Meanwhile, back at the box office, GREEN LANTERN debuted at #1 with $52.6 million, less than THOR and even X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. As the Times put it: “An all-hands-on-deck effort by Warner Brothers to turn “Green Lantern” into a box office superpower fizzled over the weekend.” With a budget of a reported $300 million, dreadful reviews and a big Friday-to-Saturday drop-off, GL’s task as the advance guard for a new generation of movies based on DC characters has been made much more difficult.
[Earlier today we ran an essay by longtime Beat contributor Mark Coale on The DC Flashpoint Reboot. In it he stated he was going to stop reading DC entirely. In the interests of fairness, we reached out to find readers who are excited about the changes. We've gotten several great responses and we'll run them over the next day or so. And yes we'll get back to non-DC news very very soon!}
Why is it that the biggest news always happens right after a holiday weekend? 18 months ago, it was Disney buying Marvel after Labor Day; this time, it’s the biggest editorial readjustment at a superhero comics company EVER: DC’s just announced plan to launch 52 new #1 issues in September, with changed or adjusted characters, costumes and and origins. Here’s what you need to know, the confirmed and the speculation.
First, what we know: The whole new line up will be announced on Monday, June 13th, when the Previews for that month is released. Until then, expect to see breaking news in national news outlets and on The Source.
The complete image of the new Johns-Lee rebooted JLA has surfaced (apparently at IGN) and it’s clear that we have a “Big Seven” of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Most of the new costumes involved higher collars. Superman has a new logo and no trunks over his tights. There are lots of other details, but when we mentioned earlier that these characters looked about the same we meant it — these are tweaks on the traditional (Super Friends, licensing) looks for these characters, not huge changes.
From around the Twitterverse, an array of reactions to DC’s news that they are reboot their line in September and going to simultaneous digital release. New comics universes are a dime a dozen, but the digital news is really a game changer — it’s hard not to see every other publishers following suit quickly.
The next big announcement for this move would seem to be June 11, when Jim Lee and Geoff Johns are expected to “drop bombshells” at the Hero Complex Film Festival. Although HeroesCon, one of the bigger shows on the circuit, is this weekend, there are no official DC panels so no big announcements. Executive Editor Eddie Berganza is attending however, so catch him on the bar and hope he didn’t sign an NDA.
Traditionally, digital comics have been to comics retailers what kryptonite was to Superman — something to be feared and avoided. And DC’s Bob Wayne has been in the forefront of keeping retailers happy, to the point of shutting down many initiatives over the years that might have ruffled their feathers and caused them to order fewer DC Comics.
After a few weeks of buzz and speculation — or merely simple detective work based on the very final sounding August DC solicits — it’s been announced:DC is revamping its entire line this September with new versions of classic characters and 50 new #1 titles, USA Today reports.
Tweet Clark, we are not in Metropolis anymore. In the continuing evolution of DC Entertainment into a pillar of the Warner Brothers library, Amit Desai has just been named to the new position of Senior Vice President, Franchise Management — which means he’ll “develop and implement the individual franchise plans for Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, […]
Continuing DC’s rollout of promotions and restructuring, Mark Chiarello, the mastermind behind WEDNESDAY COMICS and many other much-admired projects over the years such as BATMAN: BLACK AND WHITE, has been promoted to VP Art Direction & Design. Chiarello had been overseeing most of DC’s art-related output for some time, and the appointment consolidates functions which had been under several positions that were eliminated in the restructuring.
Via the Source, DC Editor-in-chief Bob Harras has announced the new structure of the DCU, with long time editor Eddie Berganza getting promoted from group editor to Executive Editor. Group Editors Matt Idelson and Mike Marts will oversee the Superman and Batman groups, respectively, while Ian Sattler has been promoted to Director–Editorial, Special Projects & Archival Editions. The post doesn’t go into details of what that will cover, but since Harras left running the recently downsized reprint department, it sounds like Sattler will be taking that over. The editorial team is rounded out by Vertigo’s Karen Berger and MAD’s John Ficarra– it isn’t clear if they are reporting to Harras or not, nut in any event they will be working closely.
In all the massive changes taking place at DC of late, the fate of the Vertigo imprint has caused much speculation and fretting. The staff has been slashed, output has been slowed, and what the future focus will be has not been publicly revealed. This comes, ironically enough, at the very time that plans long hatched for Vertigo to become more of a graphic novel imprint are finally being published. Chris Mautner takes a look at several recent GN offerings, which include work by novelists Stephen King, Peter Straub, Denise Mina, and Mat Johnson, as well as more typical comics types like Matt Kindt, Sarah Glidden and Dean Haspiel. There are hits and misses but this is really a pretty lively line-up for any publisher, let alone one that is being completely rebranded.
Nothing really, business as usual.
Seriously, there is a lot of change going on — although DC Comics is staying in New York, a lot of people are either leaving their jobs or being faced with a move to another coast. We’re not going to run all 80 — or however many it is — names, but some departments are newsworthy enough to be reported on.
As part of DC’s ongoing reorganization, three editorial personnel have been laid off from the Vertigo imprint: Pornsak Pichetshote, Jonathan Vankin, and Joan Hilty, The Beat has learned. All three are Vertigo veterans. Pichetshote was responsible for the recent hit THE UNWRITTEN, while Hilty and Vankin had mostly worked in acquiring graphic novels, including fall releases, CUBA and HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS.