Aquaman and Shazam may have dominated Hall H on Saturday, but it’s the writers and artists of DC Comics who hit the stage in room 6DE this afternoon to discuss their work. The panel included, from left to right, Liam Sharp, Marc Andreyko, Dan Jurgens, Sam Humphries, Robert Venditti, Tom Taylor, Tim Seely and Mitch Gerads.
The panel started going down the line with Sharp touching on his run on Brave and the Bold. His “passion for celtic mythology” was a big influence on the story, and Sharp is proud that he was able to integrate his European roots into the DC Universe. In his opinion, Wonder Woman is the perfect character to use for the story because she already had mythical connections.
Batman, on the other hand, is a “hobbit” in a world of “giants.” His detective skills are his main asset here, and Sharp enjoyed taking the character out of his comfort zone.
“He has to figure out ways to investigate in this realm where he can’t even trust the time or the sky.”
Right before the Con it was announced that Sharp and Morrison will be taking the reins on Green Lantern starting in November. The two creators have been in the industry for roughly the same amount of time, but they’ve never worked together in the past. He admitted he “used to get so tongue tied around him because he’s kind of legendary,” but the two connected at the Wonder Woman premiere and spent the night chatting.
While he was mum on any story details, Sharp said Morrison is digging deep into the character’s history (as the writer loves to do) and he will be bringing back a lot of characters from the 50s and 60s. The artist, who described himself as more of a fantasy guy, said he was a “sucker for space stuff.”
“Anyone who’s a long term fan of the Green Lanterns, you’re gonna be able to see some things that reference things from years and years ago.”
Marc Andreyko, the former writer on Batwoman, is gearing up to take over Supergirl. In his opinion, the main factor that separates her from Superman is the fact that she remembers Krypton. She was a teenager when it blew up, so she is dealing with “survivors guilt” in a way that Superman isn’t. Supergirl will head to the stars to try and search for any traces of her former planet and people in the quest to find “her place as more than just Superman’s cousin.”
On the lighter side of things, Andreyko is excited to use Krypto in the book. He said he’s “having just so much fun writing the dog” and insisted that artist Kevin Maguire came on partially because there’s so much Krypto in the series. He described working with Maguire as an experience that freaks out the “15 year old in him” and called him a “humble icon.”
“Just buy it and look at it, even if you hate the script, it’s beautiful.”
Sharp and Morrison may be taking over Hal Jordan’s story, but Dan Jurgens is helming Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz in Green Lanterns. He said his story is focused on the faith and trust members of the Corps have in one another and their rings. To test the Green Lanterns in a new way, he wants to figure out “what happens when you doubt one another and when you can’t trust the rings.” Something out there is manipulating the rings to “sow distrust” in the corps, and it falls on Simon and Jessica to figure things out.
Jurgens said Simon and Jessica are the perfect characters to highlight this story due to their own troubled relationship “and the way that they had to develop trust and faith in each other.” The series turns into a murder mystery with issue 52 that sees Hal Jordan guest star in the series as the Corps tries to find a killer without the use of their rings.
He compared the situation to being “in the military and your gun jams,” so it seems the Green Lanterns may be fighting in the dark for a little.
Sam Humphries, who just started writing Harley Quinn with issue 45, then took over the conversation. Alongside artist John Timms, Humphries said their mandate “with this run was to bring Harley Quinn closer to the center of the DC Universe.” And he knows exactly how to do it: send her to Apokolips.
He says sending Harley to the war-torn planet allows audiences to “see it in a different light.” The character, who is a bit chaotic herself, loves her trip there (which wraps up in issue 47) and she even becomes a new member of the Female Furies. With a new hammer, she takes the name Hammer Harleine and turns Apokolips into a temporary home.
Humphries is laying the groundwork for a big mystery leading up to issue 50. A mysterious figure, who goes by the name M. Platterbook, is writing a comic book about Harley Quinn inside the DC Universe, and it ties into a larger murder mystery that Harley has to solve. The anniversary issue will include a bunch of guest artists and feature what may be one of the most consequential Harley Quinn stories ever.
“The story will be about how Harley Quinn destroys DC continuity. That’s right, she’s destroying DC continuity and it all leads back to M. Platterbook.”
