Thursday, July 26, 2007

San Diego Con '07: Day 1 (update #6)

Update #1: added CBR's coverage of the Countdown panel
Update #2: added Countdown coverage from CBR, Wizard, Comics Continuum, Pulse
Update #3: added Newsarama coverage of Group Therapy panel
Update #4: added Bully's picture. No other news on Group Therapy panel, nothing yet on action figures panel or Death of Superman viewing.
Update #5: added the Pulse coverage of Group Therapy
Update #6: added info from Superman/Doomsday panel

Here's what's on tap for today, Thursday 7/26 in San Diego. All times are PDT. Check back periodically for updates, a couple hours or so after the panels (by then Newsarama, CBR, and the rest will have posted their reports).

Picture of the day: Bully and the Legion outside the DC booth

Non-panel animated show news from Comics Continuum (go there for a couple pictures):
Phil Morris is pulling double duty in the DC Universe on television this fall.

In additional to returning as Martian Manhunter in The CW's Smallville, Morris is providing the voice of Imperiex, the big villain, for the second season of Kids' WB!'s Legion of Super Heroes. Morris has also been reported as the voice of King Faraday in the Justice League: New Frontier direct-to-video movie.

A promotional card given away at the Warner Bros. booth at Comic-Com International provided cast details for Season 2 of Legion of Super Heroes, as well as a first look at two versions of Superman fighting Imperiex.

Yuri Lowenthal is providing voices for both versions Superman, described as Superman and Kal-El. One is a closed [sic - should be "cloned"] version of the original from the 41st Century.

Kari Wahlgren is returning as Saturn Girl, and she is also voicing Duo Damsel instead of Triplicate Girl. Somthing happens to the character early in Season 2.

Alex Polinsky is providing the voice of Chameleon Boy.

Morris, Polinsky and Lowenthal are scheduled to attend The Batman/Legion panel on Friday at Comic-Con, where footage from Season 2 will be shown.

12:15-1:15 DC Countdown . . . to the End? — The DC Universe survived 52, but will it survive Countdown? This can’t-miss panel looks at the new year-long adventure and the ramifications of a DCU with 52 universes. The Monitors are watching closely as Jason Todd, Donna Troy, and Jimmy Olsen are joined by a cast of hundreds! Hosted by senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio and senior group editor Mike Carlin, the panel includes Countdown writers Paul Dini (Detective Comics), Tony Bedard (Supergirl and The Legion of Super-heroes), Adam Beechen (Robin), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Justin Gray (Jonah Hex), Jimmy Palmiotti (Superman Confidential), and more. Room 6B

CBR starts off the panel report. Here are the relevant points:
  • “Can you tell us anything about what's going on with the Legion and the various versions running around?” asked another fan.

    “There is a story to all the versions,” Mike Marts assured. “By this time next year you'll have a lot more clues as to what's happening.”

    “Supergirl #21 and #22 touches on that,” Tony Bedard indicated.

  • “If you could take back one editorial or policy decision in all of DC's history, what would it be?” asked another fan.

    “I would have to say, taking Superboy out of the Legion because it messed up EVERYTHING,” Jurgens stated, which Tony Bedard seconded. The crowd really liked that one.

  • Another fan asked that if the original “Crisis” was undertaken to clean up the original multiverse, what steps is DC taking to make sure the new multiverse is very easy and accessible.

    “We're governing it very tightly,” DiDio said, explaining that multiverse stories will all be about New Earth characters traveling to other worlds to explore them and that there will not be multiple versions of series taking place on different Earths.

  • DiDio then indicated that all the Legion and other time-related mysterious in the DCU, including events surrounding Booster Gold, will all be explained in a “big Legion story” in the future.

The same panel, via Newarama:
  • Next question was about the various Legion continuities apparently running around currently - both in the Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes title and the one in the "Lightning Saga" storyline. Marts said that some answers should be coming soon, and DiDio reminded the panel (and audience) that next year is the 50th anniversary of the Legion, [sic]

  • A fan asked the relatively hard-hitting question "If you could take back one editorial or policy decision in DC's history, what would it be?" DiDio said the whole panel should answer the question ... Jurgens said taking Superboy out of the Legion of Super-Heroes... Beechen agreed with Jurgens' answer... DiDio didn't really answer.

Via Comics Continuum:
  • Asked about the Legion, Marts said there are several versions of the Legion running around. "There is a grand story to this," he said, noting things will come into focus next year. Bedard said to check out Supergirl #21 and #22.

Via The Pulse:
  • When will they explain what's going on in Legion?

    MIKE MARTZ: “there are several versions of the LSH out there” right now.

    Bedard said, "See Supergirl #21 & #22 for some answers."

  • Panel members were asked about any “mistake” in DC storylines they would take back?

