It was a gentler, more emotional Scott Snyder Sunday at the creator’s spotlight panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Well, at least compared to the fiery Scott Snyder from this year’s Wonder Con, who came with stories of nearly challenging his boss to fisticuffs.
San Diego, Snyder said, has a special emotional place in his life. It was actually 10 years ago at this show that Snyder asked the artist Jock to collaborate on the Detective Comics arc, Black Mirror, which catapulted him to his career-best New52 run on Batman. He’s also a new dad, who’s been thinking quite a bit about the world in which his children are growing up in.
It’s the anxiety and fears over the condition of that world—specifically the priorities of those in it—that’s informing his high-profile DC work, which includes Batman: Last Knight on Earth with Greg Capullo, as well as DC’s Year of the Villain, which is radiating outward from his Justice League run into the rest of the publisher’s books.
In Year of the Villain, Lex Luthor is offering villains and grey-area heroes the chance to become more powerful versions of their worst selves. He’s had a realization that the right way to exist is to embrace doing what’s in your own selfish interest, at all times, always. To essentially lean into villainy and not think about others. Meanwhile, Last Knight is a story of what happens if Lex prevails and is right.
“I think there’s a big pull and a temptation from everywhere to be self-centered and focused on your own life and the lives of the people you care about,” Snyder said. “On a global national level, we do it as countries…down to the most individual level where I see my kids following people on YouTube, and it’s totally myopic and spiraling inward at times.”
What he’s talking about is a conflict between a pull to spiral inward versus doing the humbler work of making the world better for the whole. It’s certainly a timely concern, one that’s giving Snyder’s work an almost uncomfortable sense of real-world relevance and grandiosity.
In other DC news, Snyder talked about what’s coming up in the immediate future within the pages of his comics, excitedly giving out details as he is wont to do like he was talking to his friends. Some of the most interesting bits were about his forthcoming plans to introduce Kamandi and the Justice Society of America in his Justice League run.
Snyder’s goal with the JSA is to show them when they were forming, when they were uncertain and not the legendary heroes the rest of the DCU would later come to look up to. He wants to show them in a state where they weren’t sure yet if they were going to win.
Snyder also talked about his forthcoming creator-owned work, sharing the first interior artwork made public from Undiscovered Country, his newly-announced collaboration with Charles Soule and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, which images an America that has literally shut itself off from the rest of the world for 30 years (getting back to those themes from above!). Check out some art from that project below:
In addition, Scott Snyder is gearing up another run of American Vampire that will bring the story up to present day, more Wytches, and a new book with Francesco Francavilla, the name of which he’s not ready to announce just yet. Art from that last project was shown at the panel, and now you too can see it below…