San Diego Comic-Con came and went way too quickly! WAY. TOO. QUICKLY! What makes it even worse, is now I’m back at my day job. What’s that about? Can someone make attending cons a job? Cause I’m your guy! I mean, other than writing comics for a living, what would be more fun than getting paid to talk comics twenty-four, seven? Nothing. The answer is nothing!
Anyway, as always, a lot of news pertaining to our favorite comics came out of SDCC, and we’re bringing those details to you! Let’s start with the reason we all visit this site: Batman!
Tom King is currently delivering his best arc yet with “The War of Jokes and Riddles” but I think it’s safe to say a number of us are anxiously awaiting to find out Selina’s response to Bruce’s proposal! Well fear not, friends, because we’ll learn that answer in Batman #32!
“THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES” finale! This is the finale everyone will be talking about for years to come! In BATMAN #24, we gave you the question; in BATMAN #32, you get the answer. As the Riddler and The Joker desperately fight for supremacy in Gotham City, Batman reveals how far he had to go to end the war. Now, knowing Batman’s greatest sin, Catwoman must make her decision: Will she marry Batman?
During a press breakfast hosted by DC Comics, King revealed that the story, titled “A Dream of Me,” will officially reveal Selina’s answer, and there’s two directions this can go as King explained:
“This is the best Batman arc I’ve ever done. If he gets engaged, it hits Batman on one level, right? ‘Holy crap, I’ve never been engaged before. I’ve been here 75 years, more stories have been written about me than anything.’… If he doesn’t get engaged, if she says no, if she says, ‘Your past is too much to overcome. What you just confessed in “Jokes and Riddles” is the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard, and I can’t be seen with you.’… That’s also something you’ve never seen before – and he’s destroyed.”
“A Dream of Me”
Following Selina’s response, in Batman #33, Bruce will embark on a new mission that features him “riding horses through the desert, shirtless, hair on his chest, a sword in hand.” The story will heavily feature the Robins (Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian) as they try to determine whether Bruce is losing his mind, or finally finding peace. King continued:
“In his mind, he’s entered some place he’s never gone, and now he’s going to go off on a mission that’s completely illegal… He’s doing it on his own because he hit that emotional breaking point, or happy point, that he has to move on… What we’re going to do… is sort of go inside the mind of this character and explore how he relates to you, and how he’s a hero.”
I have to admit, it sounds as though Bruce is in for a big dish of heartache, however, this could be one large red herring on DC’s part. Let’s not forget that when Damian was planned to be killed, DC released fake covers and solicitations for the stories that we later discovered were “Requiem” tie-ins. We also have to keep in mind that if Selina does say yes, the reality of the situation might just freak him out! Keep in mind, this entire concept began with Bruce’s father telling him to give up being Batman and to be happy during “The Button.”
“(‘A Dream of Me’ begins with) the idea of happiness… Of him trying to find peace… Everyone here has probably lost some sort of loved one – has had some sort of tragedy happen to them. And for all I know, you guys probably don’t go out at night, dress as a bat, and fight people, right? That’s a little insane… The idea (for Bruce) is why. Why did (his parents’ death) touch him in such a way, and is it possible for him to get over it? Is it possible for Batman ever to grieve? And of course, it’s a story about all of us, and how we turn the tragedies in our lives – and the accidents – into the triumphs. (Marrying Selina) may be an incredibly honest, wonderful decision… Or maybe (it’s) another level of insanity, and he’s just covering up his pain with emotion and love.”
Personally, I’m hoping she says yes, but I’m excited to experience this journey no matter the outcome. Batman #32 will be released on October 18th, and will debut Joelle Jones on art duties!
“A DREAM OF ME” part 1! Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family—each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.
In other Batman news:
Duke’s Future: Duke Thomas Batman’s newest sidekick finally has a codename: Signal. Now the “new and different” training that Duke endeared will set him up as “Gotham’s day-time hero” in Batman: The Signal, written by Scott Snyder and DC Writer Workshop alum, Tony Patrick. There is currently no artist slated for this title.
DC/ Young Animal Crossover: DC’s Young Animal imprint will encounter the iconic heroes of the DC Universe in January 2018. Only minor details have been revealed at this point (a Doom Patrol special featuring Justice League of America), but one has to assume Mother Panic will include a collision with the Dark Knight himself, Batman.
From Wonder Woman to Nightwing?: Nicola Scott (Wonder Woman) wants to draw Nightwing, and she took every opportunity to let fans know at SDCC. There were numerous instances where she would mention it during panels, and even drew some sketches of him during art panels! I strongly feel we should push for this to happen because not only is her art terrific, but she’s pretty amazing in general! Plus, she’s all about the Nightwing butt panels!
