SDCC 2011: DC – The Dark and the Edge

This Fall, all DC comics will be published in purple and black based on scripts by the dude from U2.

Taking the stage at San Diego Comic Con was Eisner award-winning writer, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Mike Costa, Adam Glass, Ivan Brandon, Paul Cornell, Kyle Higgins, and Josh Fialkov, joined by editor Pat McCallum.

Snyder talked about working on Swamp Thing, which will be about a man wrestling with a monster, where Alec Holland crawls out of the swamp, not knowing what’s happened to him, remembering everything that’s happened to him before as a dream. “It’s very much about a man running away from his destiny.” The writer reiterated that the book will not invalidate the history that came before and will integrate everything from Len Wein to Brightest Day. With art by Yanick Paquette, the layouts become more complex as Swamp Thing overtakes the story more and more.

Lemire took the mic to talk about Animal Man, which he says is the story of Buddy Baker’s famiy, focusing on his daughter, Maxine, who the Bakers discover might be the most powerful being in the universe. H says that it will be a dark trip across the America and it will definitely be a horror series. He also talk up Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E., which will be a complete 180 from the typical character stories he’s known for as the worlds most mad scientists get an unlimited budget. In a little bit of a nod to Terror, Inc., the overall mythology will explore the history of the people who make up the monster’s body. He’ll also do time out issues featuring Frankenstiein in different eras.

Moving on to Josh Fialkov’s I, Vampire, about Andrew Bennett, a guy who becomes a vampire and remains a nice guy. He turns his girlfriend and she becomes absolutely evil. It’s about the mix of vampires in the DCU, who are very blue collar and mserable in a world where characters can shoot flame out of their hands. They just work and don’t feed, but all that changes when Mary, Queen of Blood convinces the masses to rebel and begin killing humans again. He says that the story is a romance, but it’s also about monsters reclaiming their monstrosity with an incredibly gory through line. He says it’s not what everyone thinks based on the previews, but I have to say that the cov image they released a couple of weeks back doesn’t sell the book he describes.

Paul Cornell then talked about Demon Knights, featuring Etrigan. It’s about seven strangers who wander into a medieval town under siege including Etrigan and Vandal Savage who reluctantly defend this tiny village during the fall of Camelot. He describes them as the Magnificent Seven, and going forward it’s about these characters attempting to restore Camelot. He notes that Etrigan only rhymes at the end of scenes on his way out. Cornell also described new character the Horsewoman, the world’s greatest archer who can ride but can’t walk. He’s going for a feel similar to Game of Thrones or Robin of Sherwood.

Discussing Stormwatch, he explained that the organization has been protecting the Earth for centuries, dealing with amateur vigilantes getting underfoot. He joked that H should have shirts printed that say “Apollo and Midnighter Are Still Gay,” explaining that the first issue will feature their first meeting as he tells the story of the characters’ romance. He says there are about four or five characters from The Authority and Stormwatch brought into the new title.

Next up, Kyle Higgins talked Deathstroke, and the challenge of working with a character who has been on the losing end of conflicts for the last few years, losing a bit of his edge. In his first story, he lays waste to the 405 Freeway in L.A.. The core of the book is something personal motivating the character’s big action while keeping him a villain. I’m trying to remember, but I think in the original solicit, it was supposed to be about Deathstroke trying to grain his rep, which doesn’t really make a compelling plot. Maybe Higgins has something more human up his sleeve.

Adam Glass talked about Suicide Squad, which will lose any sense of camaraderie from previous incarnations of the title as hardened killers and drafted to go on dirty missions for the government. Deadshot is now the team leader with, joined by Harley, and a slowly devolving King Shark. They’re joined by warrior priest El Diablo, who is like the Cyclops to Deadshot’s Wolverine. Designs aside, I’m interested in checking this one out.

They also showed off slides of Dan Didio’s Omac.

Mike Costa talked about Blackhawks and starting with a fresh slate of characters without decades of history. He says that overall, the book is about the future and what the universe looks like when the Man of Tomorrow lives on your planet. At it’s heart, he says, the book is about an international response team who deal with high technology run amok in the DCU and the origins of he villains’ technology.

Ivan Brandon explained the premise of Men of War, which is about a private contractor. He says the stories will be reverent to the Sgt. Rock character, a man with a family steeped in military/police/firemen tradition who’s all alone. In attempting not to spoil the book, he says that the it will feature the new DCU version of Wonder Woman villainess, Cersi, but was unwilling to explain her role in the story.

From there, artist Moritat Spoke briefly about All-Star Western, but there was no time to talk about the title.