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DC Comics 101: Essentials SDCC

Bex Cook and Dan Oakley write for Bleeding Cool: 

This was a relatively light fun panel, which felt just like a chat about some goings on in the DC Universe, perhaps aimed more at the non diehard DC fan. The panel consisted of DC big hitters John Cunningham, Bob Harris and Bobbie Chase.

101TrinityThe panel began focusing on the upcoming New 52 event Trinity War, with three Justice Leagues coming to a head. The Justice League of America have been put together by the government to specifically take on the Justice League, should they ever go rogue with the John Constantine headed Justice League Dark then added to the mix. It turns out that the whole thing was in fact orchestrated by a group of supervillains to take down the Justice League allowing them to then take control of the world. Trinity War was described as a subterfuge event though, actually leading in to the main event of the year, Forever Evil. Beginning with villains month in September, Forever Evil looks at why the supervillains in the New 52 universe act the way they do, looking to flesh out and expand the rebooted DC universe.

101JOkerTo tie in with this villain theme, DC will be releasing a documentary on DVD and bluray at the end of October entitled Necessary Evil: Supervillains of DC Comics. There is also to be a companion book to this containing some of the greatest DC villain stories.

Following from this were three trailers for current/upcoming DC projects. We were treated to a teaser for the second season of Arrow; a trailer for the currently airing highly stylised CG animation Beware the Batman; a trailer for the imminent DC animated movie The Flashpoint Paradox. This third one bought with it a the news that as in the comics with the Flashpoint event leading to the New 52, so this movie will do the same for the DC animated movie universe. It seems that, for now at least, future DC animated movies will be set in the New 52 universe.

Next up was the fantastically fun looking Scribblenaughts Unmasked: A DC comics adventure, out 24th September. The video played showed Geoff Johns and Jim Lee messing around with the hero creator section of the game.

Next we were shown some artwork from the upcoming Sandman Overture comic, heralding the return of Neil Gaiman to the Sandman universe. The bimonthly comic will launch 30th October, with more information coming at the dedicated Sandman panel later in the weekend.

Proceedings were drawn to a close with a few reasonably interesting questions from the audience. One kid quizzed the panel about the motivation behind the New 52. Why now? Well, it turns out that this could be a perfect jumping on point for a legion of new readers who would otherwise be understandably daunted by the extensive back catalogue. The panel then asked the same kid how he read his comic books. He got a big cheer from the crowd when he said he preferred the experience of print over digital. The panel was so impressed by his answer that they presented him with his very own kindle. The irony of this was not lost on this audience, getting a big laugh.

When asked about Villain's Month and the longevity of the New 52, the overarching response from the panel was that the goal was for the reader to gain a greater understanding of what the villains actually do, what it is that makes them the way they are, and that ultimately our heroes are defined by the villains.

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Dan WicklineAbout Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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