The Batman Panel hosted by DC at Denver Comic Con on Sunday was a full house, and featured Dan Jurgens, Becky Cloonan, Amanda Conner And Jimmy Palmiotti. Jorge Corona
joined them a few minutes later.
Asked what they love about working on Batman, Jurgens said, "Terse dialogue. Very terse dialogue. Maybe no dialogue". Cloonan said the "city of Gotham" is her favorite thing, with a lot of history. Conner said the fact that she can "get away with almost anything" is what she loves. Palmiotti says that something he's always wanted to be since he was a kid was a "multimillionaire playboy".
Starting off with Harley Quinn, an "insanely popular book", Conner commented that Harley "exploded" and they had "no idea" she'd be so popular. They "take her away from Gotham a little bit", so she can "stand on our own". Palmiotti blames Dan Didio for asking him randomly to do it. There's going to be an original 8 page story featuring Harley in a Convergence book coming up that prepares the way for the next issue. In #17 the cover features a team of Harleys as a spoof on the gang of Robins cover.
On July 8th, we'll see issue #18, featuring Harley in a phone booth on the cover. Palmiotti and Conner stopped to explain what phone booths are to this generation. Captain Strong, a riff on a certain sailor man who ate some alien seaweed but looks more like he prefers spinach, will feature. Asked how they come up with stories, Palmiotti said, "Well you guys sell cookies here that are a little funny, right?" he laughed. Conner said, in all serious, they talk about work constantly, and ideas come up. The other day, they came up with a villain called "The Red Thong", they joked (maybe a joke, but who knows?).
Speaking of Gotham Academy, Becky Cloonan was asked how the idea for the book started. Cloonan said that Mark Doyle called her and said he'd like to work with her on something set in Gotham. She asked if they could do "Gotham Academy", which was like Hogwarts in Gotham and he said, "Sold!" Issue #7 is coming up on June 10th. It's a "perfect" book for readers of all ages, which makes it unique. It's a YA book, and Batman's in there too, Cloonan said. The first story is figuring out why the protagonist "hates Batman so much". The cover after Convergence picks up where issue 7 left off, has a rather grim, funerary feel with umbrellas in the rain. On June 23rd, the collected edition of Gotham Academy comes out, on Becky Cloonan's birthday.
Dan Jurgens spoke about Batman Beyond, featuring Tim Drake who has gone "back into the future" to take up the mantle of Batman. On the cover of Batman Beyond #1, we see some Batman Beyond villains, and the creative team are going to be "doing the story of how Batman Beyond's future merges with the wider DCU future" so they can tell one unified type of story. In Issue #2, we see Batman in "the lodge" and characters "pulled into the DCU timeline". Ink will be one of these characters, a villain.
A second Batbook for Jurgens is Bat-Mite, who considers all the characters in Batman to be "broken", even Batman, and wants to fix them and "put them in their place". Batman's personal mission is to take all the Hawkmen throughout DC history and fuse them into one, which doesn't go so well. Asked where Bat-Mite comes from, Jurgens said that Issue #1 opens in "his world", where he's in change, and he's sent into exile.
Jorge Corona was asked about We Are…Robin, a book based on a "movement" and a "group" rather than a single character. They'll be focusing on a few characters, but will always be part of a bigger world, he said. There will be no "one single leader" so you will get to know various "personalities" Corona said. The book is written by Lee Bermejo.
Batman Earth One: Volume Two just came out, available now and DC are predicting it'll be on the best seller list soon.
Batman: Arkham Knight Vol 1 is coming out June 6th as a comic as a prequel story. The game Arkham Knight is coming June 23rd.
A fan asked why Oracle was "taken away" and turned back into Batgirl in the New 52, by removing her diversity as a handicapped person. Especially when she was previously very active and beloved. DC said that it was a valid question and that the New 52 was a supposed to be a new start, and it was a risk. They didn't intend to remove diversity, and there will be more coming up. As Jeff King said yesterday, post Convergence, "all characters are on the table" and that is going to "bring about an ending that Oracle fans have always wanted", apparently.
Going down the line to answer who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman, which has nothing to do with the film at all, but is a matter of personal opinion, everyone declared, Jurgens said Superman, Cloonan went with the "dirtier fighter" Batman, and Palmiotti said that Batman will go to sleep and Superman will kill him, which prompted laughter.
Asked if Bruce Wayne has to pay for the property he damages when he's Batman, Jimmy Palmiotti said, "Marvel Comics pays for that", to great applause and the conclusion of the panel.