This article could be renamed “What happened in NYCC” for what is worth. Seriously, folks. New York Comic Con brought an absolute downpour of news. Our very own Joshua Lapin-Bertone, aka Josh, was there and was awesome enough to do a live stream of the Batman Comics Panel with Sean Murphy (White Knight), Marguerite Bennett (Batwoman), Tony Patrick (The Signal), James Tynion IV (Detective Comics and TMNT/Batman), Tom King (Batman), Scott Snyder (too many to name), and Cully Hamner (The Signal). Some bits and pieces of information from it are sprinkled all over the article.
Another big bomb from this weekend was the Justice League final trailer. It looks very red and it has an awkward version of Bowie’s Heroes playing in the background. I didn’t want to, but I am officially excited. Expectation, do keep thyself low lest I be disappointed.
The last piece of news to come out, almost by the end of the convention, was that Batman: The Animated Series will be getting a Blu-Ray collection. It has no official release date, but it is said to be coming out late 2018. By then, my first name will change to Binge and last name to Watching.
And to illustrate the absolute insanity that those cons bring, let us appreciate a commission done by Giovanni Timpano (The Shadow/Batman) featuring Cesar Romero as the Joker in the classic Killing Joke cover.
Tom King, Mikel Janin, Clay Mann, Joelle Jones, Lee Weeks
Josh got to talk with TOM KING during NYCC. Among other things, King talked about what the final reveal of the War of Jokes and Riddles is really supposed to mean, the fact that the next few solicitations of Batman are lies because he had to cover Selina’s answer, and the reappearance of another power lady of Gotham.
During the Batman Comics Panel, King commented further on the upcoming arc. Its title will be “Rules of Engagement”, and not “Dream of Me”, as it read before on the solicitations. Instead of being about Bruce going on a journey to find himself, it will be about Batman investigating the mystery of the 237 death count hanging on Selina. He also says that he had this image of Catwoman and Talia in a sword fight in the middle of the desert, and that is why they got Joëlle Jones to draw it, because she “draws violence like a dance”. King also said that the upcoming Annual will be telling the story of the first and the last Bat-Cat kiss.
James Tynion IV, Christopher Sebela, Carmen Carnero, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez
Also during the Batman Comics Panel, JAMES TYNION talked about his reasoning behind his choice of characters for the Detective Comics team. He says he wanted to focus on characters not appearing on other titles because he didn’t want it to be “the third most important thing happening to Dick Grayson that week”, which is a fair point in my opinion. Nevertheless, he says that next story arc will be having the core Robins and Batgirl in it.
He also teased the appearance of Conner Kent in the next issue, coming out this week.
Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Jordie Bellaire, Rafael Scavone, Sebastian Fiumara
With issue #14, we said goodbye to All-Star Batman last week. SCOTT SNYDER gave his farewell to the series on his Instagram, saying that “Working on this book has been one of the great joys of my professional life. I cannot thank you all enough for the incredible support you’ve shown it, keeping it one of DC’s tops over the past year even when it was intended as a crazy, off-road Batman book that explored my own personal takes on the Batman villains.”
The title was once rumored to extend way beyond #14 issues, with the next arc having Sean Murphy on art. DC’s plans changed, and what we are getting now is…
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT
Scott Snyder, Sean Gordon Murphy
We finally got some details about the previously untitled project. The title was revealed during the Batman Comics Panel, along with a short summary. Snyder says this will be his last Batman story for a long time, and that it will be the closing arc he has in mind for his version of the character.
Waking up in the future, this Batman will only have memories up until the point he swore to his father to become a Bat. Among the insane stuff Snyder has planed, he mentioned a baby Superman, old warrior Wonder Woman, and the Joker’s severed, talking head being attached to Batman’s belt.
Rumors have been spreading that this Batman might be Damian, but SNYDER refuted them. He says Damian will be part of the story though.
On Twitter, SEAN MURPHY reaffirmed that this will be his last time working with writers, making it an even bigger landmark.
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT
Sean Gordon Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, Todd Klein
And talking about Sean Murphy, issue #1 of White Knight hit stores past week and boy, is it good. The creator once again came forward to explain what the book is about. In his words, “White Knight is a book about us. It turns readers into Gothamites & asks how they’d react to Joker’s arguments and to Batman’s actions. It’s about politics, but not about MY politics. It’s about yours, Gordon’s, Montoya’s, etc. It’s not designed to preach, but to include. And to make us all consider how real modern headlines would affect Gotham.”
Some remarks regarding the legal side of the comic came up, and Murphy says that his lawyer helped guide him through the legal jargon that Joker uses in the issue.
And, if you want to join the crowd, an easter-egg hunt is currently happening to find the most obscure pieces of memorabilia in Joker’s prison cell. So far, I’d say the squirt gun wins.
BATMAN: THE DARK PRINCE CHARMING
Marini has gone full Batman for Inktober. For those who have no idea what Inktober is, it is an initiative to do a drawing a day during the month of October following certain prompts. So far he’s done Joker for the shy prompt, contortionist Catwoman for the crooked prompt, a very irritated “underwater” Batman, sword carrying “I’m not Zorro” Batman, and long-eared Batman getting trimmed by Harley. They are all amazing. Seriously. Check them out.
He has also started inking book two of Dark Prince Charming.
