It’s day 2 of C2E2 and we’re liveblogging the “Batman/Superman 101” panel. (And to think, it used to be a Superman/Batman world… I guess the pecking order has changed.) Get ready to start hitting reload.
Our cast: Jimmy Palmiotti, Bob Harras, Chris Burnham, James Tynion, The Layman and Kenneth Rocafort.
The lead topic: a backlist poster for Superman tpbs to tie-in with Man of Steel.
Topic 2: a catalog of back issue graphic novels.
They’re talking about old tpbs and Jimmy Palmiotti just did something you don’t often see at DC panels these days: talked up Mark Waid (specifically, his Superman: Birthright). Harras ops the All-Star Superman as his Superman recommendation, but Burnham is back to Birthright. Tynion is the diplomat: Birthright, All-Star and Geoff John’s Brainiac arc.
The Layman is outside the box, with Superman For All Seasons. Rocafort likes the villains.
15 minutes in, they’re just pimping old tpbs. (Marvel might have trouble doing this, as it would require more things being in print.)
New topic: Superman: Unchained
It’s presented as a good starting point for reading comics.
Harras is struggling to describe the mysterious fold-out page in this book. Standard hype language. There’s apparently been a problem figuring out how to translate this fold-out page to digital.
New Topic: the Zero Year arc in Batman
Harras: It’s in the spirit of New 52 (whatever that means) and will change a couple things but still the same Batman. Harras uses the phrase “at the top of their game” a lot.
John Cunningham is talking up how many times you can retell the origins because they’re classic tales.
On to current titles:
Tynion on Talon: Bane enters the new 52-verse. He’ll bring Bane back to his roots on the island/prison. Developing characters around him. Tynion has been inspired by Breaking Bad, in terms of pulling the rug out from under the viewer/reader at regular intervals.
Tynion on Red Hood and the Outlaws: He wanted to throw a wrench in the relationships of the characters and make them re-evaluate their relationships. Cheshire’s New 52 version turns up in the Annual. Talia’s interest in Jason Todd will be explored.
Rocafort on Superman: he doesn’t have the script for issue who’s cover is on the screen.
Harras on Superman: He thinks the Superman/Wonder Woman is one of the most interesting developments at DC. “There’s a lot of intrigue in this relationship.” It opens doors to other storylines.
Harras on Batman & <insert here, used to be Robin>: Dealing with the 5 stages of grief as he meets various members of the extended Bat-family. This is just the first part of the plans for the book.
Harras on Nightwing: Nightwing is in Chicago looking for the man responsible for his parents’ death. The New 52 version of the Prankster is featured as the villain.
Palmiotti on Batwing: The new Batwing is the son of Lucious Fox. Bruce has not told Lucious what’s going on, which will be a problem. It will start out with a story set in Africa. Batman is monitoring him remotely and giving a commentary. This will be a more carefree/playboy type of character.
The Layman on Detective: He doesn’t care about Bruce Wayne’s personal life/love life. It’s about the case and he’s trying to make it self-contained. There’s a new 52 version of The Wraith comic up. A sort of anti-Batman character Layman thinks it’s obscure (but I’d call classic and under-utilized).
Burnham on Batman, Inc. – He knew about Damian’s death two years out when he signed his exclusive.
Cunnigham admits the panel is a plug-fest!
Q&A Time – usually this is more interesting than the panel.
Q: Will that last issue of Batman Inc be super-sized?
A: Can’t say.
Q: Will the concept of Batman Inc continue after the book?
A: Wait and see.
Q: Will there be more one shots or just new marketing lines?
A: Swamp Thing will have more 2 issue arcs. (Harras) It depends on the stories.
Q: Is there something he buy his daughter that isn’t a back issue?
A: Lil Gotham
Q: Did Batman really figure out the Joker’s real identity in Death of the Family?
A: Keep reading. (Zero Year reference)
Q: Will Lucious Fox’s daughter turn up in Batwing?
Q: Which Superman comic was the hardest to make a story for?
A: (Utter confusion on the panel) There’s no real difficulty.
Q: Any Superman family/Batman family crossover event?
A: Ducked question
Q: What about the cyborg Superman?
A: Harras: He likes the new design, he’ll show up soon. Things are going to be “surprising.”
Q: Will you make it easier to get digital titles? He wants a digital code with the print copy. Sounds like his retailer doesn’t order the digital bundle.
A: That’s being discussed. You should use previews and pre-order.
Q: Batwing design process?
A: (Jimmy) Batman Beyond was a design inspiration. They went streamlined, inspired by Apple design. Luke will be fiddling with the costume as he goes along.
Q: What’s your favorite Justice League Graphic Novel
A: Tynion – Tower of Babel
And we’ll end with another Mark Waid plug on a DC panel.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.