Con News: #BCC2016 Day 1

BaltimoreComicCon_logo_nodateThe first day of a con is always pretty chill.  Most folks wait to grab their flash-est cosplay ’til the weekend, when more folks can partake of the awesomeness.  Many con-goers can’t take the day off, and end up skipping Day 1, or coming in late.  And all of the cool guests show up Saturday and Sunday…but wait.  Not so fast with that last one there.  Because I’ve got tons of coolness from Friday!  In easy-to-digest bullet form, for your eyeparts pleasure.

2016-09-02 15.32.56VALIANT 101: two of Valiant Entertainment’s publishing crew sat down and discussed all the things.  Here’s a taste:

  • Valiant is the largest independent superhero universe anywhere in comics.
  • And the most nominated at the 2016 Harveys…but they’ve yet to score a win.  YET.
  • X-O Manowar kicked off the New Valiant in 2012, and he’s their flagship character.  The millionth -yeah, MILLIONTH – printed comic of X-O Manowar will be at BCC, then it’ll nestle all snug in its bed at Geppi’s Comic Museum.  X-O will face his greatest challenge, The Torment, in this new arc.  Ba-duuuuum!
  • Faith: a psiot (someone with powers that need activation to kick in, and many folks don’t survive that) that relishes being a superhero because she’s always loved ’em.  Basically she’s us, with powers.  But this series isn’t simply about her digging the jam, but what she does with them.  What would you do with ’em?  (Me, I’d avoid traffic.)  Look for a cameo from noneother than Hillary Clinton in Faith #5, coming in early November.  Just in time for election day!
  • Ninjak: super-spy, mercenary, and kind of a jerk.  “Imagine if James Bond and Batman” melded.  The series is now delving into his backstory, and how he got to be a “ninja with a K”.
  • Archer & Armstrong: This series has become “the most beloved” in their roster, even though it’s about a drunk, cynical immortal (Archer) and his squeaky-clean sidekick (Armstrong). Oh, and did I mention that Armstrong is in a long-distance relationship with Faith?  ‘Cause YEAH.  But A&A?  “Think National Treasure meets Animal House…and everything you’re afraid is true…is true”.  I don’t know about you, but I need to read that.
  • Divinity: “Doctor Manhattan, if he were a communist.”  With fights that “travel through time and space.”  Cool, right?
  • Bloodshot: Yeah, you’ve seen him.  The hay-uuuge dude with the buzz cut and the large red circle on his chest?  Yep, that’s him.  He’s from the origninal universe in the ’90s, and is the #2 title now that they’ve brought him back.  Since his rebirth, he’s lost the nanites that fueled his regeneration and put a damper on his moral compass, so he’s been adrift.  Then, after realizing that nobody else could handle those little nanite buggers, he took them back into himself, and is trying to handle the fact that he’s not the only Bloodshot in the world.  Seems there’s one from each war…and a BloodHound!
  • For Bloodshot, writer Jeff Lemire “pitched us his entire run”, and knew how it’d all play out from the get-go.  So yeah, I’m strapping in.  Gotta love Lemire.
  • There’ll be more Quantum & Woody, because Valiant “can’t quit” ’em.  You’ll see more of them “when we get ’em right.”  Ditto for Shadowman, but in his case? It’ll be “sooner than later…”
  • Best way to jump into a Valiant comic?  You could piece together the historical timeline, but “we do our best to kee ’em stand-alone.”  Or at least readable for anyone who’s not up on things, because there “should be enough” to tie the pieces together.
  • Coming soon?  Savages.  And more announcements at New York Comic-Con, because of course.

2016-09-02 15.43.52DC Rebirth: Dan DiDio, along with (R to L) Yanick Paquette, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen, Paul Levitz, James Tynion IV, Hope Larson, and Tom King,  discuss all things Rebirth.  Well, not all things.  No spoilers.

  • DiDio on the idea for Rebirth: “I’m gonna give Paul Levitz credit here.”  Rebirth takes the “toys out of the toy box”, breaks ’em, and “when you’re done, you’re gonna put ’em back in the box.”  It’s about reconnecting with the superheroes we know and love.
  • Tom King on Batman “I’d never actually heard of him…he’s a little messed up.”  #winkyface  “Scott’s a friend of mine”, so King wrote the first story “on spec” in four hours in the middle of the night, just to see if he could do it.  Um, nailed it.
  • King, answering the question about Batman “going to die for you” like Jesus: “I don’t know who Jesus is, but if you send me the back issues…” I love this guy’s sense of humor.
  • JTIV, on writing for Detective Comics: he wanted to see how he could “create something that lasts”, which is difficult considering the huge backstory on Batman, and how long Detective Comics has been running.
  • Greg Rucka’s run writing Batwoman is one of Tynion’s faves, and for his own writing for Batwoman, he “knew it had to be a slightly different flavor” than Batman.  “The real revelation is writing Kat Kane”, and tying her mythology into the entire Gotham mythos.
  • Larson: how’s it like switching from indies to a “soul crushing corporate entity” (DiDio’s words)?  “Amazing.”  The DC/Batgirl fans are amazing, and Larson has been wanting to write a story like this for a long time.  As for bringing Batgirl into Gotham?  Larson says Barbara Gordon’s story “exists in it’s own space”, but is excited to have more of a connection to the overall mythos [than what was happening in the excellent Batgirl of Burnside.]  “Forcing her to be on her own”, what’s she got that she hasn’t been using?
  • Levitz, on Doctor Fate: With Fate’s “complex religious background (including a talking dog, which is modeled on Levitz’s own “grand-dog”, btw), Levitz is happy “to have the opportunity to stretch my wings”.  In the seventies, you couldn’t touch on topics like religion, sexual orientation, or plain-old sex.  Today it’s easier to “broaden the diversity of the line.”  Plus, Levitz is happy to be setting something in Brooklyn, even though it’s not the Brooklyn he grew up in; and that’s a good thing, as his daughter just moved back.
  • Yanick says he’ll have a “book available for you guys next year”, and that’s always welcome news from this amazing artist.
  • Yanick, on working with Grant Morrison: “maybe he has a master plan, maybe not…” Apparently Morrison’s descriptions are absolutely out of this world (sometimes quite literally), but almost impossible to figure out how to translate to the page.  “It’s almost impossible to drawl.  And I know he’s doing that on purpose.” Luckily, Morrison take Yanick’s ideas and riffs off of them.  Nice!
  • Giffen on Scooby Apocalypse (READ IT NOW y’all): “End of the world?  That means I can blow up Chicago.”
  • Tom King on Batman: Loves the Alfred/Batman dynamic.  “The one person who doesn’t take Bruce as seriously as Bruce takes Bruce.”
  • King on favorite Robin: Tim Drake.  “Always will be Tim Drake…that was my entry point.”  Drake’s the detective of the Bat Family.
  • Terry McGuinness “gets back into the suit”!!!11!
  • No more Gotham By Midnight coming down the pike, though those characters may be “played around with” at a later date.  But Injustice is NOT ENDING.
  • Those three Jokers? There’s a “mystery story that’s gonna play out next year”…what does that mean?  Spoilers, darling.
  • Keep an eye out for Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol – he’ll be working with the weird characters “nobody wanted to touch”.  Way has been in the offices, very hands-on with all this.  Music will be tied in as well, and it’s schedule to hit this month.
  • And last but not least, is there a “beginning, middle and end” for Rebirth?  “Yes…bare bones.”

One last thing?  Best cosplay of the day goes to these two.  Nailed.  It.

2016-09-02 16.51.01

 

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