Saturday was a monster of a day, with four DC and Marvel Panels in a row. It wasn’t easy but I got into all of them for you. The last one, Marvel’s Cup O’ Joe caught my attention and specifically and put me a little behind in coverage, but I have loads to share so if you’ll forgive a slightly abridged format, here’s what I learned. If anything isn’t elaborated on enough, feel free to ask about it in the comments, I have a bunch of notes.
First up was the All-New All-Different Marvel Panel.
- Black Pather was a big topic, though the panelists remained fairly mum on the details. We did managed to see some exclusive design sketches from Brain Stelfreeze, the artist, who reportedly wanted to make T’challa cooler, more modern, and “blacker”.
- The X-Men are not going anywhere, said Nick Lowe. Dennis Hopeless spoke a little bit on Jeff Lemire’s Extraordinary X-Men. Hopeless is looking forward to seeing three leaders of the X-Men on one team, Storm, the older version of her lover Wolverine, and the younger version of his great unrequited love Jean Grey. “What could go wrong?”
- Hopeless also said that his All-New X-Men run would be a return to the classic X-Men adventures, traveling around showing the world that mutants are not the enemy and dealing with being the strangest teens of all.
- David Walker spoke a little bit about the recently announced Power Man and Iron Fist. To Walker, the core of the series is the friendship between Luke and Danny, which he sees as one of the first major Marvel friendships we got to see from its inception and one that hasn’t been truly featured in a long time. He likened it to the friendship between Barry White and Wink Martindale, saying that everybody has one friend where you think ‘why am I friends with this person?’ That’s Danny and Luke.
- Finally Jason Latour spoke about Spider-Gwen. Apparently the Lizard has been spotted around New York and Gwen is not happy to see Peter Parker’s legacy dug up again. She’s also been popping into the 616 universe for advice, but soon that link will start causing trouble and that will spiral into “Spider-Women” a new Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman/Silk crossover event starting in April.
I wanted to stay longer but I needed to run to DC: Heroes to the Core, a panel examining the Justice League and their books. There weren’t any major announcements at the panel but there were lots of interesting insights.
- John Romita Jr. discovered that he’s drawing a Dark Knight Returns prequel one-shot on the panel!
- David Walker, back again, spoke about Cyborg needing to stay upgraded and his incredible potential as an incredibly smart young man. He said that future issues will be looking at Vic’s mother, Elinore Stone, and the impact that she had on him.
- Riley Rossmo revealed that he LOVES Deadman.
- Dan DiDio took a poll of the audience’s favorite Green Lantern. Kyle Rayner did not do well, with John Stewart doing only a little better. Guy Gardner nabbed a few more hands and Simon Baz was dead last. Didio clearly expected Hal Jordan to handily take the poll, but he actually was only a little ahead of Guy. Apparently there just weren’t that many Lantern fans in the audience.
- Jeff King is taking Telos to the Vega System and he’ll be running up against Brainiac, Parallax, and a bunch of classic Legion characters before too long.
- “Batman will never give up,” said Greg Pak, “but Superman will never give up on you.” While Romita agreed, he pointed out that Clark is getting frustrated more easily now that he’s dealing with pain and exhaustion and disrespect
- Hal Jordan will be returning to Earth for Green Lantern #50, where he’ll encounter a revival of a classic GL villain.
- Dan Didio also clarified that the events of “Darkseid War” take place before Superman lost his powers and that the current JLA series is set during the missing five years between Justice League #6 & 7.
Then I ran to Empire Stage to get on the massive line for Batman: The Batman Universe.
- Scot Snyder and Greg Capullo spoke a lot about the development of Mr. Bloom, with Snyder calling the character the hopelessness of the city and drawing a clear parallel with the struggles of an aspiring artist. Capullo initially had trouble designing the character, uncertain about the flower motif. He experimented with a sort of weed-like bridal veil but Snyder was insistent on the flower and in the end Greg came around.
- Peter Tomasi said that his Detective Comics run will live up to its name and show us Jim Gordon’s skill as an investigator.
- James Tynion IV set my heart all aflutter by revealing that Cassandra Cain is only the first character that Batman and Robin Eternal will reintroduce. Given a certain easter egg in the first issue, fans who share my particular tastes in comics may have something to celebrate before long.
- Tom King revealed that Grayson #12 went through seven drafts before he was satisfied with it.
- Tim Seeley promised that he and King are working hard to give fans, “More Dick for their buck.” His words, not mine.
- Greg Capullo revealed the formula for his distinctive look for Batman. Inspired by the “bull-nosed” look of Frank Miller’s anti-Superman armor and a childhood love of Space Ghost, he designed his take to have a more flattened profile.
After that I spent the rest of the day in artist alley.
I talked Turtles with Michael Dialynas on his birthday. Who knew the man behind the beautiful artwork of The Woods was such a TMNT fan? Happy Birthday Michael and congratulations on your upcoming issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- I got Alex Milne to sign a ton of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. He even drew a little Tarn on one!
- I spent a while with Justin Jordan and finally picked up The Legend of Luthor Strode.
- I stopped by to say hi to Morgan O’Shay and check out her wonderfully creepy art work again. I hope anyone interested in victorian portraiture, clever monster puns, and eerie reimaginings of classic spooks from around the world grabbed a hold of O’Shay’s Family Album. She was down to her last few copies…
- I was lucky, since I was in panels when they were given out, to snag a print copy of Fresh Romance from the Comixology booth. I took that straight over to table AA16 to get it signed by Arielle Jovellanos. Besides drawing some incredible art for fans of romance, teen archers, and magical girls, Arielle is a great person to talk to and I was thrilled to have the chance to get a physical book signed by her. It doesn’t hurt that she was sharing a table with Janet Sung, who, among other things, draws some great Game Grumps prints.
- At the end of the day I managed to nab Kevin Wada’s autograph on Fresh Romance as well. That man could probably do covers for every comic in existence and almost no one would complain.
- At the end of the day I caught up with some friends who work at Comixology, which has, of late, been overrun with Transformers Fever. Here they are as the crew of the Lost Light. You can’t really see but Rung’s even got a bag full of model starships from the con