SDCC'15 – New DC Universe: Justice For All: Are You Ready?
By Joe Glass
DC panel covering new titles and new takes on characters as part of their massive overhaul of their lineup over the last few months.
Presented by IGN, they showed a bunch of commercials to begin…as everyone seems to be doing this year. Advertising DC All Access, and the Are You Ready campaign (which has been decribed in an earlier article).
Panel includes Meredith and David Finch, Robert Vendetti, Van Jensen (?), David Walker (who can really work a crowd), Daniel H Wilson (who is apparently a robotisist(?)), and Paul Levitz.
Earth 2: Society is up first, featuring the rebuilding of Earth 2's world and society. First issue focused on new Batman, Dick Grayson, each issue will focus on a different character. Wilson likes to show off his scientist cred, as he discusses placing the series in a binary star system.
Wonder Woman, Meredith Finch discusses Diana's new roles and what she's trying to do to find balance. Brian Azzarello is credited for ópening Pandora's Box' with how if you kill a god, you get their powers. And they will also be focusing on Donna Troy and the terrible things she's done.
David discusses how he's an old school Image artist, liking big splashy shots and action, so it took him a little while to get a feel for the character and what she's thinking, but he feels he's in a place where he's really hitting his groove on it, and is enjoying it. And they rave about including a Pegasus in Wonder Woman.
Cyborg next, which doesn't have a pegasus, Walker points out that this is Cyborg's first solo book despite being part of the DCU for thirty years or so. There'll be a lot of world-building, looking at where his cybernetics come from, the Metal Men and Dr. Morrow will be making appearances.
He had a lot of practical thoughts when he came to DC about the book, so there'll be a lot of answering those kinds of questions too.
There are cybernetic aliens after Vic/Cyborg, as there's something very special and unique about his technology and they want it (which we kinda saw in the free preview) and they have an interesting sci fi/horror feel to them.
And yes, they'll be covering how Cyborg goes to the bathroom.
Doctor Fate, Levitz says they have only just begun. Very much a pitch for the book is brought up next, which we all know by now, did bring up how artist Sonny Liew has done his own book which came out and caused a stir in Singapore, and will be coming out in the States next Christmas from Pantheon.
The Flash up next, the new series sees Barry Allen getting a clue to his mothers murder for the first time in a long time, in the form of a familiar to fans name, Thawn. The next issue sees Henry Allen, the Flash's father, being hunted as a fugitive, and his mysterious reasons for breaking out of prison (also mentioned Brett Booth draws an amazing Girder).
The Flash Annual coming soon will feature a big reveal about the nature of Flash's powers, and the history of Thawne.
Do the Finch's see Donna becoming a full hero?
Meredith says no, as to become a full hero would imply that she doesn't have the baggage they created for her. She sees her more now as being more of an anti-hero. She doesn't want her to be a mini-Wonder Woman, but her own character, with her own ruthlessness.
What was the thought behind the costume design?
Meredith talked about how last year at SDCC they discussed the fact that she thinks WW should have multiple costumes, this costume is to reflect the fact that she's not just Wonder Woman anymore, she's also the God of War, and Queen of Themyscira. David drew a lot of different designs, before it led to this one, which felt like a quick design but it worked and he loved it. He wanted her to have a really powerful costume, to represent the changing audience.
Cyborg as he's becoming more human, are we humanising Cyborg?
Walker states that's far too simple a term. But it's far more to be about making him seem far more cutting edge, futuristic technologies, as he initially appeared when he was first created. It's actually about bringing him back into the world of science fiction.
The more he appears human, actually the less human he is. There's a lot of instability to how he's going to look and react to the world around him.
About setting up new villains for Cyborg, Walker thinks the villains are things that keep him from realising his humanity. In a lot of ways, his dad is almost a villain, as he's so into the technology his son is becoming.
Round of applause for this being David's first DC comic book.
Levitz said 70 years ago, the white explorer finding the helmet of Fate was about all you could do with comics, as there weren't really characters of race in the books, so now that the audience is changing, the comics can reflect that too. The idea is to look at the essential preposition of what Doctor Fate was, which is the magic of Ancient Egypt, the Egyptian pantheon etc. Levitz there's a feel that this is interesting territory to play around in.
Dan Didio and Jim Lee wanted something that wouldn't look like what people would expect from DC and would include a younger character, and Levitz wanted to go somewhere along the style of Steve Ditko, who he had done some work with. He thought Sonny Liew would be able to do those things.
The new issues taking a lot of influences from the TV show, was that a conscious thing ( the show got a lot of applause from the audience), Vendetti says that they watch the show and the show reads the comic, but it's not something they set out to do is make it like the show, per se. More seeing the tone and ideas that people seem to be responding to in the show.
What can we expect from the annual? It's written by Van Jensen solo, mainy just due to scheduling, the idea is we're going to get a look at Thawne, who's actually been around for a 'shocking number of years' building towards this endgame for the Flash, also a look into the way he operates.
The identity of the group brought together by Thawne is important to the new revelations about the Flash's powers they'll be setting up.
Fan Questions now:
Thanked the WW team for putting a warrior in actual armor. David Finch totally agrees that no one can fight in five inch high heels.
Fan again raving about the new WW run by the Finch team, the next villain they would like to bring back is Silver Swan.
Wow, yet another fan utterly gushing about one of the books, this time The Flash. Are DC paying them?
Vendetti admits the wondrous joy a writer gets when an artists sends in the files of the script turned into pages.
With the evolution of Cyborg's technology, will we see other heroes approach him for help, like Red Tornado?
David Walker would like to see Vic become the go to guy when they need some real hardcore technological problem, and highlight that Cyborg is actually really, really smart.
Are there any other incarnations of Fate that will be seen in DC books or is there only one helmet of Fate in the multiverse? Levitz says that his understanding of the current mythology of the DC Universe is that gods are beings that are singular in the multiverse, and the Helm of Fate is a totem of a god. Wilson admits that there is no Helm of Fate due to appear in Earth 2: Society
Levitz says the first challenge is to make this new Fate stand on his own two feet with his own personality, before showing him meeting up with other heroes.
A kid brings up a question about diversity, and if there might be even more obscure characters (turns out this kid like B'Wanna Beast, surprisingly) coming back to the fore?
They joke that there is an editor in the room, so now they know B'wanna Beast is wanted.
Last question: will the lack of secret identity for Cyborg be dealt with? Walker says yes, it's a big thing he wants to start playing with, how Cyborg is Cyborg all the time.