During the DC Comics 101 panel at WonderCon in Anaheim, DC Comics Senior Vice President Of Marketing John Cunningham and "Superman" and "Teen Titans" writer Scott Lobdell were light on news but big on fun. Cunningham told the audience that the point of the hopefully ongoing panel series was to expand awareness of DC beyond the "insiders game" of panels which normally focus on the comics, and talk about what's new in DC's related movies, video games and TV.
"I've never seen so many women in the room," Lobdell interrupted, asking the women in the audience (over half the room) to stand up and receive a round of applause.
"Oh, you're here for the 'Teen Wolf' panel after us," Lobdell joked as the audience laughed and a group of "Teen Wolf" fans cheered. He then asked for those who don't read comic books at all to stand up, the room cracking up as only one person stood and waved.
Cunningham began by highlighting DC Comics' We Can Be Heroes initiative, which raised over a million dollars last year to help combat the hunger crisis in the horn of Africa.
"How much did 'Teen Wolf' raise?" Lobdell asked.
"I believe it was zero dollars!" Cunningham replied.
The two then threw a movie poster for the director Zach Snyder's upcoming "Man of Steel" on the room's big screen. The two dimmed the lights to play the latest trailer for "Man Of Steel" -- however, the trailer began playing without sound, prompting Lobdell to dub in his own dialogue over images of Clark Kent floating in the water and a younger version of him crying.
"There I am, crying because I can't find the restroom. Don't worry, one day you'll find the restroom, son!" Lobdell joked as the audience laughed. The room applauded when the trailer replayed with the correct audio, showing a young Clark Kent wrestling with whether to use his powers for good and arguing with Pa Kent, eliciting a gasp from the room as Jonathan Kent tells Clark he should let people die in order to keep his powers hidden.
"How many think if Superman and Teen Wolf got into a fight he would kick Teen Wolf's butt?" Lobdell joked as he asked the audience to raise their hands again. To Cunningham's question about whether Lobdell was intimidated about writing "Superman" the comic book with the movie coming out, Lobdell replied he felt that what he was doing in "Superman" was vastly different from what Goyer and Snyder were doing in the film.
"We would never in a million years see his father say, 'You should have let him die.' It looks like they're paying tribute to Superman, but it seems like they're not afraid to break a few eggs," Lobdell said, adding that he tried to write jumping on points in all of his story arcs for new readers.
Cunningham also showed an image of Geoff Johns' "Superman: Last Son Of Krypton," issues of which will be given out for free in comic book stores across the country for Free Comic Book Day. The issues also feature an interview with Jim Lee about his and Scott Snyder's upcoming "Superman Unchained" series. DC's FCBD offering also includes the all-ages "DC Nation Super Sampler" sporting "Teen Titans Go" and "Beware The Batman" stories.
Cunningham then highlighted "Superman Unbound," the latest Warner Brothers animated DVD, which premiered Friday night at WonderCon. Cunningham also showed a clip from the DVD of Superman speaking with Supergirl about Brainiac's attack on Kandor, and stars "White Collar's" Matt Bomer as Superman, "Castle's" Molly Quinn as Supergirl, "Fringe's" John Noble as Brainiac and "King Of The Hill's" Stephen Root as Zor-El.
The audience cheered again as they showed an image for the CW's "Arrow," Cunningham adding his own praise for the show and debuting a clip/sizzle reel for the next season.
"I saw the pilot," Lobdell sheepishly admitted as a third of the audience raised their hands and said they watched the show. "More than 'Teen Wolf!'" Lobdell said after counting hands, adding, "Everyone who watches 'Teen Wolf' is in this room." This lead the audience to yell back that there was a direct connection between "Arrow" and "Teen Wolf" as actor Colton Haynes has appeared on both shows.
Previewing a cover image of the print version of the digital comic, "Injustice: Gods Among Us," Cunningham said the comic gets into the back story of the video game of the same name, which is being produced by NetherRealm Studio. The two also showed a trailer for the game, showing the ruins of Metropolis and a dictatorial Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as characters like Catwoman and Harley Quinn fighting with Batman. The game, according to Cunningham, is two weeks away from release.
Moving to digital comics, Cunningham showed the cover image of the second volume of the trade paperback of Bryan Q. Miller's "Smallville: Season Eleven."
"Bryan's done a great job capturing what's cool about the original series and taking it off in a direction where the special effects budget of the TV show couldn't quite take it," Cunningham said.
The room applauded loudly at the next image of the upcoming Warner Brother's animated show, "Teen Titans Go!" before cheering even louder in support of a fan who yelled, "Bring back 'Young Justice!'" Cunningham told the fan to save that for the Q&A at the end.
Cunningham and Lobdell also showed a quick teaser for "Beware The Batman," the latest Batman animated TV show from Warner Brothers Animation. This led Cunningham to plug DC Nation on Cartoon Network and the WonderCon exclusive DC Nation short and "Green Lantern" figurines available at the DC floor booth. This led Lobdell to quip again about "Teen Wolf," and Cunningham challenged him to actually watch the show.
