DC Comics went big for their first panel of New York Comic Con 2018. Co-Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee sat down with fans to discuss the state of the DC Universe and provided a peek behind the veil at the future of publishing, television and more.
Things kicked off with a promo video for DC Universe Online, DC’s new streaming service platform that debuted earlier last month.
Didio and Lee took the stage once the video ended and asked the crowd if they were all aware of the new streaming service and that launched into a discussion of the new live-action Titans series, premiering October 12.
Two episodes of Titans were shown at a special ticketed New York Comic Con event last night and thus far the reviews from fans and critics are largely positive. Didio was particularly excited about Hawk and Dove’s costumes.
Lee gushed over Swamp Thing and the creature’s costume, saying it looked “amazing” and “straight out of the comics”. He was also very excited for Young Justice: Outsidersand Harley Quinn,the two new animated series coming to DC Universe.
Geoff Johns is behind the driver’s seat for Stargirl, a new live-action series set to debut next year on DC Universe. Lee made a point to tell fans to expect great things from this series.
“They’ve nailed the very specific quirky weird feel of the series and seeing Negative Man and Robot Man was a freak out moment,” Didio on the upcoming live-action Doom Patrol series.
Referring to all the new projects coming out of DC publishing and film/TV, Didio spoke to the huge volume of content and how it forces the different creatives teams within the company to “compete with ourselves.” He fondly touched on after how good it feels to see talent such as Snyder writing Justice League, Bendis writing Superman and King writing Batman, after putting so much work into recruiting the best talent possible.
“It’s great to do the big spectacles and big events, but stories like Heroes in Crisisallows us to pull away the layers and look at what it takes to be a hero.” Didio said on taking a step away from huge events like Metal and Doomsday Clock. He continued “The hardest part of our job is to find a way to capitalize on all the great ideas our team brings to us and ensure it maximizes the potential of the DC Universe.”
Jim Lee’s told fans a big initiative at DC right now is young adult, with two new imprints for just that purpose: DC Zoom (6-12) and DC Ink (12+). DC is making a dedicated effort to reach out to fans who know of their characters through media, but don’t know the stories yet. They’ve brought in marquee names from the YA community and paired them with characters they want to tackle, with the creative freedom to make things happen.
One such example is a Vietnamese Green Lantern story, about a young person who inherits the ring and as they uncovers the secret family heirloom that’s been passed down through generations.
Speaking of Green Lantern, Didio shared the story of how they got Grant Morrison back on the payroll to write a Green Lantern story. He went out to dinner with Morrison and when the book came up, Morrison immediately spit out a pile of ideas of what they could do to move the character forward. After some initially claiming he was too busy, Morrison caved and agreed to write the book.
“It took Grant Morrison one week to put together outlines for 12 issues of The Green Lantern. Just crazy.” Didio on Morrison and Green Lantern.
Lee noted that DC celebrated the Vertigo 25th anniversary this year. They got Neil Gaiman back, who then hand selected four writers to continue to the story he left in Sandmanyears ago. The best thing about the new storylines is they don’t require people to have read the previous Sandmanbooks.
On the Vertigo book Bordertown,Lee noted that it was the first Vertigo book in 7-8 years to receive a second printing.
Last but certainly not least was the announcement of the Funko DC Primal Age action figures, a tease of late 80s, early 90s big bloated muscly action figures, with quite the backstory. DC created an entire fake backstory for these figures and characters, going as far as to hire writer Marv Wolfman, a writer of DC comics from the 80s. Marv spoke on how much fun he had creating these characters and the wild and weird original stories for them. He was able to work without constraints because they exist in a non-continuity environment.