DC Comics kicked off their WizardWorld: Los Angeles programming Friday afternoon with their latest "DC Nation" panel. DCU executive editor Dan DiDio hosted the panel, and was joined by VP of sales Bob Wayne and Countdown contributing writer Adam Beechen.
Geoff Johns was scheduled to join the panel, but was unable to make it due to a family issue.
DiDio started the panel by saying that he wanted feedback from fans about the current DC products, especially "any Countdown questions."
The first fan question concerned the Fourth World characters, and the motivation behind the Death of the New Gods limited series, and the idea that the Fourth World concept never really worked after creator Jack Kirby left the characters.
DiDio, after explaining his Godzilla and Mothra ringtones and text message alerts, clarified that point by saying that subsequent Fourth World material has been other people "trying to execute" Kirby's vision even though they didn't know where he was going to go with the comics. DiDio said that they're trying to integrate the Fourth World concept "more organically" into the DC Universe.
"So you're doing that by killing them all off," cracked the fan.
"They get better," said DiDio.
The same fan asked about rumors that Bruce Wayne will become a New God. "You can't react to rumors," said DiDio, adding that he thought such an idea was "silly."
The next question was about the possibility of another weekly series after Countdown. After joking about Marvel's nearly weekly Amazing Spider-Man, DiDio told the fan about the previously-announced Trinity, starring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
DiDio polled the audience about who likes buying a weekly comic, and it appeared that most of the audience did indeed enjoy the experience of buying a comic weekly.
An audience member asked DiDio about the possibility of a "What If?" type issue concerning major events in the DC Universe. DiDio said he "wasn't a big fan" of the concept, and that "What If?"-type comics "devalue" the big events themselves. That said, DiDio said the current story arc in Blue Beetle was kind of a "What If?" before correcting himself - he meant Booster Gold.
"Will Trinity tie-in to other comics?" DiDio reaffirmed that it stands on its own.
A fan asked about the Uncle Sam character, and DiDio said he believes he'll be in Final Crisis.
An audience member said that he liked 52 and Countdown because it featured characters that didn't have their own titles, and was asking if another one would focus on more minor characters. DiDio said it depends on if they survive, and then said that we'll continue to see Mary Marvel after Countdown. DiDio then pointed to Reign in Hell, saying that some characters will come back in that series.
Post-Countdown spinoff? DiDio said no, that the Countdown story ends with issue #1. Beechen said that he's seen pages from #1, and that it's a big ending and "really cool." DiDio then admitted, as he has in the past, that he thought Countdown may have had too many tie-ins.
Ethan Van Sciver then joined the panel. A fan asked about a rumor that Geoff Johns would be writing a Legion of Super-Heroes mini-series (perhaps with Van Sciver as artist), and DiDio again said he wouldn't comment on rumors but that he'd find out at the end of the month.
The next question concerned Manhunter, with DiDio talking about the recently announced return of the series in June with Marc Andreyko and art by Michael Gaydos.
A fan then asked about the whereabouts of Vandal Savage; DiDio said he's in Salvation Run, which will feed into Final Crisis.
Someone who recently watched Justice League: The New Frontier - and liked it - asked about future DC animation plans. DiDio said he'd like to see a "Sinestro Corps War" movie, and Wayne plugged the upcoming animated Batman: Gotham Knight anthology.
A fan identified himself as someone who likes to buy trades more than single issues, and was wondering how this affected the chances of books he likes not getting canceled. DiDio said that most of the time books that don't sell well in monthly don't sell well in trades, though there's some exceptions, citing Jonah Hex specifically.
How big will the JSA get? "If I understand it correctly, they'll be holding the next team meeting in the Staples Center," joked DiDio. "I think there is a definite amount in there," he continued, saying that Geoff Johns wants about two dozen characters on the team.
Will Sinestro Corps War be released as multiple trades, or as one collection? "The first one's already out," informed Van Sciver (thought technically only a hardcover's been released). They'll be three in all, the artist said.
Are there specific plans for The Question? DiDio said she'll be featured in the first and last issues of Final Crisis.
