We now gather here in the depths of a cave underneath Wayne Manor so that we can discuss this which was the week of San Diego Comic Con. I won’t lie to you, this will be a long meeting. Bring your pickle sandwiches, a bottle of water, and let’s get to it with no delay.
Before we get to our usual topic – comics, lads and lasses, comics – let’s direct those of you who would like to get some other updates. For those looking for the movies, you can head to our special SDCC DC Films Update. There you can see with your own eyes the glory of the SHAZAM trailer and witness humanoid creatures (some other creatures as well) living underwater with AQUAMAN, and you’ll also read the tales told by those who were present in the WONDER WOMAN 1984 presentation. Sometime before that, though, we had our regular DC Films Update, covering, among other things, the rumors around the BIRDS OF PREY movie. And the possibility of CASSANDRA CAIN being in it. Which just… Too excited about the prospect for words. Still, on the moving pictures topic, DC released their animation slate for 2019. Following their trend of adapting classic tales of the bat, BATMAN: HUSH will be next.
As for the Arrowverse, big news a-coming. The one, the only, Kate queen of Kanes will be getting a series all of her own. It is still early in production, but BATWOMAN will be making an appearance in the traditional yearly crossover. The teaser showcases a lot of art by J.H. WILLIAMS III, who obviously did not fail to notice it. Williams started his work with Batwoman together with Greg Rucka pre-Flashpoint and took full writer-artist control of the title at the beginning of the New-52, developing a supernatural tone to the book that is not often seen in Bat-Books. A tone which might well be the one chosen for the series.
And, before we get to the ninth art, let’s talk about the big Robin attitude. More details about the DC UNIVERSE came out, including trailers. No launch date has been fixed, but the monthly and yearly price for the streaming service were revealed. The Beat has also published a review about the service.
Both leading series of the service had trailers released during SDCC. Opening with a recap of the previous season, the trailer for the long-awaited YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS focuses on the original team (Artemis, Dick, Kaldur, Conner) as they start a new, undercover mission. And then there the TITANS trailer and the already infamous “F- Batman” line. While not revealing much of the plot, the trailer sure is assertive with the tone set for the series. In a quick interview given to IGN, GEOFF JOHNS addressed the tone of the series, saying that it happens right after Dick breaks up his partnership with Bruce and that it will be heavily influenced by the original Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans. Johns also addresses the Doom Patrol series which will spin out of Titans, the Green Lantern Corps movie, the Stargirl series and, most important to us here in the Batcave, the Three-Jokers mini-series.
And we’re finally into comic-dom! DC took SDCC as an opportunity to announce a vast list of new comics, new creative teams, and to give more details on already announced titles. A whole new wave for DC Ink and DC Zoom was announced, including titles focusing on Barbara Gordon as Oracle, Cass Cain as Batgirl, and Dick Grayson as who knows what. More details were revealed about Marc Silvestri’s project, which will be titled BATMAN/THE JOKER: DEADLY DUO. It was also revealed that the Jock & Snyder team will make a comeback with THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS. New HANNA-BARBERA crossovers were also announced, including NIGHTWING/MAGILLA GORILLA.
It wouldn’t be SDCC coverage if we did not mention the Eisner Awards! TOM KING tied with MARJORIE LIU for Best Writer (first female to get the prize, how come it took so long?), and artist MITCH GERADS took home the Best Penciler/Inker. Also worth mentioning are this year’s inductions into the Eisner Hall of Fame: Dave Gibbons, notoriously the artist who created Watchmen with Moore, and Karen Berger, notoriously the founding editor of no other than Vertigo. Don’t ask me, I have no idea how those two were not yet in that list.
Tom King, Lee Weeks, Matt Wagner, Tony S. Daniel
Eisner notwithstanding, the biggest star to rise from this year’s SDCC was bodyguard David. Tom King has been receiving death threats since Batman #50 released (guys please don’t, it’s comics), and so they got him a bodyguard. David. Being Tom King’s shadow got him to hang out with Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), and even allowed to have a Bodyguard David/Batwoman crossover, as he holds Marguerite Bennett for a fantastic cover.
