Day 2 of Wonder Con 2013, it begins with DC Comics The New 52. Get the scoop on what’s coming for the summer comics in Batman starting this June. Click the jump to see more.
On the panel are Ann Nocenti (Catwoman and Katana writer), Scott Snyder (Batman and Superman Unchained writer), James Tynion IV (Talon and Red Hood & the Outlaws writer),Kyle Higgins (Nightwing and newly announced Batman Beyond writer), John Layman (Detective Comics writer), Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western writer), Scott Lobdell (Teen Titans writer), and James Robinson (Earth 2 writer).
First up is Scott Snyder talking about Batman: Zero Year and what’s to come.
Batman: Zero Year
“It’s our next big arc, it starts with issue #21, I think it’s the best thing that we’ve done on Batman. I’ve had this story in my head for a couple of years. It’s really different. It doesn’t change any of the core stuff, but shows you that period of Batman’s life in an incredibly different way. You’ve never seen the origin done this way. You’re not going to see the pearls, you’re not going to see the lamppost, you’re not going to see things you’ve seen before. Some of the things you loved will still be there. But we want this book to be surprising on every page. From Page 1, you will be like, ‘What the eff, what is this.’ You’ll know from go that it is incredibly different. You’ll learn more about the Waynes and the Kanes. You’re going to see Gotham in a different way. “- Snyder
Those are some bold words from Scott Snyder, but then again he does very well with self promoting his Batman books. We all know that the beginning will be a superb and a thrilling start, but let’s hope he has a better finish than what he had in “Death of a Family.” Other exciting news for Batman is that there will be back-ups and Rafael Albuquerque will be illustrating them.
“The back-ups are going to show moments from Bruce’s training overseas that you’ve never seen. No ninjas, no Himalayas. This is going to be a skill set that you’ve never seen Bruce learn before.”-Snyder
Truth be told, one does always look forward to the back-ups on Batman especially since James Tynion IV did a wonderful job at writing Harley Quinn and Joker with Scott Snyder in “Death of a Family.” Tynion will also be writing the back-ups. We do hope to see exciting new tales of Bruce becoming Batman. But who is Batman without the training of ninjas? Will Bruce be learning how to fight from the military or on his own? Interesting, we’ll have to see.
Talon & Red Hood
James Tynion IV is writer of Talon and he continues to impress Batman fans all around. He is also new writer for Red Hood & the Outlaws but we know very little of what he has planned for the trio superheroes. Tynion has done wonders with Talon thus far and continues to make the new character thrilling. He has something planned for the the new character (Calvin Rose/Talon) by bringing in an old rival of Batman’s.
“Now he (Calvin Rose/Talon) has no idea what his mission is or what he’s supposed to do next. We’re reaching a major climax in Talon. We have had major things planned going all the way back to the original #0 issue, and they’re all sort of coming to a head. All of the pieces are now on the board. It’s an incredibly dangerous moment and a dangerous villain is coming onto the scene. It’s Bane. When Bane comes in, he’s coming in the biggest possible way. You can’t do a small Bane story. He’s not going to come in, fight Calvin in a back alley and go away again. When Bane comes, he’s coming for the city.”- Tynion
Since Bane’s theatrically debut on The Dark Knight Rises, the character has been super popular since the movie. However, he’s been popular as the Bat-breaking villain who broke the Batman from Knightfall. It’s cool to see that DC Comics will be expanding on the character and that will start on Detective Comics #19. According to the panel, they will be expanding his mythology and getting back to his mucha lucha attire and original behavior from Chuck Dixon’s Knightfall. Tynion also discusses about his new take on the Outlaws with Red Hood, Arsenal, and Starfire.
“I wanted to tell a story that gets to the heart of all three of these characters and puts them up against major figures. It’s one of the few real adventure books (Red Hood & the Outlaws) in the DCU right now, any issue can happen in any setting from their past. This is a fun book, but it’s deep and rich with character and mythology of the DCU.” – Tynion
Scott Lobdell (first writer of Red Hood & the Outlaws) designed the book to be an adventure book, which focused on story and plot. However, Lobdell lacked character building that showed over time and it’s what some fans yearned from him. So, James Tynion IV will be balancing both story and character development making the book rich with depth. Since he is a protege of Scott Snyder, one should really expect some wonderful bold stories from the young protege. Tynion has definitely come into his own with finding his own voice as a writer and fans have found him as an impressive master of suspense from his back-up Batman stories and Talon run.
Earth 2: More introductions
James Robinson talks about the mysteries of Earth 2.
“For people that were fans of the original Justice Society, it was kind of a shock to update them and make them younger, but I think you’ve all gotten behind it The mystery of what’s in the fire pits will be one of the many pieces of the puzzle that I’m beginning to lay now that will start at the beginning of 2013. All of the pieces of Earth 2, including Mr. Miracle, Fury, Big Barda and more will come together to build to something big.”- Robinson
Nightwing: Going to Chicago
Kyle Higgins talks about Nightwing in Issue #18 after the recentrequiem issue for the death of Damian Wayne. Higgins teased the upcoming transition from Gotham City to Chicago and reveals that Tony Zucco is still alive. Thus pushes Dick Grayson to go to Chicago.