What's the status on Booster Gold, post-Geoff Johns (who will be leaving the series later this year)? DiDio: "I don't know if I'm allowed to answer that," though he did say there was an answer. The same fan asked about the future of JSA: Classified, with DiDio saying it was coming to an end.
Are there any plans to cross over Justice League and Teen Titans? "I spoke to the editor of Teen Titans, no plans for that now," said DiDio. (DiDio is the editor of Teen Titans). "My goal for Teen Titans is that we have a lot of original characters right now, and I like giving them an opportunity to shine in their own right before we throw everybody into a big pot again," he added.
A fan asked about the upcoming Judd Winick/Ian Churchill Titans title, and DiDio equated it to the show Friends, and how it's about the relationship and friendship between the characters.
DiDio asked the audience about Jim Shooter's current Legion of Super-Heroes - who was reading it and if they liked it. A fan that indicated he wasn't satisfied said that he liked what Mark Waid and Barry Kitson were doing, and was disappointed so far about the Shooter run. Another fan said it was "really flat."
DiDio polled the audience again - this time about what their favorite incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes was: the Levitz/Giffen Legion, the Abnett/Lanning/Coipel Legion or the Waid/Kiston Legion. It was a fairly even split between the three.
This led to DiDio asking fans about their favorite Aquaman - the original, the Peter David harpoon-hand Aquaman, and the current Arthur Curry Aquaman. None of the three received too warm of a reception.
DiDio then asked fans if DC could publish a comic called "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes," who would buy it. "You got the name back?" an audience member quipped. "I said if we could do it," DiDio responded. "I don't want any more rumors starting." The response to the question from the audience was lukewarm, with only a few hands being raised before DiDio moved on.
A fan who said she liked team books led to a discussion about what makes team books work - DiDio said that what made Avengers great wasn't that Hulk, Iron Man and Thor were in it, but when Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch joined, since their lives could be affected by what happened in that title (since they didn't have their own books). DiDio compared that to what he was saying earlier about Teen Titans, and how that's an interesting book because of characters like Miss Martian, that can't be seen anywhere else.
When continuing to discuss team books, Van Sciver said he liked "the idea" of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, since Superboy is a "gateway character" that everyone knows, that would allow readers to get to know the rest of the characters.
Are there plans for Batwoman? After some joking about the perceived "terseness" of DiDio's answers to this point, the DCU Executive Editor said that more from the character will be coming soon.
Are there plans for another Secret Six miniseries? "I love the Secret Six," said DiDio, who added that he thinks there could be more from the characters in the future.
What's happening with All-Star Batgirl? "Right now it's on hold," said DiDio, due to Johns and J.G. Jones doing other projects, but DC is looking for another creative team to take it over.
Future plans for the Cassandra Cain Batgirl? Beechen said he's doing a mini-series that'll explain the character's recent behavior. DIDio said they're not ready to announce the artist yet.
DiDio then returned to the old Infinite Crisis-era rumors about killing off Nightwing, and asked the audience members what it was about the character they liked. "He's relatable," said one. "The original Robin," said another. "He's less in Batman's shadow than the other Robins," yet another.
Hypothetically speaking, could Nightwing become Batman?" asked DiDio. "He could, but he shouldn't," seemed to be the consensus among the vocal fans. Van Sciver added that he thought Dick Grayson will eventually become Batman, but we'll never see it. Another said he "wasn't crazy enough," which led to DiDio asking just who is crazy enough - "Huntress," said one. DiDio asked "How about Jason Todd?" which the crowd didn't seem to like, because he "doesn't have the spirit of Batman," said one.
DiDio then took a vote on if only Bruce Wayne could be Batman, or if Tim Drake, or any of past Robins, could take the mantle. The majority seemed to want Bruce Wayne to stay as Batman. DiDio asked why fans would be upset if Dick Grayson was killed off, and a female fan said "it would take away Batman's grounding." Another fan said that they liked the "legacy" aspect of Dick Grayson's character. DiDio asked what other characters fulfill that "legacy" role, with names like Wally West and Roy Harper tossed around. Another fan said he's "basically grown up" with Nightwing.
DiDio ended the panel with a quick survey of the audience, asking them how long they'd been reading comics, which resulted in a wide variety of answers.
Post Edited:2008-03-18 21:18:44