SDCC 2012: DC Comics - Batman: Beyond the Night of the Owls Panel
The first real major DC panel of the con Thursday was the Batman panel as the creators looked at the Batman family going forward past the epic Night of the Owls story that ran through most of the Bat titles. Here's the panel description followed by the highlights:
2:00-3:00 DC Comics: Batman: Beyond the Night of Owls - Gotham City's Night of the Owls may be over-but the fallout will affect Batman's hometown for years to come! Find out what's on the horizon for the Dark Knight and his crimefighting cohorts in this panel featuring Batman group editor Mike Marts, with Chris Burnham (Batman, Incorporated), Tony Daniel (Detective Comics), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing), Gregg Hurwitz (Batman: The Dark Knight), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Scott Snyder (Batman), J. H. Williams III (Batwoman), and others. Room 6DE
Scott Snyder kicks things with a joke, saying Batman would win in Avengers Vs. X-Men He then goes on talking about Talon and much fun it was to do with James Tynion IV as it was a series he didn't have time to write himself. Tynion goes on to talk about Calvin Rose's story and how it will show a lot of the background and history of the Court of the Owls.
Attendees of the panel were surprised with free Court of Owls masks.
Next up was Batman #0, which Snyder said would show a very different Bruce Wayne, and it will show Gotham in a different light as well. Snyder commented that he was hesitant on doing an "origin" issue for Batman, but the issue, he felt, turned out to be one of his strongest to date.
The Joker's return in Batman #13 was the next topic. Snyder has been working on this for a year and is excited to tell the story as he explores just what makes The Joker dangerous. Snyder said of The Joker that he sees himself as the Court Jester to Batman's King, and it's his job to deliver the worst news. He's been gone for a year, but he hasn't sat idle. He's been planning and scheming. Snyder calls this "the craziest, darkest Joker story we could ever do."
Kyle Higgins takes the floor to talk about Nightwing #0 and what opportunities he was given in telling stories of Dick Grayson's past. We've seen some of that past delved into in the series already with him returning to Haly's Circus and flashbacks of his time there popping up occasionally. The story and subsquent issues return Nightwing to the ideas he embraced as Robin, and see how he focuses on moving forward while Bruce Wayne is stuck in the past. Issues #13 and #14 will be written by Tom DeFalco, but Higgins works on a Joker tie-in for #15 and beyond.
Batgirl #0 is up next, which shows Barbara Gordon's motivations for becoming Batgirl, and it shows James Gordon's reaction to the idea. In the annual, Simone gets to pen a Catwoman story that ties into the Night of Owls story as the Talon from her series pops up. Then starting with Batgirl #13, Ed Benes joins as the full-time artist. Simone said of working with Benes that "there's some sort of spark, magic, beauty that happens." New villain Knightfall will be introduced here, whom Simone says is a dark, twisted version of Bruce Wayne's playboy persona.
David Finch digs into guts of the Scarecrow and why Batman's obsessed with fear in Batman: The Dark Knight #0. It will also focus on Joe Chill and what influenced Bruce Wayne.
In Batwoman #0, the character shows a depper side of her views and her father's past. JH Williams did note that it was odd to delve back into her origin so soon after Elegy, but that there was room for more and for things not yet seen. In an upcoming story, Williams is excited to bring in Wonder Woman in a big way. He also noted that there would be payoffs from things building since the first issue.
Scott Lobdell donned a Court of Owls mask made out to look like Spider-Man's mask and started "pitching" the idea of Spider-Talon, a new villain, jokingly of course. He then went on to talk about Red Hood and the Outlaws #0, which will reveal new facts about why Jason Todd became Robin. Lobdell also said he's very excited to introduce Starfire's sister, Blackfire into The New 52.
Batman Incorporated #0 explores the origin of the team itself, and the fifth issue of the series will see a return of the Damian-centric future world seen in Batman #666 in a big way.
Detective Comics #0 shows why Bruce Wayne is the way he is and how he approaches intimacy in this emotional story. Greg Hurwitz said of the issue that he "wanted to show a story that really details how that happened. It's a story that's very emotional, and I think it explains in a lot of ways why he remains in that castle on a hill."
Catwoman will have her own dealings with The Joker in issue #13, the first issue by new writer Ann Nocenti.
Legends of the Dark Knight collects digital issues in print format, including Arkham Unhinged and Batman Beyond Unlimited.
The panel then opened up the Q&A session. Highlights are below:
- While Batman does take a lot going from the Night of Owls to a big Joker story, issue #12 is a breather issue between those two big arcs.
- The Batman editors try to play off the tone of the Nolan films somewhat, but they don't rewrite the comics specifically for that reason.
- They are happy to play up the sexual aspects of Catwoman in her series.
- Simone noted that fans will see a big difference between Batgirl and Batwoman in upcoming stories.
- There will be some Riddler stuff coming up down the line.
And that's a wrap.
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