Yes, Virginia, there are still comics at Comic-Con — even if they are solidly overshadowed by their film and television adaptations these days. San Diego Comic-Con is a time when the Big Two of American comics publishing are usually in the full swing of a summer event. Or at least, it’s the time when they get to talk about what’s coming up in the fall.
Here’s what you can expect to see from DC Comics at San Diego Comic-Con
More info on Dark Nights: Metal, DC’s biggest crossover event in years
With its Rebirth relaunch in 2016, DC Comics swerved from a number of habits that had become second nature to the company since 2011, including giant crossovers between multiple books.
And while some fans are viewing the prospect of a 25-book crossover story with trepidation, DC couldn’t have set Dark Nights up with a better pitch. From the mind of writer Scott Snyder, the architect of DC’s incredibly successful and consistent New 52 Batman series — and with his longtime collaborator, artist Greg Capullo, drawing for the main miniseries itself — Dark Nights promises a “celebratory, huge and crazy” story of “terror and nightmares ... out-of-control dinosaurs and lasers.”
Judging on what we’ve seen so far, the plot is kicked off by the appearance of a dark parallel universe that is slowly merging with the main DCU, as well as Batman’s research into a mysterious metal, the presence of which seems to have undergirded supernatural events great and small throughout the history of the world. Snyder has said Dark Nights: Metal will “examine every choice a hero doesn’t take and every path they don’t walk, and open up worlds that are forged by nightmares,” going right along with the parallel earth/alternate timeline theme. Out of those dark choices come seven evil Batmans (yes, really) who will arrive in Gotham City to wreak havoc.
Though the first issue of Dark Nights: Metal won’t hit shelves until August, you can expect Snyder and Capullo to be on hand at the con to drum up interest for the book, and that means we’ll likely be getting more details on its story.
More info on Doomsday Clock
Instead of big, universe-wide crossover comics, DC has been slowly delivering the overarching plot of Rebirth — that Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan is somehow responsible for messing with the timeline of the DC Universe in catastrophic ways — slowly. And we do mean slowly. The company waited a year between Rebirth #1 and The Button, a small, four-issue crossover between Batman and the Flash that brought DC characters into direct contact with a god-like force.
Doomsday Clock promises to be the next story arc to move Rebirth’s story forward, and the single teaser image we’ve gotten from it further promises that it’ll involve the Doctor Manhattan of the main DCU himself, Superman. Where Superman is concerned, Doomsday usually means the giant grey monster himself, but where Watchmen is concerned, it can mean the recurring motif of the Doomsday Clock, an illustration of how close humanity is to a civilization-ending global catastrophe.
The storyline will be written by Geoff Johns, who is both the co-runner of the DC Films division at Warner Bros., the chief creative officer of DC Comics and the architect behind the company’s Rebirth relaunch. Johns will be on hand for an invite-only Doomsday Clock press event at San Diego Comic-Con, so we can expect lots of new info about what the arc has in store for Superman and the DC Universe to come out of the con.
More on Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman/Conan crossover
With Greg Rucka’s Rebirth run on Wonder Woman having drawn to a close, it’s high time that another veteran Wonder Woman writer took up the torch. And if it can’t be in her main series, at least it can be in a crossover where the greatest warrior of the Hyborian Age meets the greatest warrior of the DC Universe.
Gail Simone is no stranger to barbarian comics or barbarian crossovers, either, having co-written Dark Horse and Dynamite Comics’ 2015 Conan/Red Sonja crossover and written a successful two-year run on Sonja’s main book. Joining her is artist Aaron Lopresti, who frequently collaborated with Simone on her Wonder Woman run.
The six-issue series of Wonder Woman and Conan hack-slashing their way through a mysterious fantasy setting will debut in September, so we can expect more news on it this month.
An update on Rebirth, and who knows what else
Every San Diego Comic-Con means another DC Comics press breakfast, and every press breakfast means a smattering of announcements, sales figures and new initiatives. DC Comics Collectibles will be at the con with a new slate of collectibles, writer Tom King will be on hand for his Mr. Miracle revival, and on top of it all, the con marks Harley Quinn’s 25th anniversary.
And DC isn’t the only comics company to be hitting the con either! Marvel, Dark Horse, Image Comics and more will be bringing their best and brightest. Check back in with us later, and we’ll be sure to have an update for you.