Yesterday at DC Comics‘ “Batman: Beyond the Night of the Owls” panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2012, Scott Snyder and an assortment of Bat-writers and artists made it clear that they have some awesome things in store for Batman and the Bat-family. And thanks to dccomics.com’s “Coveritlive” widget, here are the highlights of what us Bat fans have to look forward to.
The panel started off with Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV talking about their new Talon series for DC, which was born out of the abundance of Court of Owls material Snyder had that Tynion – who co-writes the Batman back-up stories – took and fleshed out into this new series focusing on Calvin Rose, the only Talon to escape the Court. Tynion said that the series will delve more into the background and history of the Court of Owls. After that, they announced that everyone in the audience would be receiving their very own Court of Owls mask.
Snyder continued by discussing Batman #0, which Snyder said will show a “very different” Bruce Wayne and cast Gotham City in “a different light.” He then elaborated, explaining that “The Gotham you are going to see in Batman #0 is really surprising. Bruce is at a different point in his life physically, a different place emotionally. It will be risky; it’s different.”
Next, Snyder talked about The Joker and his return in Batman #13, coming out this October. The return of The Joker is a story Snyder’s been working on for a year, and he’s beyond excited to tell it. This story will be exploring what makes The Joker dangerous, and how The Joker’s been sitting back for a year watching everyone and planning an entrance to “make sure Batman remembers who he is.”
Kyle Higgins took over to talk about Nightwing for a bit. Higgins specifically focused on Nightwing #0, and how the issue will be focused on telling the story of Dick Grayson’s past. Higgins also said he’ll be putting a new “twist” on Grayson becoming Robin in the issue, and that we’ll also get a look at the New 52 version of Grayson’s Robin costume. Other news included Tom DeFalco writing Nightwing #13-14, with Higgins writing his “Joker tie-in” with issues #15-16, which Higgins described as “some of the darkest, creepiest things I’ve ever written.”
Next, Gail Simone talked about Batgirl. Simone said Batgirl #0 will show Barbara Gordon’s motivations for becoming Batgirl. Simone also expressed her excitement at writing Batgirl Annual since she’ll get to write a “great story” involving Catwoman that she’s “anxious to tell.” Simone apparently said that Batgirl #13 will be “amazing” as she begins to tell the story of Knightfall.
Gregg Hurwitz and David Finch talked next about Batman: The Dark Knight. Both Hurwitz and Finch expressed how excited they were to work with each other, and that they’ll be digging “into the guts” of The Scarecrow and exploring “why Bruce Wayne is obsessed with fear.” Hurwitz and Finch also talked about how Batman: The Dark Knight #0 will delve into the past influences of Bruce Wayne and that the issue “focuses on Joe Chill,” the man who killed Bruce’s parents.
J.H. Williams III followed with a discussion of Batwoman #0. Williams said that the issue “gets into her head” and shows “a deeper side of her views and her father’s past.” He also expressed that there will be some “interesting twists” because of the way issue #0 “falls in the middle of a story arc.”
Scott Lobdell took the mic next to talk about Red Hood and the Outlaws. He said that Red Hood and the Outlaws #0 “makes Jason Todd’s origin sad.” He even went so far as to say that “Red Hood #0 may be the saddest thing I’ve ever written in my entire life.” He also expressed his excitement in being able to introduce Blackfire into The New 52.
The conversation continued moving, with editor Mike Marts taking the mic to discuss Batman, Incorporated. Marts said that Batman, Inc. #0 would focus on the origin of the team and, in his words: “Why the team got together, why Batman called them together, and what their mission is.” He continued by adding that “There’s a lot of clues in here about what’s to come.”
Moving on to Detective Comics, Gregg Hurwitz discussed Detective Comics #0, which he wrote, explaining that it will tell the “emotional” story of why Bruce Wayne “is the way he is” and dig into how Bruce “approaches intimacy.” John Layman, the new writer for Detective Comics starting with issue #13, also talked briefly about his take on the series and how his stories will be more “fast-paced with a taste for adventure” as well as being “mostly self-contained arcs.”
Catwoman was the final discussion for the panel, which focused on Ann Nocenti taking over the series beginning with Catwoman #0, and how that specific issue will “bring together bits and pieces of [Selina Kyle's] past.” Ign.com reported it was insinuated that The Joker would make an appearance in Catwoman #13.
All in all, judging from everything discussed during this panel, it is a great time to be a Batman fan!