Vampires, Superman And The Dark Knight Returns At WonderCon

Raymond Brown writes for Bleeding Cool at WonderCon from the Vertigo and Superman panels.
Vertigo: The New Blood
The panelists for the Vertigo panel were senior editor Will Dennis, writer Scott Snyder and artist Dustin Nguyen.
Dennis discussed several upcoming Vertigo releases.  To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fables, Vertigo will be rereleasing the first trade paperback collection with a new wraparound cover by Mark Buckingham.
An original Fables graphic novel, Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland, will be coming out in November.
Also in November, Vertigo will be releasing the first of its two-volume adaptation of the book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Each book in Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy will be adapted in two volumes, for a total of six volumes.  Denise Mina was chosen in conjunction with representatives of Larsson’s estate, who have been very supportive of Mina’s work.  The graphic novels will not be strict adaptations but rather Mina’s own interpretation of the books.  Dennis indicated that people who have read the books will notice some significant differences in the graphic novels.
On March 28, Vertigo will be releasing the first issue of a new series, New Deadwardians, by Dan Abnett writing without Andy Lanning.  The series is set in post-Victorian England and deals with a world where the survivors of a zombie plague took the “vampire cure” to avoid becoming zombies after discovering that the zombies have no taste for vampires.  The lead character is a homicide detective in a world where almost no one can be murdered.
When asked if the series would include either real life or fictional characters from the Edwardian time frame, Dennis seemed perplexed and admitted he didn’t know the answer.  He said there was some discussion along those lines but the initial series is planned for eight issues and includes no such characters, although Dennis said there is “room for more” stories.
Scott Snyder discussed his plans for American Vampire at length.  The current storyline will wrap up in issue 25.  Issues 26 and 27 are an epilogue telling the story of the African American soldier during World War II who became the third American vampire.  During that storyline, readers will catch up with Pearl and Henry.
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
That two-issue story leads into the next story arc, “The Blacklist,” which begins in issue 28.  According to Snyder, “something terrible” happens to Henry and Pearl has to decide “whether to avenge him” and whether to team up with Skinner Sweet to do it.
***END OF SPOILER ALERT ***
Snyder indicated that American Vampire will be staying in the 1950s for a while, but he does have big plans eventually for the “flower power” era of the 1960s.
Snyder will also be writing the next American Vampire miniseries, American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares, which will be drawn by Dustin Nguyen.  The series will explore stories told by the Vassals of the Morningstar, the human organization that hunts vampires.  The series begins with an attack on a base beneath London Tower bridge.  The series will bring back the surviving characters from the miniseries and will reveal how the dominant strain of vampire became the dominant strain and what happened to the others.
In questions at the end of the panel, Snyder mentioned that his favorite DC characters are Batman and Swamp Thing.  Snyder said he has never had the opportunity to speak to Alan Moore about Snyder’s take on the character, but he would love the opportunity because Snyder was obviously greatly inspired and influenced by Moore’s work.
Superman vs. The Elite
On Friday night at Wonder Con, DC held the world premiere of its upcoming animated movie.  The movie is based on the story in Action Comics #775, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?” written by Joe Kelly.  Kelly was also the screenwriter for the animated movie.
Kelly, director Michael Chang and voice actor Robin Atkins-Downs (the voice of Elite member Manchester Black) were on hand after the screening to discuss the movie.  Executive producer Bruce Timm could not be present for the screening.
Several changes were made in adapting the original single issue comic to a movie.  The original story centered more around the DC Universe.  For the feature, they wanted some other source of conflict and decided it made sense to use real world terrorism and political conflicts in the middle east.  Kelly also introduced the villain the Atomic Skull into the story to illustrate Manchester Black’s point regarding the fact that prisons for supervillains seem to have revolving doors.  Early in the writing process, Kelly was going to use the Parasite as the villain, but he ultimately opted for the Skull instead.
The Elite, however, are virtually identical to how they appeared in the comic.  The only difference, according to Kelly, is that Coldcast was bare chested in the comic and wears a shirt in the movie.  Kelly laughingly recalled that Timm also told him that Lois and Clark could not be shown to be in bed together as they were in the comic.  Kelly thought it was ironic that the violence in the movie was approved but that it was taboo to show a married man and woman laying in bed together.
Superman vs. The Elite will be released on Blu-Ray, DVD and digitally on June 12, 2012.
The panelists indicated that there are definitely plans in the works for features centering around individual characters other than Batman and Superman.  The next feature, however, will be The Dark Knight Returns, which is set for release in the Fall.  At the very end of the panel, DC surprised attendees with the world premiere of footage from The Dark Knight Returns, which appears very faithful to the original graphic novel.