Day 2 was the biggest day of C2E2 ever.
Unsurprising when you consider the rise of nerd culture as a whole and the record numbers at shows like NYCC, but there was definitely a feeling of being in full swing today.
I started the day by attempting to get into Scott Snyder’s signing line. Twenty minutes before regular attendance fans were admitted onto the show floor the line had already snaked around once. I’m lucky that I decided to check if Snyder would be signing again later because I discovered that the first person on line wouldn’t see him for another hour and a half! Abandoning that plan, I soothed my Snyderless heart by picking up a couple of issues of Academy X.
Before long, however I had to be off to get on line for Marvel’s Secret Wars: Last Days panel. The panelists described the various ways that their heroes, or at least protagonists, are coping with the end. Magneto is facing off with Sugar Man. Ms. Marvel will have a very unique way of dealing with the struggles of Jersey City. The Punisher “is going to kill a lot of people.” The Mighty Avengers are facing it together. Ant-Man is visiting a Golden Age retirement home. Spider-Woman is frustrated that the world is ending just as she was finally getting her life together. Even the Asgardians are in on the madness, as they wage violent, desperate war to settle their grudges once and for all. King Loki, of course, just wants to survive and he thinks he knows the way to do it, no matter who gets in his way. Perhaps the most interesting of all is the Silver Surfer, for he doesn’t really have last days. Perhaps sustained by the Power Cosmic, the Surfer will be the lone survivor of the Marvel Multiverse, caught out in the void that was once space when the final incursion seals Earth’s fate. It will now fall to him to recreate the universe as he sees fit. He’s joined by his companion, Dawn Greenwood, who is desperate to ensure that Earth survives. She, however has not seen a lot of Earth. The pair of them have a big job ahead of them, but, as writer Dan Slott promises, something else is with them in the void.
I was also interested to hear that Ms. Marvel and Captain America and the Mighty Avengers will be dealing with some of the non-superpowered reactions to the Incursion. Some of the residents of Jersey City and the Mighty Avengers who serve in a support capacity will get the spotlight as well. I think that could be really interesting.
The same room also played host to the Caped Crusaders, Dynamic Duos, and Darkest Knights panel. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Scott Snyder on a panel, but you will never hear someone more appreciative of his fans or more eager to give them an inside look at comics. Imagine what happens when you let him moderate one. Such was the scene today.
Snyder and panelists James Tynion IV, Brian Buccellato, and Ray Fawkes spoke about the success of Batman Eternal and the move towards the new “Batgirlization” of Gotham. Synder praised Batman group editor Mark Doyle whose philosophy is that there should be “a Bat book for every fan in every genre.” They also discussed the new armored Batman appearing after “Convergence”. Snyder brought the idea to the other writers at a Bat-summit in January and told them that he wouldn’t do it if they felt it would interfere with their books, but there was general agreement that it led to better stories and he would incorporate ideas from the others into his story. Snyder admitted that this take may be a little different but assured us, at length, that he would never do anything that would be inconsistent with the core of Batman’s character and mythology. He also revealed that there is another bat suit inside the armor.
Asked about a sequel to Batman: Eternal, James Tynion was unable to say much but assured us that talks were underway. Snyder asked if he could give away a little more, something Tynion encouraged on the basis that “you won’t get in as much trouble as me.” Synder clarified that, while it is not yet a certainty, the next weekly Batman series would likely be a celebration of Dick Grayson’s 75th anniversary, focusing on all of the Robins.
But perhaps the most notable moment of the panel came when a young woman, who I believe was dressed as Ty Lee from Avatar, came up to the mike. She thanked the panel for creating an environment where fans who had not always felt welcome in the Batman community, in many ways the pinnacle of mainstream comics, felt heard and respected. It sounded as though she was tearing up at the mic. Deeply grateful, she pulled herself together to confidently ask when we’d see Cassandra Cain in the new DCU. James Tynion cited the success of Batman: Eternal, pointing to the support of Stephanie Brown fans, and said that DC had seen that support and the support for Cass. Picking up from that, Scott Snyder launched into an impassioned speech about the way that fan support has allowed new books and wild ideas to flourish, both in work-for-hire and creator owned books. “You change this industry,” he told us adding that it makes him glad to hear that the fans feel respected, because they are. Ray Fawkes rounded it out. “Let’s make a deal, if you go out and support the books you love, we will be fearless in making the best books we can for you.”
Between the two panels I pulled out a couple of comics I’d picked up at ECCC, Mark Waid’s The Flash #75 & 99, parts of his celebrated “The Return of Barry Allen” and “Terminal Velocity” stories. I knew their reputation but I was unprepared for just how hard it was to not know what came next. So when I returned to the floor I went looking for the subsequent issues. I had no luck with “The Return of Barry Allen,” but I was able to pick up the rest of “Terminal Velocity” at Brainstorm Comics. If you get a chance, they’ve got a good Modern Age back issue selection and the staff is rather lovely. I even got to have Mark Waid sign the books. He was very happy to hear how excited the old stories had gotten me.
Before long I had to run over to Al Ewing’s booth for an interview. We spoke about mythology, hierarchy, and familiarity in comics and I think you’ll get a kick out of it. It’ll take a little while to get it all transcribed and cleaned up, but I’ll do my best to get it to you soon.
That was my Day 2, how was yours?