DC Plays Coy With Fans At Wondercon

Want to know what to expect from DC Comics in the next year? So do we. The publisher's DC Nation panel at Wondercon was tight-lipped about the future, but the editors did drop a few clues to keep the faithful intrigued. Click through for hints as to what DC will be doing in 2008 and beyond.

Opening the panel, DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio told fans "We have nothing to talk about, so we're turning it over to you." Inviting questions from the audience, a line-up consisting of editors DiDio, Mike Carlin, Jann Jones, VP of Sales Bob Wayne and creators Sergio Aragones and James Robinson (announced as "writer of Superman and a book to be named later," with a later tease when DiDio asked him "Do you like writing Green Arrow?") were in full-on tease form when avoiding giving straight answers to straight questions. Some highlights:

* Following Steve Gerber's death, four writers will be writing the final issue of Gerber's Countdown To Mystery series, with each writer providing a four-page sketch of how they think that Gerber would have ended the story. The writers involved will be Mark Waid, Wonder Woman's Gail Simone, Countdown's Adam Beechen and Gerber's close friend, Mark Evanier (DNAgents).

* Fan-favorite book Manhunter will return, but not until there are enough finished scripts to make sure the book will ship on a monthly schedule.

* Birds of Prey, the book that stars former Batgirl Barbara Gordon, will be moving to a new fictional city in the future, just in time for Gordon to meet the villain that crippled her, the Joker, in a move in no way related to that whole Dark Knight movie coming out this summer. Not at all.

* Superstar artist George Perez may be going into the future for his next project. The artist, best known for his work on 1980s universe-ending saga Crisis On Infinite Earths provided the cover for May's DC Universe: Zero, which DiDio said "may lead into what he's doing next". The stars of that particular cover? Futuristic teen super-heroes, the Legion of Super-Heroes.

* Swamp Thing won't be returning to any DC superhero books anytime soon... officially. When asked if the character would be appearing in the DC Universe, DiDio replied that, while the executive editor of the mature-readers Vertigo imprint wasn't giving permission for them to use the character any time soon, "we would never put him in a comedic book without their knowledge. Nooooo." (My guess for that comedic book? The revival of 1980s self-referential comedy Ambush Bug, due in July).

* James Robinson will be returning to characters from his popular Starman series, writing a spin-off series starring the Shade anti-hero. But don't expect it anytime soon - He doesn't plan to finish writing it for at least a year.

* DC's much-hyped, rarely-seen new Batwoman character will be getting her own series... but we won't officially find out about that until tomorrow.

When asked about DC characters getting their own movies, the panel played coy. "We like movies," Jann Jones commented. A fan pointed out that Marvel Comics have two movies coming out this summer (Iron Man and Incredible Hulk) to DC's one (The Dark Knight), leading Bob Wayne to respond "Well, in that case, it's quantity versus quality," to an almost-Oprah audience-worthy "Ooooooooh".

Tomorrow's panels - including a 90-minute DC-centric presentation that will undoubtedly feature their big 2008 plans - will, hopefully, manage to put out something crunchier than cheap shots at the opposition, but who can tell...?