Yesterday, DC Comics held their “Tales from The Dark and The Edge” panel at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, where moderator Bob Wayne was joined by editors Brian Cunningham and Rachel Gluckstern, along with writers Jeff Lemire, Rob Liefeld, and Jimmy Palmiotti to talk about what’s in store DC’s darker, harder-hitting titles. Again, thanks to DC Comics’ awesome “Coveritlive” we’ve been able to get a play-by-play of the panel.
Jeff Lemire got things started by discussing Animal Man and the upcoming Rotworld arc, which finds Buddy Baker joining forces with Alec “Swamp Thing” Holland to take on The Rot. “I think people will be surprised at the scope of the story,” Lemire explained. “It’s a lot bigger than just Animal Man and Swamp Thing.” He also revealed that “it includes a lot of characters you wouldn’t expect to see in The Dark” and that even though the Rotworld arc was originally intended just for Swamp Thing and Animal Man, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. would also play a roll in the story. Lemire also was pleased to announce that Frankenstein would be joining Justice League Dark “in a few months” and that writing dialogue between Frankenstein and Constantine was “a lot of fun.” He also teased that Amethyst would be joining Justice League Dark “for a little while,” though “that’s not necessarily something that turns out well.”
Next, Rob Liefeld took over the discussion to talk about Deathstroke and Grifter. Liefeld revealed that Deathstroke #0 would go back and focus on “what drives” Deathstroke. “We take a look at what made Slade Wilson Deathstroke,” Liefeld said. Things like “his military career, falling in love” and how when his love is taken from him, “this amps up his ruthlessness.” He also explained how upcoming issues of Deathstroke will show how Wilson “ties into the Team 7 series” that launches in September, since “he and other characters have connections to that team.” Concerning Grifter, Liefeld said that they’re planning on giving Grifter “his Yoda or sensei character” in Grifter #0 and that the issue would pave the way for a “big arc” that will come in the Fall, with Voodoo making an appearance during that arc. He continued, saying that “These [zero issues] are just great because we get to tell you guys stuff that hasn’t been revealed in terms of what motivates these characters.” Perhaps what was most interesting about Liefeld’s discussion was his tease that “One by one, it seems like all of these WildC.A.T.s characters are coming together.”
Jimmy Palmiotti took the mic next to discuss All-Star Western. He talked about how the series explored the history of Gotham City and that he worked “input from Scott Snyder and others” into his stories. He also talked about how All-Star Western #0 will be going back to tell the origin of Jonah Hex, and that issue #13 will revolve around a circus coming to Gotham that brings “a bunch of crazy clowns.” Palmiotti added, “If you hate clowns, you’re going to want to pick this issue up, because Jonah fights clowns.”
Moving on to the upcoming Phantom Stranger series, artist Brent Anderson talked about how he got attached to the series. “Dan [DiDio] approached me if there was anything in the DCU that I’d like to draw, and I said, ‘Yeah, I like to draw hats.'” He will be providing the art for the series while DiDio will be writing. Anderson also told the audience that the series would be “incredibly dark,” at which point moderator Bob Wayne explained that the Phantom Stranger issue created for Free Comic Book Day was a good indicator of the direction the series will be taking.
The panel moved on to the new Sword of Sorcery series, which will not only bring back the character Amethyst, but will also feature some “post-apocolyptic” Beowulf back-up story. The discussion quickly moved from Sword of Sorcery to touch upon Team 7, which Bob Wayne described as a “covert action book” set in the “early days of the DCU” and that team would feature Steve Trevor, Amanda Waller “and others on a team devoted to dealing with super-powered heroes.”
And finally, Adam Glass got up to talk about Suicide Squad, followed by Joshua Hale Fialkov discussing I, Vampire. Glass talked about how Suicide Squad would be exploring “a lot more” of the character Amanda Waller. “She’s one of the baddest mothers in the DCU,” Glass boasted. “I will put her against anybody.” He also went on to add that things are going to be getting “pretty messy” for the Squad, with the series building to a confrontation between the Squad and a “mysterious organization.” Fialkov then briefly touched upon I, Vampire, teasing that they have a “couple issues of vampires vs. zombies” coming up, and that in I, Vampire #0 they would be exploring the origin story of Andrew.
That’s it for the “Tales from The Dark and The Edge” panel. Sounds like things are going to be getting pretty awesome pretty soon!