I wonder, would his catchphrase be the same as Dick Grayson’s? I mean, King has admitted to trying to make “how can I help?” Dick’s catchphrase. Would David be a gentle giant or would he be on the Pennyworth side of things? A question for the ages.
Tom also commented Batman #50 and the master plan of his Batman run on the Batman panel in SDCC. As reported by The Beat, he said that “You can’t break him physically, he’s been through it all.” And so he went for the heart, pushed a dagger right through it. He also admitted he’s facing a dilemma, since killing Robins has become old because “it happens to him all the time, he’s used to it.”
Still, on Robins, King says that Dick’s role in the upcoming issues will be to “learn from his father how to heal his father.” As he builds himself up, though, he’ll want some change in his life. Maybe a new costume.
And I’ll tell you what. Not only are the trunks returns, the PIXIE BOOTS, YELLOW CAPE AND GREEN PANTIES ARE BACK! I can’t even begin to tell how happy I am.
Bryan Hill, Miguel Mendonça, Philippe Briones, James Robinson, Stephen Segovia, Peter Tomasi, Doug Mahnke
You see these two last names in the roster? Do you know what that means? It means Detective Comics finally has its creative team to run until #1000 and they are Tomasi and Mahnke. Can’t get much better than that. News broke in the Batman Panel in SDCC, where, according to the coverage by The Beat, Tomasi said they’ll be “really embracing the word ‘detective’ in this.” I wouldn’t expect it to be much of a team book, based on that.
Their run will start December with #994, making it a 6-issue run until #1000 comes out in March.
Benjamin Percy, Christopher Mooneyham, Otto Schmidt, Amancay Nahuelpan
Amidst the chaos of San Diego there came the calm of those who stayed home working (I feel you), and this was the case with the Nightwing team.
Mairghread Scott, Paul Pelletier, Elena Casagrande
Mairghread took part in the Batman Panel, commenting on her take on Barbara and where she stands when it comes to Oracle. As reported by The Beat, the writer said that she’s “trying to take Babs Tarr’s Batgirl and put her in Gail Simone’s Gotham.” Basically, having the “young and positive and hopeful” Batgirl, as Scott puts it, but sending her into the darkness of Gotham. As for the possibility of Babs becoming Oracle in her run, Mairghread said she wouldn’t do it unless if it was a real, long-term change. She wants it “to mean something if she does it again.”
As part of the Batman Panel, Joëlle commented on some of her thought processes while developing her recently-debuted Catwoman. As reported by The Beat, she admits that her redesign of the costume was both for the character’s silhouette and for the sake of graphic expression, as the added slits make her movements more noticeable. Joëlle also talked about her new villain, Raina Creel, who she wanted to be a female villain who is also “gross and awful with no redeemable qualities at all.”
Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo
Set to come out September, Batman: Damned was the main focus when it came to DC’s Black Label in the Meet the Publishers panel. The trailer showcasing the line featured a lot of Lee Bermejo’s art for the title, as reported by The Beat, including a panel of Joker’s crucified body in a church as Batman looks up at him. AZZARELLO, who was present in the panel, said the book will follow Batman as he investigates the murder of the clown, a mystery that John Constantine will be able to help him solve.
LEE BERMEJO, on his Instagram account, shared the cover for the second volume of the series, confirming the appearance of Harley Quinn in the book.
THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS
Scott Snyder, Jock
Another new project announced during SDCC was The Batman Who Laughs. Reuniting the Black Mirror team, the title will be bringing a new version of Bruce Wayne, one who killed Joe Chill and continued using guns. The six-issue miniseries will start this November, and SNYDER says this is a return to his horror roots.
This past week, JOCK also shared his new variant cover for Batman: Year One, a blueprint of the sonar scene that just looks unbelievable.
BATMAN: THREE JOKERS
Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson
This project has been teased for longer than Batman’s cape. It’s got a date now, and a format, and a size. It even has a cover! Confirming Jason Fabok as artist and Brad Anderson as the colorist, this will be a 3-issue, 40+ pages, prestige format mini-series set to come out November. It will be released under Black Label, despite being connected to regular continuity.
