This Con is, quite simply, make or break time for DC Comics. Since they announced “The New 52,” their relaunched Universe with new origins, status quos, and varying levels of pants, fans have either been through the moon with excitement or beside themselves with seething anger. Either way, we’ll be really, truly getting our first look at the new universe [NOTE: Not to be confused with Marvel’s New Universe] at San Diego.
Sure, there’s a few other things going on, which we’ll get to in a moment, but with panels discussing what’s going on in September every single day of the Con, the focus is squarely set in relaunch city. And even those not interested in DC will find it hard to ignore: DC and Warner Brothers have set up a full scale awareness plan, from the omni-present over-sized bags given away at registration with Jim Lee’s Justice League; to a special issue of TV Guide devoted to the WB, featuring looks behind the scenes at the redesigns; and even the CCI official souvenir book and T-shirt will feature the brand new Justice League.
But that’s not all, folks! There’s the New 52 #1 sampler that will be given out at the DC booth – a must read for pretty much anyone interested in the relaunch. There’s a photo kiosk that lets you get green screened into the new Justice League, so be sure to come wearing your high collars, body armor, and underwear on the inside. And there’s ton more giveaways too numerous to list, from posters, to postcards, to buttons.
The most coveted collectible though will definitely be the Wayne Casino poker chips given out at various times throughout the Con. Though they’re not (initially) worth any monetary value, DC has made sure the chips – based on a plot point from the current Flashpoint series – are only available if you go to everything DC, all the time. Here’s the rundown:
$1 Chips (White) – Wednesday, July 20th?
$5 Chips (Red) – Thursday, July 21st?
$10 Chips (Blue) – Friday, July 22nd?
$25 Chips (Green) – Saturday, July 23rd?
$50 Chips (Orange) – Sunday, July 24th?
$100 Chips (Black) – These will be given away at DC panels throughout the convention to attendees who ask the best questions!
So asking Dan Didio how much money he makes? Probably not going to get you a black chip.
On the action figure side, we’ve got a SDCC exclusive Zoom figure, which – as its limited to one per person – should disappear quickly. Just like Zoom! It’s only available at the Graphitti Designs Booth (#2315) so get your butt over their as soon as you can every morning… And you’ll still be too late.
And of course, there’s the panels. Here’s a selection of some of the don’t miss ones, with our commentary, just to wrap things up:
Thursday, July 21
11:30-12:30 DC: Flashpoint? Moderator: Bob Wayne EDITOR: Eddie Berganza?Everything you know will change in a Flash! Flashpoint, the blockbuster comics event of the summer, has turned the DC Universe inside out! Join DC Comics Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, and some of the amazing talent behind Flashpoint, for a panel that’s sure to pose new questions about this explosive event even as it answers others! Room 6DE
Honestly, I’m mostly just curious how focused this panel can stay on Flashpoint, rather than its aftermath. My guess? Not that much.
2:00-3:00 DC Comics – The New 52?Moderators: Eddie Berganza/Dan DiDio EDITORS: Bob Harras, Eddie Berganza?DC Comics explodes in September with 52 new number one issues and one panel is not enough to cover it! With a ‘DC Comics – The New 52’ panel each day, there’s sure to be something for everyone! Join Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher, Bob Harras, DC’s Editor-in-Chief, and DC Comics Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, for an up-close look at this unprecedented wave of new series, from the first-ever re-launches of Action Comics and Batman titles to the latest thrills from comics’ cutting-edge! Join Bob, Eddie and some of the industry’s top writers and artists as we make history together. Room 6DE
It begins!!! This is one discussing some of the biggest issues – literal and figurative – of the relaunch, including the hotly anticipated Action Comics #1. Expect tears, anguish, and a lot of, “How dare you!”s as well as some, you know, actual information.
3:15-4:15 DC: Batman? Moderator: John Cunningham EDITOR: Mike Marts?Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman and the rest of Gotham City’s greatest crimefighters take things to the next level in September with new battles and new titles! Now, get to know the writers and artists behind these exciting new comics, including Batman Group Editor Mike Marts, Grant Morrison (Batman Incorporated), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Scott Snyder (Detective Comics), Peter Tomasi (Batman & Robin) Patrick Gleason (Batman & Robin), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Judd Winick (Batwing, Catwoman) and others answer your questions at this exclusive Bat-panel! Room 6DE
One of the most consistent – and consistently successful lines at DC, this is particularly worth it for the insanely intelligent duo of Morrison and Snyder, and the also not too shabby, but also hilarious Simone and Winnick. So a good time should be had by all.
5:45-6:45 Vertigo Editorial? Moderator: Karen Berger/John Cunningham?They come from the cutting edge of comics… and Vertigo has never been edgier, with thought-provoking titles from some of comics’ most acclaimed creators. Don’t miss this panel featuring Bill Willingham (Fables) Scott Snyder (American Vampire), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Michael Allred (iZombie), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Les Klinger (Annotated Sandman), Rebecca Guay (A Flight of Angels), Colleen Doran (Gone to Amerikay), and many others – this is your opportunity to learn more about the entire Vertigo line! Hosted by Vertigo Executive Editor Karen Berger. Room 6DE
Looking for a break from the New 52 talk? Head here, and find out about the next step for Vertigo, particularly as the lines are getting more fluid between the Vertigo “universe” and the DCU.
Friday, July 22
4:15-5:15 DC: Justice League? Moderator: Bob Wayne Editor: Eddie Berganza?Comics’ top talents – writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee – team up for the first time ever to bring you the new Justice League, making its debut as part of the new DC Universe! Join Johns, Lee and DC Executive Editor Eddie Berganza as they bring together the talents behind the new JLA titles, including writers Dan Jurgens (Justice League International), JT Krul (Green Arrow), Eric Wallace (Mister Terrific), artists Francis Manapul (The Flash), Brian Buccellato (The Flash), Philip Tan (The Savage Hawkman) and more! Room 6DE
I mean, you know… Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. It’s once again your chance to yell at them, but Jim Lee is AWESOME at panels in particular, usually sketching for fans, showing off art, and generally being Mr. Cool Guy. That’s his official title, by the way.
Sunday, July 24
1:45-2:45 Designing the New DCU 52? Moderator: Bob Wayne EDITOR: Jim Lee?What does it take to remake a universe? There are new stories, new characters, and especially new designs! Join DC’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee, VP – Art and Design Mark Chiarello, exclusive artist Cully Hamner and others for a look as they discuss their visual approach to reshaping the DC Universe! Room 6DE
I would say 95% of the discussion about the reboot has centered on costumes, so here’s your chance to find out what actually went into them. Want to see what a bunch of guys think about why girls should – or shouldn’t – wear pants? Of course you do. I mean, but seriously, this should be pretty interesting.
And that’s it! There’s plenty more panels, events, and of course the already infamous DC Protest. But until then, we’ll see you in the multiverse.