DC Comics’ The New 52 Panel was a who’s who of the company’s top talent, consisting of DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Editorial Director Bobbie Chase, Executive Editor Eddie Berganza, Senior VP of Sales Bob Wayne and creators Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chris Burnham, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Tony Daniel and Kyle Higgins. Together, they addressed new developments in existing books and spoke of books coming in the near future, including the eagerly anticipated “Second Wave.”
Let’s break it down book by book, shall we?
Batman, Inc. – Series artist Burnham said, “Grant’s like my favorite writer and to be the second guy in the world to see what Batman’s up to is crazy,” and added that they’d be throwing in some “’80s pop art” style.
Earth 2 – “It’s a different world, a different destiny,” Harras explained, “but they’re facing something you’ve seen before. We’re taking it in a lot of exciting places. I can’t wait for you to see the first issue because it’s awesome.”
World’s Finest – Harras also had this to say about Earth 2’s companion book, World’s Finest: “What we’re doing in the Second Wave of the New 52 is world-building. This is a part of the big plan we have coming up. Kevin Maguire and George Perez are sharing art duties and they’re working very closely with James Robinson who is writing Earth 2.”
Dial H – Written by China Mieville, Harras said, “His pitch for this series was incredible. It is in the spirit of Animal Man, in the spirit of Swamp Thing. It’s wild, fantastic ideas that are going to lead into the DCU as well.”
G.I. Combat – The upcoming G.I. Combat will contain an “Unknown Soldier” backup story by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. “It’s a nice variety,” Palmiotti said. “The book has dinosaurs in the beginning and a lot of hardcore gore in the back.”
The Ravagers – A spin-off of Teen Titans, Harras said The Ravagers will feature “some of the characters you might recognize,”such as Caitlin Fairchild (previously of Gen13) and Beast Boy, who is getting a red-hued makeover.
The Free Comic Book Day issue – “There’s a lot of new characters in here,” Johns stated. “It sets the stage for everything we’re working on for quite a while.”
Justice League – After the “Villain’s Journey” arc in the book, our favorite superhero team’s roster will be “radically different” and Johns hinted that the villain will be the one who wrote the book that showed up at the end of the first story arc.
Aquaman – Aquaman seems poised to be “a force to be reckoned with” in the DCU, and Black Manta is getting a reintroduction in the current “The Others” arc.
Green Lantern – Ethan Van Sciver will be returning to the book for a future Black Hand story arc, and fans of Larfleeze are in for a treat. “If you like Larfleeze, there’s actually a lot more Larfleeze coming up later this year,” Johns teased.
Wonder Woman – Looks like Wonder Woman has quite the road trip ahead of her! “She goes to hell,” Azzarello stated to great applause. Chang added, “I’m not sure how I can elaborate on that. You’ll see in the next issue. Tony Akins is drawing issues #9 and #10, it’s a really detailed issue. I actually kind of lucked out that I didn’t have to do it. 9 and 10 are in Hell and I’m working on issue 11 right now.” Azzarello chimed in, “Which gets worse.” As for the deities in Wonder Woman, “Brian and I are pretty much just trying to figure out what the biggest personality traits for these guys are and blowing that out,” said Chiang. “We want to highlight the fact that the gods are not human.” Azzarello elaborated, “We’re just physically manifesting their personalities. They’re not just meant to be worshipped, they’re meant to be feared.”
Swamp Thing – Snyder talked a little about Abby’s transformation into the Avatar of Rot and Arcane’s upcoming reintroduction, and said this about the Swamp Thing/Animal Man crossover coming later this year: “It’s going to be the biggest, most crazy thing either of [us] (the creative teams) could draw or even write.”
Batman – Lots of Night of the Owls news in this panel! “We’ve been beating up Batman pretty bad,” Snyder said. “These are the issues where they invade Bruce’s home and this is the issue where it all turns. All the heavy artillery comes out, a new Batmobile, new gadgets, and he really brings it to the court.” Look for some big surprises at the end of the story arc, and keep your eyes peeled for Batman Annual #1 later this year. “It’s going to be a blast and we hope you like it. The annual is going to play a little bit into it as well,” Snyder continued. “The annual is really about establishing Mr. Freeze in the New 52. We wanted to do something along the lines of hard vice. There will be some big revelations about him that we’re really excited about and proud of.”
Detective Comics – Picking up the Night of the Owls discussion, Tony Daniel said, “This one, I really had a blast doing. You can see a little bit of the cover there, it takes place in Arkham Asylum. My part of the big event takes place in Jeremiah Arkham’s domain. We get to see in his head and a large part of the book is from his point of view. I had a lot of fun doing it.”
Batgirl – Simone discussed her contribution to the sprawling arc. “It was really fun to work with Scott and we’ve got a pretty formidable foe for Batgirl to deal with in issue #9,” she stated, going on to discuss how Batgirl comes out of the arc looking to move on with her life as an independent individual, and that we’d be introduced to new villain Nightfall, poised to become Batgirl’s arch-nemesis.
Nightwing – “He’s the prince of Gotham in my eyes,” Higgins said. “It’s about him coming to embrace that. He starts asking the question, ‘Is there a place for hope here?’” He added, “The accusation that he was supposed to be a killer for the Owl Society really shook him.”
All-Star Western – Look for the history of the Court of Owls in a tie-in issue soon. “There a lot of stuff that we lay the groundwork and you guys will see the seeds that we laid in the past are there in the present-day books,” Palmiotti stated. “There’s all this crazy stuff going on and we get to throw the nastiest cowboy on Earth into the middle of it.”
Cyborg, Captain Marvel, Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown – “Something we want to do with Cyborg is build him up,” Johns said. “Everyone talks about ‘when the Cyborg book comes’. We’ll definitely do one. It’s like Aquaman, we tried to build the groundwork. We want to do it with the best talent we can.” When asked when we’ll see Captain Marvel, “You’ll see Black Adam before you see him,” said Johns. “You’ll see Freddy, Mary — you’ll see the tiger. You’ll see the bunny.” As for the inclusion of our favorite strong female characters in the Bat-books, “We talk about where in the stories they’re going to show up,” Snyder said.
And to close it all out, the panel showed the video for its We Can Be Heroes campaign, which benefits the relief efforts in the Horn of Africa region.
Keep checking back here at Comic Booked for all the latest news coming out of C2E2, and future updates on DC Comics and the New 52!