Popverse is back in con season, having started earlier this month in Seattle at Emerald City Comic Con. Now, we've made our way to the Anaheim Convention Center for this year's WonderCon. Over the weekend, we'll make sure to grab pictures of the coolest cosplay, track down any exciting news, and interview some awesome comics creators, but for now, we're particularly excited to sit in on (and liveblog) the Dawn of DC panel.
Dawn of DC is DC Comics' next big event (if you want to catch up on everything we know about the event so far, Popverse has a handy roundup), and we got several juicy new tidbits abuot what to expect from creators Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Jeremy Adams, Dennis Culver, Tini Howard, and Morgan Hampton at the WonderCon 2023 Dawn of DC Panel. We liveblogged the whole thing, which you can re-live below.
Popverse is LIVE at Wondercon, and we can't wait for this panel to get started!
Just another few minutes before we get started...
Just a rundown of who is on the panel! The panel will be moderated by Jessica Chen and will feature Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Dennis Culver, Tini Howard, Jeremy Adams, and Morgan Hampton.
And the guests are coming out!!!
DC Comics editor Jessica Chen (wearing a very cool Batgirl costume) introduces the Dawn of DC as a "perfect jumping on point for new readers."
"I'm stressed" Tom King responds to Chen's question about if he's okay-- due to the amount of books King is currently writing. But the stress doesn't have him down. He mentions that he is excited that this is a full room on a Friday, and comments that this moment "is a DC renaissance."
About gearing up to write Wonder Woman, Tom King says about the character, "From day one... she was a rebel, she was against the status quo." For King, it is that fact that Wonder Woman is different that sets her up to change the world.
"She fights back, she's badass, but she's also a cool princess," King continues. And chiming into the forever debate about Wonder Woman and whether or not she should wield a sword, King adds (about his version of Diana) "No more sword, I want her to have a lasso."
Now time to chat about The Penguin (Tom King, Rafael De Latorre, with a variant cover from Brian Bolland)... King mentions "The Scorsese Penguin... the Godfather Penguin...He goes where he wants to go... The exact opposite of Wonder Woman"
Now time to chat about Batman: The Brave & The Bold (King and Gerads). Gerads says, "A fun true fact about drawing that first issue was that I drew the whole first [issue] forgetting that it happens in Year One" Gerads then had to redraw the entire issue.
Gerads "I'm obsessed with Batman: The Animated Series," saying that there has never been a better Joker than Mark Hamill. Gerads points out the terrifying nature of Hamill's swing between humor and the mean.
About the collaboration between Gerads and King, Gerads says, "We're always trying to push ourselves and outdo ourselves... Tom and I have a shorthand that has developed over years. We understand each other without saying things... which is creepy."
Chen makes a joke about nine-panel grids, and King jokes that when he hits the sixth panel on a page, he knows that Gerads' wife will be mad.
Chen reminds King and the audience that King will be making some variant covers for April Fool's Day to much laughter. King and Gerads laugh about King getting official DC board for the comic in the mail, and King not quite understanding the point of the "bleed" and "safe zones."
King exclaims that his nine-year-old sat next to him while he was drawing the variants and made fun of him.
Chen asks Dennis Culver about The Unstoppable Doom Patrol (Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham). "Burnham and I are trying to make them superhero first responders," Culver says about this new take on the Doom patrol. The Doom Patrol are running around trying to help metahumans before they end up in Arkham Asylum, just helping them live. After Lazarus Planet, there's a lot more metahumans, so there's a lot that will be on the Doom Patrol's plate.
This Doom Patrol series was originally announced as a six issue series, and it is now going to be expanded into seven issues, Culver says.
About the new character Beast Girl, Culver says that she isn't a shapeshifter, but that "she messes with your fight or flight response."
About the new Doom Patrol scratch off cover, Culver says that Burnham had been obsessed with scratch off covers for years. For this cover, there are five possible outcomes, each featuring a different Jane personality.
Now time for some Green Lantern talk (series from Jeremy Adams, Xermanico, with a variant from Ivan Reis). Adams says that this series is a coming home for him, as his first television writing gig was writing on Green Lantern.
About the series Adams says, "Hal Jordan is an extremely confident guy who comes back to find that the woman he loves is in another relationship. Not that many people are being trained to be fighter pilots anymore, and the world's moved on."
Chen points out that she's picking up on some Top Gun vibes from the preview art of the series that they're showing on screen. Adams responds "Absolutely," dropping names like Maverick and Han Solo. He says the series will not be as lighthearted as Flash has been.
Adams promises guest stars and callbacks at the end of his Flash run, as Flash runs into its milestone of #800. "It's been an absolute thrill to be able to write the West family," Adams says about his time on the series.
Now time to chat Cyborg (Morgan Hampton and Tim Raney). Hampton says, "It's a lot of fun. It's a real experience."
Chen asks Hampton what his favorite sound effect is. Hampton's response is "Ba-DOOM." Adams likes "Krack-a-thoom" Howard says that she likes phones going "Zrp-zrp" like in Sex Criminals (excuse our spelling if we get them wrong. This is difficult). Gerads points of that King rewrites sound effects to make them sound like a cat in a meme is saying them. King has recently switched from "Bang" to "Blam" for gun sounds.
Hampton says that the new Cyborg series is about looking at Cyborg's soul and the soul of Detroit, and how these two might intertwine.
Hampton says that what he has learned most from the Milestone Initiative and from working on Cyborg is to give artists space to "do what they need to do."
(spoilers) Cyborg will be going to therapy this series. And fun fact! The reference images that Hampton provided to Tim Raney for Cyborg's therapist were of Yvette Nicole Brown.
Now time to chat Harley Quinn (Tini Howard, Sweeney Boo) Tini Howard speaks to exploring parts of characters from a perspective that men may not explore. She likes to see characters making choices that matter "when they're up against a wall."
Howard points out that Harley Quinn is about laughing at those hard choices that Harley has to make (as opposed to Howard's work on Catwoman, which is more series).
Howard extolls the amazing qualities of Sweeney Boo's art (in general and on the Harley Quinn series).
This new run will start on issue 28. Howard talks about the benefits of writing Harley after this post-ironic version of Harley has been shown in film and in comics. Now Howard can show both the post-ironic and the sincere sides of the character.
Howard talks about relating to the character of Harley Quinn and HQ's mental illness and how maintaining the regular parts of life like a girlfriend, a job, or hobbies, can feel heavier with the weight of mental illness.
About Catwoman (Howard and Nico Leon), Howard says that she likes having characters in a low place to show who they really are.
Howard points out that Selina "listens to women in a way that men in power don't always" and how "Selina is kind of their protector, even if they don't know it."
Catwoman #53 just came out this week. Howard says that #50 is a great place to jump on. She hints that DC is building to big things, bigger things than we've ever seen with Catwoman.
King plugs his comic Danger Street and Gotham City: Year One with Phil Hester which is one of his favorite things he's ever done.
Time for silly questions... Chen reminds Gerads that he's made a promise to get a Joker tattoo, but Gerads says he's waiting to get back to his regular artist in South Carolina. "I don't trust Arizona tattoo artists," he laughs.
And we're wrapping up! Thank you everyone for joining us for this Wondercon Dawn of DC panel liveblog. Keep an eye on Popverse for the rest of our Wondercon coverage, and tune in next week as our team heads to Chicago for C2E2.
Catch up on Dawn of DC news with the following articles: