With the 75th anniversary of Batman this year, it was only right for DC to provide numerous panels at this year’s New York Comic Con. This year my “Panel” day would be on Friday so I quickly browsed through the program. Friday proved to be filled with various panels from Green Lantern’s next big event to the Justice League’s new animated movie, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. In between those two great choices lied my obvious choice, DC Comics – Batman: Gotham Rising.
This panel would include the dynamic duo of Scott Snyder, whose run on Batman has been nothing, but epic. Also on the panel were Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart, and Brendon Fletcher, who are all part of the new team for Batgirl. Also on hand were Batman Eternal writer James Tynion IV, Batwoman writer Marc Andreyko, Batman and Robin writer Peter Tomasi, the Detective Comics team of Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul.
The panel began with Snyder and Capullo speaking about Batman and the “Endgame” storyline beginning in issue 35. The main focus here lies with the return of the Joker. In a sense saying that it is also the Joker’s 75th anniversary. He’s back and he’s as evil and treacherous as ever. Snyder went on to say that this was a thank you to the fans for their loyal support and positive feedback to his and Capullo’s take on the Dark Knight. In fact, Capullo goes further and says that Snyder has allowed him more freedom, which has resulted in a “P.O’d Joker”.
From there the crowd was introduced to the new Batgirl team of Tarr, Stewart, and Fletcher. In what they described as a complete contrast to the Batman comic, Batgirl really highlights how different she really is from the rest of the Bat-Family. Tarr goes on to explain her inspiration from the fashion world/cartoons and it shows through her take on Batgirl. It was great seeing the page on Batgirl where we get a glimpse of Batgirl’s powerful photographic memory and how she uses it to her advantage.
Batman and Robin writer, Peter Tomasi was on hand to explain that he was going for action that would “blow the walls out.” With his “Hellbat” suit on, Batman takes off to Apokolips in what turns out to be a big confrontation with Darkseid in issue #37.
Adding to the mix was James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal), spoke about some of his back-up stories that would go along with the Batman main story. It is through the eyes of several “psychopaths” that we get to see how the Joker became the Joker and many other Batman villains. In addition, he adds that Hush would be a major villain in Batman Eternal.
Gotham Academy was also presented to show how kids within Gotham are dealing with the events within the city. It explains how these kids have some connection to not only Gotham, but also Batman. Inspired by Hogwarts, the academy houses Olive and MAPS and the trouble they find themselves in.
Towards the end of the show, Francis Manapul and Brian Bucellato spoke about Detective Comics and the appearance of the Mad Hatter and Anarky. As Anarky is providing the citizens of Gotham with the “freedom of choice”, Batman must find a way to restore order back in Gotham.
From there, the show concluded with various questions from the audience. When asked about the various Bat-Family titles being produced, Scott Snyder responded that the, “other comics inspire me to make Batman better.” Here’s to a better Batman and the rest of his family.