DC’s co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee shared a great deal of announcements at this morning’s DC All Access panel at WonderCon.
ZOOM & INK
Leading the discussion was their new imprints, Zoom and Ink, which are aimed at the middle grade and YA markets respectively. “It’s been a long time coming,” said Bobbie Chase, executive VP and editor for the imprints. “We’ve been working on this since 2012.” She gave credit to the success of the DC Super Hero Girls for paving the way for the imprints. “It’s going to be the cornerstone for this line.”
Ink’s premiere title will be Breaking Glass, featuring a re-imagined Harley Quinn as the lead character, written by Mariko Tamaki. “She is the little red riding hood to Gotham,” said Tamaki. “She eventually gets adopted by a house of drag queens. Her neighborhood is taken over by a corporation and Harley has to figure out how to deal with that.” It appears this model of taking pre-existing material and reimagining them for a younger audience is going to be the backbone of these imprints, both of which are looking at a Spring 2019 launch.
Tagged as Jim Lee’s “passion project,” the recently unveiled Black Label imprint is to center around darker, grittier narratives. Jim Lee said that Black Label’s stories will not worry about “how it connects to continuity.”
Mark Doyle, newly appointed executive editor of both Vertigo and Black Label, says the first title to launch under the new imprint will be Batman Damned. It will be a horror story that shows Gotham City at its “grimiest.” “It’s a bad place for Batman to be.”
Another title to launch under Black Label is a retelling of the Amazonian’s history from their own perspective. Kelly Sue DeConnick is to write and Phil Jimenez is to illustrate it.
Comic legend Frank Miller is set to do five projects with DC’s new imprint, the first of which to focus on Superman. “I don’t mean to upset the applecart too seriously, but it will be new,” said Miller.
DC’s Vertigo will soon see the return of Neil Gaiman’sSandman story in Sandman Universe, a new series that will feature four titles. The first to release will be House of Whispers, written by Nalo Hopkinson and set in New Orleans. It will kickoff the Sandman Universe and release this August.
Mad Magazine will see a reboot this April. Aside from a new logo, Bill Morrison was announced as the new editor last month, taking the place of longtime John Ficarra. The talents of Sergio Aragonés and other artists will spearhead the relaunch.
Finally, the Dan DiDio revealed the upcoming plans for the DC Universe. “Some of you are here for our DC Universe. After all, it’s the heart and soul of what we do,” said Didio. In the first week in May, a week before Free Comic Book Day, DC Nation #0 is to set up the new DCU. From there, we are to see three Justice League titles, Justice League: No Justice which is a miniseries, return of Justice League Dark, and Justice League Odyssey, all which will begin with the end of the Metal series. “I was so concerned with what we were doing in the Metal series,” said writer Scott Snyder, “but I was happy to see all the positive feedback from it.”
In the title Justice League Dark, we will see Wonder Woman lead the likes of Detective Chimp, Manbat, and Swamp Thing. Snyder said that the group will have to fight the largest magical war ever, due to the events at the end of Metal.
Most exciting is that now only will we see a return of the Hall of Justice, to which all the super heroes and their worlds will be connected to in some manner, but we will also see the return of the Legion of Doom! It’s unknown as of yet who will comprise the evil organization.
To end the all access DiDio also releaved that April 18th, the 1000th issue of Action is set to come out. “It’s important to us and our history,” said DiDio referencing DC. It will feature a cover by Jim Lee himself.
From everything DC announced, the largest takeaway is that they want to show the reading public that they will have something for everyone. Best summed up by Jim Lee’s parting words, “Here’s an imprint for you, and you, and you!” They hope this broader reach into the market will, as they put it, “bring new readers into the fold… coming at you every which way.”
Nicholas Eskey is an avid reader and writer. When not contributing to The Beat, he works on his personal projects, the latest being a fantasy novel called “My Personable Demon.” He lives in San Diego, California, and is frequently bossed around by his cat.