5 Things We Learned at the DC Rebirth Panel | NYCC 2016
Comic book fans can be notoriously hard to please. But, it doesn’t stop the creative team at DC from trying. On Saturday morning of NYCC, we were treated to a panel all about DC Rebirth, which teased things to come for some of DC’s heaviest-hitting characters.
1. Back to Basics for Green Arrow
Thanks to the Internet, people whom have never met can collaborate. Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt, the writer/artist duo for the current Green Arrow series, just met in person at NYCC. How do two men in different continents manage a series about one of DC’s trendiest heroes? It might have something to do with Ben’s deep, booming, movie-trailer voice. “I just do whatever he tells me to draw!” says Otto.
It also helps that the duo are focusing on what makes Oliver Queen great as well as different from other heroes, goatee and all. “We are bringing back the Robin Hood motif, with the liberal politics,” explains Ben. In the story plans for Ollie, a 6-issue arc focusing on politics is coming up. “Black Canary asks him, ‘How can you fight The Man if you ARE The Man?’, and Canary is great because she can call him on his bullshit.”
2. Harley Quinn Rocks
Everyone’s favourite gymnast/psychiatrist/clown villainess has been adored by fans since her debut in the 90’s, but she’s blowing up now more than ever thanks to this summer’s Suicide Squad. Lucky for Harley fans, the creative team behind her comics, power couple Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, are gladly taking notice of this.
“We recognized some of our Harley in Margot Robbie’s performance,” gushed Amanda, “And we had an issue with her origin released the same week the movie came out, good timing on DC’s part!”
What’s next for Harley? They teased at a 3-part story where Harley goes undercover to stop a crime ring in Brooklyn. In the process, she starts a punk band and commits to it by giving herself a new mohawk hairdo. “We like to keep the cosplayers on their toes,” says Jimmy. Thank you, Jimmy.
3. Damian Wayne Is (Not) Alone
In the new Teen Titans, Robin is still on the team – just not the one we are used to.
Ben Percy goes on to explain, “The first story arc belongs to Damian.” As the child of Bruce Wayne and his nemesis/lover Talia Al Ghul, Damian was raised by the League of Assassins before defecting to the Bat-Family and becoming the newest Robin. He is, understandably, a bit of a messed up kid. We have family drama to look forward to in the series with Ra’s Al Ghul, Damian’s grandfather, coming after the Titans.
Damian also tends to be a very polarizing character, some fans adore him while others despise him. Ben’s take on the character tries to find the middle of the road: “There is good in him, the little shit.”
How does a bitter, child whom acts against what Robin represents end up working in a team like the Titans anyway? Ben won’t spoil, but he gave us a nice teaser. “The first word of the comic is, ‘Alone’, and the last is ‘Together’.”
4. Wonder Woman Goes to the Mall
Greg Rucka loves Wonder Woman the way most of us do our friends and family, and it shows. What keeps him coming back to her as a writer? “It’s Diana!” he said simply.
With the Wonder Woman series he is currently running for Rebirth, Greg had a lot to say about her and the direction he’s taking with her stories. “The point of this run is to show people who didn’t know already why she is one of the most amazing characters ever created,” he states. (And although we should stay professional and unbiased, we are inclined to agree with him).
The challenge of Wondy is that with a hero that stellar, giving her worthy foes is difficult. Although Rucka does deploy Cheetah, the “Harvey Dent” for Diana’s stories. “I like sympathetic villains,” Greg muses. “The characters where the hero could almost save them.”
In a teaser image for the upcoming issue #9, Diana finds herself in a shopping mall, mingling with admirers. But how? Why? Partly to challenge the series artist with interiors, but also to give Diana a human, feminine edge. “When Cheetah isn’t Cheetah, she needs clothes.” says Rucka. We’ll have to find out more when Wonder Woman #9 drops.
5. Guy Gardner Goes Commando
Although Hal Jordan is the poster boy of the Green Lanterns of Earth, his teammates get time to shine in the new series. With two years of story planned for Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner, writer Rob Venditti has had plenty of time to work out each characters’ quirks.
“I’m pretty sure Guy doesn’t wear underwear beneath his Green Lantern suit.” He claims. For the stories planned, each hero plays to their own strengths. Being the team muscle, Guy unsurprisingly uses one of the strongest he has – his heart. “He is loyal, and he can take punches and hr knows it. He thinks he deserves those punches sometimes.”
Check back all week for more New York Comic Con 2016 coverage, or check out some exclusive interviews from day one with the team behind The Secret Loves of Geek Girls and Mass Effect writer Mac Walters