“It’s going to melt your face off,” writer Joshua Williamson opined as he kicked off the DC Metal panel at Boston Comic Con. “Scott [Snyder] and I talk about Metal so much I can’t say the word without doing this,” Williamson said throwing up the heavy metal sign for devil horns.
Williamson is, of course, talking about DC’s big event starting next week called Metal. John Romita Jr. joined him on the panel, which aside from being a blast with tons of new details also had plenty of surprises.
The first surprise came when Williamson decided to call Snyder on the phone, which brought the audience to another level of excitement. Williamson held his phone to the microphone giving Snyder the floor, “Metal is a story that we’ve been working on for 2-plus years.” Snyder explained it’s a simple story at its core that reveals a dark multi-verse that’s an addition to the multi-verse we know of. Snyder went on to say there will be 7 Dark Knights that are Batman’s worst fears materialized. One fear being Batman going, “Too far and killing the Joker,” and another “going too far to get speed powers.” Snyder made it sound as if these knights are embodiments of Batman’s obsessions turned evil and wrong. No matter what, though, Snyder made it clear this is all about bringing a big story to all readers so we can all feel like kids again.
Williamson holding up his phone to the mic so Snyder could talk to the audience.
After Snyder said goodbye, the panel continued and went through a few of the titles in store for readers. Williamson discussed his Metal tie-in Batman: The Red Death and revealed there will be a Batmobile we’ve never seen before. The comic is going to be visually stunning, Williamson added. He then brought up the issue’s artist Carmine Di Giandomenico, who Williamson reflected is not only great at drawing the fastest hero, but he’s also the fastest artist alive after winning the Guinness World Record.
“There’s no way we could do this issue without Carmine.”
The second surprise dropped at his point as Batman writer Tom King entered the room to much applause. After a wave, he sat down with the rest of the audience to listen in and he could be heard audibly laughing at usual jokester John Romita Jr.
This started with a back and forth with Romita Jr. who seemed to not believe someone could draw a 48-page comic in two days.
“I’m not that fast,” Romita Jr. said.
It turns out Di Giandomenico broke the record over a weekend like it was no big deal. The conversation moved on to Tony Daniel’s Batman: The Devastator.
“Right now he’s doing the best work of his life,” Williamson said of Daniel, adding that “The stuff he’s doing on Damage is awesome.”
Next discussed was Batman: Dawnbreaker, which is written by Jason Fabok and drawn by Ethan Van Sciver, which Williamson said is a good dark Batman story that’s very much a horror story.
Sweet art from Batman: The Devastator.
Romita Jr. got the floor next as the Dark Matter subset of books got the spotlight. Romita Jr. discussed his work with Dan Abnett on Silencer which he said started when Abnett listed off a bunch of names and “Silencer” stuck. Romita Jr. said this is going to be a different kind of assassin story.
“I love doing down-to-Earth, back-alley characters who don’t have capes and pointy ears,” Romita Jr. said.
Likening it to the violence in Kick-Ass, Romita Jr. said this story is going to be violent, but only “Disney discretionary violence.” That said, a lot of the blood and decapitations happen off panel. He also leaked Talia al Ghul will play a part in Silencer’s story and Romita Jr. even detailed a scene that involved a robotic animal attacking Silencer in a Walmart parking lot.
“This robot, she gets her hair pulled, and she gets pissed!”
Other details included Silencer being from Polynesian decent and that she’ll be a “Lean badass.”
Some art from Silencer.
After Romita Jr. discussed his upcoming Superman: Year One story, the panel was open to questions, one of which asked if a writer can give too little direction to the artist. Romita Jr. quipped, “You can’t write too little for me.” In all seriousness, Romita Jr. said if you’re writing a script you should talk to the artist beforehand and give them an idea of what is coming so they can start to pace it out in their head. Williamson added working on Nailbiter was a process that had loose scripts so artist Mike Henderson could get ideas and do things on their own. Ultimately, Williamson said he’s been trying to write less dialogue to give artists more room to innovate.
“If someone can read the comic from beginning to end without dialogue and understand it, you won,” Williamson said.
The last question was focused on Metal and how it might tie into Doomsday Clock. Williamson said Doomsday Clock will take place a year in advance of Metal, and the story only affects Doomsday Clock indirectly. The focus, Williamson said, is about, “Putting Batman through the ringer.”