DC FanDome Saturday: Harley Quinn, Black Lightning, Batwoman, Doom Patrol news
Another day of DC fan fun is here, and this time it's all on demand for 24 hours.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
FanDome, aimed at DC Comics enthusiasts, features online panels, cosplay, fan art and comics, as well as special events for kids. The first day featured panels at set times -- they repeated, but if you missed the scheduled times, you missed the panels. Now, the second part of the event, DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse, promises fans more than 100 hours of programming, all on demand, so fans can set their own schedules. But it's still just a 24-hour event, so tune in from 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) on Saturday, Sept. 12, until that same time on Sunday, Sept. 13.
There were some technical difficulties with Saturday's event. "The Riddler strikes!" a tweet from DC read. "DC FanDome is experiencing a brief pause, but we'll post an update when we're back up and running." Functionality was later restored.
What is DC FanDome?
Kinda like Comic-Con, but only for DC. So no Avengers. (That's Marvel.) But if you're a fan of DC characters such as Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and Aquaman, you'll want to tune in. And this fandom event should go well beyond the big names. The Aug. 22 event covered the whole DC world, from comic books to movies to TV shows to
, and the Sept. 12 event will surface new content along the same lines.
Unfortunately, the convention follows reports of mass layoffs at DC. Roughly a third of the company's editorial staff lost their jobs, according to The Hollywood Reporter, along with the majority of the staff of streaming service DC Universe, as parent company Warner Bros. shifts its focus to the recently launched HBO Max.
What's new on Saturday, Sept. 12?
The Sept. 12 event is divided into five new areas. Head to the DC FanDome website to read through the full list.
WatchVerse is probably going to be the most popular area of the second day. Four different virtual theaters allow fans to watch fresh panels that weren't seen on the first day, as well as longer versions of The Flash and Titans panels from the Aug. 22 event.
InsiderVerse will appeal to those who want to know what's going on behind the camera and behind the scenes, and will include facts about the new Batmobile, artists discussing how they broke into the comics world, and numerous panels about the costumes worn by superheroes.
YouVerse celebrates DC's fans, and includes cosplay, fan art, and even pets in costume.
FunVerse dives into the world of games and activities, including trivia, an escape-room game from the Joker, and information on theme park rides.
KidsVerse is aimed at DC's youngest fans. It includes crafts, karaoke and Lego activities.
Highlights from the Saturday event include:
Doom Patrol makes a move
Doom Patrol, the live-action show based on the DC superhero team, has aired for two seasons. First it ran exclusively on DC Universe, and then the second season was available both there and on HBO Max. The FanDome panel revealed that a third season is coming, but only on HBO Max.
"Doom Patrol came to HBO Max with an already deep and passionate fan base and has risen to the top as one of the most-watched Max Originals on the platform," HBO Max executive Sarah Aubrey said in a statement.
What's next for DC Universe as its original content migrates to HBO Max? DC Comics publisher Jim Lee hinted in a tweet Saturday that news is coming. "Stay tuned next week for big news about @thedcuniverse and its exciting future!" he wrote.
Black Lightning stars speak out on issues
Black Lightning focuses on Black superheroes, including Black Lightning himself, a charter-school principal and superhero who comes out of retirement to once again fight crime. The show's panel featured actors speaking out about racial issues and today's complicated society.
"It's truth to power, our meaning, the state of our government even though we're in a fictitious world, I think it aligns a lot of times with the current (world)," said Marvin Krondon Jones III, who plays Tobias Whale. "It speaks to the people who are actually living that, the people in the black communities see a lot that that's the truth of our experience."
Batwoman: Farewell, Kate; hello, Ryan
At the Batwoman panel, showrunner Caroline Dries tackled a major topic: How will the show deal with the departure of Kate Kane/Batwoman, after lead actress Ruby Rose left the show? A new character, Ryan Wilder (played by Javicia Leslie), will now be Batwoman, and some fans are wondering how Kate Kane will be written out.
"We have two major stories, as we come into season 2," Dries said. "The first one is 'Where's Kate?' What happened to Kate? Is she alive? Did she die? Is she missing? Is she on the run? Is she held captive? Is she lost? ... And, then we are obviously just diving into Javicia. We have a new hero rising into Gotham."
