Report by Matt Brady
DC kicked off its second major panel of WonderCon, Countdown to Crisis Saturday afternoon, with Dan DiDio serving as host.
DiDio opened the panel by warming up the crowd and welcoming the audience and then introduced the panelists: Mike Carlin, Trinity writer Kurt Busiek, his penciling partner Mark Bagley, writers Judd Winick and Adam Beechen, and DC’s Bob Wayne and Jann Jones.
DiDio then announced a special panelist - J. Michael Straczynski. DiDio said that Straczynski will be working with DC Comics in the very near future.
DiDio welcomed JMS to the panel, and said that it was exciting for him personally to bring him to DC, as he's a huge Babylon 5 fan.
JMS said that he has always been a massive DC fan, and has more Curt Swan original artwork than he can describe. "The chance to work in the new universe is a great opportunity," JMS said.
He added that he's looking at projects for later this year and the first part of next year, to which DiDio added that he has an open door and is more than welcome to work on anything he'd like.
Beechen said that the story will answer all the questions from the last few years, and will address all of the questions of why Batgirl has been acting the way she's been acting, and set the stage for new Batgirl adventures to come.
Winick spoke about the ending of the Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special, saying that it was the most over the top thing they could think of, and no one in the production of the book thought anyone would take is seriously. "It was so over the top we thought it was obvious....we brought him back right away. And then, we shot Connor."
This was met by a chorus of "boos" from the crowd, which Winick answered with "He's not dead, dead - he's just brain dead - in comics, that's nothing."
And besides," Winick continued, "I'm the schmuck that brought back Jason Todd - he can always come back."
The writer explained (as he previously has to Newsarama) how he original pitched an idea to DiDio that would have been seven pages a week, and two years later, it's 22 pages.
Asked about his role in it, Mark Bagley joked that he came to DC to get away from Straczynski, to which the writer said, "There is no escape."
The artist said that he was reluctant to come to WonderCon because he had to get back to work, and that's one of the way he can stay on track - by not going to conventions. "I've got some other artists I'd like you to tell that to," DiDio joked.
Carlin then spoke about Trinity, saying that the main story starring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman will be connected to the back-up stories to tell one larger, three-act story. Additionally, Carlin reiterated that Trinity will not be connected to the rest of the DC Universe, and will stand on its own.
Busiek said that the backups will be tight in their connection, as the first back up will introduce the villains of the story, the backup in issue #2 will start a major battle, etc...
"Never,” DiDio said.
In discussing the titles, DiDio hinted that perhaps as many as two more titles are coming from DC in the same vein as Tiny Titans, Super Friends, and The Magic of Shazam.
DiDio took a poll of the audience to see which Aquaman was the crowd's favorite, which showed the audience to be split among the different versions. DiDio said that it's something they're trying to figure out - which Aquaman should be the Aquaman to bring back.
DiDio said that while the Jim Aparo version is most recognizable, the "harpoon hand" version is also well recognized in the media. All in all, DiDio said, they're taking their time to bring Aquaman back.
The fan, named Wyatt, remained on the panel as the official "maybe" person to answer questions with that word.
"He's in Trinity as well, starting with issue #6," Busiek said.
"There's a story that's going to be told where Power Girl goes to visit Earth-2, and how that story resolves itself could ultimately lead to more stories for Power Girl," DiDio said.