We’re only a month removed from the news that Geoff Johns was stepping down from his role at DC Entertainment as Chief Creative Officer to take on more creative endeavors specifically with the company. Some of these include Three Jokers with Jason Fabok, a new Shazam! comic, and writing the script for the upcoming Green Lantern Corps film.
There’s a lot to discuss and The Beat is live at today’s spotlight panel. Refresh and stay tuned, we’ll bring you word of all things you need to know!
– Panel is running a little behind, but based on the placards, Dan DiDio will again be moderating the discussion with Johns in a pretty darn packed panel room.
– Wait. I see a hat emerging…yep, it’s Dan!
– Dan refers to Geoff as one of his best friends in this business, intros him and we’re off!
– Dan highlights how much Geoff’s role has changed over the past year.
– Dan asks Geoff how much his day to day work has changed with his new role at the company.
– Geoff says that the biggest change is that he now gets to directly write the characters without much interference.
– they’re now about to run that Titans trailer that debuted this morning. With a warning that kids should cover their ears.
– That was my first time seeing that.
– Dan asks Geoff why they decided to go this direction
– Geoff cites the spirit of Wolfman and Perez, aiming to do things with these characters no one had ever seen before. He mentions that Donna Troy and Jason Todd will also appear, and that there’s a whole Titans Universe they’re working off of.
– Johns praises how each member of the team is a doorway into other worlds, and other genres. The first season will focus on Rachel/Raven.
– Geoff addresses the language and the “F*** Batman” moment and says it’s just one part of the show and has a good deal of humor as well.
– he also plugs Doom Patrol, the Titans’ spin-off, and says if you love Morrison’s run, you’ll love this.
– the fourth show after Swamp Thing, will be Stargirl…as many people know is a character near and dear to Johns.
– Geoff says the series centers on Courtney Whitmore attempting to revive the legacy of the Justice Society after discovering her stepfather’s past as a sidekick. He calls it the Flash to Titans’ Arrow.
– Geoff confirms to Dan that he’ll pulling together his own staff for this series, which he’ll be overseeing as showrunner.
– He says this is the kind of opportunity he couldn’t have had if he stayed on as CCO. And he says it’s fun that he gets to pitch things to Jim Lee now.
– Geoff even relates a time when he and Dan had a meeting, under the auspices of Dan meeting Richard Donner, and he and Kevin Feige instead showed up to pitch a Stars and STRIPE tv show.
– Dan then asks Geoff to discuss his work with Richard Donner and how it impacted him.
– He says Dick Donner was always big on collaboration and working with people, which made a huge impact
– There was a quick mention of Doomsday Clock, but they quickly moved on to Wonder Woman 1984 and the work Geoff did with Patty Jenkins to script it, which is now filming in London. Geoff has to be pretty mum though on details.
– Now the topic moves over to Shazam!, which Geoff says he started as a consultant on. He stresses his love of Shazam and as one of the few characters haven’t been mined like how Alan Moore impacted Swamp Thing or Mark Waid with the Flash. He calls him an untapped character and thinks he’s a blast to write.
– After reinventing the character with Gary Frank, Geoff presented it again to New Line. And things were off to the races!
– oh here’s some news:
– November is going to be one hell of a month at DC. The series is going to be centered on the kids discovering the origins of magic and reunites him with Dale Eaglesham from their JSA days.
– Dan said they were originally holding this for Gary Frank to team with Geoff on but scheduling made it not possible.
– They now segue back to Doomsday Clock, which Dan calls a daunting project to take on. He asks Geoff about the origins of the project.
– Geoff thanks everyone that’s reading the comic. He says it takes him five times as long to write this series as any comic he’s ever worked on.
– Some early art for the upcoming issue (out next week):
– Dan calls this a “different kind of challenge” for Geoff as it’s a story “people were too afraid to tell” vs. Johns work in rehabilitation of characters like Green Lantern and Teen Titans.
– Geoff says the scope of the title has changed quite organically. And that this new issue focuses on the origin of Mime and Marionette, along with the “Superman Theory” that has been driving the background superhuman arms race throughout the series and how it impacts the super-villains of the DCU.
– Geoff says the series tilts the idea that the Watchmen universe is the “darker” universe when compared to the DCU. The prevalence of heroes in the DCU by comparison actually creates a number of issues in terms of conflict that Ozymandias is a big critic of. “They’re constantly tripping on their own capes”
– Dan asks Geoff if there are any characters that he’d like to revisit. Geoff says he doesn’t really want to return to any in general. He says you couldn’t get him back on Green Lantern for anything.
– First image of Three Jokers:
– Geoff says it will feature Bruce, Barbara and Jason.
– Geoff says it’s evolved and grown a bit, but it’s been the same basically from the way he initially conceived it.
– He’s excited, as this is the first Batman event he’s ever worked in. It centers on the shared pain of Bruce, Barbara and Jason and what does the Joker want with them and how the Joker operates.
– Geoff says it’s more of a Joker story than a Batman story.
– He states that by the end of the series, Bruce and the Joker will have a very different relationship than what they have now.
– Dan and Geoff then get into a discussion about the kinds of comics Geoff read growing up and how few other comics readers they knew and praise SDCC as a great place to meet other fans.
– Dan talk a little bit about their working relationship, and use the first issue of the New 52 Aquaman as an example. Dan hated the restaurant scene and wanted it pulled, but they were able to work together and compromise on it and that allows them some mutual on-stage praise.
– Geoff and Dan praise their mutual love of the weird corners
– Dan: which Joker is the real Joker?
Geoff: You’ll have to read to find out
Dan: are there ways you differentiate the Three Jokers?
Geoff: yes, but I may only be able to tell what they are.
– Geoff does tell the audience about a scene in the series where one Joker opens the door to their residence and another is wearing another’s Hawaiian shirt. He says “hey! That’s my shirt”
– the Killing Zone is the new topic, which is his imprint at DC. He has a book he’s working on that won’t be out until mid 2019…May-ish…and it’s a book that spans the 1940’s to 2040, featuring characters that haven’t taken the spotlight at DC in a long time.
– Geoff says every character that has their own book in the line are characters he’s never written ever.
– Geoff states the current political climate is driving the initial book he’s working on. He also calls it a very important story to him personally.
And we’re done! Lots of new info here, thanks for joining for the ride!
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. He really loves the Legion of Super-Heroes a lot.