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Sneak into DC's Special Batman Conversation with Tom King, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Lee at NYCC '22

Follow Along with DC's Special Conversation event at New York Comic Con 2022
Batman Hush by Jim Lee
DC

Outside of the security (and warmth) of the Javits Center, there’s a special event taking place as part of New York Comic Con — one that only a limited number of fans were even aware of, never mind attending. For everyone else, Popverse is here, and we’re about to share the secrets of DC’s special Batman event, featuring Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, and Tom King.

The exclusive event is an invite-only conversation between the three creators, shared with subscribers to DC Universe Infinite, as well as DC Bat Cowl holders in late September. Quite what will unfold as part of the event — what kind of sneaky little facts, remembrances, or potential announcements of things to come for the Dark Knight and those around him — have been kept firmly under wraps to this point, however, meaning that we’re as in the dark about what’s to come as you are.

Despite that (or, perhaps, because of it), Popverse will be live-blogging the entire thing so that you’ll get to know everything as soon as it happens, and be able to pretend as if you were actually here all the time. To keep up with the panel as it’s taking place, bookmark the page and keep coming back — but if you’d rather come back when it’s all finished and read the whole thing in one sitting, come back in an hour or so.

Throughout all of New York Comic Con 2022, Popverse is going to be keeping up with everything that happens, from panels and breaking news to interviews and the best cosplay on the show floor. We’ll be sharing everything as it happens — including exclusive livestreams from the biggest panels at the show — so let us keep you in the loop all weekend.

If you’ve enjoyed this coverage, please give Popverse a shoutout by tagging us on @PopverseSays on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, or linking to us at www.thepopverse.com.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.

Coverage
Hey Bat-fans! We're seated for DC's Special Batman Conversation with Tom King, Marc Silvestri and Jim Lee!
Things should be getting started in about 20 minutes.
It's a few minutes after 5pm but we should be getting started shortly.

Pierce Lydon

One of the guests is stuck in traffic so we're still waiting for them to arrive.

Pierce Lydon

This is an exclusive event for DC Universe Infinite subscribers and DC Bat Cowl holders.

Pierce Lydon

Marc Silvestri, Tom King and Jim Lee have arrived!

Pierce Lydon

There is also one additional guest still en route.

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The panel jokes that The Rock is the mystery guest.

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Lee asks the crowd how their convention has been so far. He's met with a chorus of cheers.

Pierce Lydon

The mystery guest is Jeph Loeb.

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Lee is introducing the panel. He starts with Silvestri. He got his start at DC before a legendary run on X-Men with Chris Claremont.

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They also founded Image Comics together with a bevy of other artists. They shared a studio space in San Diego and Silvestri created Cyberforce and Witchblade.

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Silvestri's new 7-part series Batman/Joker: Deadly Duo will hit comics stores on November 1.
Lee introduces Tom King next. He got to know King's work with the release of Omega Men. King was an intern at Marvel and DC.

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King jokes that he was a Marvel intern when Marvel was trying to clean up the mess of Heroes Reborn. Lee and Loeb laugh because they were involved with that story.

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Lee moves on to Loeb. He wrote Teen Wolf and Commando before finding his way to DC after trying to write a Flash movie for Michael J. Fox.

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Loeb says that he got Challengers of the Unknown as his first DC work after he was presented a list of characters that he could potentially work on by his editor.

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He ended up working with Tim Sale on the book after pitching Whilce Portacio and Jim Lee on it and they turned it down.

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Lee is explaining DC's BatCowl NFT program.

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BatCowl owners are able to vote on certain aspects of a comic that DC is producing.

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Lee says that there are 5 new pages in the 20th anniversary edition of Hush.

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"That was like a lifetime of work for me," jokes Lee.

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Lee asks Silvestri to speak a little about his upcoming DC Black Label book, Batman/Joker: The Deadly Duo.

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Silvestri says that Lee had been asking him for a while to come to DC to do a Batman comic.

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Silvestri grew up on the Batman of the 60s. In his story, he wanted to tell a story where Batman and Joker team-up to fight a new villain.

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"It's a buddy cop horror story. They have to fight something that neither one of them really understands." - Silvestri

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As it's a Black Label story, it is out of continuity.

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It was originally supposed to be 6 issues but the story kept growing and they allowed him to do a 7th issue that is double-sized.

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"I know where my story is going to end. I know the overall theme and I know the beginnings. So my job is to fill up the middle so that it all makes sense." - Silvestri

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Silvestri found the writing process very exciting but very daunting.

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Silvestri says that he's happy with how it came out. It's a little bit darker. "Without spoiling anything, Jim Gordon loses a few parts." - Silvestri

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Silvestri is glad he's doing this for Black Label because he doesn't have to worry about what's going on in the current continuity.

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The project has taken approximately 7 years to come together so Silvestri is excited to see what people think.

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Lee asks Silvestri if he was excited to add new tech to the Batman mythos despite being someone who doesn't consider himself very technologically savvy.

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Silvestri says he wanted to make sure he included a cool take on the Batmobile and a few new gadgets. He didn't do too much with the costume, though.

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He feels that the dichotomy between Batman and Joker is really inportant to the book. The physical differences between them are a kind of shorthand for the different ways they are scary - physically intimidating versus psychologically intimidating.

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The Batplane also makes an appearance and some gadgets that Silvestri doesn't think have been done before.

