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SDCC: DC's New Age Brings Classic Heroes, Villains & Grant Morrison

"I say 'Spoil everything,' don't you agree?" joked DC Comics Publisher Dan DiDio as fans assembled for the company's New Age of Heroes panel Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Focusing on the new series of characters who debuted in the DC line this year, the conversation was led by Senior Editor Marie Javins and featured DiDio, writers James Tynion IV, Robert Venditti and Steve Orlando as well as artist Ryan Benjamin.

Venditti spoke to the challenge of doing Damage – a series that has massive, back-breaking action sequences in every issue. "It's nothing I've ever done before," he said. "Doing something so action intensive and so widescreen and bombastic...to cut loose like that is enjoyable, but it's a challenge in many ways when you're doing characters moments."

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In upcoming issues, the brutish hero will team up with a more familiar from the classic DCU, but still off the beaten path: the Unknown Soldier. The writer said he used to read comics starring the military ghost when his dad took him to the barber shop as a kid. The story will open up new facets to Damage's origin story. Also in the future are villains like Poison Ivy and Gorilla Grodd which were worked in at the request of artist Trevor Scott.

Venditti will team with Aaron Lopresti for the Damage Annual on sale in August. The story returns to one of Damage's earliest adventures and reveal secrets building up in the series for months.

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Tynion then spoke to the next phase of Immortal Men. The writer told the story of how Jim Lee pitched him on the series stealthily by just gabbing about the concept of the forgotten hero the Immortal Man."Am I writing this with you?!?" the writer asked when it finally dawned on him what the conversation was about. "I was describing Immortal Men once to a friend, and I said it's like if the Matrix was a Final Fantasy game that got turned into a WildStorm comic in the '90s...I wanted to fall into a strange new corner of the DCU. It's stumbling into a world that's always been around you, but you've never seen it before."

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Incoming issues will show more of the Batman Who Laughs – the villain from Dark Nights Metal that is living on in the DCU with his own series soon to come from Scott Snyder and Jock. "I love that character, and I really love scary stories, and I think he's one of the scariest new villains ever," Tynion said calling the madman "an instigator" who is coming into the book to start a war against the long-hidden immortals.

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