Robert Venditti then started talking about his new run on Hawman with Bryan Hitch. Now that the character has been modified post-Metal, the writer said his goal is to “make him the Indiana Jones of the DCU.” Now that he knows he’s been alive much longer than he thought, he’s kind of “the living historical document of the entire DC universe,” and he is stuck on an adventure trying to learn as much as he can about his past.
Instead of just reincarnating, he also reincarnates across time and space. So readers will learn more about the characters history and times that he reincarnated as a Kryptonian. There’s a new mystery unraveling that ties into Carter Hall’s past, but every time he reincarnates he’s forgotten some information that makes it harder for him to remember how to save the day.
Each issue will follow Hall as he explores another unique location in the DCU like Thanagar or Gorilla City as he discovers clues that his past selves have left for him. Tonally, the writer compared it to a combination of Indiana Jones and National Treasure, so if you’re a fan of adventure stories check this book out.
Gerads even piped in and said that he read the first two issues on the plane and that it was the “first time that I read a Hawkman story that made any sense whatsoever.”
Tom Taylor, who said he was essentially “handed his own universe” when he was given Injustice, was up next. The series is ramping up on the war between the Green and Red Lanterns, and Taylor even gave Starro a Red ring to ramp things up a notch.
Now that fans know Batman and Catwoman aren’t getting married, Taylor teased ‘possibly the biggest wedding in DC Comics history.” Yup, Orca and Killer Croc are getting married everyone.
“We decided not to jump the shark,” he said through giggles.
Taylor reminded the audience that he was originally hired to do 15 weeks worth of work on Injustice, 6 years ago, so the long-term DC fanboy is clearly happy that things are still moving forward and that he can continue “collecting all the toys” in this epic story.
“People seem to like it, thank you!”
The Injustice Universe is getting a bit bigger with the introduction of Seely’s Injustice Vs. Masters of the Universe. Taking place after Taylor’s comics and the games, it sees Batman search out He-Man in the hopes he is powerful enough to take down Superman. Batman and a group of DC’s finest travel to Etherium to recruit him to their mission, but without He-Man there to defend his home, Darkseid has set his sights on the new planet.
Seely, who said he’s been “waiting his entire life to work on Masters of the Universe,” stated that he wants the series to be full of emotion and big moments since it’s part of the Injustice universe. In his opinion, it’s a important story and he’s “treating it like [he’s] writing Crisis on Infinite Earths.” He’s still gonna integrate goofy moments though to give it a lighter feel. One moment he teased in particular includes Catwoman riding Battle Cat.
To fit in with the Injustice look, something that Seely said makes all the characters “look like they’re a Buick,” He-Man will be receiving an upgraded costume.
Sitting at the end of the table was Mitch Gerads, who won an Eisner for his illustrating work on Mister Miracle Friday night. He said the awards were “literally the longest Eisner’s ever” so he was a bit too tired to celebrate last night.
He discussed the ending of issue 9 that sees Scott Free face a situation similar to the one Highfather was in when he gave him to Darkseid years ago. The character has a way to save the universe and reverse the anti-life equation, but he has to give his son to Darkseid. The character spent his whole life wondering how his father could have done it to him and “now he has to do it to his own son.” He described issue 10 as a look at the guilt involved in making that decision and said it includes Scott talking to people about the best way to move forward. Looking forward to issue 11, he said he was “about a quarter of the way into drawing it.”
The Eisner winner called the nine panel grid magical. Since readers already know how to read the grid, “there’s no nanosecond you have to take to read it” In his opinion, it allows the reader to move slower and the creators to change how “the reader is processing [information] from panel to panel.” He said he was influenced by old newspaper comics like Garfield and the way they tell tell jokes so quickly and effectively.
Gerads, who said DC has been very accommodating due to the schedule conflicts associated with the birth of his son, said he’s working on the book seven days a week because he’s so drawn to the material. When he first read the script to issue 11, he admits that he had such a “visceral experience” that he was vibrating while waiting to learn what happens next.
“This book means so much to me,” he said. “That’s the problem with working on something with Tom, he never writes something I don’t care about.”