Those are just some of the news and tidbits DC Comics creators shared with eager fans during the “DC Comics: Tales from the Dark and the Edge” panel Thursday morning at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Bob Wayne, DC’s senior vice president of sales, moderated the panel for fans of the company’s mystical, western, and horror comics.
According to Animal Man series writer Jeff Lemire, August’s issue #12 starts a Rotworld storyline that will crossover with Swamp Thing, and Animal Man #0 covers Buddy Baker’s origin.
Lemire said that he and Swamp Thing series writer Scott Snyder are excited about the huge storyline they’ve got coming, which they aren’t finished writing yet.
“I think people will be surprised at the scope of the story. It’s a lot bigger than just Animal Man and Swamp Thing. It encompasses a lot of the DC Universe and a lot of characters you wouldn’t expect to see in the ‘dark’ books.”
And one of those unexpected heroes is Hawkman, who appeared mutated in a preview image on-screen fighting Animal Man. “Poor, poor Hawkman,” Lemire joked. “(Series artist) Steve Pugh did terrible things to him and other characters.”
Frankenstein will be a player in Rotworld story and will join Justice League Dark in the series’ upcoming annual. Speaking of Justice League Dark, Lemire said that a secret in Black Orchid’s origin will be revealed, and now that the Books of Magic are in the New 52, Timothy Hunter will appear as well.
“The secret of Black Orchid’s identity, this version of Black Orchid, is something I’m purposely keeping a mystery for now. Her origin is going to actually tie into Animal Man and Swamp Thing and things we’re doing there,” Lemire said.
In Deathstroke #0, writer-artist Rob Liefeld’s delving into Slade Wilson’s military origins and how losing the woman he loved scarred him. Grifter #0 will give the titular hero his own “Yoda, or his sensei character,” as Liefeld put it.
“These zeroes are just great because we get to really tell you guys stuff that has not been revealed in terms of the personalities and what motivates these characters, and Grifter has been a little bit of a lost soul and he really figures it out in issue #0,” Liefeld said.
Voodoo’s showing up for a story arc as well, and Liefeld said jokingly, (or perhaps not jokingly, that one-by-one the WildC.A.T.S. characters are coming together.
Jimmy Palmiotti said that he and All-Star Western co-writer Justin Gray would retell Jonah Hex’s origin in issue #0, and then, as a preview image of Hex fighting a clown popped up, Palmiotti said, to much laughter, that Hex will shoot crazy clowns in old Gotham.
“The circus comes to Gotham, and not only are the clowns evil, but a lot of people who are semi-clowns become more evil,” he said.
“I said, ‘Yeah. I like drawing hats,’” Anderson joked. DiDio spoke to the artist later to have him draw the series.
We reported a little while back that Amethyst would return in Sword of Sorcery #0, and series editor Rachel Gluckstern said the book will have a lead feature, starring Amethyst herself, and a back-up feature.
Team 7, written by Justin Jordan, takes place earlier in the New 52 continuity and will feature a black ops sort of team comprising Deathstroke, Black Canary, Grifter, Amanda Waller, Steve Trevor, and others.
No one revealed series details, but I, Vampire writer Joshua Fialkov praised Jordan’s work on the series. “He is a genius. He’s amazingly talented, and he’s one of those great young voices.”
Suicide Squad writer Adam Glass promised that issue #0 will begin an exploration into Amanda Waller’s character and how kick ass and vicious she is. Waller, who’s “one of the baddest mamas in the DC Universe right now,” will become less of the mystery.
Fialkov revealed that future I, Vampire issues will feature the vampires fighting zombies, and it’s been the most fun thing he’s written in a while. Readers will go back centuries and see the origin of Cain, and the status quo of the book will change after issue #0.
“I am constantly amazed that DC is letting me do the ridiculously crazy things we’re doing starting next year,” Fialkov said.
In the audience question-and-answer portion, Liefeld said that Hawkman #0 will have a huge event that will make Hawkman wanted across the universe; Lemire’s trying his best to write a de-aged John Constantine with the same essence he had before the relaunch; Fialkov said Jack Hawksmoor from Stormwatch will show up in I, Vampire #12; and Gluckstern said that Amethyst would appear in Justice League Dark.
Wayne ended the panel with a We Can Be Heroes promotional video urging people to help end hunger in Africa.