WWC: DC Nation Panel <I>Updated!</I>

DC Comics announced Friday at Wizard World Chicago that they will be screening a sneak peak of the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight," amid tight security Saturday night. "Leave your cell phones, your camcorders and your iPods at home," said Bob Wayne, DC's Vice President of Sales. The screening will only be for fans in Chicago, so there will be no electronic devices allowed in the room. Utilizing a trick Batman would be proud of, there will be security present with night vision goggles to detect any recording devices at the screening.

"We want it to be special for the people in the room, not for 2 million people on YouTube," Wayne said. "And then you can also tell people, 'Oh, you missed it, they showed the whole movie in 15 minutes! I can't believe that Superman showed up…'"

Wristbands will be distributed at the DC booth Saturday morning at 10:00am, the same time the convention doors open. The limited number of wristbands will grant fans admission to the Dave Cockrum room for the 6:00pm "The Dark Night" preview. Fans are advised to expect a rush of people at the DC booth Saturday morning, and to not expect a friend grab wristbands for them. Wayne said they'd be securing the wristbands on the wrists of people at the booth, and if a person shows up at the screening with a band that appeared to be taken off and re-stapled, that person would not be allowed inside.

At Wizard World Chicago 2005, Warner Bors. screened for fans a three-minute clip package for then-in-production "Batman Begins," followed by a panel discussion with director Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas. Attendees of this year's Wizard World Chicago are advised to expect similar events this weekend.

All 1,200 or so entrants to Friday's DC Nation panel received a "Jimmy Olsen Must Die!" button as well as a "WWMMD?" button. The always jovial Dan DiDio, DC's VP-executive editor, moderated the panel. Also sitting in were coordinating editor Jann Jones, "Birds of Prey" scribe Sean McKeever, and "Death of the New Gods" writer Jim Starlin.

The panel spotlighted art from the previously announced "Salvation Run," the story in which all the DC villains are sent to a foreign planet to duke it out. Additional art included "Final Crisis," the final-final-final Crisis, according to the panel; "Death of the New Gods;" and "Countdown: Arena," a newly announced title in which alternate versions of heroes fight against each other (for example, Batman from the "Red Rain" Elseworlds versus the Batman from "Gotham By Gaslight").    

It was also announced that Ra's Al Ghul would be back from the dead, in a series by Grant Morrison and Paul Dini. DiDio restrained himself on talking too much about al Ghul, saying he was saving the news for tomorrow.

"Is everyone liking the return of the multiverse?" DiDio asked. The question was met with loud applause. Only when DiDio asked the crowd what they thought of "Sinestro Corps" did he get a reaction as loud. "We want to take full advantage of the multiverse. Four books weekly in December -- fans vote who wins. You guys argue among yourselves, leave me out of it for a goddamn change!"

DiDio apologized for his language and asked if there were any kids in the crowd. There was a young boy in the front row, and DiDio asked him to join the panel on stage. Once he got up there, the boy, Jake, was instructed that he was DiDio's "maybe" person. Whenever a question was asked that the panel didn't want to answer, DiDio would ask Jake to answer. Jake was called on several times, to which he repeatedly told the crowd, "maybe."

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