CCI, Day 4: DC's The Big Three Panel

Mon, July 24th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

Dan DiDio
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are viewed by many as the "holy trinity" of comics. Much of DC's "Infinite Crisis" mega-crossover dealt with the relationship the three of them have, and showed their true importance to the superhero universe. For Comic-Con International in San Diego, DC brought out the writers, artists and editors of these books to give fans an update on the present and future for these heroes.

In attendance on the panel were editors Eddie Berganza and Matt Idelson, writers Geoff Johns, Kurt Busiek, Paul Dini, and Grant Morrison, along with artist Terry Dodson. DC's Dan Didio hosted the panel.

Despite the topic of this panel's session, the first question had nothing to do with superheroes. A curious fan yelled out, "Who won the softball game?"

Didio responded, "If it wasn't that our hitting, running, and batting - which sucked - we would've won…I think we need to go a year without softball."

He then went on to talk about the relationship between Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and discussed how DC "broke their relationship" so they could examine it and put it back together again.

Since so much time was spent breaking them though, Didio said they didn't want to spend a lot of time rebuilding them. Therefore, DC wanted to put the best teams they could find on these heroes, and then listed all the talent working on the books for the audience.

Kurt Busiek, Paul Dini and Terry Dodson
Johns - who wrote the first "One Year Later" (OYL) Superman arc along with Busiek - talked about working with Idelson and how they want to tell good stories and make them fun.

When asked if they had any knowledge of events in the film "Superman Returns," - due to the similarities between it and their "Up, Up, and Away" arc - Busiek smiled and said, "I heard he returns..."

However, the writer did say Johns' love of the first Superman movie - like director Bryan Singer - was the reason the two shared so many common elements, such as the crystals and the Fortress of Solitude.

Next up was Batman, and Morrison indicated that he planned on having a bit of fun with the character. "We all love Batman, but he got kind of uptight."

He also said, "A lot of people say 'Bruce died' the night his parents were shot. No, he didn't. He was standing right there, but his agenda changed. He saw this terrible thing that happened, and then dedicated himself to making sure it never happened to anyone else."

The writer also commented on Batman's ability to endure physical pain. He indicated that "if Batman's back is broken, nobody should know about it, except Alfred who has the Band-Aid."

Eddie Berganza, Geoff Johns, Matt Idelson and Grant Morrison
Morrison also hopes to bring back a "black" sense of humor that has been missing, and mentioned that Batman will have "bizarre jokes and thoughts" going on in his head while he's fighting. "Essentially, I'm writing myself," the writer said with a smile.

Next came Dini, who's writing Batman's "Detective Comics." As he used to be a writer on the animated series, he said a difference to be noted in his writing of the comic is that he's going to "adult places," such as murder and brutal crimes.

Wonder Woman was the next topic, as DiDio turned to the book's editor Idelson. He indicated that a big part of where she is OYL involves figuring out where she was after killing Max Lord, which is something that influenced her in the missing year and will continue to affect her.

As for the schedule of the new book, the editor said, "Allan's not a slow writer, he's a perfectionist." Then the book's artist - Dodson - related how Heinberg will go through many lettering passes of each issue, making corrections so each issue can be the best it can be.

On the topic of the "Superman/Batman" book, Berganza chuckled and said that the title wasn't "World's Finest" because "that sounds like a brand of bread that you'd buy."

He added that during the second arc of the series (written by Mark Verheiden), something will happen to the alien heroes and cause them to become unstable, so Batman has to turn to Plastic Man (believe it or not) for help.

A Q&A followed. Some information revealed in this session included the following:

  • DiDio said that they haven't been talking to Joss Whedon in regards to the "Wonder Woman" movie and aren't concerned about tying into it.

  • Busiek joked that the trinity is "ruled by merchandising," and as soon as Green Lantern is on that level, he'll be in there too. "But right now, Wonder Woman is on more underwear around the world than Green Lantern."

    "And thank God for that," DiDio responded.

  • "Superman is vulnerable - his heart can be broken," Morrison said in regards to how writers approach Superman. Morrison pointed out how the movie showed this very well.

  • Johns said that he would like to see Bizarro-World in Superman, while Morrison said that he wanted to put the Ten-Eyes Man in Batman.

    "How do you put the Ten Eyed Man in a story?" DiDio asked. "He's a stupid character."

    "Not when he's the Twenty-Eyes Man," Morrison responded.

  • Lois Lane will be appearing in the fourth issue of Dini's "Detective," the writer said when asked if Superman will appear in the title.

  • Asked about Robin in Batman's life, Morrison said that he feels Batman learned a lot from Robin in his second year, when he the young boy joined him in his war on crime.

  • Asked which Krypton fans will see, Busiek said it's like nothing else that came before. "Superboy didn't punch that wall for nothing. Geoff and I see Superman's history as one big buffet that we can pick and choose to make one great big Dagwood sandwich."

  • In regards to the return of Greek mythology in Wonder Woman, the response was "Issue #2, last page."

  • Batman will appear in an early issue of Busiek's "Superman" run, and Johns said that he'll be in the second "Action" arc he and Richard Donner are writing.

  • Morrison said, "The Joker gets shot in the face, point blank in the first issue." A new Joker will appear in the fifth issue, and will fuel a new Batman-Joker dynamic. If he was joking, it was hard to tell…

  • When asked how the dynamic between Batman and Superman has changed due to the return of Superman's "super-intelligence" (as first seen in Superman's first OYL arc), Morrison replied "Batman still thinks he's the smartest man on the planet."

 
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