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank
Doomsday Clock got its very own panel during NYCC, In it, JOHNS revealed not only the six first pages of the first issue, but also some further details about the title. He says that, since he and Gary Frank are working in Watchmen’s playground, they will be following the pre-established rules. 9 panel grid, working with a specific style of narrative, adding subtext, using a specific pacing to the story and the panels. He also said that Doomsday Clock will be political, that it cannot be any other way considering it has Watchmen as source material, which is a politically charged comic. He says that it will be dealing with how much society is dividing itself in extremes, how the middle ground is slowly disappearing.
Johns also said that this will not be an event with tie-ins and one-shots, it will be its own thing. Also, the 10 year gap brought to light by Wally West in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 will be addressed. He also says that Doomsday Clock opening in 1992 is important, as that year is significant for DC Comics.
Be forewarned, this next paragraph contains spoilers for both Watchmen and the preview. While Johns did not elaborate on the year, I myself have a guess. Watchmen ends with Rorschach being killed, and yet we open Doomsday Clock with him, alive and breathing. His narration reads as a bit out of character, much more articulated than Rorschach would usually be. At first I thought it might be poor writing, but then the possibility that this might be another person hit me. When Alan Moore wrote Watchmen, he based the character on another hero, The Question. Many people have been The Question, among them Renée Montoya. Well, as it turns out, her first appearance was in March 1922, in Batman #475. This is pure speculation, but this might mean that this Rorschach could be Montoya.
DARK MULTIVERSE BATMEN
Jason Fabok, Joshua Williamson, Carmine di Giandomenico, Frank Tieri, Riccardo Federici, Sam Humphries, Ethan van Sciver, Dan Abnett, Philip Tan, Peter Tomasi, Francis Manapul, Tony S Daniel, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, Scott Snyder, Olivier Coipel, Bengal, Yannick Paquette, Jorge Jimenez
The Dark Knights one-shots have been highly successful, all three of the released issues being sold out. As SCOTT SNYDER reports, it has gotten so big that the upcoming Batman: Merciless got sold out even before it hit shelves. Written by Peter Tomasi with art by Francis Manapul, this will be the Wonder Woman related issue.
It also seems we have to add yet another name to the long list of creators involved with the Dark Multiverse, as JORGE JIMENEZ shared a panel from Batman: Lost, saying he is having fun drawing the guy.
BATS OUT OF HELL
Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Bryan Hitch, Liam Sharp, Robert Venditti, Ethan Van Sciver, Tyler Kirkham, Jeff Lemire
The Gotham Resistance crossover wrapped up last week with Green Arrow #32, so now we enter the next one: Bats out of Hell. It will kick off with The Flash #33, coming out October 25, and from there develop on Justice League #32, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #33, and finish with Justice League #33 on November 15.
TYLER KIRKHAM has already started his work on Justice League #33, and shared a couple of panels from it, both featuring the Batman Who Laughs, one with a Alfred-bot from the Murder Machine on the background, and the other with his Dark Knights assembled.
LIAM SHARP, who will be responsible for the Justice League #32, also shared a highly detailed panel he was working on.
Marguerite Bennett, Fernando Blanco
FERNANDO’s work on Batwoman seems to be even better than expected, taking the page revealed in the Batman panel, brought to us by Let’s Talk Batwoman. He says he is paying homage to Mike Mignola with his art for the issue. My very little acquaintance with Mignola tells me the layouts are very much inspired by his.
PATRICK GLEASON, bless this man. Not only does he draw my favorite Bruce – and one of the best angry Batmen – but he owns the best Damian. As if it were not enough, the man brought me absolute joy by saying that Maya Ducard will hopefully be back next year.
On to another Damian enthusiast, DUSTIN NGUYEN, our most regular visitor, did a set of fifteen Gotham profiles exclusive to NYCC. They include Nightwing, Cass as Black Bat, Catwoman, Red Hood, and Babs as Batgirl.
Our Gothamite of the week is slightly different from our usual bunch in that there is only one Batman related piece by him out in the wilderness of the internet. It is such a powerful piece, though, that I didn’t even need any further proof to know that this man understood the very soul of Bruce Wayne.
Cedric Peyravernay is a freelance concept artist based off Lyon, France. His works range from video games (he did the designs for Dishonored), to animation and movies (yet unannounced projects). To scroll through his ArtStation gallery is in itself an amazing aesthetic experience. His paintings walk on the wire between realism and fantasy, both on the themes and on the unashamed brush strokes of his realistic style. His work got him in IAMAG’s list of 20 artists to follow in 2017.
The piece we feature here is his Mister W., a painting of an older Bruce, bloodied and somber. Upon being asked about his motivation for this painting, Cedric told me that he did it in a moment of his life when he found himself an orphan just like Bruce, having just lost his mother. He tells me that what always made Batman the most fascinating hero for him, ever since his childhood, is his complexity and his duality. The fact that, despite it all, he remains a human.
With only one painting Cedric manages to convey all of his feelings for the character and more. I can see this is a troubled man, deeply lost in his own mind, who probably has unsafe habits. Even if we didn’t have the bats flying around we could connect this to Bruce Wayne.
His work process on the painting can also be found on his ArtStation. We can see he worked from the profile picture of a little boy to the face of the man. That third moment (in itself a beautifully expressive moment, veering on the impressionist streak) fooled me into thinking it was an acrylic on canvas piece, but then the cropping made me realize it was digital.