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PHILADELPHIA -- Dan DiDio said that #0 issues is a card he doesn't like to play at DC Comics, but that Justice League of America #0 is an exception.

"I was reading Brad Melter's script to Justice League and noticed how there was a happy relationship between Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman," DiDio said. "We needed a bridge from one step (Infinite Crisis) to the other (Justice League) #1."

DiDio said Meltzer delivered with one of the most interesting Justice League stories ever.

The story features meetings with the characters through the years, with each page drawn by a different artist. "It really explains the history and whether or not a Justice League was needed," DiDio said.

DC's Bob Wayne said that the story for #1 involves a "membership drive," but neither he nor DiDio were revealing members.

In other highlights from the panel:

* The panel began and ended with the third trailer for Superman Returns.

* DiDio said that in addition to providing covers, Alex Ross will be a creative consultant on Justice Society of America, the October-debut title by Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham. DiDio said there will be some new characters to the JSA.

* DiDio said 52 "really takes off" with #5 and #6.

* The previously unseen covers to All Star Superman #6 and Shadowpact #5 were part of DC's presentation.

* A story arc called "Wanted" begins in Green Lantern #14.

* Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan will fight side-by-side in Ion #5.

* The Suicide Squad returns in Checkmate in September.

* John Rogers, who has been writing Blue Beetle with Keith Giffen, will write #7 by himself.

* DiDio on Batwoman: "She's a super-hero that's a lesbian, she's not a lesbian super-hero."

* Jimmy Palmiotti on Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters: "Everything you need to know by halfway through the (first issue)."

* DiDio said the new OMAC mini-series by Bruce Jones and Renato Guedes takes it back to the original concept of the One Man Army Corps. "And he's the last one," DiDio said.

* The new Atom is a professor at the same school were Ray Palmer was.

* Phil Noto is drawing Jonah Hex #10, with David Michael Beck on #11, which features El Diablo.

* Palmiotti said he and Justin Gray then are taking a detour from the single-issue stories with a three-parter that explores the character's past, including how he got his scar. Art will be by Jordi Bernet.

A trade paperback collecting the first six issues of Jonah Hex is slated for September.

* DiDio said that Mystery in Space, an eight-issue mini-series featuring a new Captain Comet by Jim Starlin and Shane Davis, will spin out of 52. Davis called it a "crime-noir space mystery."

Starlin will be providing The Weird as a back-up.

* The Omega Men is a six-issue series by Anderson Gabrych and Henry Flint that starts in October. It spints out of events from Rann-Thanagar War and 52, as the team fights the Spider Guild from amassing a new source of power that could threaten the universe.

* Andy Kubert said that the "Son of Batman" story that he and Grant Morrison are working on in Batman is tied to the Son of the Demon graphic novel written by Mike W. Barr. He added that he is doing a new cover for a reprint of Son of the Demon.

* DiDio said he calls Martian Manhunter "Martian American" and that he might find out he's not the last Martian.

* DiDio reiterated that original plans were for Nightwing to die in Infinite Crisis and that the character will be changing in his own title.

* Adam Kubert said he's penciled his first issue of Action Comics, but DC is still not revealing who is writing the book.

* Asked if there was a plan for Superboy-Prime, DiDio said, "Yeah, there's a plan."

* DiDio said the Earth-2 characters' legacy is Power Girl, which makes her unique from Supergirl.

* DiDio said he likes the Milestone characters such as Static, but contractual difficulties have presented any more Milestone comics.

* Asked when readers might see Roy Harper, DiDio said, "Soon." Hawk and Dove are a different story, though, and DiDio said he hasn't gotten to them yet.

* DiDio said he's talking to Steve Gerber about a project.

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