Friday's Justice League panel at San Diego Comic-Con
kicked off with moderator John Cunningham, who's DC's VP - Marketing, introducing panelists Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Co-Publisher Jim Lee
and writers and artists James Robinson, Nicola Scott, Tony Bedard, Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato
and editor Brian Cunningham
. A lively panel with obvious camaraderie, the panelists discussed the history of the new Earth 2, the function of the Third Army in the upcoming Green Lantern crossover, new members for Justice League Dark
, the return of the Oblivion Bar and the Metal Men, and the upcoming Trinity War.
Discussing Justice League
, Geoff Johns talked about issue #12 and said the Justice League in the New 52 don't really know each other or ever meet other than to fight major threats, and that this will come back to "bite them in the ass" in the twelfth issue, which will see relationships between team members change and some members leave. The zero issue will see Billy Batson finally meet the wizard and become Shazam, although they'll have a contentious relationship. Issue #13 will bring the Cheetah into the New 52, and start laying groundwork for next year's Trinity War. Johns is also cowriting the Justice League International Annual
with Co-Publisher Dan DiDio, and stated that it was essentially a Booster Gold story and would tie into the twelfth issue of Justice League
. Asked if there are any characters not yet introduced in the New 52 that the writers were planning on including, Johns stated he'd be reintroducing the Metal Men.
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Moving to Green Lantern
, Johns talked about the zero issue and the new Green Lantern, reiterating much of what he said at yesterday's DC All Access panel
; regarding the upcoming "Rise of the Third Army" crossover, he mentioned that the Guardians -- who he called "total dicks" -- will be out to eradicate free will, believing it's the major issue with the failure of the Green Lantern Corps.
Regarding Green Lantern Corps
, the zero issue will provide a new origin for Guy Gardner, which Johns called one of Peter Tomasi's best scripts. Bedard talked about Green Lantern: New Guardians
, saying Kyle Rayner will be a secret weapon against the Third Army, having to get in touch with emotions like avarice and rage that he doesn't usually embrace to defeat the Guardians. The zero issue for Red Lanterns
will provide more background on Atrocitus and why he hates the Guardians so much, and lead into "Rise of the Third Army" because this basically gives Atrocitus a chance to kill a whole lot of Guardians. A fan asked about Kyle Rayner's past now that both of his major love interests, Donna Troy and Jade, have been removed from continuity. Bedard replied that while Alex's infamous refrigerator death is still an important part of his origin, the years after that are still blank pages in the new universe.
Moving on to Flash
, Manapul and Buccellato reiterated much of what they discussed yesterday, mainly that the zero issue will focus on the origin of Barry Allen's sense of justice more than just his powers, and that the next issue will see him teaming up with the Rogues to fight Grodd and a whole lot of gorillas.
On the zero issue of Earth 2
, James Robinson talked about the history of Earth 2, and described a story featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and "Mister Eight," Terry Sloan, who fought with them and why he turned into a villain in the present day, as well as the origin of the Apokoliptian fire pits. Moving to October's issue, Robinson discussed that it would introduce a new version of the Sandman, Wesley Dodds, who is now Canadian. Robinson mentioned that Earth 2 was more mystical than the main DC Universe, and described the second arc as the Justice Society against the government as "science vs. magic." That arc will introduce the New 52 versions of Doctor Fate and Wildcat, as well.
Jeff Lemire talked about Justice League Dark
, and trying to align it more closely with the work Johns is doing on the main Justice League
book. The zero issue will focus on a younger, more arrogant John Constantine, his relationship with Zatanna, and a new villain who Lemire described as Constantine's Moriarty. The second year of the title will see Amethyst, Frankenstein and Timothy Hunter joining the book. During the Q&A session, when asked about the Oblivion Bar (from Bill Willingham's Day of Vengeance
), Lemire said it would appear in issue #0. Another question asked about the gods who punished Pandora, the Question and the Phantom Stranger in the Free Comic Book Day issue, and Johns stated that he and Lemire were working on a story about them that would run between the main Justice League
title and Justice League Dark
A fan asked if there would be a sequel to Batman: Earth One
, and Johns stated he and artist Gary Frank have already started work on it.