DC: The New 52 Panel at SDCC

Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, J.H. Williams, Jeff Lemire, and others were on hand to talk about Forever Evil, Trinity War, and much more at DC's major company panel at SDCC!

Between DC’s Trinity War panel and their New 52 panel later in the evening, DC had an awful lot to talk about at SDCC today. With panelists that included Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Tony Daniel, Kyle Higgins, J.H. Williams III, Jimmy Palmiotti, Gail Simone, Charles Soule, Robert Venditti, Ray Fawkes, and James Tynion there was no shortage of insider info!

Geoff Johns opened up about the chaotic events that kicked off Trinity War. “If a group of villains is going to make a real strategic strike at the heroes, Jeff and I decided it would be to strike at Superman. So that’s what they do, is they set it up so that people can lose faith in Superman. The three teams then set off to discover who used Superman to kill Doctor Light.”

Ray Fawkes spoke a little bit about his work on the Trinity of Sin: Pandora mini-series, as well as Constantine, which tie into Trinity War. “I’m the guy writing the two crazy wild cards in Trinity War: Pandora and Constantine. Pandora has a totally uniue perspective on the New 52, and to be tasked with the person who portrays that erspective was a pretty cool thing.”

“Pandora is this woman who is essentially blamed for unleashing all the evil on the earth that’s ever existed. She’s 10,000 years old and has been walking the world since she’s been cursed,” said Fawkes. “Now she’s been given the opportunity to get rid of all the evil in the world, but that puts her at cross purposes with the Justice League and the Secret Society. In issue 2 she is confronted by the Secret Society, and you’ll see her facing off against people like Giganta and Vandal Savage.”

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As for how Constantine ties in to the Trinity War, Fawkes continued, “Constantine is the guy who always try to think four or five steps ahead. In Constantine #5 he tries to take Shazam out of play, so you’ll see him face off against Billy Batson and try and steal away his power. There’s no dirty tactic that John won’t stoop to, and if he has to take away the power of the hero, he’ll do it.”

On the subject of Trinity War‘s aftermath, Geoff Johns said, “Forever Evil kicks off in September, and you’ll see the greatest villains of the DC Universe side by side. Everyone’s gonna be doing these villain issues in September. Not every one of them wants to rule the world, and some of them like the idea of having a Justice League at the top of the food chain. So some of the villains will be at odds with each other.” Some of this will be explored in Forever Evil: Rogues’ Rebellion, which was detailed in our DC All Access panel coverage.

Jeff Lemire chimed in that “You’ll see a bit of a bromance between Sinestro and Black Adam, as they both agree that the people should rule. They actually like each other, but there’s a big twist coming that we haven’t revealed yet.”Regarding the tie-in mini-series Forever Evil: ARGUS, Johns said that “Steve Trevor, who is one of the few heroes to escape, leads Cheetah and Deathstroke on a quest for something very special to him.”Forever Evil: Arkham War is all the Arkham villains vs. all the Blackgate villains. “Some of the lines between crazyand “legally speaking” not crazy are pretty blurry,” joked Johns.

Lemire described Trinity War and Forever Evil as being “a story about corruption more than anything. About what heroes have been corrupted already and such.” Johns added that he feels “like we’re getting into the second phase of the New 52.” To which Jeff Lemire adds: “Trinity War is the end of the first part, and this is the launching of the next era.”

Geoff says that his plan for Aquaman has gone really well, and thanked the fans for buying the book. “Now that all these folks are buying the book, I figure anyone that’s still making fun of Aquaman, well…that’s fine.” There are still plenty of surprises in store, and Johns promises that Aquaman is about to find out that his history is a lot more complex than he believes.

The gatefold cover to October’s Superman/Wonder Woman #1 was shown, and artist Tony Daniel weighed in. “Superman and Wonder Woman are two of my absolute favorite characters to draw, read, and to work on. It’s an absolute dream, and this came out of the blue, but I didn’t even have to think about it. You’re going to be blown away by what we have in store.” As for the epic cover, Daniel added that “I feel like this is such a big, large story, and one cover wasn’t big enough for me, so they let me spread it out and make it a gatefold. I’m really grateful for that.”

