“Supergirl.” “The Flash.” “Arrow.” “Batman v Superman.” What do these have in common? Why, they’re all based off original DC Comics characters, of course! At Comic-Con International in San Diego, Ariana Loughly, John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, Daniel Sampere, Sterling Gates, Cat Staggs, Marv Wolfman and Tom Taylor appeared to discuss the process of adaption DC Comics material for the screen.
Asked how his comic series “Dark Archer” developed, John Barrowman said, “It’s funny, because it’s actually the same process in television. I was having a meeting with Geoff Johns… I went in with a proposal, and I mentioned to my sister that I might bring up the Dark Archer and Malcolm Merlyn… There’s not a lot of backstory.”
“I said, ‘How about letting my sister [Carole] and I… create a Merlyn backstory with your oversight,'” he continued, explaining how Carole came to live with him for a month so that they could develop the story together.
“When I learned about the project, I was excited, because I think Malcolm Merlyn is the greatest guy in the show,” Sempere said. “It’s the truth!”
“They sent [his drawings] to me, and I thought, ‘He’s pretty good,'” John Barrowman pitched in.
“I tried to add some comic book look to his face, so that it doesn’t look like a picture,” Sempere added.
“He found it!” Carole Barrowman said.
“It’s incredible to see yourself. It’s like one of those dreams you have, and it’s surreal, but it’s totally awesome,” John Barrowman shared.
Carole Barrowman also emphasized her excitement at including strong female characters in the “Dark Archer” series.
Gates addressed his “Adventures of Supergirl” series, which is based on the “Supergirl” television series. He recalled how he was given the scripts from the very first episode and recounted, “We had a road map, where I could dance between episodes. The idea was tell a story set in ‘Supergirl’s’ episodes… but don’t step on any of the episodes.”
Staggs, who draws the covers for the series, added, “I’ve been drawing likenesses since I was a kid, so it’s not something that is a challenge for me. So I kind of cheated, since I’ve been doing it my whole life. I actually love working with properties.”
Wolfman took the microphone next. “We’re all fans; we love the medium… to get to do professionally and for work what you created in your mind, from the age of five on — to now be able to turn that into actual stories that get picked up… With the Titans, it’s fascinating, but to see them on TV… this morning, I’m coming down for breakfast… and the episode of ‘Teen Titans Go!’ is closing, and I see my name!” He went on to discuss how much he enjoys the latest iteration of the Teen Titans in “Teen Titans Go!”
Referring to Deathstroke, he added, “They did him so well on ‘Arrow.’ They are the sweetest people on the planet; they sent me a Deathstroke mask. These things are incredibly well made. They’re made for people — you can actually see out of the black eyes — and more importantly, they treated the character with respect… The respect shown to all of our creations is wonderful. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
“I’m doing a six-part ‘Raven’ miniseries, which I think is really cool,” he revealed. “I have one more issue to go, and I want to thank DC publicly. They asked me to do this a year and a half ago, and the very next day I had an accident where I broke my hip and I couldn’t work for six months… I thought they would give it to someone else, but they didn’t.”
“I am returning to the ‘Injustice’ world,” Taylor announced. “I have this freedom on this book… they’re like, ‘Here you get to write Superman, and you get to torture him. Enjoy!'”
“As a guy who loves Superman, I immediately called my mum and said, ‘I love Superman, and they want me to do THIS!'” he recalled. “It’s great to come back to the world that I helped build, then helped destroy.”
Asked which incarnation of Nightwing is his favorite, Wolfman said, “Which is your favorite child? I love them all. Personally… the original ‘Teen Titans.’ I wrote several episodes… I really like what they did with ‘Raven.'”
“We wanted to kill a particular animal right away, for reasons we had mapped out later, and I don’t think our editor — we pushed for that,” Carole Barrowman recalled.
Taylor threw in that he wasn’t able to kill a cat in “Injustice.”
“On ‘Adventures of Supergirl,’ everything we wanted to do on that book is exactly what we wanted to do on that book,” Gates pitched in. “For the most part, the show is great to work with, because they approved almost everything.”
“I always wanted to work with Batman. Maybe I’m not very original, but it’s my favorite character. Someday maybe!” Sampere said.
“I was very fortunate with ‘Smallville: Season 11,’ I got to check off a lot of heroes I wanted to draw,” Staggs shared. “I would love to do Batwoman. I would love to do Grodd.”
“Adam Strange and Deadman are characters I haven’t been able to do a lot of outside a few issues, and I’d love to do more,” Wolfman said.
“I want to write a good, nice Superman that I haven’t personally tortured,” Taylor said.
“I’m really excited for the ‘Wonder Woman’ movie coming out, and I’m very proud of ‘Supergirl’… Something I’d still love to see is ‘Sandman.’ Fingers crossed that we can figure that out!” Loughly shared.
As to “Injustice 2,” Taylor said, “So I can tell you that the next game is going to be a direct sequel to the first, and our series will pick up where the first one ended… Supergirl is going to be appearing, so we can create her backstory as well.”
When his multi-show deal with The CW came up, John Barrowman played coy. “I don’t know if I have much to tell you,” Barrowman said. “I was in the middle of negotiating my contract, and I had no idea! I was surprised myself, but I do know certain things that are meant to be happening, but I can’t say them… but yes, I’m going to be jumping in and out of the different shows… He will be something very different in ‘Legends of Tomorrow,’ than what he would be in ‘Arrow.’ That’s all I’ll say.”
“For me as an actor, it’s going to be really exciting,” he added. He also shared his excitement to work with Arthur Darville, who plays Rip Hunter in “Legends of Tomorrow” and also appeared on “Doctor Who” as Barrowman once did.
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