If King’s Batman doesn’t sound exciting enough on its own, DC is overloading the back-end of 2017 with two completely epic series: Metal/ Dark Matter and then Doomsday Clock!
Metal & Dark Matter
The first story we’ll get to experience is Scott Snyder’s Metal/ Dark Matter series! In addition to the news concerning Dark Nights: Metal that we covered previously, we were also treated to details concerning where the story will lead. Considering Batman is the catalyst for the events taking place in Dark Days/ Dark Nights/ Dark Matter, you can bet we’re in for one hell of a ride! At the DC Press Breakfast, Snyder described how the idea came to him.
“I started thinking about it – what if I developed this mystery that Batman and then the Justice League start following. Because it’s really a Justice League story even more than a Batman story. It becomes the first mystery that Batman just does not want to solve, because it all seems to point back to him in a way that’s terrifying to him. So it’s almost like the first detective case he doesn’t want to solve.”
If you’ve read Dark Days: The Forge and Dark Days: The Casting, then you know parts of this mystery have already started to unfold. The story – which started with Batman and is essentially a continuation of Snyder and Capullo’s New 52 Batman run, Grant Morrison’s Batman run, and Darkseid War – has expanded to include a range of characters, but has put a spotlight on Harkman and Nth Metal in particular. Snyder explains:
“Hawkman is the detective of history, and Batman is the detective of the present. So what if there was a torch passed from Hawkman to him, even unbeknownst to Batman. Or Hawkman hid something that Batman would find, and pick up this great mystery about how Nth Metal is transmitting energy from somewhere beyond the multiverse, and nobody knows where.”
I find it key that Snyder mentions “beyond the multiverse,” because if you traveled with Grant Morrison through the Multiverse (Multiversity), then you might be curious as to what lies beyond it. The answer to that, is the Dark Multiverse. And within the Dark Multiverse, you’ll find these guys – evil Batmen.
During the Dark Nights Metal and Dark Matter panel, Snyder described the Dark Multiverse as a place where “all your fears about yourself become real,” and expanded that the evil Batmen are “total nightmare Bruce Wayne Batmen.” Considering Batman has been known to stop many heroes and villains on his own, the fact that there will be a team of evil Batmen – each empowered with various abilities that match that of the Justice League – should scare the shit out of you! Perhaps that’s real reason Metal leads into the expanding series Dark Matter… It’s going to take all of these heroes and teams to stop the evil Batmen! Snyder describes the culmination as,
“If Frazetta and Jack Kirby had a baby to a heavy metal soundtrack, Metal is that event. Battle armor, dinosaurs, robots. It’s really meant to be a celebration of comics and is a thank you to you, the fans, honestly. We’re going all out.”
During the panel DiDio also revealed that, in addition to the titles announced earlier this year at C2E2, DC would be publishing additional titles under the upcoming Dark Matter banner. New artwork for Brimstone and The Terrifics was shown, in addition to key artwork for The Silencer, Sideways, Immortal Men, Damage, and New Challengers.
“What excites me most about our blockbuster event Metal is that it takes full advantage of the talent and vision of the creative teams working at DC right now,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “Dark Days leads to Dark Nights, and Dark Nights leads to Dark Matter. Everyone… is bringing the power and energy expected from superhero storytelling to the pages of these new titles.”
The panel then revealed that Jeff Lemire will make his return to DC with The Terrifics in 2018. With so many characters and stories developing from Metal, it’s no wonder that Snyder describes it as a “melt your face off” event!
Geoff Johns joined DC Publisher Dan DiDio at SDCC and revealed new details about his highly anticipated Doomsday Clock series. During the hour-long Spotlight conversation, Johns debuted six interior panels, beautifully illustrated by Gary Frank with colors by Brad Anderson, including confirmation of Dr. Manhattan’s involvement in Doomsday Clock. Johns proclaimed,
“It’s a completely different story than anything I’ve ever done. It’s nothing like anything Gary and I have ever done. The process is incredibly detail-oriented, and it has to be because of what we’re trying to do, and what we’re trying to accomplish. When Gary and I talk about a panel for an hour, guess what? Brad talks about a panel for an hour, too, and what the colors mean and what they are to people going into it. My editor, Brian Cunningham, is the same way. This is not a normal comic book for us; this is the chance to do something we’ve never done before, and we’re putting everything we have into it, and it’s a story we could only tell right now. And it’s a risky story to tell, which I love, and it’s a challenge, which I love… But if there’s one being out there who can mess with time in such a radical way and challenge hope, Doctor Manhattan is the guy.”
