Welcome back to our on-scene Boston Comic Con report! This article is for the DC Comics panel, featuring panelists Gail Simone (Batgirl), Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated) and Pop Mhan (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe).
5:05 PM: Matt Herring of the Secret Identity Podcast comes out on the moderator, introducing guests. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo show up as surprise guests.
5:09 PM: Herring asks what makes DC characters so special. Gail Simone says her intro to DC was the old Super Friends cartoon and the Wonder Woman comics. She identified with Barbara Gordon because of her red hair. Her love of Wonder Woman came from Wonder Woman being a princess that was a warrior who could fight alongside Superman and Batman.
Chris Burnham says he liked Aquaman because he enjoyed swim class as a kid. “I think that’s the coolest power ever. Being under the water is so calm and exciting.” He also thinks the characters are easier to grasp when you’re younger.
Pop Mhan says he liked Batman growing up, and liked the Michael Keaton Batman movie. Scott Snyder says that the characters are iconic because of what they represent, and that in writing them, the humanity comes out, rather than being advertised up front like with Marvel Comics.
Capullo says “I don’t even think Batman is a Marvel or DC guy, he’s just Batman.” He also tried to make “whizzer balls” in the bathtub like Aquaman as a small child. He was mostly a Marvel guy, but the very first superheroes he ever drew were Batman and Robin at age 4.
5:18 PM: The panelists are asked what they think DC can do to compete with Marvel in the movie industry. “It’s easy. Have Scott write it and me storyboard it.” says Capullo. “I think you need a computer animated Wonder Woman movie to blow The Incredibles and Frozen out of the water”, says Burnham. Gail Simone agrees on Wonder Woman. “I think they need to bring irreverence and brightness and levity to the characters”, says Snyder, referring to the dark tone of recent movies.
-What supervillains do they want to see in DC movies? Gail Simone says Man-Bat after seeing the character drawn by Ethan Van Sciver. Burnham thinks Brainiac would be good. Snyder wants Catwoman again. Capullo thinks monsrous characters like Clayface and Killer Croc would be great with modern CGI.
-What’s going to be done to keep DC going for another 75 years? “First off,” Capullo answers, “Batman you don’t have to worry about.” According to Capullo, Batman will go on throughout the universe. “In the fall, books like Arkham Manor and another book I can’t say yet… are trying to go very very different and new”, says Snyder. The goal with Batman is to keep him and all related characters feeling “young and vibrant and different”. Pop Mhan says “I’ve been with DC pretty steadily for about seven years now, and I keep going back because I think DC has the right leadership… I don’t think we have to worry about if DC will keep being relevant in 75 years.”
-Batman vs. Superman? “Wonder Woman [wins]”, says Simone. “The correct answer, is, in fact, Batman”, Capullo says.
-How can more women break into the comic industry? “It’s already happening,” Simone answers, “We’ve got webcomics, we’ve got female editors, commentators…” Capullo asks Simone if she thinks it’s because fewer women tried breaking into comics in the past or if it was just a male dominated industry. She thinks it’s a combination of both, but also tells a story about a woman who wanted to be an artist as a kid, but her brothers got the drawing paper she wanted for her birthday, and she had to take up art in secret, told to be a home maker. She expands on societal attitudes and how the Internet is changing things, and bringing in new people and attitudes. Simone herself was also told she couldn’t be a writer, which is why she was a hairdresser for a time. Capullo and Snyder endorse Simone as somebody changing the industry from the inside. Simone also thinks more dads reading comics to their daughters is changing things.
-What nontraditional hero/villain match-ups would they like to see? Burnham enjoys Lex Luthor vs. Batman. “It was fun sending Wonder Woman into Gotham”, Simone says, referring to the upcoming Sensation Comics #1.
-“Are you ever going to make a good Green Lantern movie?” Capullo thinks “it would be possible if Scott Snyder writes it and I do the storyboards.”
-Regarding loose ends with the Court of Owls and Calvin Rose: “The owls are going to come back in both Eternal and Batman in a lot of ways”, says Snyder, including Calvin.
-A superhero besides Wonder Woman they want to see on the big screen? Capullo wants the JLA. “We’ve got that crummy CGI Thanos”, says Burnham, “so why not a better CGI Darkseid?” “I’ve always dug Nightwing”, says Pop Mhan. All the females in the crowd cheer, and Snyder says “When you write Dick Grayson, you always get more tweets asking for more butt shots”. Snyder also wants to see the whole Bat Family on screen, especially Batgirl. Gail Simone wants Birds of Prey.
– Max Dweck