Kevin “Pastor” Palma

DC BATMAN FAMILY (6DE – Friday) – For several years now, and particularly during the Rebirth era, Tom King and Scott Snyder have been the two most prominent writers for DC, so it’s not surprising that those two were the leaders of the two big DC Comics panels I attended– the Batman Family and the Justice League panels. However, while it wasn’t surprising that they’d be the focus of the panel, what was surprising is the context for Tom King being the center of attention.

I counted 5 times that King apologized to the crowd for the choices he made in Batman #50 — since it broke his heart also, which doesn’t even take into account that he had to have a personal bodyguard at the convention due to death threats he received as a result of those choices. King explained his initi plan, that the clues are there if you’re able to spot them; this has also been all about exploring Bruce Wayne rather than Batman.

Batman has had his body broken, his mind broken, and experienced the pain of Robin dying, but he’d never truly experienced the pain of a broken heart, a vulnerability that Bruce Wayne has that Batman doesn’t. While the first 50 issues were about breaking Batman in a way he hadn’t been before, King plans to make the next 50 about how Batman comes back from this after experiencing true happiness for the first time and much of that will begin with Dick Grayson; Nightwing will be moving back in with Bruce to hopefully provide him with the same moral support he received after the Flying Graysons died.

This led into two of the few bits of actual news to come out of the panel, the fact that Peter Tomasi would be taking over on Detective Comics beginning with #994 in the run up to #1000 and that they’d be returning Batman to his Hush era suit. King offered the in-universe explanation for the costume change as Batman having to rebuild himself and being unable to do so in the costume he wore when his heart was broken. However, the actual reason for the change has more to do with embracing the history of the character and not just what it means to the fans but what superheroes mean to the history of this country.

Another thing to spin out of the effects of Batman #50 is the Catwoman solo series, and Joelle Jones, the writer/artist, was on hand to speak about it. The main thing she spoke about was her interest in creating a female villain that’s gross and awful with no redeeming qualities. King then went on to offer Jones the highest praise as a writer/artist, calling her a modern day Frank Miller. Mairghread Scott also spoke about taking over Batgirl with #25 and doing a murder mystery that involves James Gordon Jr. She described it as “Silence of the Lambs with a family vibe.”

Bryan Hill spoke about his Black Lightning story in Detective Comics being one that will have important consequences going forward. Enrico Marini also spoke a little bit about his upcoming graphic novel Batman: The Dark Prince Charming, which will be a much more intimate Batman/Joker story involving a much funnier Joker than the one we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. Lastly, Mitch Gerads hadthe funniest moment of the panel, speaking of his desire to draw a single page story of Alfred picking up all of post-coital diamonds remaining on the roof. 3.5/5 Bat Bibles.

DC JUSTICE LEAGUE (6DE – Friday) – The Justice League panel was much more informative, on the other hand, though I’ll spare everyone much of the spoilery details. Snyder spoke of the plans for the JL and how the culmination of everything he, James Tynion IV and Josh Williamson are doing will be crazier than everything they’ve done so far, including Metal.

Part of that will include doing a deeper dive into the Legion of Doom, with future Justice League issues focusing specifically on individual members of the LoD. Tynion also gave details about his Justice League Dark, mainly talking about how this book will be about the horrifying consequences of using magic as a result of the conclusion of Metal.

Williamson described his Justice League Odyssey as a big cosmic book with Darkseid at its heart and will show that he — Darkseid — truly is the greatest hero in the DCU. Adam Glass then proceeded to talk about his Teen Titans, which came out of Damian realizes that sometimes the grownups don’t actually know what they’re talking about.

As good as that stuff was, the majority of the panel was Snyder, Williamson, and Tynion excitedly talking about what they’ve come up with for Justice League, revealing some of their ideas for the culmination of this story and information as far ahead as Justice League #11. 4/5 Justice Bibles.

-Kevin Palma

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