The annual DC panel lacked the sizzle and flash of a big news drop but still painted a decent picture of the creative process some of the more prolific writers go through. The panel started with the announcement of Batman 75th Anniversary, which includes a Batman Day on July 23. Similar to Free Comic Book Day, events will be happening at comics shops around the country. Check your local store for more information in the summer.
Batman Eternal was showcased first, as Scott Snyder explained how it was his first weekly series and that he and James Tynion IV would have never done it unless they had a story that would “turn Gotham on its head and break the mythology.” The plan is for each writer, such as Tim Seeley or Ray Fawkes, to explore whatever nook and cranny of Gotham they’ve always wanted to. Readers can expect a completely new status quo for classic characters such as Catwoman, Penguin, and even Alfred. Batman Eternal is meant to be a celebration of everything Gotham City, stuffed into 52 issues. Snyder has an overarching plot and plans to take bigger risks, including showing how adaptable Batman is to certain circumstances.
Zero Year was lovingly talked about by Snyder, as he called it “his favorite thing done on a Bat book so far”. His focus was to modernize the classic myths and create a complete inversion of the original Year One. Snyder thanked the fans for letting him build everything up through the two arcs so far, and that the final one is a big “thank you” to fans. He compared the Riddler’s Gotham takeover and the apocalypse that follows to certain things seen in in beloved properties like The Last of Us. “Get smart or die” will be the motto for the “insane” finale.
After showing a few preview pages, Snyder outlined his plan for Batman stories in the future. He plans to do a small “palate cleanser” story that will be something akin to Black Mirror, his incredibly amazing arc with artist Jock. After that, a six-issue story will conclude in one of the biggest changes to the Gotham universe. Exciting things in the future!
Future’s End will be the DC book offering for FCBD. Jeff Lemire writes it, and it will turn into yet another weekly series. For Justice League Unlimited, Lemire is adding favorites like Supergirl and Animal Man, as well as a just-announced character named Equinox, who hails from Ontario, Canada.
Derek Fridolfs talked about Lil’ Gotham and how fun it was to create and write. He had always wanted to focus on “pun comedy” similar to the Adam West era. He’s also enjoyed bringing in rare villains, like Clock King, throughout the series.
The popular new Harley Quinn series was showcased by writer Jimmy Palmiotti. He’s including a new character named CyborgMan and plans to continue to keep the issues light and fun in tone. “It was a red flag book, but DC has been open to all the ideas” he said, after mentioning that continuity exists but each story can stand on its own. The book is a “bit of monthly insanity” for everyone to enjoy. In July, Harley Quinn is invading San Diego Comic-Con for a double-sized issue. Amanda Connor did the cover, which features Harley running through cosplayers. There will be a joker element, so look for that. The cover:
There wasn’t much said on Sandman: Overture other than announcing the new #2 is on sale.
Finally, Snyder talked a little bit about American Vampire and its return to shelves: “Rafael and I had always planned a break in the middle of the series, yet we were still sad when it happened.” He also elaborated on how the series was originally oriented towards only Skinner Sweet and didn’t make it through the pitch. After a rewrite that added Pearl Jones in, the story became what it is today. This arc is focused on moving all the pieces to the center for a grand finale, whereas the first part was mostly about universe building. His other Vertigo series, The Wake, will be entering its final three issues and Snyder plans for them to be “the most surprising stuff to come.”
That’s it! Nothing major, but enough to spark interest in some of the flagship DC and Vertigo titles.
Alex Smith is a news and reviews writer for Capeless Crusader. When not wasting away in class, he spends all his free time with comics, movies, and video games, and has been since birth. He can spend hours discussing Saga, Hawkeye, or Game of Thrones. Lying Cat’s number one fan. Random brain thoughts: @imapensfan