Harley Quinn still not renewed
Fans who tuned in to the Harley Quinn panel hoping to hear that the animated show was renewed for a third season came away disappointed. That news wasn't confirmed. "The answer is, I hope so," said Supervising Producer Jennifer Coyle, according to Decider.
In the season 2 finale, Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) ran off with girlfriend Poison Ivy (Lake Bell), breaking up Ivy's wedding. If the show comes back, Executive Producer Justin Halpern says, "We want to focus on Harley and Ivy's relationship."
August event highlights
Here are highlights from the Aug. 22 event:
Matt Reeves, director of The Batman, shared way more about the movie in a fantastic interview, and also revealed a trailer that looked pretty damn good, despite the fact the movie is only 30% shot at this point. The Batman stars Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame, with Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman.
The DC film Justice League came out in 2017, but original director Zack Snyder stepped down during editing when his daughter died. Some fans were disappointed in the finished film, which had been taken over by Joss Whedon, and clamored to see what Snyder would've put together if he'd had free rein.
The Snyder Cut is that film, coming soon to HBO Max -- and the teaser trailer for DC FanDome gave a glimpse of the long-awaited version, which will run in four hourlong parts. It's out sometime in 2021, and Snyder promised fans outside the US that they're working on a way to release it globally.
The developer behind Batman: Arkham Origins revealed its new game, Gotham Knights, a co-op adventure starring Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and Red Hood as they protect the city following the apparent death of Batman. They'll face off against a villainous group known as the Court of Owls and other members of the Dark Knight's rogues gallery.
The title, which is due out sometime in 2021, isn't set in the same universe as the Arkham games.
The panel revealed Barry Allen's new costume, which was made by Batman. Director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Christina Hodson (who penned Birds of Prey and Bumblebee) also confirmed that the speedster's movie will see Flash traveling through time to change the DC Multiverse. It's due out sometime in 2022.
We also got hints that this opens up the possibility of revisiting classic DC movies, with Danny Elfman's Batman Theme playing in the background. Concept art also showed the Flash teaming up with Michael Keaton's version of the Dark Knight -- the 1989 Batman logo can be seen on his costume.
You'll be able to play co-op with up to four players when this hits PS5, Xbox Series X and PC in 2022.
Dwayne Johnson teased his long-in-development Black Adam film, revealing that, in addition to Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, we'll see the debut of the Justice Society of America (JSA) in the movie. Though no casting has been revealed, characters coming to the film will include Hawkman, Cyclone and Dr. Fate. More details can be found on our sister site GameSpot.
The Aquaman panel provided only a tease of what to expect in the eventual Aquaman sequel, with director James Wan noting the movie will be "a little bit more serious, a little bit more relevant to the world that we're living in today." The movie is currently scheduled for a 2022 release date.
An adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman was announced for Netflix last year, and the creator teased additional details during a Saturday panel. Gaiman confirmed that work on Sandman for Netflix is still continuing and that it'll be "slightly looser, but still faithful" to the books. Gaiman said the pandemic has allowed for more work on the scripts, along with further tailoring of the story to fit a different time period.
Titans, the marquee series of the DC Universe streaming service, had its third season teased during DC FanDome -- and this time it's going straight to Gotham City, reports GameSpot. Titans' third season will see Jason Todd (Curran Walters) become Red Hood after leaving the Robin identity behind.
The show will also make way for Barbara Gordon, former Batgirl turned Gotham City Police Department commissioner, as well as Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow. Casting for those latter two characters wasn't announced.
The third season's release date is unclear, but it'll be available on HBO Max.
New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More
The Flash TV series is among the many whose previous season was shortened by the coronavirus pandemic, but a peek into the seventh season of the Arrowverse show made its debut Saturday. The teaser picks up from season 6, leaving Iris West (Candice Patton) inside of a mirror universe and faced with a difficult choice.
More information can be found on our sister site TV Guide, including Patton discussing how, when you're standing up for other people, being labeled "difficult" is fine -- if that means sticking up for what's right.
The show is currently scheduled to return in January 2021.
CNET's Mike Sorrentino contributed to this report.