The first day of NYCC was in full swing yesterday. In addition to the Meet the Publishers panel, DC Comics hosted the DC World’s Finest panel featuring some of the biggest talents at DC, including Kami Garcia, Mitch Gerads, Joëlle Jones, Tom King, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and Josh Williamson. With moderator Amy Dallen, a co-host on the DC Daily program on the DC Universe streaming platform, the panelists talked about their current DC work.

L-R: Evan “Doc” Shaner, Mitch Gerads, Tom King, Joshua Williamson, Joëlle Jones, Kami Garcia, Unknown, Moderator Amy Dallen

Williamson, the writer on The Flash title, discussed how the current “Death of the Speed Force” storyline which serves as a tie-in to the “Year of the Villain” event is building towards the upcoming “Rogues’ Reign” storyline that sees the Flash’s villains take over Central City. If it sounds reminiscent of Tom King’s “City of Bane” storyline in Batman, you’re not alone — Williamson was quick to remark that the two stories are completely different, prompting King to joke that “City of Bane” is nothing like Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight Rises. Williamson went on to praise is frequent Flash artist Howard Porter, teasing that they have another major project in the near future.

Next, Kami Garcia spoke about her DC Black Label Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity miniseries which hits shelves next week. Though terrified at the thought of the writing Batman, Garcia felt that many of his skill sets were shared by Harley which she felt more comfortable writing. With Dr. Edward Kurz, a psychological/forensic expert, as a consultant, Garcia is treating the book like a real criminal procedural and even went as far as profiling Joker like a real person. The Joker in this version is completely sane, which to Garcia is a thousand times scarier.  

Creator Joëlle Jones, who launched a new Catwoman ongoing series last year, was initially both the writer and artist but due to the scheduling commitments of a monthly book, has had to take a break from the art duties and focus primarily on writing. However, fans will be delighted to know that Jones will be stepping back into the art side of things. Surprisingly, Jones admitted that when working as both writer/artist she doesn’t write full scripts but rather simply sits down and goes where it takes her as a storyteller when she draws.

Fresh off their critical and award-winning miniseries Mister Miracle, Tom King and Mitch Gerads are once again teaming up for their next project, an Adam Strange book fittingly titled Strange Adventures announced last July at SDCC, and this time they’re bringing Evan “Doc” Shaner along for the ride. The genesis of the project began more than a year ago as King and Gerads were finishing issue 11 of Mister Miracle and were contemplating their next collaboration. Eying an Adam Strange book in Gerads’ library, King pitched the project on the way to the baptism of Gerads’ son (appropriately King is his godfather).

While a sequel to Mister Miracle would have been an easy sell given its tremendous success, King and Gerads wanted to challenge themselves and to do so they realized the needed to bring in another artist to push themselves even further creatively with another self-contained comic that commented on the times. When they approached Shaner about splitting the art duties for the book, it just so happened that Shaner was looking for a longer form project as opposed to a one-shot, so it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Although Shaner and Gerads have completely different art styles, they somehow manage to compliment each other in the book. According to King, the underlying theme of Strange Adventures is the difference between the myths we tell ourselves and the realities of the world. Gerads is mixing it up for Strange Adventures, in that while he is drawing the backgrounds traditionally, all the characters are drawn digitally. He joked that his art representation hates him because there aren’t that many collectors looking to buy comic art of an empty hotel room.

Some Gerads and Shaner art shown during the DC World’s Finest panel which you can see below:

A fun Easter Egg and bit of trivia revealed by Gerads, the girl who appears at the Adam Strange book signing in the first panel is the same girl who took a selfie with Scott Free and Big Barda in Mister Miracle.

During the fan Q&A for DC World’s Finest panel, Garcia emphasized that Criminal Insanity is not a romance or love story between Harley Quinn and the Joker but a “long dark walk.” Williamson is thrilled that Bloodwork, an original character he created during his Flash run, will be the main villain in the sixth season of The Flash on the CW played by Sendhil Ramamurthy. A character he conceived since he was a child, nevertheless, Bloodwork taught Williamson an important lesson—never have the Flash fight a villain who is also wearing red. As Williamson learned the hard way, having two red characters fighting each other made the comics almost unreadable in his opinion.

The Flash #30 (Art by Neil Googe)