Chaykin explaining why Hawkgirl goes braless.
Building a Universe
February, and that can only mean one thing: Fanboys and
Fangirls are eagerly awaiting WonderCon 2006 with baited
breath. Well, dust off your favorite cosplay constume, pull
out a huge stack of comics to get signed, and empty out
your change jars because WonderCon has arrived in full force.
day at WonderCon is pretty slow going in comparison to the
fanfare and more robust programming reserved for Saturday,
which is pretty much the marquee event of the ‘Con.
However, Fridays are essential for budget-conscious Fanboys
and Fangirls who can usually scrape out some pretty interesting
finds on the convention floor whether it be discounted merchandise,
booth exhibits or running into your occasional pop-culture
icon or comic industry professionals.
the browsing crowd specifically on Friday were fan favorites
including Peter Mayhew and Sergio Aragones. Over at the
DC Comics booth, Bruce Timm was spotted looming around and
was even gracious enough to offer a few autographs to some
keen observers. Howard Chaykin and Mark Waid were also on
hand to do some signing and discuss some of their recent
Miller was also spotted on the floor, and drew a large crowd
to his autograph signing booth in the later afternoon. Eric
Powell, the 2005 Will Eisner Award winning creator of The
Goon, was on hand to do some signing at the Dark Horse
booth, and even offered fans a free issue of The Goon
to get things going. If you haven’t checked out the
book, do so soon.
the otherwise quiet day with a treat, the DC Panel: Modern
Architecture: The Architecture of the DC Universe. W
ho better to facilitate a discussion of DCU architecture than
Dan DiDio? The rest of the panel was comprised of the very
core of the DCU regime as we speak, including Greg Rucka,
(whom DiDio claimed wishes to discuss “buildings”),
Grant Morrison (whom DiDio offers a disclaimer for “Listen
closely folks, that is a real accent” and claims he
wishes to discuss “cars”), Mark Waid, and special
guest additions Geoff Johns and “52” editor Steve
Architects of a New Univ...wait, let's check the
(l. to r.) Dan DiDio, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison,
Geoff Johns and Steve Wacker.
Also, more hair than you usually collectively see
at these things.
kicked off the panel by noting that this seemed to be, with
its included guest panelists, the first public appearance
of the creative team behind 52. A little bit of
time was spent clarifying the order of events on a timeline,
making a note that this seemed to be a common confusion.
Just for the record, although we’re finding it difficult
to believe that this concept is really as confusing as some
make it out to be, following Infinite Crisis there
is a one-year gap between the last issue of that book and
the point in which each title “jumped” one-year
later. This gap will be covered in the weekly series, 52.
it? Good, because there will be a quiz, according to DiDio
moment of note came early on, as the editor attempted to
clarify some of the thought process behind the Infinite
Crisis event and the subsequent run-off events of both
One Year Later and 52. Didio attempted
to explain, but seemed to catch himself before giving away
too much. “Once we come back with that multiverse…wait,
that’s not true…”
Johns smiled, and shook his head as if DiDio had ventured
into some dangerous waters with his statement. Whether or
not this actually means the multiverse is back for good
remains to be seen. The point? The weekly 52 series
will provide the newly rejiggered DCU with both structure
and layout, answering key questions including “is
there magic?” and “how many worlds are there?”
do you keep comics fans in suspense?
quickly turned the panel over to Q&A, the first of which
was aimed at Grant Morrison and his Seven Soldiers
series, inquiring where the concept for the homeless subway
pirates generated from.
replied, “I wanted to do a pirate story but all the
good ones had been done already. I think I’d been
watching Gangs of New York, and I like the top hats.”
He also claims to have been inspired by the thought of what
could happen when “people take control of the subway
trains, and the damage they may do…it just seems so
next question was geared towards Geoff Johns, specifically
regarding a possible Earth 2 ongoing series to which he
replied that there are “no plans right now for an
then offered that they realize how fond some fans are regarding
Earth 2, and that “part of what Infinite Crisis is
all about is a celebration of all these stories, heroes
vs. heroes” and that issue number 5 will definitely
be examining more of what will happen when various characters
meet heroes from other Earths.
question seemed to open up the discussion in a broader sense
regarding the series. A fan questioned whether or not there
was something broken within the mainstream DCU that required
the attention of a rebuild, and thus spawning the Infinite
Waid explained that “everything goes in cycles. The
DC books had become a bit darker, more grittier, and a bit
too much in some cases.” He pointed out that it is
important to remember that the DCU heroes really do like
each other essentially and although disagreements and arguments
may spring up, these heroes are for the most part, a family.
“It’s a nice chance to get back to this notion.
There should be balance to it.”
revamped the question and tossed it to Steve Wacker, asking
him to touch on the overall message behind the 52
series. “The stories of heroes move like a pendulum,”
he explained, saying that you tear them all apart and they
slowly swing back to a balance, and “that’s
what Crisis is about, getting back to...”
the classic place. Greg Rucka added that “in the cyclical
nature you want to come back to the core truths of the DCU.”
it would seem that Infinite Crisis, and the approach
to the heroes within the event, was really sort of modeled
in theme to the manner in which Johns handled the return
of Hal Jordan. DiDio explained that “a lot of what
Geoff did with Green Lantern was, trying to remember everything
that made that character so strong” in an effort to
return to that core value of the character.
stated that this was a tough approach because “you
want to find an iconic level, but still incorporate everything
that has been done,” and in the case of Green Lantern,
you still want to retain Kyle Rayner, and every development
that occurred following the Parallax incident.
Will there be a place for the Metal Men in the post-post-Crisis
DCU? According to Grant Morrison, “Metal Men? Yes.
as progress on 52 goes, Wacker quipped that “the
book's done, and we’re just waiting to ship.”
All jokes aside, fans will be treated to an added bonus
with each weekly issue. It appears that each issue will
have a 2-page backup secret origins feature written by Mark
Waid and illustrated by top talent. Steve mused that 52
is “gonna be $2.50 a week but it will be the book
you would be willing to pay $5.00 for.” Grant quickly
added, “or $10.”
Waid signing in cycles...but is he appearing before
like the DC creative team is extremely proud of the work
on 52, and all cannot wait to start hearing reactions
from fans to the series. DiDio contested that 52
isn’t any kind of solo act in the least. He explained
that it would be one thing entirely to have any one of the
talents on stage working on the project, but by having them
all collectively adding to the series fleshes it out more.
“I’ve got a rock band writing a comic,”
that almost every character will be in it at some point
and although the series will be following six of DC’s
core characters threading their way through the main issues,
the book will remain more free flowing, and never spotlighting.
Each characters involvement plays into the bigger puzzle,
like lost. Characters will be touched equally, not relegated
to feature issues
interesting tidbit was the clarification of the placement
of Seven Soldiers in reference to Infinite
Crisis. DiDio had previously revealed that the series
was, in fact, post-Infinite Crisis. Morrison explained
that “it’s only related to post-Crisis
in that some of the characters who show up after Infinite
Crisis first appear in Seven Soldiers. It’s
my opinion that Seven Soldiers takes place the
week before Crisis.”
quickly retracted his previous announcement stating that
“it was my fault, I originally thought he said the
week after…I couldn’t understand the accent.”
this to the collective stew of post-post-crisis issues to
be mulled over.