The word of the day seems to be exhausted. Panelists, friends, familiar faces in Artist’s Alley, even I will freely admit, I am exhausted. But it’s kind of wonderful.

C2E2 is massive this year. Was it this big last year? I don’t remember it taking up less space but I have no recollection of it being so impressive to trek across the show floor. I came in strong, but the vain attempt to see everything before the wave of panels on Saturday was more than I could handle. Others stayed up late putting finishing touches on a cosplay or reconnecting with friends from out of town. Tim Seeley announced to a slowly growing crowd that he had stayed out too late at a Goth club with friends. Basically the con started at that moment in the night where everyone is tired and can either sleep or do something awesome. Wisely, we, collectively, seem to have chosen a little bit of both.

I opened my con by doing a little shopping, after all, I had a little time and things disappear quickly. I’m so glad I did. I don’t know that I’ve talked about it here on WCBR, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with the character of Black Lightning over the last year and a bit. Black Lightning vol. 2 # 5 is one of the great, unrecognized single issues in comics, but there’s nothing like the pure joy and weirdness of the Bronze Age. So, imagine my joy when I stumbled upon this in a bargain bin.

It's Black Lightning #1. I had someone take this picture to help express my glee. Somewhere along the line I obtained a flower crown. Comic Con, everyone!

It’s Black Lightning #1. I had someone take this picture to help express my glee. Somewhere along the line I obtained a flower crown. Comic Con, everyone!

I felt pretty triumphant and I walked off the show floor with my head held high as I headed to my first of two panels for the day: Dynamite.

Corrina Bechko was first up to discuss her upcoming Vampirella/Aliens miniseries. The series takes place on Mars and will very much be playing with the same claustrophobic space as the Alien movies. She also announced that she would be writing Miss Fury for Dynamite, though it hasn’t been scheduled yet and likely won’t arrive until next year. She’s very excited to be writing one of the oldest comic heroines.

Tim Seeley has been overseeing Dynamite’s Chaos comics of late and he spoke a little bit about the latest of them, Alice Cooper Chaos! It’s going to be a meeting of some really bad dudes, with Alice Cooper being the most heroic of the bunch. Seeley described it as the “most metal comic ever”, a mixture of “Jack Kirby and an Iron Maiden album collection”, before Rybandt declared him Dynamite’s new tagline generator.

Gail Simone raved about writing Swords of Sorrow, calling it the most exciting thing she’s done in comics. She’s really enjoyed being in a coordinating position on the crossover, and took a minute to clarify her vision for the project. Simone stressed that the tone of the various tie-ins could not be more different ranging from Marguerite Bennett’s pulpy Red Sonja/Jungle Girl to Leah Moore’s Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler, an old-fashioned detective yarn. She also stated her feeling that Crossovers shouldn’t hurt your head trying to figure out a reading order. Thank you, Ms. Simone.

Willingham

Bill Willingham sadly announcing that his idea for an all male driven, all male written crossover bonanza was shot down. Prospective title: SausageFest.

Finally Mark Waid told us about Justice Inc.: The Avenger, calling it a property he’s had dibs on for decades. A largely forgotten Golden Age pulp hero, The Avenger is a man with a face like clay who’s called together a group of experts to dispense justice where there is none. Waid mentioned a pair of these associates, a brilliant black couple held back by the assumptions of the time, and how the series would try to question what justice means to different people while still indulging the beautiful simplicity of the original concept. Waid also admitted that he loves when heroes turn handicaps into power, like Daredevil’s blindness or the Avenger’s destroyed face.

Before the panel wrapped up, Bill Willingham came to the stage to make a special announcement, a new Legenderry series! It’s early stages yet, but Willingham promised an appearance from the Six-Thousand Dollar Man (gasp! So much!) and explained that he much prefers the term Steampulp, so don’t be surprised if the “A Steampunk Adventure” subtitle is modified.

I wandered the floor a little longer after that, making it about half way through between my jaunts. If you have some time and either money or self-control, I strongly suggest checking out Stan Lee’s Collectables, whose 50% off trade sale tested me dearly.

Bizarro

Its a road trip across Bizarro America, or Canada as we call it.

Before long, however, I had to run to get on line for The New DC Universe Panel. I think I might write up a fuller coverage of the panel sometime next week, but highlights included getting some information about Bizarro, some exciting whisperings about We Are…Robin!, and Jimmy Palmiotti giggling after his wife described Harley Quinn and Power Girl as “a perfect pair.” Of course, that wasn’t all. As Palmiotti promised a group ducking out early, there was a special announcement at the end of the panel. Brian Azzarello joined the panelists on stage and asked us to imagine two letters and a number: DK3. It is coming. For better or worse, it is coming.

I spent the rest of the day wandering artist alley. Gail Simone is waaaaay in the back at booth A18, if you’re looking for her, and, if you plan on seeing Scott Snyder, plan on getting there early as the line was pretty intense even for him today.

It was a busy day, and, for many, a busy night, but tired as we all were, there was the sense of getting your second wind, inspired by the people around you. C2E2 started out low energy, but it’s building, and who knows where it will stop.