The fate of Bruce Wayne was a big focus of the DC Nation panel at HeroesCon this Saturday, along with who would possibly replace him as the Dark Knight. "Let's just say Bruce Wayne goes away," DiDio said. "Who should step into Batman's shoes?"
DiDio took comments from the crowd who suggested everyone from Dick Grayson to Jason Todd, with the DC publisher tossing in hints about each one while raising more questions.
One fan near the back of the room said that becoming Batman would be a natural progression for Dick Grayson, as he's the heir to the Batman throne. Another asked if, regardless what happens in "R.I.P.," if Peter Tomasi would still be writing "Nightwing" long term. "Who says "Nightwing" is long term?" DiDio commented. Another fan said that Tim Drake would be a perfect choice as he actually wants the job. "That's an important distinction," said DiDio.
DiDio asked, "What about Jason Todd?" The room went dead, except for three lonely hands raised in approval and some scattered boos. One of the Todd fans said that he would bring something different to the role, as both Grayson and Drake would be just following in Bruce Wayne's footsteps. Todd, on the other hand, he said, would look at doing a better job than Bruce Wayne. "Like Azrael," DiDio said. "Yeah, that worked out well."
The panel also teased an upcoming storyline for Birds of Prey, offering three simple words. Oracle vs. Joker.
Another member of the Bat family was brought up, as fans asked why Catwoman's book was cancelled. In one of the more serious moments of the panel, DiDio explained that if something doesn't sell, they can't keep publishing it, no matter how much people love the character. "We didn't put her aside," he added, saying that she will play an important role in the upcoming "Detective Comics" storyline, "The Heart of Hush."
DiDio also commented on the poster that's out featuring an Adam Hughes drawn Catwoman and Harley Quinn along with ten other major DCU female characters. He said that it was sent out as a teaser, with the possibility that one, if not more of the women depicted on the poster, could be getting their own series in the near future.
As for other books in the DCU, the new "Titans" ongoing written by Judd Winick didn't get much love from the crowd. DiDio asked who was reading it and five people raised their hand.
On the subject of Green Lantern, Van Sciver shared with the crowd his favorite Lantern color (red) and his favorite character (Kilowog), but kept quiet on details about what would happen in "Blackest Night." He did however mention that he loved another DC hero enough that he would be spending some time on their title in the future. That character? The Flash. When fans asked if that meant Barry Allen, they were greeted with a "No comment."
Fans in the room asked DiDio to fill in the blanks as to how "Death of the New Gods" fit in with "Final Crisis." "'Death of the New Gods' was designed to celebrate the Kirby interpretation of the characters," DiDio said, giving them one last run before "Final Crisis" reinvented them for the Birth of the Fifth World.
Aquaman will also make a return in "Final Crisis" - the younger version of Arthur Curry at least. Both Van Sciver and DiDio talked about meetings where several DC creators pitched idea after idea about how to bring Aquaman back, but they were never able to settle on an appropriate idea. DiDio asked how many people loved the original, green gloved, orange shirt wearing Aquaman and half the room raised their hands. He then asked who loved the Peter David version, complete with harpoon hand and the rest of the room raised up in support. The latest, younger version only had four supporters.
"Everyone loves Aquaman," DiDio said, "but there's just a real confusion (surrounding the character). We're not pushing it," he said, about bringing him back, adding that DC's main goal was to do it right.
Other news from the panel....
A dead character will be brought back for good in an upcoming issue of "Booster Gold,"
Bane will be featured in the upcoming "Secret Six" book by Gail Simone.
A Sgt. Rock book by Billy Tucci will be hitting stores in November.
The Peter David Supergirl, Linda Danvers, will be making an appearance, somewhere in the DCU later this month.
Shadowpact will be making appearances in other areas of the DCU
All Legion questions will be answered in the "Legion of Three Worlds" mini-series.
JMS will be bringing some well known characters into his "Brave and Bold" series, some of which will be new to the DCU.
Will a Flash die in "Final Crisis"? No, quite the opposite in fact, according to DiDio.
And finally, Superboy is still dead.
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