DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH (Saturday) – Ever since the release of its first issue, DC: Rebirth has been a near constant stream of hits. The Rebirth books have managed a level of quality across the board that neither the current Marvel slate nor the previous DC reboot could hit, so it was exciting to see what DC would bring to Comic-Con for the next stage of Rebirth. While most of the details they dropped on upcoming storylines weren’t the most earth-shattering, Rebirth is showing no signs of slowing down.
The panel began with Julie Benson talking about her strange journey from spending time in a Norwegian hostel to co-writing her favorite character, Batgirl, with her sister Shawna in Batgirl & the Birds of Prey. They spoke about upcoming story arcs where Catwoman and Poison Ivy join the team and revealed that the B.O.P. will be leaving Gotham to fight Deacon Blackfire; in the arc “Manslaughter”, all the men in Gotham are falling seriously and it’ll take all of the Gotham City heroines, including Orphan and Gotham Girl, and a certain Metropolis heroine to try to save the day. Next up was Margueritte Bennett talking about Batwoman, who’s heading in a “darker, more aggressive, ‘ends justify the means’ path that Kate feels is unavoidable.” Batwoman #5 will be a flashback, and will include what the moderator described as one of the sexiest scenes in comics, while #6 will be a flash forward that follows all the decisions that could take her in that direction. According to Bennett, Kate will get “frickle-frackled up!”
Bernard Chang, artist of Batman Beyond, next revealed that he and Dan Jurgens will be taking Terry McGinnis to meet the future Ra’s al Ghul, Damien Wayne and that he’ll be making the jump from artist to writer for issue #13. Tim Seeley, writer of Nightwing, followed that by revealing that Spyral will be returning, Dick will have to deal with becoming a spy again after having gotten comfortable as a superhero.
As good as the rest were, the final two were the show-stealers for me. The first of those was James Tynion IV who spoke about what he’s been writing in Detective Comics. The writer said the hit comic was all about Batman’s humanity; that so many stories begin with kids trying to be heroes and Bruce telling them no, before eventually giving in and training them. Thus, Tynion chose to start his story with Bats, instead, saying “yes” and setting up a system for them to become better heroes. This has allowed the title to show different reflections of Batman through different mirrors, since all of Gotham and every individual in the city is a reflection of Batman. Tynion then talked about the upcoming arc with Azrael — the danger of too much knowledge and to literalize the constant tug of war between Gotham and the Order of Saint Dumas going on in Jean-Paul Valley’s head. Tynion also revealed that his personal favorite superhero, Tim Drake, will be returning in Detective Comics #965. That issue will also reveal the motivations of his captor, the identity of his cellmate who will “cut to the heart of who Tim Drake is as a character.”
Last of all — but certainly not least — was Robert Venditti, chiming in on Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps. He spoke on how the team fits together and how they’re all each other’s supporting characters. The X-O Manowar scribe revealed that issue #25 will be the culmination of everything going on in the book for the past year, tapping into all of the prior arcs and their partnership with the Sinestro Core will fall apart. Then, Venditti proceeded to drop the biggest reveal of the panel: beginning with #26 the Green Lantern Corps would be crossing over with the New Gods — a 4-issue story arc drawn by Rafa Sandoval that, unfortunately, won’t be connected to the New Gods stuff going on in Mr. Miracle; but any Venditti written story that crosses over the GLC with the New Gods is exciting even as something that stands on its own. 4.5/5 New God Bibles.
– Kevin Palma