Images added courtesy of DC.
Hello again, kiddos. I'm checking in at the fabled Room 6DCE for a panel about the EDGE and DARK divisions of DC's new 52. While not separate imprints, it's looking these will all be books that are specifically intended for readers with more mature tastes.
12:55 - Introducing editor Pat McCallum, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Mike Costa, Adam Glass, Ivan Brandon, Paul Cornell, Kyle Higgins, Moritat and Josh Fialkov. McCallum starts off, saying that he's a huge fan of SUICIDE SQUAD and he loves how it's a fun book about supervillains forced to do dark, nasty things in a more "real world" take. Snyder says that Swamp Thing's his favorite character, right next to Batman, and that the core of the character is about a man struggling with monsters - - both external and internal. He's been talking about SWAMP THING since he started working at DC, and he's excited about giving the character a new spin. It starts with a newly human Alec Holland trying to reconcile his last memory of being burnt alive and his dreams of being a swamp creature that he wants to get away from. The book will explore whether there's a destiny to his circumstances and, even though Alec will be trying to escape his destiny, the book won't ignore anything that's come before. The book will introduce a new villain, an ancient evil, whom Swamp Thing was meant to fight.
12:59 - Jeff talking about ANIMAL MAN. At its center, it's not a book about a superhero, but a family. Buddy's daughter is the real star of the book, as she'll be an incredible powerful entity who must be protected. Buddy's wife is his strength; he'd fall apart without her. This will be a very dark book, for sure. A horror book that will build upon past stories instead of ignoring them. Regarding FRANKSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. - - this is will be the most over-the-top book in contrast to his quieter past work. What if the most insane villain in the world got access to a infinite arsenal and cache of technology? Who are the people who make up the limbs and pieces of Frankenstein? Loves the CREATURE COMMANDOS; feels like they haven't gotten their due yet. Planning to do STARMAN flashback issues - - promises one called "Frakenstein '69" about his days in Vietnam.
1:05 - - Fialkov talking about I, VAMPIRE, a revival of a great, classic horror story. It's about a regal couple - - the guy stays noble after becoming a vampire, while the girl turns absolutely evil. Vampires have been hiding in the DCU, but now they're fed up with their subjugation and they fashion themselves into "vampire terrorists" with aims to take over the world. Romance first, but then about monsters owning their monstrosity. Piles and piles of bodies are promised.
1:09 - Cornell talking about DEMON KNIGHTS, which will be set in DC's medieval times, about a "bloody Magnificent Seven" who have to protect a village after the death of Camelot. Expect experiences from Vandal Savage and a "certain strong, powerful woman from a certain island." Talking up a new character, the Horse Woman, who'll be the stand-out of the team. It'll be like GAME OF THRONES in that the characters are always at risk of being killed. Now he's talking STORMWATCH. The team is now an illuminati-like organization that's been around for centuries who're annoyed by all these new "costume amateurs trying to to take over their Earth protection business. Midnighter and Apollo will be new recruits; jokes that he wants to have a t-shirt that says, "Yes, they're still gay." They'll be meeting for the first time in the first issue, and the series will see them falling in love. Four or five characters returning from the old Stormwatch.
1:17 - Higgins talking about DEATHSTROKE and how the villain is the biggest bad ass in the DC universe, but feels like the character hasn't been allowed to shine as much as he should be. Bringing him back to show why he's such a great assassin - - he'll be laying waste to the 405 highway in LA in the first issue. Not turning him into a good guy, not turning him into an anti-hero... he's a villain, through and through. Compares his approach to the character to the Joker in DARK KNIGHT.
1:21 - About SUICIDE SQUAD; joke Harley Quinn's costume has garnered "a lot of discussion." They won't be a regular super team who gets to hang out when they aren't on missions; they'll only be operating when they're pulled out of their solitary cells. Harley Quinn is a fun psycho and King Shark is fighting to keep a grip on his humanity as he's "de-evolving" into a hammerhead. Compares relationship between Diablo and Deathshot to that of Cyclops and Wolverine - - the idealist vs. the cynic. First five issues will be never-ending barrage of intense missions.
1:25 - Costa promises that you won't be seeing "your Daddy's BLACKHAWKS." Most of the line-up is new characters. They're an international police team stopping rogue villains who have their hands on technology that they shouldn't have. There's a conspiracy to who's being armed and who isn't being armed, and the Blackhawks are going to stop a movement to marry man with machine.
1:29 - MEN OF WAR is a straight military book in the DCU about a private contractor named Joe Rock from a cut-off military family. First arc takes place in North Africa and, even though it'll have appearances from superheroes, it's mostly about normal men. Will feature a new version of Circe? Ivan Brandon being very careful about what he says for fear of spoiling some great surprises.
1:35 - Now talking about ALL STAR WESTERN. Really impressive art from Moritat but he admits to not being much of a talker next to Jimmy Palmiotti. Now the room's being opened for questions, though they're running out of time. Telling fans that it's their job to tell everybody that they love a book, otherwise it isn't going to be there for much longer. Brandon says that if they're doing their jobs right, then the least important part of the book is the number on the cover. Higgins says that it's key to make every issue a jumping-on point. Each issue of DEATHSTROKE will be a different mission.
1:42 - Awkwardly-phrased question about how past stories will factor in to SWAMP THING. Snyder says that they can't focus on all the elements of the mythos at once, but he'll be getting at the core of the character. Also stresses that they're all working together to try to make this DARK/EDGE family a cohesive corner of the universe. Jokes about Deathstroke fighting Swamp Thing in issue 3. Q: What does Harley have to look so evil when she's always been such a fun character? A: Even if her outfit's different, she'll still be the cool, fun Harley. Q: What's the difference between Vertigo and this? A: We're still in the DCU, with superheroes, and then we can't say certain words or show certain body parts. Q: Will Swamp Thing break off another piece of a fruit for another lucky lady? A: You'll have to read the book, brother.
And that's the end of the panel. This line's looking it'll be a great middle ground between traditional superheroes and edgy material you'd find in Vertigo.