WC: DC Nation Panel

CBR's coverage of WonderCon continues with the DC Nation panel, which took place Friday afternoon. The panel was moderated by Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler, joined by James Robinson, Paul Dini, Bob Wayne, Liz Gehrlein, and Aaron Lopresti,

"We're going to announce some stuff tonight, so you're all glad to be here," Sattler began. After introducing the panelists, he showed a "World of New Krypton" trailer video. The video will be available Wednesday on the DC web site.

Robinson then spoke a bit about the upcoming "World of New Krypton" series, indicating that "Superman has left Earth, and he's not coming back any time soon." He praised co-writer Greg Rucka's other series, "Action Comics," which currently stars Nightwing and Flamebird. The regular "Superman" series, written by Robinson, will star Guardian, Steel, Mon-El, and Zatarra ("who's a little shit") for the foreseeable future.

"Since we've made Kryptonians illegal on Earth, Supergirl will now be going back to the Silver Age [concepts], where she needs a secret identity," Robinson said of plans for the character's title. He also praised Geoff Johns's "Secret Origin" and "Adventure Comics," though for the latter he noted "there's very little I can say about that right now."

The panel then moved on to "Battle for the Cowl." "It's just big action, everything you could imagine," Sattler said. "In the first issue, we have a pretty big villain making a return." He also recapped the New York Comic Con announcement that there will be eight Bat-books in June. He then announced that Paul Dini will write "Gotham City Sirens" and "Streets of Gotham."

"We're still putting 'em together and having a lot of fun," Dini said. "Streets of Gotham" will take place "all over Gotham," he said, and feature cops, other super heroes, and "anybody who is tangentially connected to Batman-but these are people who don't really know who he is." Batman's presence in the series will be through these characters' eyes, and be very much "a creature of mystery."

"Gotham City Sirens" stars Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy, who have "banded together more out of necessity than out of wanting to be a team. "It's not a buddy team up," Dini said, warning that it would not be as lighthearted as the animated or other previous Harley adventures.

Kate Spencer, of "Manhunter" fame, is the new District Attorney of Gotham City, Sattler announced.

Gehrlein then said a few words about Keith Giffen and Matt Clark's "Doom Patrol." "As we all know, Keith likes to have his own take on things," she said, noting that it will be a bit different than previous incarnations. She said that her informal discussions with Giffen and email forwards ("100 most horrible insects") somehow make it into his comics. Gehrlein then announced that the "JLI" team of Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire would be doing "Metal Men" backups in the title.

She also expressed enthusiasm for the current Olympians arc in "Wonder Woman," before turning the mic over to Lopresti, who draws the series. "Artists never get to talk at these DC things," he said, "and now that I'm here I can't think of anything to say." He did, however, reveal that he thought fans would really enjoy where Gail Simone's story is heading.

Bob Wayne then talked about "Blackest Night" #0, DC's Free Comic Book Day offering, which features a new story by Geoff Johns and leads into the major "Green Lantern" arc. Doug Manke will be providing partial art for the issue. "It's not like, 'ooh, it's getting dark,'" Sattler joked. "This is a big story, and I'm excited for July."

Sattler then opened the floor to questions.

In response to the first question, Dini said Commisioner Gordon will play a role in the new Bat-books.

The next question was about how to break into comics as a writer."If you want to be taken seriously by an editor, find an artist and self-publish some sequential art, even if it's only photocopied. If they can see you can tell a story, that's one step closer to them taking you seriously and getting work," Robinson said. Sattler added, "Get work where you can."

"If you can become a best-selling novelist or screenwriter, that can work, too," Wayne said.

The panel was stumped when asked about the "re-emergence of the Comics Code Authority," which appears on "Blackest Night" #0. "The Comics Code logo did not disappear from our comics, or from Archie Comics, or from Dark Horse's newstand titles. It disappeared from another company's comics," Wayne said, referring to Marvel's practice of eliminating the logo several years back. "Change your reading habits," Sattler joked.

The next fan read questions on behalf of her boyfriend, who was not present, leading to some teasing. Her question about the wizard Shazam's status was met with "Maybe." She also asked if Alan Scott will be appearing in "Blackest Night." "Alan Scott will play a role," Robinson said.

Next question: "What did the Omega Beams do to Batman?" "You know what's amazing? A lot more books are coming out this year, and some of them might address that," Sattler said.

Ra's Al-Ghul--"and family"--will be appearing soon, Sattler said.

"I am doing a book involving the Justice League," Robinson said, in response to a question about Starman. "The Blue Starman will be there, as well as Shade and some other Opal City characters." He added, though, "that you've got to be careful when you revisit something, if you don't feel you have anything more to say."

The next fan said that she "hates whoever cancelled 'Birds of Prey,'" but that she's been told she will "fall back in love with that person if I read 'Oracle: The Cure.'" "You've been told you'll fall in love with Dan [DiDio] if you read 'Oracle: The Cure?' That's like a bad anime character's pronouncement," Sattler joked. He did say, though, that he believed she would be happy after reading the miniseries.

On the topic of single-issue stories, Robinson joked that "I will never do a single-issue story, ever, just because you asked that question!"

"I know we get a lot of flack about all the dead characters in the DCU," Sattler said in response to a question about who would appear in the Black Lantern Corps, "so the answer is, there's a lot of possibilities."

Though Sattler said there would not be a "Justice League" or "Society" series set on an alternate Earth, but suggested that some title set in the Multiverse is possible further down the line, possibly with Grant Morrison's involvement.

Robinson recommended Peter Tomasi's "Outsiders" title as a strong series that uses second-tier characters. "And I'm going to be writing Congorilla, don't forget!" he added, referring to the character's appearance in Robinson's upcoming "Justice League" title.

Will Alfred "Battle for the Cowl?" "He has a role, certainly," Sattler said, "and he is a constant presence in 'Outsiders.'"

Sattler said there will not be an ongoing Flash Rogues book, but they may star in more stories.

Plans for Captain Boomerang II in "Suicide Squad?" "Half of that, but I won't tell you which," Sattler said.

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