come through these four issues changed. Cyborg is going to find himself for the first time plugged into the multiverse... We're upgrading Cyborg. From this point forward, this is Cyborg 1,000,000..."
Joshua Williamson announced his new series Flash War, featuring covers by Howard Porter and interior art by Christian Duce. The first issue goes on sale January 31. "Let's see who's the best Flash... that's one of the ramifications that comes out of Metal... We have Flash War coming out."
Co-publisher Dan Didio also introduced The Immortal Men by James Tynion with art and covers by Jim Lee and Scott Williams. "It's an entire, new layer that Jim and I are sort of adding on… The idea that, if humans can build a cathedral over many lifetimes, then what can an immortal build?"
"I feel like I started in an age where they stopped adding a new thing into these universes," he explained. "That era was done, and I felt like I kind of missed my chance. So, to be a part of something that takes that classic thing... you've got to keep throwing new ideas... and tell new types of stories." He described the series as "the secret history of the DC Universe."
"This launches right out of the context of Metal... We might be seeing the Batman Who Laughs in that first issue." According to Tynion, the Batman Who Laughs knew about the Immortal Men on his own world.
Didio also brought up Damage #1 by Robert Venditti with covers and art by Tony S. Daniel and Danny Miki. "We have Wonder Woman in the first arc," Venditti shared. "For the second arc, Cary Nord is going to come in and draw... So I made up a story with Poison Ivy and Gorilla Grodd."
As to The Silencer #1 by Dan Abnett, John Romita Jr. and Sandra Hope, Didio said, "It's basically the world's greatest assassin is retired." However, then Talia al Ghul shows up at her house and brings her back into the fold, despite the fact that she now has a family. "For movie fans, it's a little bit of Long Kiss Goodnight meets John Wick."
For Sideways #1 by Dan Didio, Justin Jordan and Kenneth Rocafort, Didio said, "With this one young kid, basically falls through a crack in reality and comes out on the other side of Gotham city." This will give him the ability to create rifts and step through them, but every rift he creates causes damage to the multiverse.
"So he's a kid who's grown up rather as we did, looking at superheroes.... He's like, 'Alright, I've got superpowers. Obviously, I've got to be a superhero,'" Jordan explained.
Next, Didio moved onto The Terrifics by Jeff Lemire, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. "We came up with a fantastic idea," Didio said to a round of laughs.
"He pitched this idea to me while I was working on Metal," Snyder recalled. "Metal is largely just one step in sort of a longer design for you guys... Any crazy thing can be out there, and we want the DCU to feel that way to you guys... There might be a whole other realm of the DC Universe that you don't know." According to Snyder, Lemire wants "to explore the unknown" with the book.
Didio announced The Curse of Brimstone #1 by Justin Jordan and Philip Tan, which goes on sale February 14. "This is our horror book," he said.
"It's about a kid, he's about 20-years-old... he's watched the town die in his lifetime," Jordan explained. This character will meet a person called the Salesman, who gives him the ability to turn into a character called Brimstone. Anytime he uses Brimstone, it's "worse than whatever he's trying to fight." "It's kind of looking at that idea of when you make a bargain for power out of desperation, then you have to live with that for life," he said. "We're taking a look at that horror aspect." He compared Brimstone to lighting a forest fire to end a forest fire.
Next up, Didio offered Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Josh Williamson, Doug Mahnke and Ivan Reis. "We had more story than we could use," Snyder explained. "Detective Chimp, Flash, Cyborg... the Dark Knights are chasing them through all the worlds that Grant [Morrison] created."
"Detective Chimp is this passion character for me," he added.
Orlando weighed in on his series The Unexpected. "It's a team of enemies that just happen to hate each other slightly less than anything else going on in this universe... These are all people who have made huge mistakes..." Neon the Unknown will be a member of the team. Ascendant, the ruler of the world who comes from a species of orc, who Orlando described as "the Jane Goodall of humans"; Firebrand, "our main connection to Metal who was injured and experimented upon" and must get in a fight every 24-hours to survive"; and Viking Judge, "the continuation of Viking Prince and... Viking Commando," will also be on the team. Viking Judge is connected to her axe and lives through the body of her descendant.
"They're all people who think they've done something unforgivable," he explained.
"After Metal... Metal sets up things in every book in a way... we're going to moneyball all the teams, so you get Starro, Sinestro, Superman for a special story that rolls out of Metal," Snyder revealed.
Written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo, Dark Knights: Metal #3 goes on sale October 11.