FanExpo Canada: DC Comics Sunday Panel Announces JLA, Teases The Return Of Stephanie Brown

The last day of FanExpo Canada also brought the last DC Comics panel of the Con. Wipe away your tears, though, because there was some big news items awaiting the crowd of excited attendees. On the panel moderated by DC’s John Cunningham were Dan Didio, Greg Capullo, Jason Fabok, and David Finch.

First, Cunningham talked to Capullo about bringing the Joker to Batman. “We’re going to scare and frighten the s**t out of you all,” said Capullo. “This is going to be Joker meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Joker had his face on ice, and he’s robbed and stolen the face back. I think it would be cool to have this stuff rotting away, so there’s flies buzzing around him. You guys think that’s cool? I hope all your pants will get tight, and your nipples will stiffen, and you’ll enjoy it.”

Next up was Fabok on Batman: The Dark Knight. “Each individual issue has its own mystery,” said Fabok, “but it all has this overarching tie. There’s going to be so many twists and turns through this series. It’s been pretty special for me, and I can’t wait to prove myself.”

Then it was over to Didio for Phantom Stranger. “It has so many ties to the DCU,” said Didio, plugging that the book will expand beyond his origins as teased in the Free Comic Book Day issue.

Finch talked Detective Comics next, saying that the current Scarecrow arc gets bigger and bigger until it goes, “beyond the little Batman house.” Then they kicked it over to the announcement of Justice League of America, written by Geoff Johns and pencilled by David Finch. Hey, we got an exclusive chat about that, here! Cunningham noted there will be more info on the series in the back of Justice League #12

Then it was on to questions, here’s some highlights!

– Pandora will show up during a soccer game in Phantom Stranger #2.

– Joker will appear in other Bat-books. “You might get horny for other books and want to pick them up, I don’t know,” said Capullo to huge laughs from the audience.

– Asked about the New 52, Didio said Diane Nelson was the “unsung hero,” of the DCU, having been the one to approve the project.

– An audience member asked whether the panel could respond to Rob Liefeld’s Twitter outburst in three words, to which Cunningham said, “No. No, no. Next question!”

– The next question was whether Alfred’s name on the cover of Batman #13 indicated that the Joker knows about Batman’s secret identity. Capullo noted that was, “An astute observation,” but declined to confirm whether this was, in fact, true.

– Asked about seeing Cassandra Cain or Stephanie Brown in the New 52, Didio said, “Sure! I mean that seriously. People say we haven’t seen them yet… But we haven’t seen them yet.” He then expanded, saying the New 52 is still less than a year young, so they’re still working through characters and concepts as they go. As a little bit of Op-Ed, I’ll note that this was the most positive Didio has ever sounded on the subject, so perhaps we’re actually getting closer to Brown’s return?

– Didio said they’re looking into having a Red Robin series, and starting to gauge interest in the idea.

– For 2013, “There might be a very big storyline,” said Didio, talking about a line-wide crossover.

– On what New 52 book people should be reading more, Capullo quipped, “Batman.” Didio said he hoped Animal Man and Swamp Thing could use a few more eyeballs because of how good they are. On the other hand, with the Bat-Universe, “We don’t need to touch a thing.” Cunningham plugged the upcoming “Sword of Sorcery,” which he called a “terrific book.”

– Asked about the romance between Superman and Wonder Woman, Didio called it one of the, “through lines for the DC Universe through 2013.”

– Didio says there’s, “Plenty of plans,” for a crossover between Phantom Stranger and Justice League Dark, and he’ll be sitting down with Jeff Lemire to discuss them soon.

– A fan then asked about the upcoming Riddler arc in Batman. “If I’m involved, and Scott’s involved, it’ll be freaking awesome,” said Capullo, though he doesn’t actually know where it’s going… Other than there’s never been an origin for the Riddler, and Snyder will, “Come up with something that’ll completely knocks your socks off.”

– The next question was about whether bad movies negatively affect sales of comics. Cunningham said that it doesn’t impact the monthly sales at all. “Where we see the biggest impact is with graphic novels, that seems to be the easiest in…” said Cunningham, “But the negative effects aren’t there.” Didio noted that people ask why they still publish Jonah Hex when the movie did so badly, and he just tells them it didn’t change the sales on the book negatively at all.

– On the pressure of working on Batman, Capullo said that he was so nervous, he redrew, and reinked the cover to Batman #1 three times before he got it right.

And that was it! We’ll see you at the next panel.