LEGACY OF THE BAT / LEGENDS OF TOMORROW [DC FanDome]: Expectations V Reality.

Dave Beaudrie

Legacy of the Bat was a panel of Expectations vs Reality. Given the title, I was looking for a panel discussing the 80-years of Batman lore and how it’s influenced other characters in the Bat Universe. Instead, we have a panel focused on recent spin-offs — such as Titans and Batwoman — with Batman himself only mentioned in the periphery.

While disappointing, they could have been more specific about what the panel was and who would be on it to avoid confusion; the panel also suffered from obvious heavy editing. DC clearly wanted to keep the panels to 30-35 minutes for the most part, and this one clearly stretched longer than that in original form. The cuts they made to widdle it down and the spots they made them were really obvious and jarring. Responses would clearly be cut off, reactions would be really abrupt and right on top of the previous statements and it was obvious a lot was left on the cutting room floor, which is unfortunate.

The early focus was on the show Titans and Brenton Thwaites’ portrayal of Nightwing. While I haven’t seen the show, both moderator Nyambi Nyambi (yes, not a typo) and Thwaites did a good job providing context for the Q&A despite my not being familiar with it. Less successful was showrunner Caroline Dries talking about Batwoman, as she spoke of the first season in the most vague of generalities that I had no idea what she was referencing or what story arcs had even happened in Season 1. I respect that they did address the recasting of the titular character for Season 2. While understandably not elaborating on Ruby Rose’s exit, Dries did discuss the challenge of writing a new character to don the mask, and then she and Nyambi introduced Javicia Leslie onto the panel, who will be playing new Batwoman Ryan Wilder.

Leslie talked about how important representation in entertainment means to her, and how the weight of the responsibility dawned on her after media started writing pieces about how she’s the first Black woman to ever portray the character and how important that is. Lee hinted at the possibility of Wilder being integrated into the comics lore, stating that its rare (and used Harley Quinn as the obvious example) but that it does happen and they have been working on it, which Leslie was very excited about.

Throughout the first 3/4s of the panel, Batman: Gotham Knights creative director Patrick Redding was silent, but they kept cutting to random reaction shots of him just sitting there smiling, which was odd. I think they were trying to remind everyone that he was still there, but it really distracted from whomever was speaking to cut to him when he’d been silent all panel and was just grinning the entire time. Lee announced that John Ridley was writing a new comics miniseries for early next year introducing a new Batman, with Ridley strongly inferring that the new Dark Night will be a person of color and saying he’d be focusing heavily on the family of Lucius Fox.

Once Redding got to speak, he largely repeated things that had been said when Gotham Knights had been first announced: Batman was killed story-wise to take away any sense of security and giving a rundown of how Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing and Red Hood must, through the player, figure out how they will protect Gotham moving forward.

Fan questions were then presented by “Jake from State Farm,” in one of more obnoxious and painful examples of forced advertising I have ever seen in these panels. When he asked the group about what their first strong memories of Batman were, it was interesting how influential the Nolan trilogy had been for the younger members of the panel.

Some good stuff here, but rough editing, a clearly clipped runtime and a lack of specifics when discussing some of the topics really hurt things. 3/5 Bibles.

-Dave Beaudrie

Robert “The Man” Bexar

DC FanDome is back for one more go-round and this time we are focusing on the small screen and comic book projects. The first panel I watched was DC’s Legends of Tomorrow panel and while it was fun, it really didn’t have anything to offer in terms of “what is happening next season”.

What the presentation did offer fans was a nice blooper reel and a little trivia game, although more of the panel was really about the friendships between the cast members, Caity Lotz directing her first episode and that was really it.

The only tidbit we got for season 6 was that “now that Sara Lance has been taken off the board due to her abduction at the end of Season 5, what happens then?” And, basically, that other heroes are going to try and step up, but nothing goes according to plan.

The cast is always fun to watch and their personalities save an otherwise bland panel. They really do have fun with one another and that bleeds through the screen. 3/5 Bibles.

-Robert Bexar

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