Thanks to typical con fatigue, the members of “The New DC Universe — Are You Ready?” panel were in a bit of a playful mood. Moderator Brenden Fletcher (writer of Batgirl, the upcoming Black Canary and co-writer of Gotham Academy) even kicked things off by running down the center aisle and yelling his introduction into the mic like a game show host. In honor of that spirit, here are the best quotes from the panel featuring Ming Doyle (co-writer the upcoming Constantine: The Hellblazer), Annie Wu (artist on Black Canary), Steve Orlando (writer of recently-rebooted Midnighter), Becky Cloonan (co-writer of Gotham Academy) and Greg Pak (writer on Action Comics).
“We are finding new ways for him to hurt people.” – Steve Orlando on Midnighter
Despite a controversial move from the WildStorm imprint to DC, Orlando assured the audience that the book is still full of, “smart comments and lots of punching.” While Orlando joked that he was, “100% responsible,” for the first issue’s (released last week) good reviews, he later said artist ACO, “adds more to every page than [he] could possibly add [himself].” Orlando also teased that issue #2 would feature a new villain and Midnighter’s husband Apollo would also likely appear soon. “My heart started beating faster,” Doyle said of the news.
“We got on like a house on fire. Basically, she’s my best friend.” – Becky Cloonan on Gotham Academy guest artist on issue #7, Mingjue Helen Chen
Fletcher and Cloonan explained that Chen–who worked on the Academy Award-winning Big Hero 6–was at the top of their list to do the issue, but they never thought she would have the time, let alone be interested. Fletcher teased that though the issue introduces Damian Wayne into the book’s world, it’s still Maps’ story.
“You guys just got a face-full of Annie Wu.” – Brenden Fletcher on a panel shown from Black Canary.
“Is it [on page] 10?” Fletcher asked of the image showing Dinah Lance stretching a mic cord in front of her like a garrote. “10 is Twix,” Wu corrected, though she didn’t remember the correct page. Wu promised that the upcoming standalone book will be, “fun and colorful,” and talked about some of her musical inspirations for the book. “I re-watched the opening of The Hunger, like, 60 times,” she confessed, referring to the scene featuring the band Bauhaus singing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” Fletcher (a member of the band Receivers) and Wu professed to being big fans of live performance and cited David Bowie (who plays a vampire in The Hunger) and Peter Murphy as influences. Wu called Dinah’s new cape a mix of, “a little Ziggy Stardust, a little Rocky Horror, a little Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and said Grimes and Grace Jones influenced the looks of the other band members.
Fletcher also assured non-music buffs that, “there’s going to be a lot of butt-kicking,” promising fans that they will, “return [Dinah] to being the top martial artist in the DCU by the end of the first arc.” While they teased new faces and the addition of a Gotham Academy character to Dinah’s world, Fletcher could only respond to one young audience member’s of Green Arrow appearance with, “I’ll see what I can do.” “We’re hoping the next season of Arrow puts her in a rock band,” he quipped, but quickly admitted that’s unlikely. They also showed the covers, which Wu said are, “supposed to feel a little screenprint-y,”of issues #2 and #3. The latter features new villain Bo Maeve, whom Wu said is, “supposed to feel like she vogues into every room.”
“He owns several coats.” – Ming Doyle playing coy on whether Constantine’s titular character will wear his signature trench
Constantine is also moving from a different imprint (Vertigo this time), but Doyle assured the audience that readers wouldn’t have to be familiar with that version of the character to enjoy the new series. While the move precipitated “a hot, young de-aging” for a character who was becoming a curmudgeonly old man, Doyle promised that readers will still get the “Vertiginous ‘tude” the character had on his former imprint. She also said that Constantine is, “definitely a horror book,” and complimented Riley Rossmo’s, “rough, dark, alluring,” artwork. Speaking of, the covers for issues #2 and #3 were also shown and the latter features a mysterious, unnamed character who Doyle called an, “awesome-looking Spice Girl,” who she said, “just wants to squash John under her amazing platform heel.”
“Sometimes it’s time for an s-curl, sometimes it’s time for something different.” – Greg Pak on Superman’s new haircut in Action Comics
Despite the new ‘do, Pak assured the audience, “this is the superman you know and love.” However, he did warn that the TRUTH arc will affect the character across all books—including Batman/Superman, where Batman’s new identity will also carry over. While readers have to read the main Superman book to find out exactly how Clark Kent lost some of his powers and how everyone found out his secret identity, Action Comics will focus on, “exploring his relationship with the people on his block.” While the world at large is still unsure whether to trust Superman, the people in his neighborhood who have been helped by Clark in the past will now trust his alter-ego too. Pak also teased major arcs for photographer Jimmy Olsen and firefighter Lee Lambert as the new L.L. in Clark’s life. As in Lois Lane, Lana Lang, etc.
Bonus quote: “Basically what we’re saying is that what we’re creating should be everywhere.” Greg Pak on the assembled creators’ work appearing on TV or elsewhere.
By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over every detail of America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture and celebrity obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to. You can find her risking her life by reading comic books while walking down the crowded streets of New York City, having inappropriate emotional reactions at her iPad screen while riding the subway or occasionally letting her love of a band convince her to stand for hours on end in one of the city’s many purgatorial concert spaces. You can follow her on Twitter to read her insightful social commentary or more likely complain about how cold it is at @MarisaCarpico.