SDCC 2018: A Justice League For Everyone At DC’s Justice League Panel
by Noah Sharma
As the Batman crew moved on, Scott Snyder (Justice League), James Tynion IV (Justice League Dark), Josh Williamson (Justice League: Odyssey), Adam Glass (Teen Titans), and Bernard Chang (Teen Titans) arrived for DC’s Justice League panel to tremendous applause.
Snyder says that his goal is to make Justice League feel welcoming to everyone, to keep the grandiose scale but to bring it down to understandable terms that allows new readers and long time fans to both be served by the book. “That’s why we’re going back to the Hall of Justice and the Legion of Doom”. Snyder, in his characteristically gracious way, thanked the fans and promised them a book that acknowledges the DC community. For Snyder JL is about how, when things and people are fractious and divided and have their own communities, people can chose to come together or go into their foxholes. In the natural world there is no justice, says Snyder and Justice comes about when humans make the agreement to be better than their nature. Lex Luthor doesn’t see it that way. He’s all about getting his and giving into your baser nature in this book. Doom originally meant fate and that fate is our biological imperative to kill and to protect our own.
Snyder says that this first story is all about why superheroes are relevant. It’s something that I’ve heard him mention at numerous panels, particularly after the Las Vegas shooting last year.
Tynion is stepping in as the writer for Justice League #5, a Legion of Doom issue. It follows Lex Luthor recruiting the Legion of Doom and gets as wild as “Luthor in a suit standing on the source wall.”
There are some gorgeous Aquaman-centric covers coming up for Justice League and with good reason. The second arc is called “Drowned Earth.” The story will focus on Aquaman, with Wonder Woman in a secondary role. The Legion of Doom’s exploration and exploitation of the fundamental forces of the universe is going to awaken ancient sea gods with a history with Atlantis. It will explore why Earth is the planet with the most vibrant oceans.
Begging to let someone else talk, Snyder was denied and “forced” to reveal a The Batman Who Laughs miniseries. The series takes Snyder back to his horror roots, with JOCK providing the art. This series finally allows Snyder to play the Batman who Laughs off of Bruce himself and also introduces another Dark Knight. This final knight examines what would happen if Bruce truly broke his moral code, shooting Joe Chill and learning to kill anyone who stands in his way; ‘a Punisher Batman’ in service of the Batman Who Laughs.
Justice League Dark starts with magic beginning to fail. It turns out that it’s not just failing but that magic’s original owners are coming to claim it. Tynion says that the destruction of the Source Wall has opened a path to the place “where magic was stolen from.” JLD #2 will introduce Doctor Fate, not just Kent Nelson but Khalid Nassour as well!
“The Witching Hour” is a weekly DC comics horror event ending on Halloween that will see Justice League Dark crossing over with Wonder Woman. Tynion promises that it will finally pay off the threads running through “Metal”, No Justice, and Justice League: Dark about Wonder Woman’s connection to magic.
Speaking of characters with unclear connections to magic, Tynion has been getting questions about Man-Bat. Perhaps he’s trying to recreate the magic of Clayface on Detective Comics, but he has a better explanation. While JL:D is a magic book, it’s also a horror book and James wants a mad scientist on his team. Kirk Langstrom is tinkering with his Man-Bat formula, trying to retain his intelligence, but he’s also got a whole mess of new variations based on different species of bats. I adore this idea, I love seeing characters get to use their expertise and playing with the diversity of bats is a brilliant idea.
Joshua Williamson says that the delay of Justice League: Odyssey came out of the ever-expanding scope of the book. In order to tell the story that Williamson wanted, they had to take a little more time. The core of the book is learning that in order to find yourself, you sometimes have to step away from your comfort zone to do that. All of the members of the team are people who have fallen into traps of their own making, who are stuck and need something to shake them loose. For some reason, the shake they need is teaming up with Darkseid, who Williamson promises this book will prove is “the baddest guy in the universe.”
As Justice League: Odyssey deals with cosmic threats, the Titans will be handling local dangers. Operating out of the Hall of Justice, the Titans remain under the supervision of Dan Abnett.
After seeing that the grown-ups may not have the answers in Justice League: No Justice, Damien Wayne wants a team that will obey him and see him for the genius that he is. With characters like Crush, Lobo’s daughter(!?); Djinn, a 4000 year old teenage genie; and Red Arrow, the team is going to take up residence in an old juvenile detention center. Glass also spoke about bringing Brother Blood back to the prominence he deserves.
Asked about the makeup of the Justice League: Dark, Tynion says that he wanted a character who has not spent their life living in the darkest parts of the DCU, someone who can see the horror of what’s unfolding and that’s Wonder Woman. While this is central, the classic horror characters are not being ignored. ‘Where’s John Constantine,’ people ask him “issue #1, page 6.” Blue Devil is also someone you should expect to hear about.