Just because the new event is called "Brightest Day" doesn’t mean there aren’t some dark stories left to tell. DC Comics Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler wanted to make that clear as the second day of HeroesCon opened up with the DC Nation panel.
“We never said Brightest Day would be this day of bright, happy stories,” said Sattler. “People just inferred that from the name.”
It was somewhat of a perception issue, Sattler said, adding that DC stories weren’t going to be any safer. Rather, he said, some of the books, such as the new "Flash" and "Brightest Day" mini-series, pushed the envelope, but in a good way.
“At the end of 'Blackest Night,' the revolving door of death was closed,” said Sattler. “[Now] when someone dies, it means something.”
The goal of the "Brightest Day" banner, and especially the mini-series of the same name, Sattler added, was to focus on some of the characters that, for whatever reason, some fans had not been able to connect with.
“We’re trying to give you a reason to care about [these characters], rather than just assume you care,” said Sattler.
Taking a poll for a favorite "Brightest Day" book so far, "The Flash" and "Brightest Day" got the largest response from the crowd. On the other side, storylines such as the death of Atom Ryan Choi in the "Titans: Villains for Hire Special" was universally panned, with several audience members questioning why it seemed that minority characters such as Choi were either killed off or sidelined to be replaced by white counterparts.
“We strive for a diverse DCU,” said Sattler, adding that it was such a serious question, he wanted to be careful and clear answering. The race of the characters wasn’t a focus when deciding to move forward, he added, but decisions were based rather on the desire to tell a good story.
“Ryan’s death is something we decided to do,” said Sattler. “We’re just trying to tell the best stories we can.”
Sattler also said that some storylines from "Brightest Day" may take longer to tie up than others, citing in particular current plotlines with the Black Marvel family. At the end of "Blackest Night," Osiris was restored to life and currently is a member of Deathstroke’s Titans, while Black Adam and Isis are stone statutes.
“We do know what we’re planning with that [and] believe me, we have a very big story,” said Sattler, adding that part of it will play out in the "Titans: Villains for Hire" series. For the full payoff however, fans may have to wait a while, possibly until 2011.
“We like doing the big events, but we try to pace it,” said Sattler. “We are going to get to that, I just can’t tell you when.’
As the focus turned away from "Brightest Day," it moved to other missing characters such as former Batgirl Cassandra Cain, the Milestone heroes and also the long-discussed "Batwoman" ongoing book.
“Cassandra’s absence is out of care for the character,” said Sattler, adding that the DC office had changed plans for her a few times and now Cain is in a holding pattern of sorts, as they come up with a way to re-introduce her.
“We don’t want to bring her in wrong, so she can stay around,” said Sattler, adding that if they bring her back in the wrong way and fans don’t like it, then that just makes it harder the next time a creator wants to do something with the character.
The same goes for the Milestone characters outside of Static, who’s already appeared in "Teen Titans." Sattler said that there’s a chance more of the Milestone heroes could appear, but the office isn’t sure when or where.
As for the Batwoman book, with J.H. Williams III handling both the writing and illustrating duties, a launch date will not be announced until several issues are completed, Sattler said, adding that the art was gorgeous as he’d seen finished pages from the first issue.
There are also plans in the works for the Metal Men, Sattler said, but couldn’t discuss details.