In his very own Spotlight panel, GEOFF JOHNS gave further details about the tone and theme of the book. As reported by Newsarama, “It focuses on Bruce, Barbara, and Jason,” said Johns, also affirming that “It’s not about other dimensions or other Earths. It’s a very grounded, emotional story.”
FABOK, on Twitter, shared the progress shots of his and Brad Anderson’s work for the teaser image, including rough sketch, first version, final version and colored product.
BATMAN/JOKER: THE DEADLY DUO
If Three Jokers has been expected for longer than Batman’s cape, the wait for Silvestri’s Batman is the size of Mogo. Teased since 2014, the title will be released under Black Label and will be around 7.5 issues long, whatever that means. According to the report by The Beat on the Meet the Publishers panel, Jim Gordon is kidnapped and his body-parts start being sent to Batman on a semi-regular basis, all while someone starts screwing with Joker. This will have the Bat and the clown teaming up.
SILVESTRI also took the chance to share some of his work in progress for the book, showing Gotham’s skyline.
OLD LADY HARLEY
Frank Tieri, Mauricet
Frank Tieri went away, now Frank Tieri is back again, bringing Mauricet with him as they hop on a motorcycle to the future with OLD LADY HARLEY. The series was announced a few days before SDCC and will be spinning out of the events of issue #42, the debut of Old Lady Harley. Coming out October 24, the five-issue mini-series seems to be a product of public approval of this version of Harley, or, as FRANK TIERI put it, “We told you if you wanted more, you’d get more– and now here is MORE”.
(Sequel to) BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT
A White Knight B&W statue is coming! Batman can keep us company while we wait for the official reveal of the project and its title – not that it is much of a secret that it is being made.
Marie Lu, Chris Wildgoose
Nightwalker was another of the titles with an artist yet-to-be-announced before SDCC. The Young Adult Panel confirmed the adoption will be made by CHRIS WILDGOOSE, who recently worked on Batgirl, together with his wife LAURA TRINDER, who’ll be coloring the book. Based on the novel by Stuart Moore and adapter by Marie Lu, the book features teenager Bruce Wayne paying some community service hours in Arkham Asylum.
Commenting on the news on Twitter, Chris said that “A thing I laughed to myself about getting this job was that once again I’ve just missed out on drawing official Batman. the last close shave was when I got to draw his ankles that one time in Gotham Academy. Now it’s teen Bruce. One day Bats…. One day! Still, Teen Bruce Wayne dealing with Arkham Asylum couldn’t be any more up my street. Expect tons of gothic vibes and brooding stares galore!”
DICK GRAYSON: LOST CARNIVAL
One of the five new titles announced for the second wave of DC Zoom/DC Ink titles, Michael Moreci stated the story will “take us to Haly’s Circus, introducing a mysterious world, new characters, and love interest for Dick. Think Romeo & Juliet meets The Night Circus.”
SHADOW OF THE BATGIRL
Probably the project that had more people excited out of all the new titles announced for DC Ink, Shadow of the Batgirl will be focusing on Cassandra Cain. During the DC Zoom/DC Ink panel, the info given about the series is that this will be about Cass finding her family in a coming of age story.
The series still has no artist attached to it, but writer SARAH KUHN seems to be head over heels about the project. In her Twitter account, Sarah declared that “This is a dream come true — I get to write my beloved Asian Batgirl!“
WALMART 100-PAGE GIANTS
Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Derington
What kind of creature is this, some non-SDCC related news? Well, the world does not stop for SDCC, as much as it seems it does. The Walmart exclusives have been flying from the shelves, with many people not being able to get their hands on a copy. The Beat ran a truly Bat-level investigation and, according to their sources, can confirm that they are being restocked. So if you missed out on your first attempt to find them, you may have different luck now.
That’s it for now. Don’t forget to take your seats back to where you found them, and don’t leave any litter behind or Alfred will have my behind. We’ll be taking yet another two-week break. Until then, keep safe and edgy, like Robin.