Dan Didio, DC Comics Editor in ChiefEarly in this afternoon's "DCU: A Better Tomorrow - Today" panel at the NYCC, Dan Didio threw the question to Greg Rucka, "how does [52] end?" No doubt expecting a joke in response (because who in their right mind would give away the ending to DC's big event book?), Rucka answered, "it ends exactly as it began," much to the evident displeasure of Didio, who shot back, "why don't you give away a little more, buddy?"

On that note, let's look forward to Countdown, where it was clarified today that Paul Dini is indeed the head writer of the series, and has crafted the overall story arc. It was also revealed today that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are one of the writing teams. Sean McKeever is also coming aboard as a member of the Countdown team, despite the fact that, in Didio's words, "at dinner last night, [Sean] demonstrated his complete lack of knowledge of the DC Universe." Much sport was made at McKeever's expense throughout the panel and, good sport that he is, he jokingly and self-deprecatingly played up the gaps in his knowledge.

Didio asked his fellow panelists which DC characters they'd most like to get their hands on which they haven't yet, provoking some unexpected responses. Gail Simone responded with the Marvel family, McKeever, demonstrating at least minimal knowledge of the DCU, replied with Batman, Palmiotti with Haunted Tank, Dini with Blackhawk, and Rucka with Mademoiselle Marie ... to which Palmiotti cheekily suggested a Haunted Tank / Mademoiselle Marie team-up.

Since Haunted Tank / Mademoiselle Marie sounds like something which would spring from the fevered imagination of Grant Morrison, I'm reminded that, in response to a question from the audience, Didio revealed that yes, Grant Morrison will be returning to his 7 Soldiers characters, saying "he's been busy with 52, but he wants to do more and we're just waiting for his schedule to free up."

For the answer to another audience question near the end of the panel and, coincidentally, also the answer to the "who in their right mind would give away the ending to DC's big event book?" question which I posed earlier, check out Dooley's post on the matter from earlier this afternoon (if you haven't already).