"I am the current and future executive editor of DC Comics!" Dan Didio announced before being joined by Tony Daniel, Gail Simone, Sean McKeever, Ethan Van Sciver, Geoff Johns, editor Jann Jones and more.
"Everything said here, stays here!," Didio said "Those are the rules of DC Nation. Write that down!" His enthusiasm led to mic distortions and exhorting fans to stand up and comment. "You gonna buy three?" he asked one fan.
The crowd cheered Barry Allen's return, and Didio apologized for Martian Manhunter's death.
"No comment," Johns said on the passing of J'onn Jonnz.
"I'm the one guy who's pissed off," Daniels said.
"Now that Tony said that and got a round of applause, I'm outraged," Van Sciver said.
"I'm sad, but I think he deserved it," Franco of "Tiny Titans" said.
"Good thing I believe in reincarnation," Simone said.
"Flash came back and Martian Manhunter died, doesn't that balance the scales?" Didio said.
"Wally's a part of that team [Titans] and he'll be there for the foreseeable future."
"Billy Batson and the 'Magic of Shazam' hits stores the first week of July," Jann Jones said. "He picks up on a lot of threads left by Jeff Smith."
"Bob was the only one alive when Fawcett had it," Didio said.
"I remember when I was six months old," Wayne deadpanned. "I don't know if comics will ever be that big ..."
"2105," Johns said confidently.
"Come back and ask me, because Geoff won't be here," Wayne responded.
Didio got into the Shazam concerns. "CM3 -- who 'woo'ed that? You should be ashamed -- we wanted the character to have his own name in the title of the book."
"The first three issues set up what's happening in that series," Didio said. "When all the New Gods died, it heralds the coming of the Fifth World, because Darkseid is choosing a way to make the fifth world under his control. Wow, that was a serious answer, I apologize ...."
Didio threw it to Van Sciver for an Aquaman story, and referred to the "Blackest Night" storyline as where you'll see the original Arthur Curry again.
"'Final Crisis Revelations' is how Crispus has to grow into the cosmic aspects, and how he fights against it."
"Also see 'Blackest Night,'" Johns joked.
"And 'Tiny Titans,'" Jones added.
"Starman Omnibus" editions will come out once or twice a year until the entire series is collected. "Including the 'Hellboy' one?" a fan asked. "Mmmmaaaaaybe," Wayne responded.
Gail Simone was mum on the names of the new members of the Secret Six -- "Deadshot, Catman, Scandal, Ragman, A-List Batman Villain and a new character I've designed. First issue starts with a huge trip from San Francisco to Gotham. We see a new villain I've created that is such a bastard, even rereading a script I've written, I freaked out." She implied Catman would fight Batman in issue #2.
Didio descended from the stage to read a fan's notes ... then took them up to show Geoff Johns before reading out ones from the previous Ultimates panel. "We don't interact with the studios or anything else," Didio said. "We have faith in what they do, but we do comics, and we like it that way."
The tone was more humorous than informative, with girls dressed as Mary Marvel, Black Canary and Spoiler-Robin and no slides shown in the entire panel. You really had to listen for nuggets of fact amidst jokes about "Tiny Titans." For example?
"Monkeys are like cheese -- they make everything better!" Jones said, discussing the guests in Wonder Woman's apartment. "They're not monkeys, they're gorilla knights."
Will they bring back Bart Allen? "You have read the first issue of 'Legion of Three Worlds,' right?" Didio asked, and Johns hid his head in his hands.
"I haven't read it," Wayne said. "It hasn't come out."
"No plans at this time," Didio came back. "How did I cover, Geoff?"
Why does the company hate Nightwing? "Not corporate, just me," Didio said. "Just kidding!" They then told a story about a fan at a con who would scream loudly every time they said the words "kill Nightwing," so they said it a lot and it became a rumor.
"I just stare at him all day, because he's just so handsome," Johns said of James Robinson. "It's not like that, I swear! It's fantastic to work with somebody like that. Plus we get drunk a lot."
"Ted Kord's been dead for a while," Didio said. "He's gonna stay dead. Right Geoff?"
Johns choked down some comment, and the panel got a laugh from that.
"Don't think too much about it," Johns said of Crisis memories resurfacing vis a vis Supergirl.
Fans asked for "Mortal Kombat vs. DC," classic "Blue Beetle," "Ambush Bug," "Amethyst," and more archival data with mixed results. There will be more "Absolute" versions coming out, including "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier"
"Captain Carrot will appear in Zatanna's hat," Didio said. "I'm serious! He's in Zatanna's hat! She's getting a series, so you'll never know what she'll pull out of there."
Didio came down to read a fan's chest full of buttons while dodging questions about whether Milestone and Vertigo were part of the 52 worlds (ultimately no). "I'm a fragile female flower of femininity!" Didio read aloud.
"Yes, you are," Wayne said.
Chloe Sullivan will not appear in the DC universe, as they intended to make her Lois' niece, and instead they think Cat Grant works better as a foil.
The hypothetical game was played with names tossed out as hypothetical Batman replacements. Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd ... and Selina Kyle?
From the "random data" file of tidbits revealed, Captain Atom is coming in as a major player in "Action Comics." Doctor Fate will turn up in the "Reign In Hell" series. Van Sciver and Gail Simone are teaming up on "Wonder Woman." Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle are taking over "Supergirl" with issue #34. Fans pushed for a complete run of "Hitman" trades, and Wayne seemed to hear fans. No plans for Luthor's re-toddlerized daughter, but Jericho and Linda Danvers should be back soon, the latter in "Reign in Hell" #1. Mary Marvel takes on Supergirl before dealing with Billy Batson, and there is no complete list of the 52 earths and what's on them. There's also no date for "All-Star Wonder Woman." Christopher Kent will be back alongside Superman.
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