DC New 52 discussed at Boston Comic Con; September “0” issues confirmed
This afternoon at the Boston Comic Con a number of creators in the new 52 discussed various aspects of the reboot while confirming the story from Bleeding Cool earlier this week that DC will issue “0” issues in September that will feature origins or stories about the characters or their casts that happened before issue #1.
The confirmation came during a fast paced hour of discussion that included Jamal Igle (The Ray), Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman), Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (Aquaman) and Francis Manapul (The Flash). At one point there seemed to be some confusion about whether it had been officially announced by DC. Reis and Prado admitted they had just heard about it.
But there was a lot of information other than September’s “0” issues covered during the panel and you can read it all after the cut.
- What would a con be without a question about the status of Wally West? Manapul stated he had grown up on Wally and “day number one” had made it his mission to try and get Wally into the book and the DC was firm and said, “no, you can’t.” He said he “snuck” him in the book early on to “test the waters” but he had to remove him. Manapul said part of the challenge is that “one you introduce Wally the audience is then going to be waiting for him to become the Flash.” When the moderator mentioned the continuity of Wally and Dick being best friends, Manapul said, “don’t even ask me about that.”
- Ivan Reis and Joe Prado were filled with enthusiasm and it is clear they love working on Aquaman. They said they were attached to the title even before Geoff Johns. Reis said DC kept asking him what he wanted to work on and he kept telling them “Aquaman.” “And then DC would say are you sure? And I’d say ‘I’m sure’ and then they would come back again and say, ‘are you sure you’re sure.” Prado and Reis say that when Johns heard that they wanted to work on he said he write it. The duo also assured the audience, many of whom thanked the team for making “Aquaman cool” instead of a guy riding a sea horse. Prado and Reis laughed and said they might still do that. They also said that Arthur would not be losing his hand in this run.
- The teams found out about the reboot at different times. Igle said he knew in February and Chiang said, “I didn’t even find out about it until April!’ Manapul said they creative teams worked on their books without knowing what other teams were doing. saying, “We thought ‘we’ll break up Iris and Barry’ and then we found out that Lois and Clark broke up, too.”
- The teams varied in their designs. Igle discussed the long process of getting from the original design by Cully Hamner which had a haircut that was “half mohawk/halfbuzzcut and a purple suit” to what they character ended up wearing. Chiang said he wasn’t involved at all with Jim Lee’s design already being settled on except for the pants which were changed into “no pants” a month after he started. Prado and Reis said their design of Aquaman was influenced in part by Flash Gordon.
- Manapul was asked by an attendee dressed as Captain Cold (one of a whole group who came dressed as The Flash’s rogues) concerned about why Cold had been given powers in the reboot. Manapul said the rogues getting powers had come from Dan Didio and that he was “lucky he still had his hood.” Manapul game each of the fans dressed as a rogue a quick overview of their situation telling Mirror Master that he’ll be “buried in the desert” and that Pied Piper was going to “come into play.” He assured all of them that the Rogues will be “more threatening for the Flash”. He also said the Speed Force will be redefined and he is interested to see how people will “take to it.”
- When asked about the guidelines for the reboot, Manapul said there was a general guideline to focus on the core characters. He then elicited a moan from some of the audience when said at one point Ray Palmer and “a guy name Ralph” (a reference to Ralph Dibny) were at one point considered for inclusion in The Flash.
- When asked by an audience member what happened for DC to pursue the new 52, Manapul joked, “the Flash fucked up.” He also discussed why the company chose to reboot all the titles including Detective and Action, saying “anything else would be 98%.”
- Another audience member asked about supporting casts stating he was very happy with how Mera was acted as a sounding board for Arthur. Igle discussed how the supporting cast of The Ray including his “hippie parents” helped define the character. Chiang said that the supporting cast of Wonder Woman highlight both sides of the character with the very earthy Zola and Hermes who is a god. Manapul said “everyone knows who the Flash is” and the supporting cast should provide a “reflection of him”. He stated he felt this would make Barry stronger.
- When asked about the impact of digital on how they approached their books there was a variety of answers. Igle said he avoided double page spreads because of how they looked on the iPad. Prado said he’s thinking about the iPad when working. Chiang said knowing that the art was going to be seen on a monitor he asked himself, “how can I make this more organic” so that there was a sense that people were working on the art.
- One member of the audience asked about the treatment of women in the new 52 referring to Catwoman and Starfire (in Red Hood and the Outlaws). Igle admitted they could “do better”. There was discussion about making sure female characters were treated with respect but then it was pointed out that both the editors on both Catwoman and Red Hood were women.
- The all said the response to the New 52 for them had been positive during the con. Chiang said the book is “getting a different reader” and that many people came by to tell him they had never read a Wonder Woman comic before.