    There was consensus that they shouldn’t have taken Superboy out of the LSH and created the pocket universe.

Via Wizard Universe:
  • The team then riffed on what they would change about the continuity of the DCU. Among them were removing Superboy from the Legion of Super-Heroes, separating Vertigo from DCU continuity, the death of Conner Kent in Infinite Crisis, crippling Barbara Gordon and not rebooting every single DC character after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Why are there 2 different versions of the Legion? It will be explained in detail next year (which also happens to be the Legion’s 50th anniversary).

5:00-6:00 Action Figure Times Toymaker Q&A — Ever wanted to know why your favorite character figure was limited, or just what toy companies are thinking? How about the recent movement of toy licenses from one manufacturer to another? Here's your chance to ask the manufacturers (both big and small) about their favorite figures and statues. What questions have been burning in your mind? Panelists include Eric Mayes, 4 Horsemen; Jamie Wilson, Weta; Jeremy Atkins, director of publicity for Dark Horse; Mark Tuttle, HeroClix brand manager; Guang Yang, CEO, SOTA Toys, Inc.; Frank Supiot, Kotobukiya; and Chuck Terceira, director of Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles. Room 4
Haven't found any coverage of this at all yet, surprisingly.

6:00-7:00 DC Group Therapy: Leagues, Legions, Societies, and Teens! — The DCU is home to the world’s greatest super-heroes, and they have banded together in teams with one common goal in mind: justice. Whether they’re rambunctious teenagers from the future, WWII veterans teaching a new generation, the super-powered elite, or the sidekicks who have forged their own way, they are among the DCU’s greatest assets. Don’t miss this important panel featuring the best teams that define heroism in the DC universe. Geoff Johns (Teen Titans, Justice Society of America), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey) and Tony Bedard (Supergirl and The Legion of Superheroes) will be teamed with senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio, group editor Eddie Berganza, senior editor Mike Marts and editor Mike Siglain to bring you teamwork as you have never experienced before. Room 6A

Intrepid reporter Sidne Ward reports "We'll potentially see something of the 52 Legions."

Coverage from Newsarama suggested that the questions were more about Birds of Prey, Batman and the Outsiders, Superman/Batman, JLA, and JSA. I was disappointed at reading the panel notes - with the Legion's writer and editor there, you'd think that they'd make more of a big deal about the Legion. However, according to The Pulse, "There were no big revelations, because they are saving all that for the DC Nation panel later in the week."
  • The next question dealt with the names of the Legion of Super-Heroes characters - the more traditional "Lightning Lad" versus the more "modern" Livewire - and if it was "a necessary evil" to get back to the more traditional names. DiDio said he likes to go back to what people remember most, using the example of Supergirl - people remember her as Superman's cousin, not as any of the other iterations of the character. "What do people remember most, what do people react to the most" is what's important, and building a contemporary world around them.

From The Pulse:
  • When asked about the re-boots of the 90s (i.e., calling Lightning Lad “Live Wire”), and whether the reworking of characters is a necessary evil, so that readers appreciate the classics, Dan DiDio responded, “I like to go with whatever people remember most.”

    He cited Supergirl – and the one who is Superman’s Cousin. That is why there is a return to the classic heroes in the current DC regime.

    Dwayne McDuffie said, “you have to keep trying new stuff,” but you go with what works best.

  • Yes – we are going to see even more versions of the 52 Earth’s versions of the future Legion of Super-Heroes. Conner Kent may also play a part in one of these scenarios.

8:30-10:30 World Premiere! Superman Doomsday — Superman is dead—or is he? All will be revealed at Comic-Con’s world premiere of DC Comics, Warner Bros. Home Video, and Warner Bros. Animation’s Superman Doomsday. It’s the highly anticipated first DC Universe made-for-DVD release presented by Warner Premiere and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Inspired by the best-selling graphic novel of all time, Superman Doomsday is an epic tale of heroism and tragedy, sacrifice and redemption. The film is rated PG-13 for action violence. The voice cast is led by Adam Baldwin (Serenity, Chuck) as Superman, Anne Heche (Men in Trees) as Lois Lane, and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Lex Luthor. DC Comics’ Gregory Novek will moderate the post-premiere panel that includes executive producer/director/writer Bruce Timm (Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Animated Series), directors Brandon Vietti (Legion of Super Heroes) and Lauren Montgomery (Legion of Super Heroes), writer Duane Capizzi (The Batman), and, quite possibly, members of the voice cast. And stay ’til the end—there might just be a glimpse of future DC Universe films. Ballroom 20
Newsarama has a review of the movie itself. CBR has a panel report but despite a former director, current director, and current voice casting head for the Legion show being on the panel, there was nothing Legion-y discussed. The Great Darkness Saga was not mentioned as an upcoming movie either.

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