Wizard World Chicago: DCU - The Crisis is Here!

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This year’s DC Universe panel at Wizard World Chicago was, of course, primarily devoted to the biggest event in the current DCU, Final Crisis. On hand to guide us through these difficult times when gods are dying and evil has (seemingly) won were Dan DiDio, Sean McKeever, Jann Jones, Aaron Lopresti, Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, Jai Nitz, Ian Sattler, Shane Davis, Jim Califiore, and Ethan Van Sciver.

Final Crisis itself opened the panel, as it was announced that Carlos Pacheco would be joining J.G. Jones on art duties for the series starting with issue #4. A variety of spinoffs and tie-ins were also discussed, all of which are designed to serve and build upon the main story (without being necessary for fans to read in order to understand the main thread).

Those lamenting the quick and shocking death of the Martian Manhunter will find closure in Final Crisis: Requiem, as the heart and soul of the Justice League is remembered. Rogues’ Revenge (by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins) and Legion of Three Worlds (by Geoff Johns and George Perez) will follow the threads of two plot points from the Crisis itself. The rumor of Bart Allen’s role in Legion persists, though DiDio claimed he’d get in trouble if he said more. Greg Rucka and Phillip Tan will bring us Final Crisis: Revelations, focusing on the Spectre in a gripping, dark, and bloody tale.

Of particular note was Superman Beyond, said to be the favorite project that Grant Morrison has ever written. This one-shot will feature the Man of Steel’s journey across the Multiverse in glorious 3D, with art by Doug Mahnke. Rise of the Red Lanterns also got a positive reaction from the crowd, as we were asked if Sinestro should pay for his recent crimes against the universe.

The focus then shifted to the rest of the DCU, starting with Gail Simone’s upcoming plans for Wonder Woman. A new foe, Genocide, was described as "Wonder Woman’s Doomsday." This character will be forged by the Secret Society’s mad scientists out of soil from the sites of worldwide genocide, making this enemy essentially an "anti-Diana." The male warriors known as the "Manazons" were also mentioned, though Simone already regrets coining this name.

Simone also discussed the ongoing Secret Six series she will be working on with Nicola Scott, confirming that new members will include an A-list Bat-villain and a new character so twisted, she or he freaks even the writer out a little.

The current Kingdom Come inspired arc of Justice Society of America will spin out into three specials later this year, which will expand on and reveal more aspects of the popular story.

In the Batman books, Catwoman was said to be playing a major supporting cast role in Paul Dini’s Detective Comics. The story will reveal where the anti-heroine’s heart truly lies. Meanwhile, the Batgirl miniseries by Adam Beechen and Jim Califiore will explain much of the character’s recent controversial activities, opening with Cassandra Cain under close watch at Wayne Manor. It will also reveal a new member of the Cain family who will play an important role.

A new version of El Diablo will introduce a major new Hispanic hero to the DCU with work from Jai Nitz and the art team of Phil Hester and Ande Parks. This series was promised to be very violent, shockingly so if one has only followed Nitz’s all-ages offerings at DC. It is however a story that he and the publisher are very excited about.

The Teen Titans will be receiving a new lineup, one that includes unusual but intriguing choices like Kid Eternity, a white (rather than green) skinned Miss Martian, and others yet to be revealed. Upcoming stories promise to focus on the new members, the return of the traitorous Bombshell, and the DCU debut of Wonder Dog. There will also be a Terror Titans miniseries in October, which Ravager will be front and center for. In the elder Titans book, an old member will make contact with the team and bring someone along who is more than a match for the heroes.

During the Q & A, a rumor that The Flash will be cancelled and re-launched following Final Crisis was referenced, though DC had no comment. Ending on an ominous note, a young reader asked if DC would eventually kill off Superboy-Prime, which prompted laughs from the audience.

Well, it’s a crisis, kid. Anything can happen.

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