Although DC made no earth-shattering announcements, one did seem to garner some fan attention: artist Pat Lee will be joining writer Mark Verheiden on "Superman/Batman," following Van Sciver's six-issue arc.
"After Ethan and I finish our six-issue arc, I'm doing a three-issue arc with Pat Lee, which is Superman [and] Batman with the Metal Men," Verheiden said. "That's going to be a lot of fun."
Lee might be on deck for "Superman/Batman," but he'll have to wait until Van Sciver has his swing at DC's two icons.
"This is a book I've always wanted. I'm very, very excited to do it. 'Superman/Batman,' will maintain the sort of pop sensibilities that it's always had," Van Sciver said. "It's not directly tied into anything that's going on with 'Crisis' or anything. So, if you just want to sample DC's two greatest superheroes, 'Superman/Batman' is the best book to go to and we will hook you from there. Our first issue (#28) absolutely, flat-out rocks. We've got Martian Manhunter, Dr. Phosphorous, Titano, some of the biggest weirdest villains ever, and the craziest twist ending."
While "Superman/Batman" may be undergoing some creative team changes, "Legion of Superheroes" is undergoing a title change.
"Legion" writer Mark Waid said that, as of this month's issue, the book will be re-dubbed "Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes." How she arrived in the 31st Century and what her relationship is to the character in the "Supergirl" series is something yet to be revealed.
"1,001 years later she shows up and the mystery is 'Well if you're Supergirl, who's that back in your other series that Greg Rucka is writing back in the 21st Century?'" Waid said. "It's like King Arthur suddenly showing up in our time or Robin Hood or something. To these people (the Legion), she's a legend. These people in the 31st Century are not even sure if she existed or not or if she was just a creature of myth or something. When she shows up, she's going to have a huge bombshell surprise at the end of that issue. That is going to fuel the next few issues, it turns out the mystery is not just about her, it's about the whole 31st Century."
Supergirl might be making noise in the 31st Century, but readers are still waiting to find out if the 21st Century will survive the wrath of Superboy Prime. A preview of the sketch cover for "Infinite Crisis" #6 featuring Superboy Prime was shown (see above).
"Superboy Prime is back and he's not very happy. Some people might get hurt," Johns said. "What's really cool about 'Infinite Crisis' #6, I think, it's where you'll see the whole story come together. You'll see the purpose of why we told the story through the book. I'm really proud of it. I think it's the best issue we've done so far."
Not all of DC's summer titles will revolve around the fall-out of "Infinite Crisis." A mini happening outside of "Crisis" continuity will be the books leading up to the release of the Bryan Singer-helmed "Superman Returns" film.
"We got the opportunity to work with Bryan Singer, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, the directors and the writers," DiDio said. "What they wanted to do, and we're really excited by this, they wanted to create a bridge between the original 'Superman' movie and the 'Superman Returns' feature film."
DiDio said the first issue of the mini will be a retelling of the Donner film origin story; the second issue will focus on Ma Kent; the third on Lex Luthor and the fourth issue on Lois Lane. The stories are from Singer, Harris and Dougherty, being written by Palmiotti and Gray with covers by Adam Hughes.
"For us, it's really exciting to be able to create new material that ties into something that we feel is going to be this summer's big blockbuster," DiDio said. "From my standpoint, if we could do anything special with Superman leading into the feature film, this is the way to go."
Other panel highlights:
- Hal Jordan may be back, but that doesn't mean all the other Green Lanterns are happy about it. June will see "The Revenge of the Green Lanterns" arc in Johns' "Green Lantern." Johns said, "Basically all of the Green Lanterns that Hal Jordan screwed over are back and they want to screw him over."
- "Absolute Kingdom Come," will be released in July in a large size, with supplemental material and slip case format. Writer Waid said, "It's going to be a fine addition to anyone's library. That Alex Ross work is terrific. … I'm really proud of it."
- Idelson said following the Johns and Kurt Busiek eight-part arc between "Superman" and "Action Comics" currently going on, the two books will move apart. "This will set the stage for the two titles in the future and then they'll be going their separate ways where we won't have these crossovers every other month."
- Following the eight part "Superman"/"Action Comics" arc, the new team on "Superman" will be Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco.
- "Action Comics" will see a new creative team in October of artist Adam Kubert and a "top secret" writer.
- July will see the team of artist Andy Kubert and writer Grant Morrison on "Batman."
- Rags Morales and Paul Dini are taking over "Detective Comics," starting in July.
- DiDio said Captain Atom, the character currently in the Wildstorm universe, will return and play a pivotal role in the DCU.
- Johns said "52" will feature many international heroes from the DCU.
- Suicide Squad will show up in "52," DiDio said.
- "JLA" #0 will be out in July and #1 in August. Who will be on the new incarnation of the team is yet to be announced, but DiDio did say the JLA will pick up a member not featured on the promo cover.
- Idelson said the new "Wonder Woman" series starting in June would be very connected to the DCU and offer a lot of "off-the-wall fun, but still defining her."
- Another title is in the works for the All Star line, DiDio said.
- "Battle For Bludhaven" writers Palmiotti and Gray were tight-lipped on the series, but did say some of things that spin out of it will effect "Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters."
- DiDio said DC will offer a $100 subscription plan for the entire "52" run.
- Van Sciver said he would love to do Plastic Man. "My favorite character is Plastic Man. … As soon as I get a couple of projects off my plate that's my guy."
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