SAN DIEGO, DAY 2: DC, WildStorm round-up

DC Comics talked about a wide variety of upcoming projects in panels Friday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, including Batman and DC Universe works.

[Batman by Jim lee]In what is a dream pairing for many fans, artist Jim Lee will be joining Jeph Loeb on "Batman." And don't worry about Lee's sometimes not-great-timeliness ... at least for a while.

"I'm on the sixth issue, so I can guarantee you that at least five issues will be released on time," Lee said at a Friday Batman panel. "Every issue has something new to offer."

Lee didn't do any particular research on the Dark Knight before beginning to draw the series, just relying on his memory of past artists' interpretations of the character.

"If you don't know how to draw Batman, you should get out of the business."

[Gotham Central]Fans have been waiting for years for "Gotham Central," with art by Michael Lark and co-written by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker.

"It's a continuing series about what it's like to be a cop when every time you can't solve a case, someone goes up to the roof and turns on the Batsignal," Brubaker said. "And then the guy comes into the room, takes out the Joker, ruins all the evidence, and it's like 'well, he didn't have a warrant.'"

Brubaker is moving off "Batman" to "Detective Comics." With the GCPD getting their own series with "Gotham Central," the detective stories in "Detective" focus more closely on Batman himself.

"The first six issues is a big 'Detective Comics' mystery about who is picking off members of Batman's rogues gallery. It's the most fun I've ever had doing Batman."

Tim Sale contributes covers on six issue story.

Fans of the Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon "Robin: Year One" should be on the look out for next year's nine issue "Batgirl: Year One" limited series.

[Lobo]Keith Giffen returns to an (in)famous DC Comics character of the 1980s and 1990s with "Lobo Unbound." The six issue mature readers series, written by Giffen with art by Alex Horley will be fully painted and DC promises the most over-the-top Lobo to date.

Writer Judd Winick said that "Green Lantern" is undergoing some dramatic changes, including a change in title, for an extended year-long storyline.

"Something very dramatic happens to Kyle Rayner, and it gives him a very different perspective on being a superhero, and protecting innocent people," Winick said.

More Green Lantern action will be coming in 2003, with a new "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" miniseries co-written by Winick and Ben Raab, with art by Charlie Adlard.

"Well, Kyle and Ollie hate each other. And by the time the series is over, well, they'll hate each other," Winick said of the no-longer-dead original Green Arrow and the current Green Lantern. "Basically, Hal Jordan was Ollie's best friend, and now there's this 25 year old running around in the costume. And he doesn't care that he's become a great hero."

[JLA: Secret Origins]Also undergoing a shake-up will be "JLA." After the Obsidian Age storyline that brings back Aquaman, "It will be a different JLA," writer Joe Kelly said. "It won't be the classic big seven. It will be different."

Look for DC to publish Aquaman Archives, Thunder Agent Archives, more Detective Comics Archives, and an 80 Page Giant Wonder Woman annual reprint in 2003.

This years's Paul Din/Alex Ross oversized book, "JLA: Secret Origins" leads up a 2003 full of Alex Ross JLA merchandise, ending in a second JLA project: "Liberty and Justice."

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