DC might not have a floor presence at Wondercon but they’ve brought an eclectic mix of creators to talk about all things Batman at Wondercon. On the panel are Batgirl artist Babs Tarr, Gotham Academy writer Brenden Fletcher, mainstay Greg Pak, and Tom King; with festivities hosted by DC All Access host Tiffany Smith.
The panel opened with a sizzle reel for DC All Access. Tiffany Smith intros the deus and we start with Batman/Superman #20. Pak talks about the arc identifying who “Superman’s Joker” is. If you want to see Batman attacking Superman’s grandmother this is the book for you. Smith posed the question of the book, what traits do the characters swap with each other. Pak gave the example of this arc with Superman coming to Batman about what to do when you face an enemy that’s as crazy as the Joker.
Splash pages from the annual were shown and Pak promised June would pick up where the cliffhanger left off.
Smith moved the conversation towards the young titles in Gotham. Brenden Fletcher started by giving the rundown on Batgirl. The ending of Batgirl #40 sets up the supporting cast to play a large role in Barbaras life. Smith got a pop from the crowd for Babs Tarr who drew the cover of the show souvenir book.
Fletcher is teasing the new Black Canary title coming in June. Burnside was a creation of Fletcher and Cameron Stewart; a place where youth and art thrive in Gotham. Tarr and artist Annie wu were classmates, Babs mentioned how their work was always side by side in school. The next arc of Batgirl is built around a list of things Babs wanted to draw in the book.
Smith brought up Gotham Academy. Fletcher commented about how much freedom they have to create new things from the ideas of Scott Snyder’s early ideas. Pages from issue six are being shown, specifically the fight between Killer Crock and Batman. Originally Fletcher wanted to do a straight Batman book, it was Becky Cloonan who wanted to do a book about the kids and academy.
Fletcher talked about the influences for the book pulling from Nancy Drew and Harry Potter.
Tom King transitioned into Grayson, issue #8 is the culmination of everything including the annuals. He called it “the end of season one.” He also joked about the sex appeal of Dick Grayson, with Tiffany Smith seemingly getting bright eyed at the mention of the character.
King talked about the cliffhangers the last issue left on. He talks about the upcoming issues bringing Grayson back into the forefront of the DC Universe.
Smith brought up the characters creators want to use, Babs chimed in with “Bad Bitches”, Fletcher stared at King and said Grayson while Greg Pak would like to do something with Catwoman.
The question was brought to King about the differences in doing episodic television and comics. King answered by comparing the cost of a book vs the time it takes to read. Value of the story is important to him, in his eyes a book’s failed if you just put it down after reading it.
Fan Q&A opened up:
Grayson gratuitous butt shots, more of them?
Is Damian there to stay in Gotham Academy?
Fletcher danced around it, “He’s there.” Pat Gleason’s new book will have more answers about Damian than any other book.
The Batgirl Controversy was brought up.
“Rafael is an amazing artist,” said Fletcher. Most of their thought was the book speaks for itself while a variant cover is a different type of promotional tool.
Manbat in Gotham Academy?
Fletcher teased about needing a new teacher for the science department at the academy.
A fan asked about bringing Baby Doll from TAS or other characters back?
No specific plans for Etrigan or the Creeper. King will have six characters that haven’t been seen in along time in issue nine of Grayson.
Plans for Carrie Kelly?
Everyone argued about loving her the most. Everyone on the panel feels it’s too sacred to touch right now.
A fan actually voiced a complaint about the new universe. She wanted to know why she should invest if characters change all the time.
In their defense, Brenden Fletcher talked about just being creators who get to try new things. Tom King also talked about being in mourning when the New 52 happened, but also how great it is to have the fans of these old comics be the ones doing the books now.
The final question was what book would they like to have get the animated treatment?
Pak brought up his work being turned into one with Planet Hulk. Fletcher and Tarr want to see something for Gotham Academy and Batgirl. Tom King obviously wants a Grayson TV show. With Tom King’s awful Grayson impression the panel ended.