Devon Sanders went to the DC Rebirth panel at Baltimore Comic-Con.
DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio hosted the panel consisting of Batman writer Tom King, Batgirl writer Hope Larson, Detective Comics writer James Tynion IV, Doctor Fate writer Paul Levitz, Blue Beetle and Scooby Apocalypse writer Keith Giffen, Action Comics writer Dan Jurgens and Wonder Woman: Year One artist Yannick Paquette.
DiDio noted that DC: Rebirth came about because of Paul Levitz's advice to take chances with the great characters and universes at their disposal.
DiDio dove right in asking what made Batman so special to Tom King. He brought up that one of the major draws to the character was that it never need to be reborn. Previous Batman writer Scott Snyder told great stories and his biggest worry was just following his lead and telling stories worthy of the character.
Didio then asked Hope Larson what drew her from the world of independent comics to writing for "big, evil corporate entities." She noted that her editors made it easy for her, giving her direction to just tell great stories. The draw of writing Batgirl was separating her from her Burnside safety net and truly giving her new challenges. Tynion IV was asked why he what drew him to Detective.
(Yes, we know.)
He was the first character he connected with following him through Batman, his title and Teen Titans and enjoyed writing him in Batman: Eternal. He was the most sure of the Robins and wanted a place to showcase his uniqueness within the Batman family.
Tynion also wanted to showcase just how incredible of a character Batwoman was citing Greg Rucka's Batwoman/Detective run as one of the best.
His goal for Batwoman is that every time you see the Bat-Family, Batwoman should be front and center.
Paul Levitz was asked about his work on Dr Fate and noted that as a child of Polish immigrants, this book has become a personal statement for him.
Didio then asked him as former publisher of DC Comics how he feels about DC: Rebirth. Levitz said Didio was in an interesting place where many were responding to what they were doing but was compelled to do more for those who weren't. Given those circumstances, he gave some praise to him for that and said the numbers bear out the chance they took.
Jurgens was then asked how it felt to come back to Superman, a character he has more than 20 years of experience with. Jurgens noted that this is a new experience and looks forward to seeing the pre-New 52 Superman explore the Rebirth universe through his eyes.
Giffen was asked about what drew him back to Blue Beetle and noted that the main reason for Jaime's being – that he was a reluctant hero- got lost. Now, it's him and Ted Kord finding out what it means to be a Blue Beetle. Jaime is reluctant while Ted so wants to be what Jaime is.
Giffen says this isn't Jaime's book or Ted's. It's Blue Beetle's.
Didio asked Levitz and Giffen about their seminal Legion of Superheroes run. Levitz noted that he would write a script and see Giffen add things he never would have thought of and never could have into the story. It killed him but he saw things done that stand the test of time.
Lastly, Yanick Paquette was asked what it was like working with writer Grant Morrison. He noted that he's used to never knowing quite what he's talking about learning this as far back as Seven Soldiers: The Bulleteer. He recounts a time where Morrison sent in a script in different fonts with blank pages. Paquette emailed his editor that the file must have been corrupted and his editor Peter Tomasi noted that it wasn't corrupted and that it was just Grant.
He then noted that in the Wonder Woman Earth One script Morrison's notes said to create a scene of "centuries old sex anthropologists and have it so the reader knows what they are." Paquette knew exactly what he wanted but wondered how the &$@# he was going to draw this.
Dan Jurgens mentioned his work on the upcoming Batman: Beyond book and noted the return of Terry McGinnis to the mantle.
Didio then took questions from the audience.
One audience member asked about whether the three Jokers introduced were three different Jokers or the same Joker seen three different ways. We were told to hold on and that more would be revealed.
Another audience member asked when the Legion of Super-Heroes would return. The answer wasn't clear but we were told that when it does one of the writers on the panel could be writing it.
Finally, an audience member asked the all-white panel about the possibility of more diversity, writing-wise, from DC Comics. DiDio noted that they have five to six books written by persons of color as yet, unannounced. DiDioalso noted that at times they may have published too many books and certain stories never got the attention they deserved. Going forward, he said they want to do right by their writers – and characters – of color and want to give a proper platform for their voices to be heard.