NYCC LIVE: DC Universe

Welcome to CBR's live coverage of DC Comics' DC Universe panel at New York Comic Con with panelists Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, Philip Tan, Dan Jurgens, Sean McKeever, James Robinson, Keith Giffen, Peter Tomasi, Mike Carlin, Ian Sattler and Dan DiDio.

DiDio threw the floor to some of the panelists to discuss in brief some of the projects that have been discussed over the course of the weekend, such as the Superman developments in "World of New Krypton" and the other Super-titles and "Adventure Comics."

Peter Tomasi said "Green Lantern Corps" will be "getting into some pretty serious stuff on Oa. Nothing is going to be the same on Oa in the next couple of months, and it's all leading into Blackest Night. There'll be a lot of changes in the characters. A new law will be introduced that will press some major buttons. We'll also see relationships develop with Kyle. Some major, major changes in three places: Oa, Corigur and Daxam."

Philip Tan discussed designing the Vega system. "Green Lantern is basically Lord of the Rings in space, and my part is basically full of Gollums." Tan said he enjoyed designing lots of disgusting creatures and not being told to tone it down.

Johns said the Orange Lantern storyline will reveal why the Guardians made a pact with the Vegans not to police their sector.

Johns additionally announced that "Blackest Night" officially begins in July with Free Comic Book Day's "Blackest Night" #0 with art by Ivan Reis.

Keith Giffen revealed that he will be bringing back the Doom Patrol. "Way too much pressure," he said. Giffen asked the crowd if they liked Morrison's run on the series. After a loud applause, Giffen remarked, "You're going to be really disappointed."

Giffen said the mission with "Doom Patrol" is to make the series "accessible" to fans of the DC Universe.

Giffen then asked why DiDio disliked the Justice League International, and DiDio denied any such feeling. JLI artist Kevin Maguire then took the stage to announce he would be drawing a 10-page Metal Men backup series in Giffen's "Doom Patrol."

Booster Gold and Magog will team up in "Brave & The Bold" #23 by Dan Jurgens. Keith Giffen will guest-write an issue of "Booster Gold" starring Sgt. Rock that takes place in the 1950s, following the conclusion of the "Reality Lost" storyline. After that, Booster goes back to the origins of the Titans for a Dick Grayson-centric storyline.

May will see some "Final Crisis Aftermath" books. There will be four six-issue miniseries. Ian Sattler guaranteed that there will be "one moment in each issue of each series that you will not believe we actually pulled in the DCU."

The Aftermath books include: "Final Crisis Aftermath: Run," starring the Human Flame. "Basically this guy is in a coma at the end of Final Crisis. The heroes hate him. The villains think he sold them out to Libra. His only chance at survival is to run. The whole world hates him and he is full of dumb, dumb, dumb decisions. The idea is to see if evolution really doesn't want you in the DCU anymore."

There's also "Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape," which stars Nemesis ad the Global Peace Agency.

"Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink" follows the adventures of the Tattooed Man, who is now an honorary member of the Justice League. "The book is about being addicted to evil and what happens when you can't stay away from the bottle."

The last book is "Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance," starring the Super Young Team. "These kids went out and they wanted to learn what it was like to be a hero. But guess what? But nobody knows what happened. They're just corporate shills. This is a pretty sleazy book, this one."

Sattler said there's "something" coming out of each of these books that will affect the DCU as a whole.

Geoff Johns then discussed "The Flash: Rebirth," which comes out on April 1, confirming that Bart Allen is back and will play a big part in the book.

As for the Teen Titans, Sean McKeever said the team is going through a membership drive that will eventually see a team of eight members. April's "Teen Titans Annual" will see Jericho try to "out-Deathstroke Deathstroke."

In "Trinity" news, editor Mike Carlin said "We're in the home-stretch. This series has been pretty amazing for the simple fact that Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley have done every issue so far. We're down to single issues in terms of how many we have left to do. It's really amazing. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as you've seen, are not necessarily on stage for the whole show. But it's about why the DC Universe has to have them in it, or it's not the DC Universe. We're trying to get them back in the storyline in the next month or two. I think you'll be pretty impressed with their supporting characters who're rescuing them for a change."

DiDio explained that DC is focusing strongly on its main franchises: Superman with New Krypton, Batman with Battle for the Cowl, Flash: Rebirth with Barry Allen and Bart Allen back, Blackest Night with Green Lantern; Wonder Woman with the rise of the Olympian; Justice Society of America with Black Adam and then Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges taking over; and the Final Crisis Aftermath material.

"We want this to be the biggest year possible for DC Comics. It's not going to just be about Blackest Night, but all the books and all the storylines are going to be there for you," he said.

Fan questions:

- What happens first, Batman RIP or Final Crisis? DiDio answered by recapping the PowerPoint presentation from yesterday.

- What does the future hold for the Terror Titans? They will be in "Teen Titans."

- Will Sornick die by virtue of being involved with Kyle Raynor? No answer!

- Has there ever been a comic book series that was cancelled, and it broke your heart? The panelists mentioned "Chase" and "Suicide Squad."

- Will any of the various dead JLI characters be Black Lanterns? Yes.

- What's the future of the Legion or the different versions of the Legion? Read the Superman books and "Adventure Comics. "

- What is the Fifth World? DiDio: The Fifth World is going to be the interpretation of the DC Universe after Blackest Night. We're calling it the fifth generation of the DC Universe.

- Will there be solo stories about the multi-colored Lanterns? Yes.

- Will Thomas and Martha Wayne be Black Lanterns? No.

- Will there be another Robin after Tim Drake? Yes.

- What effect does Nemesis have on Wonder Woman's book? Sadness.

- Where will Simon Dark appear again? Don't know.

- I was really looking forward to the end of Jim Shooter's run on "Legion of Super-Heroes." Can you tell us what happened there and why fans weren't informed of the creative change? DiDio: Well, first of all, that is a pseudonym, it's done by request of the author and we really don't talk about it. We finished and cancelled and put the book out the door. I'm not really sure what the question is, but thanks for asking it.

- How long has Geoff Johns known he wanted to do Blackest Night? Since "Green Lantern: Rebirth."

- Will Static Shock appear outside Teen Titans? If he catches on.

- Will Superwoman get her own series? Keep reading "Supergirl.

And that concludes the DC Universe panel.

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