“The twist at the end of issue #18 was Tony Zucco is still alive. The man who killed Dick Grayson’s parents is alive in Chicago. He’s got two pennies and a Nightwing suit to his name. Nightwing only planned to stay in Chicago to deal with Zucco, but I plan to build a mythology along with artist Brett Booth of masks in Chicago and the mystery of what killed them all. Two of the heroes were Ether and Ghost Walker, the Batman and Robin of Chicago. They’re dead as well. There’s this whole mythology that Brett Booth and I are building of Nightwing’s Chicago, which once had masked crime fighters, who are now all dead.” –Higgins
Along with Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins has been an all-star writer for both Batman books and DC Comics. He is a huge Nightwing fan, which Higgins shows in every word of his writing for Nightwing. However, the young writer knows how to get to the core of his characters and build a story from there. Regardless of DC‘s editorial abuse, Higgins was able to produce wonderful storytelling for not only Nightwing, but also Deathstroke from Issue #1-8.
It’s best to let Dick (Nightwing) to find his own in a new city, even though that has been done in the past with Bludhaven. Bludhaven was still part of Gotham City. So, allowing the character to get his own city and develop his own little rogue’s gallery would definitely make Nightwing even more relevant as his own hero in the Batman Universe. Since Brett Booth (former artist of Teen Titans) has joined Higgins on Nightwing, we can anticipate fascinating and original characters from both of them. It’s going to be exciting for Nightwing this summer.
Catwoman & Katana: Schizophrenic
Speaking of Catwoman and Katana, Ann Nocenti refers to both books being “this schizophrenic thing.” Here’s more what she says:
“If they (Catwoman & Katana) have honor, it’s honor among thieves sort of honor. It’s been fun to slowly move Katana and Catwoman into a place where you could believe that they might want to participate in the Justice League of America.
Catwoman #20 is Selina’s first encounter with the JLA that lands her in Arkham Asylum. I became completely fascinated with Arkham. She discovers brand new worlds in Arkham. Catwoman deals with some of the major players in Gotham Central including the coroner. The annual will be drawn by Christian Duce. I will be resurrecting some really interesting DC villains.
Katana is like a Japanese martial arts/superhero hybrid book. She goes to a weapons con in Japan and she starts meeting some ancient warriors. It’s Japanese martial arts/superhero hybrid book. If you saw the gatefold cover for her, the Creeper is back.” – Nocenti
As far as the whole “schizophrenic thing” for both books, it could be one of the reasons Catwoman is in Arkham Asylum. We all know that the thief is more likely to go to Blackgate Prison than Arkham. So, there might be blackmail involved by JLA in getting on the team. Katana is already on the crazy list for talking to her sword. So, the “schizophrenic thing” is a decent word to use for both characters. However, Katana is a better written book by Nocenti who has better creative freedom to write what she wants. Catwoman continues to struggle with editorial interference.
Detective Comics: 900th book
John Layman (writer of Chew) says that the soon to be #900 for Detectice Comics is that it’s going to be big and it will an 80-page issue.
“It’s thick. It’s a meaty. You will sit down and spend a lot of time on this book. I’m really proud of it. We’ve spent my first arc building this ‘Emperor Penguin’ storyline, and the giant #19 leads to the end of the first arc.”
Batwing: Something new this way comes
Jim Palmiotti and Justin Gray (Ame-comi Girls) join the panel saying that they loved the previous Batwing under Judd Winick’s run and that #19 will explain the switch to a new version of the character.
“At the end of #19, we reveal who’s filling the shoes of the new Batwing. Without giving it away, I will say that it’s somebody tied very close to the Batman family. It’s someone tied very close to the Batman family. It could be Alfred. It would be awesome if it was Alfred. I don’t think he’d look that fit. If you haven’t been reading it, give #19 a shot, I think you’ll love the ending. We plan on bringing back Lion-Mane, and we want to go international with the character. The new Batwing is going to be all over the world. We’re having a blast writing the book.” – Palmiotti
Batwing is one of the few diversity books out there as well as the only minority represented character in the Batman books. However, this is not why the character has had his short comings. Judd Winick (first writer of Batwing) did not show the character in the best of light. Winick struggled a lot for the most part because he didn’t understand the character and in the turn we did not understand the character for his principles, motives, or adventure. Winick also left Batwing mid-arc just like Catwoman leaving other writers to pick up the slack that further injured the book. Palmiotti and Gray are good creators with their famed Ame-Comi girls, which is superficial and fun for a digital comic book. The two do know how to bring excitement and good story plots in the panels. They are good helping hand, but we don’t know who this new person will be. Is it Dawn, the mercenary? No one is specifying that the new Batwing with a gender. So, one can only assume it’s a she. Hopefully, a new character will defy the diversity boundaries while maintaining a consistent exciting story of a character whom we can relate to.
It’s a huge summer for all the Batman books. The “WTF” certified seem to be bringing a new take on the Batman characters and hopefully a fresh new start for irritated readers.
Down the line, I will find a full clip of DC Comics The New 52Panel and post it below.