DC has several All-Access panels taking place over the weekend at C2E2 in Chicago. Major Spoilers was there, and gave a rundown of the news announced on Friday.
Comics professionals in attendance: Bob Harras, Bobbie Chase, Geoff Johns (in a classic Aquaman hat), Joe Michael Straczynski, Shane Davis, Scott Snyder (who got the biggest applause of anyone), Kevin Maguire, and the fashionably late David Finch. The panel was moderated by John Rood, and Ian Sattler provided the legs for the microphone during the audience Q&A
The first book up was the New 52 Free Comic Book Day edition, which Geoff Johns described as “very critical” for fans of the New 52. He also, for a split second held up a 4 page foldout from the comic.
The next was Justice League, with Johns discussing the upcoming arc “The Villain’s Journey” which promises to leave the team “radically different” by issue 12. Johns also discussed an aspect of Cyborg’s absorption of Apokoliptan technology; he can produce Boom Tubes, but there is a “One in a thousand chance” that when he transports more than one person they will warp to Apokolips instead of their intended destination and be stuck there for the brief refresher period on the transport ability (about eight minutes).
Another big hit with the audience was Batman Earth One from Geoff Johns; he claimed he’s written a “very different Alfred and Commissioner Gordon, which will be obvious right away.” Additionally a “cop you might not expect to be in there will be the breakout character” of the book.
The focus then shifted to Superman Earth One Volume Two, where J. Michael Straczynski revealed a ton of details about the book, (potentially more than Harras and Rood wanted him to). We’ll see the primary villain of the piece being a heavily redesigned Parasite, where artist Shane Davis discussed his decision to replace the typical purple color scheme of Parasite with green, befitting his new origin of being exposed to radioactivity and needed to siphon energy constantly to stay alive afterward. Apparently we’re also going to see Jonathan Kent’s discussion with a younger Clark about the birds and the bees, and that there were certain actions of a sexual nature he might want to avoid for fear of hurting someone, bringing to mind the old “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” essay.
Scott Snyder’s Batman was a big hit at the panel, with Snyder admitting that he’d been a bit cruel to Batman so far, but saying that Batman’s been beaten up and things are getting to the turning point where Bruce is going to turn the tide and bring out the heavy artillery against the Court of Owls, saying he was going to “use every bat gadget–every bat ANYTHING.” He also discussed the process of creating the crossover, mentioning that there are 50 or 60 Talons in Gotham now, each from a different era. Each writer of a bat-family book was given the option to participate or not, which stood out to me as a particularly promising note, since that means the crossovers won’t just be shoehorned in and weren’t forced on the writers. They also chose what era Talon they wanted to have in their book, allowing each writer to focus on a different era of Gotham’s history.
In a discussion about Earth Two, Bob Harras discussed that the second wave of the New 52 is all about world building; apparently the plans for Earth Two were laid out along with the beginning of the relanch, and they have been planning on building the universe piece by piece as they go. All in all, things sounded really positive and it seemed like DC were on top of their game with the planning for the expansion of their universe. When asked if it was a little early to be revisiting concepts like Earth Two, Scott Snyder immediately piped in with the comment “when we relaunched, couldn’t you say it was a little early to be revisiting concepts like Batman?” The panel seemed firmly committed to Earth Two as a good idea and something that would help DC greatly.
News From the Q&A:
- We will be hearing more about the connection between the Waynes and Kanes in the future.
- We will see the Riddler in the near future, though there isn’t a major story involving him planned.
- In marketing news, there will be commercials running for the collected editions of the New 52 in May, as well as Before Watchmen in June. Bob Harras and John Rood were very excited about this and expanding DC’s marketing.
- There will be a Digital First all-ages title coming soon, and Rood strongly hinted that it would be Batman related. After the panel I also got him to admit that one of the artists who had a book shown during the panel (which, in addition to the books I mentioned in this included Swamp Thing, American Vampire, Green Lantern, Aquaman, American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares and World’s Finest). My prediction is Greg Capullo.