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"I wanted [Gotham] to feel alive... the same thing with the Batcave." - Silvestri

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Silvestri explains that as the story gets darker, he actually makes the Batcave get darker as a reflection of the tone and the path that Bruce is on.

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Lee moves on to King to discuss the living aspect of the Batman world.

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Gotham City: Year One is about a time before Batman and features Slam Bradley, a character created by Siegel and Shuster.

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King says that Batman is the hardest character to write because he is the most written about fictional character and so finding a new take is really tough.

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King found some inspiration in the first 26 issues of Detective Comics that precede Batmna's first appearance.

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He also found inspiration from the story of the Lindbergh baby, Daschell Hammett and other classic noir.

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"Gotham City is the worst city in the year.... Why did it get there? Why is it corrupt in its core? That's a story I can tell." - King

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King says that despite all the Batman comics he's written, he always wanted to do something that Scott Snyder did with Court of Owls - create a new way to think about Gotham and the people within it.

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Silvestri jokes "Is this in canon?" and Lee says that the way he thinks about it everything is in canon until its not.

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And Loeb says that its like with Long Halloween. That story was technically out of continuity until fans sort of decided it was.

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Loeb asks Silestri about his art process. Silvestri says that his art style has been constantly evolving especially after his cataracts story. He says that things that would take Lee a day to draw would take him a week.

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Silvestri says that he wanted his book to feel really organic. "Don't think of cities as hard-lined shapes. Look at it as if it's a forest." - Silvestri

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"It makes everything feel a little more human." - Silvestri

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Lee shifts gears to how modern fans read comics - does the panel think about the new ways that fans are engaging with the story?

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Loeb says that years ago he got a question about who he writes his story for. He answered that he writes for the artist and the interviewer was suprised because most say they write for themselves.

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Loeb says that he likes collaborating with his artists more. When he started working on Hush with Jim Lee, Lee asked him not to include any kitchen scenes.

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"I'm notorious for trying to stick the landing on the character. What does the character want and what is the expected goal and how can I change that." - Loeb

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Loeb says that Lee taught him that if a story was good, editorial would learn how to deal with the repercussions - like Batman revealing his identity to Catwoman.

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Lee asks the panels how they think fans think about continuity. King thinks that comics fans understand that each creator is doing their take on a character versus something like movie fans who are a bit more rigid.

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Silvestri says that it speaks to the strength of Batman as a character that people understand each different version of the character.

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Loeb says that he remembers getting to work on Superman and that he felt like the character was a perfect apple tree but over the years so many different writers had put different ornaments on it to the point where eventually they just had a Christmas tree so he had to get back to basics.

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Loeb says that for Batman he thinks the main concept is all that needs to be there to remain true to the character - avenging the deaths of his parents by cleaning up the city.

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We move on to fan questions. The first querstion is about a common ground the panelists they share outside of comics.

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Loeb says that comics helped forge so many of the friendships that they all have and specifically it was Jack Kirby. "He's the one that taught everyone how to tell stories." - Loeb

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They all agree that there was a shared connection over the work they loved to create.

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The next question is about the panel's favorite obscure Batman villains.

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Lee says he's at a loss because Tom King uses all the obscure ones.

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King jokes that every comic writer would say that Killer Croc is their favorite villain because he could show up and just fight Batman whenever.

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Loeb says that he likes Solomon Grundy a lot.

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The next question is about the concerns and hopes with crowdsourcing Batman again after the last time they did this fans killed Jason Todd.

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Lee says that a more direct relationship between fans and creators is ever evolving. But he wonders if it is better to deliver a story that the audience doesn't know they want or if it is better to work with fans to create story. He thinks there is room for both and Loeb agrees.

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Silvestri also agrees. He doesn't think there will be an overall sea change but there is room for both approaches.

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"At the end of the day, we want to be entertained by something." - Silvestri

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The next question is for Silvestri about Batman/Darkness. Is he considering bringing it back similar to the new Batman/Spawn?

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Silvestri says that if people want it, you never know.

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The next question for the panel is what comic that you;ve worked on was most rewarding.

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Lee says that it's hard to pick because they are like his children.

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Loeb says that it's always about the people he's worked with and he loved Superman for All Seasons but also would love to do Hush again with Jim Lee.

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King says that he felt Sheriff of Babylon and Mister Miracle were most rewarding because he made a creative partnership for life.

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silvestri says that he doesn't think about specific books as much as he thinks of moments in time. Working with claremont on X-Men was a favorite moment in time as was the early days of Image.

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The panel agrees that it's all about the people you work with and forge relationships with.

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The next question is for Lee about the future of the intersection between fashion and comics after he did a Wonder Woman commission on a Louis Vuitton bag.

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He explains that that was likely a one off.

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The last question is about whether or not the creators find themselves injecting themselves into their work.

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Lee says that he understands the alienation aspect of Batman. But he feels that many creatives draw on their own lives and as someone who came was brought to this county he understand feeling like an outsider.

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Loeb says that he's written so many characters that he tends to lean into love stories in his work because he says he's a hopeless romantic. That's a theme in much of his work.

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King says that when he tries to write about himself he gets stuck because he finds himself to be boring. But when he writes other characters, he realizes that he was writing about himself all along.

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Silvestri agrees. There is always a little bit of an artist in the things that they work on.

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And that's the panel! Thank you for following along!

Pierce Lydon

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About the Author

Pierce Lydon

Contributing Writer

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