Ian Sattler from DC Comics never turned up, but Van Sciver went ahead without a moderator anyway and did a splendid job. I remember his indie days back in the 90s as creator of Cyberfrog. How much has changed since then, not only his success as an artist, but also his ability. Comparing his work on DC from the last few years to his earlier work makes it look like two different artists.
At the panel, he talked about his exclusive work for DC Comics, mainly centered on the expanding mythology of Green Lantern and his current work on the Sinestro Corps off-shoot, Blackest Night, where he is designing thousands of different GL costumes from every sector of the galaxy. Yes, he’ll be a busy boy for a while. He also expanded on the recently announced, Flash: Rebirth mini, which he’ll be working on with writer Geoff Johns. It will be six issues and will focus on Barry Allen’s return to the DCU, after his noble sacrifice twenty years ago in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Similar to the Green Lantern: Rebirth series from a few years ago, (also written by Johns) which followed Hal Jordan’s return as the foremost GL, this mini will follow Barry as he integrates in to society. He then asked for the audience to respond to Barry’s return. So we did with a round of applause. Van Sciver seemed relieved. He also excitedly mentioned that the last issue of Rebirth will show us the Speed Force in a way that’s never been seen before. The words, “in real-time,” were used, so how he manages that is anyone’s guess. Should be great.
He likens Barry to King Arthur and current Flash Wally West (and nephew of Barry) to Lancelot, and assured that us that Wally was not going anywhere. Fans had similar concerns about GL Kyle Rayner when Hal returned, so it’s great to see the Flash I grew up with is staying put. He will also redesign Wally’s costume, to set him apart from Barry, and compared Sinestro to Hitler, in that he’s a sadistic, egotistical madman. His aim is to never draw Sinestro smiling to show his dark side. Working with Johns has been an encouraging experience for him and he’s allowed himself to be more forthcoming with ideas to Johns, despite fear of rejection. It seems to be working, as his idea of opening up the “emotional spectrum,” to include rings other than of the green variety propelled Johns to scribe the epic and ongoing Sinestro Corps War. They have plans for a while yet and Van Sciver was surprisingly deep when talking about what each colour represented, from greed and hatred, to fear and hope. He’s obviously an artist that thinks deeply about his work and what fresh directions any given story can head towards.
After talking about Flash and GL for most of the hour, he expanded on further topics, including an odd Superman lawn sprinkler from his youth, being influenced by Moebius on his interprettion of Batman (with an emphasis on the Bat), and following penciller Frank Quietly on New X-Men in his short, but unsatisfying run with Marvel.
The hour sped by and Van Sciver seems to be enjoying his relationship with DC and creative collaboration with the extraordinary Johns. I’m glad to see his detailed and dynamic pencils will grace the pages for an exciting future.