For answers to the many questions Rebirth leaves the fans with, we headed to “Meet The Publishers” panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday afternoon.
The packed room full of Damian Waynes, Reys and our favorite, an older gentleman dressed as Wonder Woman, munching on some Kettle Korn.
DC Entertainment’s co-publishers, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee opened with the usual jokes and self-congratulation for the Rebirth line. Among the tidbits mentioned during the presentation:
- Dan admitted that last year’s lukewarm NYCC panel reaction was partly the catalyst for the line wide Rebirth change.
- Respect for legacy and character relationships were two of the other main reasons for the change.
- 14 million Rebirth books have shipped, and the numbers were strong for Wave 1.
- Lee addressed the upcoming crossover Justice League vs Suicide Squad from Joshua Williamson and Jason Fabok. (Ships 12/21), promising two opposing teams will make for compelling storytelling. Perhaps this is a response to Avengers vs X-Men?
- DiDio recognizes from recent TV and movie successes that a ‘shared universe’ is the way to go to keep fans engaged.
- This seems to be the DC Comics company line going forward (at least for now).
- Lee took over for news related to Wonder Woman 75. The USPS will be releasing some special edition stamps to commemorate as well as an electrified response to the Wonder Woman movie next year. ” Wonder Woman is still a beacon of hope and justice and we are honored to be celebrating her 75th Birthday”.
- DiDio previewed the upcoming Kamandi and another celebration next year, Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th. The forthcoming 12-part Kamandi Challenge with an all-star lineup of creators that include Neal Adams, Ivan Reis, Bruce Timm, Greg Pak and more.
- Warren Ellis is bringing back The Wildstorm universe with Lee. He is reimagining WS with an eye toward the future and a huge overarching first arc.
- John Davis Hunt (The Clean Room, Vertigo) is on art with the new ‘popup imprint’ for Wildstorm in February.
- Gerard Way (DC’s Young Animal imprint with Doom Patrol) tried to stump DiDio with a rare DC character, Cave Carson, to no avail. New books like Shade the Changing Girl will expand the Young Animal line into next year that are more experimental takes on Vertigo and DC properties. Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye from Way ships 10/19 with Michael Avon Oeming (Powers) on art. Mother Panic is another Young Animal book that will exist in the Batman corner of YA.
- The American Way from screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, American Crime) with art by Georges Jeanty tackles race and superheroes in a new Vertigo series that serves as a sequel to the previously released graphic novel.
- Mad Magazine ships an hilarious Goodnight Batcave parody on 11/2.
- Amanda Conner takes on The Jetsons next year! Someone stop this crazy thing! The Hanna-Barbera comics have been causing quite a stir, especially the subversive Flintstones!
- Free to retailers, the upcoming DC trade previews ‘Direct Currents’ will be used as a selling tool to fans for solicits, preview pages and Rebirth Wave 2 news and issue #1 could spotlight the upcoming Batwoman title.
- For Q&A, Rebirth took center stage. Double-shipping is helping DiDio manage the traffic and scheduling. With more manpower making the pages, quality becomes a priority. One wonders how many books Kirby could crank out at this schedule!
- Milestone Universe talks are in the works with Reggie Hudlin (BET), nothing is final, but Jim Lee says that this could be possible as soon as next year as another popup imprint. Milestone Comics will be set apart from the DCU and set on Earth M.
- Shazam! will return soon, he maintains his spot in Rebirth as an important character in the overall story, DiDio promises.
- The push for diversity in Vertigo and Young Animal, as well as a priority for Jim and Dan as publishers. For DC Talent Development, Bobbie Chase is curating a diverse broad spectrum of talent, Lee states.
- Someone asked about Watchmen‘s relationship with Rebirth, but DiDio and Lee remained predictably tight-lipped.
- Huntress’ ethnicity came into question and DiDio revealed she is at least part Sicilian-American, possibly she has more diverse lineage beyond that and only time will tell.
- Super Sons, by Peter Tomasi will finally shipping in February for fans of Superboy and our newest Robin in Rebirth Wave 2.
- Generally, fans were excited about Rebirth and the new directions of the company post-New 52 and are looking forward to the DC Comics 2017 offerings.