Yesterday, DC Comics presented their “Justice League and Green Lantern” panel to an ecstatic crowd at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. Their star-studded panel included Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, James Robinson, Nicola Scott, Tony Bedard, Jeff Lemire, Francis Manapul, and Brian Buccellato. John Cunningham acted as moderator, with editors Matt Idelson, Brian Cunningham, and Pat McCallum joining him. The stories each of the creators will be telling for each of their series this coming year all sound like they’re going to be a epic, and a whole lot of fun. Let’s jump right in, via DC Comics’ and Newsarama‘s “Coveritlive” widget.
Geoff Johns started off the panel discussing Justice League. ”The first year,” Johns said, “was about the Justice League and who they are and their conflicts.” He also added, “One relationship changes in a very big way.” Johns went on to say that some people would be quitting the League, and that this next year is all about how the team “should” be, as opposed to what they currently are. Moving on to Justice League #0, Johns said that the issue will see Billy Batson meet the Wizard Shazam, and it will explore how they don’t really get along at first. Johns concluded by saying that Billy will be joining the Justice League this coming year. Tony Daniel will apparently be on the book after Justice League #12, and that his story will reintroduce the Cheetah and set the “seeds” for the Trinity War in 2013. Johns talked about Justice League Annual #1 will feature O.M.A.C. fighting the Justice League International, with Johns adding “It’s really a Booster Gold story.” According to Johns, Annual #1 will be the last JLI issue, but it “ties into” Justice League #12.
Next, the discussion moved on to the Green Lantern universe. Johns started discussing the new Green Lantern who carries a gun, saying that when the Justice League meets the new Lantern, they ask why he carries a gun. “These rings run out of juice, don’t they? This is my backup,” the Lantern replies. Johns went on to discuss the “Third Army” that the Guardians are hoping to replace the Green Lantern Corps with. Their reason for being is that the Guardians realize emotion and fear “aren’t the problem for universal strife; it’s free will.” Johns also teased the “fall” of Guy Gardner in the next few months.
Tony Bedard took over to discuss Green Lantern: New Guardians, saying that he’s been trying to give each Corps their “moment.” “By issue #12,” he added, “you’ll learn why all those rings came to Kyle in the first place.” Bedard also talked about how Kyle will begin to “master the other colors” from the emotional spectrum, “not just green.” He went on to say that Kyle mastering the other colors of the emotional spectrum will be like “a kung-fu movie, where the newbie has to learn five different styles of martial arts.” Bedard revealed that the darker emotional colors like Rage and Avarice will “be tough for Kyle to unleash,” but he needs “everything to take on the Third Army.” Concerning Green Lantern: New Guardians #0, Bedard said they’ll be having more “first-string” Lanterns like Atrocitus, Larfleeze, and Carol Ferris. Geoff Johns chimed in to reveal that the Guardians “are trying to wipe out the main players, including Lanterns like Kyle and Hal Jordan.” They concluded their discussion of the Green Lantern titles with Johns quickly touching upon Red Lanterns #0, saying that while the Guardians are trying to take apart each of the Corps, Atrocitus won’t be that easy “to take down.”
Brian Buccellato took over the discussion to talk about The Flash. He started with The Flash #0, explaining that while everyone knows Barry Allen’s origin story, they’re giving it “just a little bit of a different spin.” Francis Manapul chimed in, saying: “We fill in a lot of gaps after a certain occurrence in his life, who raised him, how did he get to the place he’s at now?” Buccellato elaborated, saying they’ll be exploring why the Barry always does “the right thing,” and why he “cares about the evidence so much.” Moving on to The Flash #13, Buccellato talked about how villain Gorilla Grodd will be invading Central City in that issue. Apparently Flash “left a mess in Gorilla City” and the telepathic gorilla is now going to “mess up” Flash’s home. Buccellato teased that Flash might need “some help” to “get the monkey off his back…perhaps the Rogues might help.”
The discussion moved on to Earth 2, with James Robinson starting off talking about Earth 2 #0, which will see the “Superman-Batman-Wonder Woman trinity” joined by a fourth red-armored hero named Terry Sloane. Robinson explained that there were actually eight major “wonders” of Earth 2, and that while Sloane has “nobel intentions,” he nevertheless becomes a villain. In other upcoming issues of Earth 2, Robinson talked about how we’ll be seeing Alan Scott take on Solomon Grundy in a six-part arc. “[Scott is] basically going to become the Superman of Earth 2,” Robinson revealed. We will also meet Wesley Dodds, the Sandman of Earth 2, who happens to be a “Canadian superhero [working with] the World Army.” Robinson described the Army’s leader – a new character named Amir Khan – as “Captain Nemo meets Nick Fury.”
Jeff Lemire was next, talking about Justice League Dark. He talked about how “the Dark books are a bit more disconnected from the rest of the DCU,” and that Justice League Dark acts as “the bridge, with Steve Trevor and A.R.G.U.S. tying in.” Lemire talked about Justice League Dark #0, explaining how the issue “boils the team down to its essentials, with a young John Constantine falling in love with Zatanna and having other problems as he comes to America for the first time.” They’ll also be introducing a character who Lemire described as “the Moriarty to [Constantine's] Sherlock Holmes.” Geoff Johns quickly chimed in to add that he was “excited” about Billy Batson meeting Constantine for the first time, and that the “books will tie together more” as we get closer to the Trinity War.
It’s encouraging to see the creators so excited about upcoming storylines and what’s in store for their characters. This next year of Green Lantern and Justice League comics is definitely going to be exciting, as well as introducing a lot of changes. Time will tell if these changes end up being for the best or otherwise. Here’s hoping to a bright future for both of these series!