"Scott's going to go back to his hotel, to his presidential suite, and he's going to watch them all and then tweet out his hotel number and have a party!" Cunningham joked.
"500 teenage girls in my hotel room. This will be my final appearance at a convention in America," Lobdell said, shaking his head.
Speaking about "Lego Batman The Movie," the two showed another clip of the all-Lego/CGI straight-to-DVD action/comedy film, as well as an image for the recently announced "Batman '66" comic book series based off the late 1960s Adam West TV show and written by Jeff Parker.
"The legal wrangling is over and we're going to be able to do things from the show in the '60s," Cunningham said of the project, adding, "It's been unavailable for so long, people are clamoring for it in any way, which is great, so you'll be able to enjoy it on your computer screen, on your iPhone, on your iPad or a conventional printer if you so desire."
A handful of people clapped for the images of the "Before Watchmen" trade volumes, as well as for images of Vertigo's "Girl With A Dragon Tattoo" adaptation, the second volume of which is out in fall of 2014.
Speaking of trade collections, Cunningham plugged volume three of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's "Death Of The Family" "Batman" story. Lobdell and Cunningham then asked where the audience read their comics online, the vast majority of people raising their hands to say they read digital comics off comiXology. Cunningham was surprised when he asked who read comics online from dccomics.com and no one in the packed room raised their hand.
"How many people go to Drudge report and get surprised there's no comics there?" Lobdell asked as the audience chuckled.
Opening the floor to questions, the first fan asked the two why there hadn't been a Superman animated TV show since the '90s. Cunningham and Lobdell told the fan they had no idea, but they hoped if "Man Of Steel" made money that would spur more Superman-related media.
A female "Teen Titans" fan asked how Lobdell's current run compares to the versions her dad used to read. "In this version of Teen Titans, we actually see Robin meeting Wonder Girl and Bart and Superboy... while those relationships existed in your father's time, people will be able to read the series without any prior knowledge," Lobdell replied.
A "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" fan asked if there would be more Red Lantern-centered cartoons and merchandise. Cunningham told her there would be merchandise on the main DC website and that the comic book "Red Lanterns" would be getting brand new creative teams.
Cunningham fielded a question about whether there would be a content warning on the Vertigo "Dragon Tattoo" adaptation, saying he felt it was the most faithful adaptation he's seen and that the books are labeled for mature readers.
A TV fan wanted to know how to get DC to make more female-centric superhero shows, like transforming "Super Best Friends" into a television show. "Unfortunately it's not us, it's the Network... you've got to watch it," Lobdell said.
"The people who produce those shows monitor social media very, very closely, they do pay attention to posts on Facebook and Tweets... I believe there's a couple of spots on the [Cartoon Network webpage] that allow you to give feedback," Cunningham added as well as hinted that convention attendees may see figures of "Super Best Friends" appearing later in the year.
A fan asked about information about possible scenes or cameos in "Man Of Steel" leading into a possible "Justice League" film. "I know no such thing, but they've been very tightlipped as is often the case with movies Mr. Nolan makes," Cunningham said.
Cunningham told the next audience member to the microphone that as far as he knew there is a little origin story in "Man Of Steel" but he believed most of the film will be about Superman's first appearance in Metropolis as the Man of Steel.
A Soul Eater cosplayer asked what Lantern corps the two would be.
"I'm a black Lantern, dude," Cunningham said.
"Plaid," Lobdell joked as the audience laughed.
A female fan asked why the DC 101 panel hadn't highlighted any female-centric books and media.
"Sometimes it feels like there's a conspiracy like we don't want any girls, but we actually love girls and would love girls to read the books, even the 'Teen Wolf' fans here," Lobdell began, but was drowned out by shouts from an agitated group of "Teen Wolf" fans who had just enough of being mentioned by the writer.
"If the point of this panel is to get new fans, why have you spent the entire panel alienating every single person waiting for the panel coming up?" a "Teen Wolf" fan in front yelled back at the two as the audience divided into boos and a smattering of applause. Cunningham and Lobdell both apologized for any hurt feelings for their "Teen Wolf" comments, telling the large "Teen Wolf" contingent it was not their intention to alienate them, though Lobdell was unable to resist jokingly ask the audience to show by raising their hands who felt alienated.
The next audience member to the microphone was the fan from earlier in the panel asked if "Young Justice" would come back. "It's a good question; I wish I had a way to answer that but since it's come through one phase, wait and see and keep speaking out," Cunningham said.
The final question came from a Vertigo fan wanted to know if there were any plans to make an animated direct-to-DVDs of any of the Vertigo properties, like "Joe The Barbarian."
"Yes -- watch this space for upcoming announcements," Cunningham said, ending the panel on a hopeful but ambiguous note.