At Comic-Con International 2015 in San Diego, DC Comics’ Justice League saw their solo adventures highlighted in both the film and comics divisions. And when it came to the four-color adventures of DC pantheon, a bevy of new details arrived to the “Justice For All” panel Friday afternoon.
Joining the discussion were the “Wonder Woman” team of Meredith and David Finch, “Flash” co-writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen, “Cyborg” writer David Walker, “Earth 2: Society” writer Daniel H. Wilson and “Dr. Fate” writer Paul Levitz.
The panel started with a roundup of all the creators titles as Wilson explained his pitch for how to make “Earth 2: Society” a new start after the literally earth-shattering events of the recent “Worlds End” weekly. “Our first issue really focuses on Dick Grayson as Batman,” he said. “What I’m doing in each issue is focusing on a different character from Sandman to Terry Sloane and watch them build this new world.” As a roboticist by day, Wilson said he’s playing with high sci-fi concepts including two suns in the solar system that Earth 2 inhabits — a small detail that will change the face of this new planet and its society in strange ways.
“Wonder Woman” got a new look and a new mission with June’s #41. “Diana had a lot of stuff going on in our first arc trying to balance all her roles — god of war, Justice League member, Superman’s girlfriend and now queen of the Amazons,” Meredith Finch said. She said that with the idea of killing a god to take their title being established by Brian Azzarello, Diana now has “a big target on her back” as she attempts to reform and find forgiveness for the New 52 version of Donna Troy who did some very unexpected bloodshedding earlier in the series.
The writer joked that she included a Pegasus in this series in part because her husband is great at drawing things with feathers. “When you’re doing a comic book, you can do anything you want…so we did a flying horse,” the artist said.
Walker noted that his “Cyborg” book is the first time the character has ever had an ongoing series of his own. “There’s a lot of world building going on here,” he explained. “We’re doing a lot of building up of the supporting cast, so we’re going to see Silas Stone, Dr. Morrow and the Metal Men will be showing up at some point.”
The writer went on to say that he worked on every detail of Vic Stone’s life — including how he goes to the bathroom. But the main conflict early in the series will be with a group of aliens who want to strip mine the hero for his technology. “They’re kind of scary and creepy, but they’re cool looking. It’s got a sci-fi feel, but there’s a real horror element to it too. I was watching a James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’ over and over again for inspiration,” Walker said.
Levitz was heartened at the response to the first issue of “Doctor Fate,” but promised “We’ve just begun.” Khalid Nasour is tasked with becoming a mystic hero, going to med school and battling the god of death Anubis who is ready to bring about his own version of end times to modern society. Upcoming stories bring in the idea of the hero “reaching out to god…or at least some interesting interpretations of god.”
“The Flash” is returning to the mystery at the heart of Barry Allen — the death of his mother — with the incoming issue #42. “As Barry deals with the truth of what happened to his mother and tries to get his father out of prison…we’re also seeing Professor Zoom who really doesn’t like the Flash and has some awful, awful plans for him that will play out over the next several issues,” Jensen said. And as this battle rages, the Barry’s father escapes prison with a team of supervillains including Girder.
Incoming is “The Flash Annual” #4 which will tell the secret origin of Zoom and reveal something new about Barry’s powers which has never been seen before.
Going deeper into each team’s plans, the Finches spoke about Donna Troy’s evolving role in their series. “I want her to struggle with how to figure out how to be a good person considering what she’s done,” Merefith Finch said. “She’s like a baby. She came out of a cauldron in issue #36 and had no experience with the world….I see her going forward as more of an anti-hero. She has a ruthlessness to her, and she can’t just be a mini Wonder Woman.”
Walker said that his main focus in “Cyborg” would be to push the science fiction of the series forward. Looking back at how the character was first portrayed in the ’80s, the writer explained, his bionic limbs are actually a reality now. So now the challenge is to find new ideas for what it means to be a cyborg. “We shouldn’t be thinking of him as the iPhone 7 or 8…we should be thinking of him as the iPhone 8000,” he explained, noting that the character story will revolve around how much he gives himself over to that science. “I think that the villains force him to act more like a machine and give up his humanity. In a way, his dad is almost a villain because he loves that his son is a cyborg.”
“The Flash” creators said that while there are many similarities right now between their stories and the arc of the CW TV show, it’s mostly synchronicity. “We have conversations about the tone of the show — the fun of it,” Jensen said. “But everything with Professor Zoom and Barry’s dad being on the run? We had that all plotted out and then saw the episodes, and it was ‘Great minds think alike.'”
Meredith Finch also shared that she’ll continue to update some classic members of the “Wonder Woman” world. “I really love the Silver Swan. A story idea has been percolating around for her, so she’s probably the next villain we’d bring back. I’d like to reinvent the rogue’s gallery,” she said.
Stay tuned all weekend for all the news from Comic-Con 2015!
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