On the opening day of Wizard World: Chicago 2005, DC Comics held court with their traditional preview of upcoming projects. DC Sales Vice President Bob Wayne opened the panel with the audience, primarily seated on the right side of the room, listing towards the left side of the room which housed the functional slideshow screen. Bob Wayne joked, "We'll wait for the audience to finish listing from one side to the other." Once the audience resettled closer to the screen, Wayne introduced artists Doug Mahnke and Phil Hester, recent exclusive writer Mark Waid, editor Mike Carlin and the "master architect" Dan DiDio. The panel was primarily review of projects that have been already announced, with a few new tidbits tossed in.
The slide show opened with the cover to "The Death of Magic," spinning out of the "Day of Vengence" mini-series, written by Bill Willingham with art by Justiniano and cover by Walter Simonson.
With regards to "Infinite Crisis," DiDio remarked on having finished reading the first issue that fans will not be disappointed. "At the end of that first issue, we blow the doors off the place and show you what's really going on in the DC universe," said DiDio.
Tony Daniel will be stepping in for a three-issue arc on "Teen Titans" written by Geoff Johns and featuring the return of Brother Blood and classic Titan's character, Lilith. For more with Daniel, check out Newsarama's interview with the artist.
In talking about the events of the "Hawkman" series coming to a head, DiDio said, "I think we're taking him through the ringer. These guys [Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti] have found a way to reinvent Hawkman's rogues gallery and have mad them new and exciting."
Comparing the close of the current "Crisis of Conscience" "Justice League" arc to the recent close of the "Sacrifice" arc that recently concluded in Wonder Woman #219, DiDio said, "Justice League #119 will have the same level of impact in the DCU."
Jen Van Meter will be writing an Injustice Society arc for "JSA Classified" beginning with November's issue #5. Said Van Meter for the audience, "They're going to be getting together and pulling off the heist of their lives." The arc will begin in November following the inaugural Power Girl arc. For more on Van Meter's plans, check out CBR's interview with the writer.
Carlin spoke highly of the work Josh Middleton has done for the upcoming "Shazam/Superman: First Thunder." "The stuff he's done on the first two issues is phenomenal." He added that the series will "...help redefine magic for Captain Marvel and against Superman."
"I've never had more fun writing a comic and Barry Kitson's is knocking it out of the park," Waid said of his "Legion of Super-Heroes" series. "We encourage you to send letters in. We will print the best letters." Waid begged off of talking about plot in order to keep the surprises flowing (though he did mention an upcoming death scene). Waid also confirmed that his Legion series would not be altered to reflect a "Legion of Super-Heroes" cartoon, currently in development.
On the subject of the coming revival of the "Brave and the Bold" team up title, Waid solicited team-up ideas from the audience. "If we think that people will read an Supergirl/Hawkman story, let's do it. Let them fly. It's open and we're very charged by it," said Waid.
Here's a look at the art shown during the panel.