Doomsday Clock appears to be a story for our time that brings the greatest heroes and villains from the DC Universe together with the mysterious forces from the Watchmen Universe. As Johns discussed the sophistication of the story and its real-world influence, his words paired beautifully with the panels, which are highly detailed and evoke layers of emotion.
“There’s so much great thematic and important stuff about what the DC Universe is, what these heroes mean to us, what the world faces on a daily basis, and what these heroes — DC’s in specific — speak to me and hopefully why they speak to you,” explained Johns. “That’s what the book is about. The book is a celebration of all of it; it’s a comic book that encompasses everything from Action Comics #1 in 1938 all the way till today, and it leads the DC Universe into tomorrow with issue (Doomsday Clock) #12 — like, literally tomorrow. There’s a lot of things that I’m excited for you guys to see, but one scene in particular that I love: I love seeing the smartest man from one world talking to the smartest man from another — and the smartest man from DC is Lex Luthor — and that’s all I’ll say.”
One would assume that Johns is referring to Ozymandias, but he didn’t specify that this person would be from the Watchman universe. For all we know, there could be much more to the story than we realize. Johns did, however, announce that the series would be Superman centric, by stating, “Superman is the story.”
The first issue will hit shelves on Wednesday, November 22, just prior to the Thanksgiving 2017 holiday, and will run 12 issues with planned breaks in March and August. Johns continued,
“(Doomsday Clock) takes place a year in the future of the DC Universe, so that when the last issue comes out, the DC Universe will catch up. Everything from Rebirth and Metal and everything else, this will take place after all of that. By the time issue #12 comes out, the rest of the DC Universe will catch up and be affected.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for this story since DC Universe: Rebirth, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Harley Turns 25
It’s no secret that Harley Quinn has a huge fan base, and she just happens to be celebrating a special birthday! That’s right, Harley’s turning 25! With the loveable psycho turning into such a pop culture tour de force over the past couple of years, you better believe DC has massive plans in the works! It’s Harley’s party, and she’ll cry if she wants to… or she’ll just hijack Batman Day!
Yep, you read that correctly! As part of her celebration, Harley is taking over Batman Day on September 23, 2017! Love her, or hate her, you’ve got to admit this is a brilliant move on DC’s part, and the timing is perfect! In addition to her takeover, a number of mini-series and crossovers have been announced to celebrate Harley’s day (ahem) year.
Harley Quinn debuted on Batman: The Animated Series in the episode “Joker’s Favor,” which originally aired in September 1992. Co-created by the acclaimed Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Dark Knight: A True Batman Story) and Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond) Harley Quinn has since spawned the now popular Harley Quinn comic series, and is one of the fastest growing characters in DC history – becoming a top ten character within twenty-five years.
DC will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Harley Quinn in a big way, with key new releases in the coming months! In her titular series, Harley Quinn, we’ll see Harley run for Mayor of New York City… at the exact same time that New York actually runs their election for mayor! How’s that for life imitating art? In addition to this, DC will also release a number of specials, including Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special, Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica, and Harley Quinn: A Rogues Gallery – The Deluxe Cover Art Collection. And don’t forget, Harley will also star in Batman and Harley Quinn later this year – and a comic tie-in to go with it!
With all of this Harley mania, the next year is sure to be one full of chaos and mayhem!
2018 & Beyond
During the Meet the Publishers panel with co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee, we learned that 2018 will be a transformative year for DC Comics! With the success of the DC Superhero Girls brand, and a desire for more mature reading options, DC has opted to break their publishing into three groups: DC Rebirth, Young Readers, and a yet un-named mature reader line. These brands will naturally impact the current titles being published, particularly the Rebirth line. As much as we may not want to see it happen, DC will be cutting a number of Rebirth titles in the near future to make way for their two new lines.
With these changes, DC announced they will remain committed to making the best financial decisions for fans, retailers, and the company itself. This strategy begins with a promise to keep all titles priced at $2.99 – exceptions being longer formats such as annuals and graphic novels. In addition to this, DC will also stop printing variant covers. While this might let some of you down, DC wrapped up the panel by announcing they are making a commitment to bring more standalone, “evergreen” graphic novels and mini-series (think Dark Knight Returns, Watchman, etc) with top talent! To drive this message home, Didio and Lee invited special guest Grant Morrison onto the stage to discuss his current project Wonder Woman Earth One 2. While discussing the book, Morrison also let slip that he has another project in the works with Chris Burnham… Arkham Asylum 2.
Well, that’s pretty much the rundown of the big SDCC comics news from DC Comics! What are your thoughts? Are you as excited as we are about what’s to come? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to check out our additional posts from SDCC!