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Superman/Wonder Woman writer Charles Soule compared the book to the Han/Leia romance in Empire Strikes Back. “Superman/Wonder Woman is an awesome, epic action-packed tory that only happens to have two people who are romantially involved.”

Jimmy Palmiotti was on hand to talk about the upcoming Harley Quinn monthly book he’s writing with Amanda Conner. “We’re gonna handle the series like…madness. We’re just gonna go crazy. Since Amanda has multiple personalities the chaos will reflect in the book,” he joked. “We’re really gonna get into who she is and what makes her tick. Everyone around her should be afraid of her.” The first issue of Harley Quinn is coming in November.

As for All Star Western, Palmiotti had some words about the book’s new direction. “If you haven’t been keeping up with the book, Jonah Hex is now in the modern world…Booster Gold just kind dumped him here. Imagine if Jonah Hex walked into a gun store TODAY.” The story is about Jonah Hex running around with the great grandson of Amadeus Arkham, and it will deal with how Jonah reacts to the issues you see in the news today. “With every issue we’re just trying to get crazier and crazier, and see just how much fun we can have with a cowboy character like this.”

Darwyn Cooke’s cover to Batwing #24 was shown, and Palmiotti had a few things to say about this title, as well. “We’ve been taking him on an adventure, and as we move on in the series, he’s gonna be dealing with a new 52 version of Lady? He’ll be doing a little globe-hopping in future issues as well.”

J.H. Williams on Batwoman: “The audience seems to be embracing what we’re doing, and we’re playing a long game with the storylines in Batwoman. One thing sort of feeds into the next.” It’s all leading to a conflict between Batman and Batwoman who “don’t always see eye to eye,” Williams said. “The fight scene between those two will be inventive, powerful, and probably won’t fit into a single issue.”

The cover to Nightwing #24 was shown, prompting Gail Simone to shout, “Look at that butt!” which got a great chuckle out of the crowd. Gail discussed the ongoing story in Batgirl, most of which we covered in the DC All Access panel coverage.Kyle Higgins announced that Wil Conrad will be the new artist on the series starting with issue #24. “Nightwing is headed to Chicago in pursuit of Tony Zucco, the man who killed his parents. So Nightwing embarks on this quest to bring his parents’ killer to justice.” Higgins promises new villains, and new members of his supporting cast. A New 52 version of The Prankster shows up in issue 22 for Nightwing to take on. The Nightwing Annual will be a Nightwing/Batgirl team-up.

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James Tynion was on hand to discuss Red Hood & The Outlaws and Talon. “Jason Todd has been having a rough year…so we’re seeing Jason try and reevaluate his life and figure out the kind of person he wants to be.” The League of Assassins have their own plans for Jason, it would seem, as well.

On the subject of Talon, Tynion said that “It’s been a blast writing that book.” After having killed Calvin Rose a few issues ago, the current story is all about building up Santa Prisca, the birthplace of Bane. Since Calvin Rose was also raised in a cage, and since Bane also killed Calvin a few issues ago, it looks like they’re due for another conflict sometime soon.

This is Robert Venditti’s first major show since taking over writing duties on Green Lantern, and he was focused on Hal’s new duties. Hal is taking over a leadership role in the Corps, and while he’s “very heroic…it’s usually just him whose life is on the line, which plays into his test pilot mentality. But now he’s the leader of the whole Corps, and in addition to being a hero, he’s a charismatic guy, so a lot of people are coming to him for answers, so he has to learn to deal with this leadership role.”

Charles Soule had a little to say about Red Lanterns and Swamp Thing. “Guy Gardner is now a Red Lantern, and he’s given in to his angriest impulses. One of the things that’s really great about the whole Green Lantern team is that we all talk to each other, so everything is really tightly plotted and cool. In Red Lanterns there’s a big status quo change coming, and Guy Gardner is going to get his, and that’s going to change things for him.”

He also had some hints to drop about his work on Swamp Thing and that book’s big villain. “I’m trying to go as big as I possibly can and then top myself later.” Soule promises that in the Annual you’re going to see eleven different Swamp Things through history!

That’s it for now! But we’ll have more SDCC coverage as we get it!

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