WONDERCON 2017 [Panel Reviews]: Young Animals.
DC’S YOUNG ANIMAL (Friday) – It’s only fitting that I encapsulate this wonderful 2017 edition of WonderCon with a pair of panels from DC Comics, considering it was just one year ago when “Rebirth” was announced (and I’ll have that Year One follow-up tomorrow). The publisher-wide event went over so well, that it gave way to a line of reimagined Hanna-Barbera comics–which, to the date, have more or less been awesome–and, here, a line of the more eclecti and refreshing, indie-inspired comics ala Young Animal.
Founder — and former My Chemical Romance frontman — Gerard Way explained why his current critically-lauded run on Doom Patrol would be taking a little break after its recent #6 issue, calling the whole process “a bit more complicated than expected” and promises a new issue in July with Mike Allred on the art (the first Doom Patrol TPB will be out in June with plentiful bonus content). Way also found his inspiration for scripting DP from the title’s famous former writer Grant Morrison, who told the Young Animal prez to do “a monster of the week” and keep his arcs to a 3-issue minimum.
Mother Panic scribe Jody Houser, on the other hand, enjoyed the challenge of working with 3 different artists on the book with each focusing on a different villain as well as a different style to offer (Shawn Crystal = fantastical; Tommy Lee Edwards = stark and gritty; etc.). We go from one new Gotham “hero” hellbent on revenge to one who wants to mold Gotham to her own design in Shade the Changing Girl. Writer Cecil Castellucci dived further into the psyche of Shade, referring to the untamed “madness” that has taken ahold of the hero; an inner-struggle channeled from images in new memories that are growing twofold.
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye‘s Jon Rivera lightened up the mood when poking fun of all the butt-shots in his own book. “Everyone gets a butt in–we’re now in the second arc of butts. Of course in the [next] issue with Superman, I chose to do full frontal nudity.” And what was it like to pen up an issue on the Man of Steel? “Zero pressure,” Rivera deadpanned to audience laughter. Finally, the very informative and entertaining panel came to a close with an announcement of Young Animal’s next title, Bug!: The Adventures of Forager. The #1 issue created by the entire Allred lot–Lee, Mike and Laura (the “prettiest couple in comics”) will be out in June, and will serve as a moldpiece for the line — a way for all the books to hop through (and share) different realities. Count me in. 4.25/5 Bug Bibles. – Travis Moody
RIVERDALE: SPECIAL VIDEO PRESENTATION & Q&A (Friday) – The first thing I noticed–beyond the clearly massive stage ensemble–was how the panel consisted of two distinct generations. Part of the veteran class, Mädchen Amick (Alice Cooper) and Luke Perry (Fred Andrews), talked about the difference doing TV now with social media: “Back during Twin Peaks, it was called ‘water cooler talk’. Do you know what that is?”, Amick asked, while Perry added that “social media has been a difficult thing to get a hold of, [but appreciates] how important it is, to hear what you guys like.” The 90210 actor also wasn’t always on board with the first choice of Molly Ringwald as Archie’s mother. “After I saw her for about 2-minutes, I called Sarah [Schechter] and said, ‘I was wrong, you were right.’ She’s great.” C’mon, Luke; you’re both teen royalty so there’s always room for one more. “Ringwald is the ultimate teenager,” producer Sarah Schechter stamped. “You wanted someone really iconic to go up against Luke Perry and complete that family. A lot of times when you’re a kid, it’s so hard to imagine your parent ever was your age — for the audience, we all get to see that and remember that.”
More highlights from the Riverdale panel:
- With so many relationships happening when will Josie will get a love interest? “I think it’s all about finding the guy who is worthy to be Josie McCoy’s boyfriend,” Showrunner and Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said, while Murray added that “Josie doesn’t have time for anyone who doesn’t have time for her. You should never waste time on somebody who isn’t willing to spend that time with you.” You can bet there was a more than enthusiastic applause from the crowd supporting that statement.
- When asked about what’s in store for her character Alice, Amick gave us a little bit: “There’s a lot of secrets and history between Alice and Hal. We can get ten years out of this guys. You never quite know what you’re going to get out of Alice Cooper.” I think someone needs to find a way to write the other Cooper as in shock-rocker Alice Cooper to do a cameo on this show — even if half the audience would have zero clue who he was!
- A fan question from Twitter asked, “Will we see Jellybean? Does Jellybean exist?” Schechter replied, “Certainly in Jughead’s mind.”
- Aguirre-Sacasa gave no comment when asked if Sabrina would appear in Riverdale‘s Season 2, while Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper) had the best answer to whether any of the cast were fans of the Archie comics before they were hired. “When I got the script I was so embarrassed to say this, I thought Archie was a superhero. I was like ‘oh, it’s a comic book so it must be a superhero!’ I remember reading the script being like ‘he doesn’t have POWERS.” Geeeeeekkkssssss!!!! I love this because the girl owns up to it. Love her lack of bullshit. Certified cool chick.
- A fan in a classic Veronica costume asked, “Will there be an episode inspired by Afterlife with Archie”? “We’ve talked about it; we’ve for sure had conversations about it,” answered Aguirre-Sacasa, also writer of the Afterlife comic book series. “We’d love to do something that was a Halloween episode, or something that was related to that.”
There you go, Riverdale Rascals! Hope you got a fill of your guilty pleasure. Overall, the panel was a blast, as the cast were cracking each other up a ton and even doing the whole whispering to each other/cover the mic thing a good amount. It’s always a nice sign to see a group that actually likes each other. 4/5 Bibles. – Derek Vigeant