The After-Hours Blog

Merlin: The Wicked Day
Oh, it's wicked, all right.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 2
Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 1
Morgana unleashes a ghost army on Camelot.

DC Icons Panel: Challenging the Power of Butling

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We live-blogged the DC Icons panel at C2E2! I typed until my laptop battery died.

Action Comics #900 finishes the Lex Luthor story and starts Doomsday. It's a 50 page story and Paul Cornell said it was "terrifying" to write. Plus, totally independently, he and Chris Roberson both brought back Superman's thought bubbles.

Bill Willingham does an awesome job of embarrassing Dan Didio by insisting on serving him water and bringing beverages to the rest of the panel. They still refuse to talk about what the bet was that Willingham lost (in order to have to be Didio's Butler for a day), but the gag is very entertaining.

Dan Didio and Eddie Berganza had Doomsday fight the Justice League in the middle of the Eclipso fight, because they didn't understand why villains only attack one at time.

Bruce Wayne Batman returns to dismantle The Outsiders.

Two Face and Riddler have stories in Tony Daniels' Batman. Detective Comics #875 gives James Gordon, Jr. a backstory, and then they wrap up a big story with Jock. Detective Comics introduces Sonia Zucco, daughter of Tony Zucco.

Cassandra Cain will be in issue one of of Gates of Gotham. It's about the gilded age of Gotham. A new mystery opens up in the present for Dick Grayson. The mystery is more in line with Bruce's strengths, so Dick will have to deal with solving it in his way.

Phil Hester is trying to tell an "all out Wonder Woman" story. They're "in a bubble" right now, as anything can happen since things will change up with Flashpoint. So apparently "anything goes" until then. "You'll see every costume again." Don Kramer: "The interesting thing is playing around with the villains. Some are villains that may not be villains. They're not the same people that you know, in this reality."

Phil Hester says "It's a way to do an Elseworlds story that 'counts', it'll have an impact on Diana."

Ryan Benjamin, who draws Batman Beyond, says there will be new characters introduced, but didn't want to give too much away. They will be based on older Batman characters.

Dan Didio finds the most interesting thing with DC characters is that they're "icons" and readers have big perceptions of them. But the hardest thing to do as a writer is to make the characters relatable to people. If you put the Trinity on a pedestal, you stop wanting to root for them, they're just symbols / icons. The hardest thing he had to do for The Outsiders was get in to Batman's head. If you think Batman can beat Doomsday with one hand tied behind his back, if you think Wonder Woman is perfect, how do you make those characters interesting again?

Also, as a kid, he had Spider-Man pajamas. Eddie Berdanza is regretting pushing the PJs question.

Paul Cornell really loves Superman. He says Superman was his DC Icon because there are lots of characters who are as strong as Superman, but no character is as mentally strong as Superman, because Clark Kent had good parenting. Martha and Jonathan Kent taught Clark how to be Superman.

Scott Snyder likes writing Dick Grayson because Dick is really relatable. If any of us were trained to be Batman, we'd be like Dick. The Detective Comics storyline they're doing now is based around what abilities a people person like Dick brings to crimefighting in Gotham. The "fun" is watching Gotham challenge Dick emotionally, but the most rewarding part is creating the emotional mysteries for Dick Grayson in each story arc.

Scott's favorite icon was Wonder Woman. He was afraid Wonder Woman would lasso him and he would have to tell her how much he loved her.

Kyle Higgins loved Tim Burton's Batman, and was obsessed with animated Batman and Justice League.

They don't want to say who the creative team on Wonder Woman is going to be after #612. Apparently everything ties in so closely with Flashpoint, they don't want to spoil it.

They don't want to say whether or not there's going to be a new Nightwing.

Paul Cornell originally wanted the Black Racer version of Death from Kirby's fourth world. But remembered how Gaiman's Death is in the DC World, and really wanted to use that Death instead for meeting Lex Luthor. Writing back and forth to Neil Gaiman about it was like a duet, like he was Lex and Gaiman was a teenaged girl Death... but that is very sort of slash fiction.

Cornell was also annoyed that Roberson got to the 40 cakes gag before him. He thinks Lex Luthor is very iconic also, everyone knows who Luthor is. Dan Didio thinks DC has the greatest villains.

All Captain Marvel questions are now being directed at Paul Cornell from now until the end of time.

At the end Didio tells a funny story about how he walked in to Berganza's office saying there was a problem with a book. Eddie replied "There's no problem with this book," and Didio asked if that was some Jedi mind manipulation. He then got so confused, he actually left the office without discussing the problem.

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