The crowd was already in a frenzy after writer and producer Geoff Johns revealed details about new DC Universe show Titans and the fourth show to be revealed, Stargirl, so when new details emerged about actual comic books, the audience could barely contain itself. As Johns put it, San Diego Comic-Con is a pilgrimage where comic fans can come together and celebrate what they love. That’s partly why it was nice to see Johns end his spotlight panel at San Diego Comic-Con focusing on comic books.
The first big announcement revealed Johns was returning to a character he briefly created with artist Gary Frank: Shazam!
“I love Shazam,” Johns said, “There are so few characters that are left I think that haven’t been mined. You know, I was looking at what Frank Miller did with Daredevil and Batman and what Alan Moore to Swamp Thing and Mark Waid did with The Flash. You see these characters get reinvented and their universes expanded in a way that changes the character forever.” Being an untapped character, Johns said the new movie is an excellent introduction for many to the character (which he’s seen already). Not only because the character is so fresh with his magical powers, but also because it ties well into a genre of kid films like The Goonies.
The new series will also be drawn by Dale Eaglesham and will debut on November 21, the same Wednesday before Thanksgiving that Johns debuted Doomsday Clock #1.
Doomsday Clock #6, out next week, was also discussed and Dan DiDio said it’s a turning point in the series with a “tonality that is much more aggressive I think than previous five issues.” Johns agreed and said the sixth issue will focus on Mime and Marionette as well as how the world is responding to the criminal metahuman.
Moving along, Johns discussed his upcoming “Three Jokers” storyline that he’s collaborating with Jason Fabok on. The series has been in the works for over a year, but Johns said it hasn’t changed much since he pitched it to Dan DiDio. The story is “a grounded emotional story about the mystery of the Joker and Batman’s kind of realization that there is more than one operator. And what does that mean?” Johns revealed it focuses more on Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon, and Jason Todd.
DiDio pointed out the story is being written under the DC Black Label, even though “we understand some of the stories take place within DC itself.” DiDio pointed out Johns has never been interested in writing Batman even though he’s involved in this comic.
“This does explore a new facet of who Bruce Wayne is that’s never been explored in the comics. There’s a story that we’re doing that I’m surprised has never been explored that really tackles a sort of emotional issue of Bruce Wayne,” Johns said. He added, “Bruce and Joker will have a relationship that is completely different than the one that they have now.”
No matter what though, Johns said fans should know one thing: “If I could tell one Joker story, this is the Joker story I would tell.”