Baltimore: DC Q & A
Saturday morning at Baltimore Comic-Con, DC Comics held their usual DC Nation panel featuring Jimmy Palmiotti, Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, James Robinson, Sean Mckeever and Ian Sattler. The panel was hosted by Dan Didio who actually invited a mustached fan named Brian onto the panel after he praised the weekly series Trinity. Geoff Johns complimented the same fan for being able to “rock the ‘stache.” When the same fan referred to the Green Lantern Corps as “NYPD Green”, Johns stated he would be stealing this title.
After fan Brian spoke highly of Trinity, Didio added that the main focus of the series is the great influence of the three heroes and how important they have been not only to the DCU but to the multiverse as a whole. He commented that this made the series a complete counterpoint to 52, which explored the mainstream DC Earth spending a year without the three icons. In the same vein, he clarified that the current Batman R.I.P. storyline is exploring whether or not Bruce would still operate as Batman "if you took everything away", as well as showing how his absence affects many, not just the Gotham-centric characters but also people like the Outsiders.
He commented that this made the series a complete counterpoint to 52, which explored the mainstream DC Earth spending a year without the three icons. In the same vein, he clarified that the current Batman R.I.P. storyline is exploring whether or not Bruce would still operate as Batman "if you took everything away", as well as showing how his absence affects many, not just the Gotham-centric characters but also people like the Outsiders.
DC had several things to announce in terms of upcoming projects.
A few years ago, DC did a fifth-week event called "New Year’s Evil" involving several one-shots that did not relate to each other but all centered villain-centric stories. Operating on a similar note, DC will be release "Faces of Evil", a month-long project launching next spring. Each issue will be a one-shot focusing on a particular villain and the covers will be done in the same style as the recent “anti-inspirational posters” ads. Johns announced that he and artist Scott Collins would be working on a one-shot focused on Solomon Grundy. Other villains who would be focused on include Parasite and Despero. When a fan asked if any of the Rogues (from Flash) were going to have a one-shot, Johns simply said that the future of the Rogues will be set-out at the conclusion of the miniseries Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge.
Geoff Johns also added that Solomon Grundy would become a Black Lantern, though he also said the same thing of any other character mentioned during the panel who is deceased. Concerning the upcoming "war of light" stories in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, Johns again spoke about Agent Orange, the leader of the Orange Corps dedicated to Avarice, as a major villain. He also said that the Orange oath was his favorite. Throughout the remainder of the panel, questions about seemingly dead characters usually involved Johns saying , "(Fill-in-the-Blank)’s a Black Lantern."
While Johns will be introducing the Orange Corps and also the Red Lanterns in the Final Crisis mini-series Rage of the Red Lanterns, Tomasi will be exploring the new Star Sapphires in Green Lantern Corps. But can the Star Stapphires, who are dedicated to Love, be truly villainous?
“Love can be scary,” Johns answered with a laugh. When later asked about how Barry Allen would be explored now that he’s back from the dead, Johns explained he will be re-exploring the Silver Age Flash’s relationships with heroes he has not seen in over twenty years and how he relates to new heroes. Of particular interest to Johns is the reasons why Barry genuinely got along with Hal Jordan and Bruce Wayne yet not with guys like Oliver Queen.
McKeever announced that Teen Titans will be having a recruitment drive soon, including Klarion the Witch Boy, Mystek, Tracy-13, Bombshell, Shining Knight, Speedy, and Supergirl. The evil Terror Titans will also be showing up again and much blood will be spilled with possible deaths.
But the big announcement from McKeever was that Milestone’s famous teen hero Static (who also had his own cartoon series Static Shock) will be joining the Teen Titans. This segued into a Milestone discussion, where DiDio explained that after Static appears in Teen Titans, Icon, Rocket and the Shadow Cabinet will appear in Justice League of America and Icon will remain with the team for a while. He also confirmed that Dakota City does indeed exist in the DC Universe but that the Milestone characters will be spread out for a while.
One surprising revelation came when a fan asked about whether or not Captain Atom (now the villain called Monarch) had a chance for redemption. Johns answered, "Captain Atom will be featured in Superman’s books, so yes."
Johns was also asked about the Legion, both concerning Legion of Three Worlds and also the upcoming Smallville episode he’s written that features young Clark Kent meeting the future-born heroes. Johns said that Legion of Three Worlds will have repurcussions in other titles and also commented that Glorith, the short-lived female Time Trapper, would be mentioned in the mini-series but not shown. When asked about which Legionnaires would show up in Smallville, he commented that the answer was obvious if you knew Legion history. He also added, "I’m using a villain I can’t believe they let me use."
And in other news that was discussed …
Coming soon is a new Power Girl on-going series, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and drawn by Amanda Conner. For anyone not familiar with the character or her long history, the first issue will be written to briefly introduce Karen and her world while also setting up future stories.
Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom, also written by Palmiotti, will be a mini-series featuring Superman bringing Kara to a planet with a red sun. Here, Kara can learn to start focusing more on strategy rather than always relying on her powers.
The new sixth member of the secret six will be a new character created by Gail Simone.
The Question will indeed be seen after Final Crisis: Revelations and Batwoman will appear in “
The Creature Commandos are returning full-force to the DCU. Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters may get a series again in the future, based on reader response.
Alan "Sizzler" Kistler is taking bets on what Legion villain will appear in Smallville. He has been recognized by Warner Bros. Pictures and mainstream media outlets such as the New York Daily News as a comic book historian, and can be seen in the "Special Features" sections of the Adventures of Aquaman and Justice League: New Frontier DVDs. His personal website can be found at: http://KistlerUniverse.com. One of these days he’d love to write for DC, Marvel or Doctor Who.