It’s that time of year again! That’s right its convention season and Comic Booked has you covered with all the latest news from Wondercon 2012! Here are the highlights from the DC Comics All Access Panel! The panel was hosted by John Cunningham, but included Bob Harras, Eddie Berganza, Scott Snyder, Dustin Nguyen, Brian Q. Miller and Scott Lobdell who were all on hand to talk about what we can expect to see coming up in the DCnU, as well as answer some fan questions!
First up is Batman: Earth One from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank! After a brief overview, Eddie Berganza says “It’s a Batman who’s learning the ropes and making mistakes. It’s really centering on how Batman is human. You’re also going to be introduced the coolest Alfred ever. Think Liam Neeson from ‘Taken‘”. They showed off a few preview pages of Gary Frank’s artwork for the upcoming graphic novel before moving onto the next big subject- Superman: Earth One Volume 2 from J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis! Berganza explains “It’s still an exploration of Clark Kent, but now he has to figure out where Superman fits into this”. The book releases this November and is also set to introduce classic Superman villain the Parasite to Earth One!
Next up on the panel was Scott Snyder to discus Batman and Swamp Thing! “We’ve been putting Bruce through the wringer for the whole year, kind of beating up on him,” says Snyder as they show off the cover to issue #9. “This is where Batman is up off his knees and he’s ready to punish the court (of Owls). I can’t wait for it to come out.” Not to disappoint fans, Snyder then brought up how excited he was for the upcoming storylines he has planned out for Swamp Thing. He plans on bringing back villain Arcane in a big way, keeping him the same character fans know while making him more powerful than ever before!
After that Eddie Berganza and Bob Harris touched on Rob Liefeld’s new role in the New 52, as he recently took over writing duties on Deathstroke, Savage Hawkman and Grifter after the cancellation of Hawk & Dove. Harris Said “He’ll be creating a very dynamic story for these characters; one of the things we like about Rob is his world-building.” Berganza alluded to the upcoming first appearance of Lobo in the DCnU, which will be in the pages of Deathstroke. It looks as though Liefeld has all sorts of fun in store for his readers!
Moving right along, the panel continued with Scott Lobdell talking Teen Titans, Superboy and Red Hood and the Outlaws! Lobdell gushes about issue #10 of Teen Titans, saying “This is really fun, after the harrowing experience of the crossover and the annual, we decided it was time to give the kids a break and absorb what happened to them during the NOWHERE crossovers. We’ll be doing one of those classic rooftop issues where the characters take a breath, realize where they were and what they’re facing.” He then goes on to talk about further exploring the relationship of Kid Flash and Solstice, as well as Superboy and Cassie in the pages of Superboy. Red Robin has some of his own exploring to do as he reevaluates his role as team leader.
Speaking of former Boy Wonders, Jason Todd looks like he’s heading off into space in Red Hood and the Outlaws! In an upcoming storyline Starfire heads into space while Roy and Jason are shocked to learn “she’s this very feared, respected commander of a space ship and her reputation is such that entire armadas will turn in another direction when she shows up,” Lobdel said. “She’s that awesome.”
Keeping with the subject of ‘awesome’, Bryan Q Miller came up next to talk about Smallville Season 11, which continues the long running television series this fall as a ‘Digital First‘ title that will later transition to print. “At the end of the (series) finale, we did a time jump where Clark became Superman and pushed Apocalypse out of orbit,” said Miller. “Season 11 takes place six months after he pushed Apocalypse out of orbit. It’s essentially a ‘Smallville‘ Year One story. It’s terribly exciting.” Lex Luthor looks to be back as well in the new series, although Miller explains that he doesn’t have all of his memories. Miller states “He knows there’s something about Superman that he vehemently just hates and doesn’t trust.” But what about everyone else? “As for Clark, he’s riding the highest high he’s ever ridden. He’s perpetually engaged to Lois Lane. It’s everybody from the show taking that next mid-twenties step in their lives. They’re trying to figure out their place in the world.”
While Smallville season 11 is going to be one of DC’s ‘Digital First’ books, it certainly isn’t the only one! Already hitting the digital marketplace DC has Dustin Nquyen’s Batman Beyond Unlimited, which continues the Batman Beyond comic book series as well as the all new Justice League Beyond. “I think by chapter two or three, we’re in space and doing full-on Justice League Beyond stuff,” Nguyen said. He also added that he has already finished his first story arc and has awesome new content prepped all the way through December!
After brief discussions on Batman: The Dark Knight, Green Arrow and Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E., the conversation shifted onto the ‘second wave’ of New 52 books, which are set to replace the several books from the first batch that have already been canceled. First up was The Ravagers, which is spinning out of Teen Titans and Superboy! “The stuff coming in from Ian, you sense an energy and excitement” said Harras. “We’re feeling that sense of something new. It’s part of our world-building of the New 52.” Berganza added “The lizard guy is called Ridge, and Beast Boy is red, because of the stuff you’ve been reading in ‘Animal Man’ about the Red.” Fans can also expect to see an all new Terra as well as a new Thunder and Lightning!
Harras next spoke about China Mieville’s Dial H, going on to describe Mieville’s initial pitch for the title. “He’s the sweetest guy on the Earth and the biggest DC fan, Jim Lee and I sat for an hour and just listened to his plans. What China’s going to do is really astounding. He has the first three years mapped out. It really was an astonishing meeting. It’s taking it to unexpected places. It’s a writer with a vision, part of the New 52 and we’re really excited about it.”
The presentation portion of the panel was just wrapping up when a newly hooded Shazam made an appearance on the screen! Berganza hinted that there might be a bit more Shazaam in DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering this year.
As the fan Q&A portion of the panel opened up, fans opened up to these industry creators and demanded to know where their favorite characters where. “Are we going to see more of Canterbury Cricket?” and “will we be seeing Mister Majestic from Wildstorm?” are just some of the highlights. Amanda Waller’s new thin appearance was brought up, which Harras explained would be explained soon in a ‘sort-of’ origin story. The one question that seemed to stand out though involved several legacy characters from the Batman franchise as a young woman in a Batgirl costume asked if and when we could expect to see Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown. While Snyder joked “we all love Cassandra and Stephanie too, and those decisions are made above the heads of most of the writers”, he also gave a much more intriguing response- “We have characters coming up, there’s going to be a young woman who plays a very big part in some things soon,” said Snyder.” Berganza added that Batman Inc. would also likely answer a lot of questions.
So there you have it folks! All the juicy bits from DC Comics All Access panel at Wondercon 2012! What do you think of some of their big announcements? Let us know in the comments below!