This past weekend, DC took over a panel room at Special Edition NYC to discuss their DC YOU relaunch titles.  Panelists included Gotham Academy writer Becky Cloonan, Midnighter writer Steve Orlando, Action Comics writer Greg Pak, Black Canary artist Annie Wu, Black Canary writer Brendan Fletcher, and Constantine: the Hellblazer co-writer Ming Doyle.  While no new titles were announced, the panelists were in great spirits as they discussed their respective series, offering insight into the future of their books.

First up was Midnighter‘s Steve Orlando, who reassured fans that he was not here to ruin the lives of countless presently despondent Authority fans by separating Midnighter from his long-time lover, Apollo.  At the beginning of The Authority, Midnighter and Apollo have been a couple for five years.  Orlando said he wanted to dial the clock back and explore how Midnighter and Apollo got together in the first place.   In addition, he offered the most quotable quip of the day when he revealed the covers of issues 2 and 3, summarizing the second issue as follows:

“If corporations are people, then they’re people we can punch.”

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Next, we had Gotham Academy‘s Becky Cloonan.  The first trade of her, Brendan Fletcher’s, and Karl Kerchl’s series releases on june 23rd, which happens to also be Cloonan’s birthday.  She told the audience that Gotham Academy‘s next issue, which comes out this week, would explore the mayhem that ensues when Batman’s son Damian starts going to school with Maps & co.  She and Brendan also teased an upcoming plot point for the series.  Dr Kurt Langstrom, more commonly known as Man-Bat, is going to be a chemistry professor at Gotham Academy!

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“Maps! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

Greg Pak discussed his new Action Comics arc, which began this past week.  In this story, Pak deals with the consequences of Superman’s secret identity as Clark Kent being revealed in Gene Luen Yang’s Superman series, which begins at the end of June.  Clark Kent’s costume has gotten a bit of a redesign centered around a neat S t-shirt that incorporates black into the traditional yellow, red, and blue.

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He also showed off some fantastically designed covers for issue 42 and 43:

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Finally, although Constantine: the Hellblazer co-writer James Tynion IV was not in attendance at the panel, co-writer Ming Doyle was there to take the reigns and quell any doubts about the return of the hellbound detective.  Doyle said that she and Tynion had given Constantine a “hot, young de-aging,” trading in the deteriorating body of the old Constantine for a new model that reflects the series’ new lease on life.  She made a point of saying that their Constantine is indeed bisexual, distancing them from the controversy surrounding the NBC TV iteration of the Hellblazer. Finally, Doyle took a moment to highlight Riley Rossmo’s art on the series, which breaks “DC house style” in interesting and exciting ways.

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One of the biggest complaints about Special Edition NYC this year was the distinct lack of panel rooms.  Panels were hosted in one of two large booths, and the only thing that separated them was a thin curtain.  Audio from both rooms overlapped with one another, leading one guest to comment that it was “like being in two panels for the price of one.”  More accurately, it was like being in no panels although you were in one.  It did lead to a great moment in the middle of the DC panel, though:

 


Nick Lachey probably never expected this kind of fame.