While sketching on panel at C2E2 last weekend, DC Publisher Jim Lee asked the crowd 'heard any good rumours lately?' He was initially talking about rumours launched after the departure from DC of publisher Dan DiDio by the likes of Ethan Van Sciver, that AT&T was planning to shutter DC Comics publishing if their upcoming Bleeding Cool-rumoured 5G/Generation Five plans were not a rip-roaring success. Jim Lee did similar pushback when Rob Liefeld predicted the same last year. Well, that seems to be a repeating role. Bleeding Cool pushed back on that from our own sources this year, and Jim Lee seemed to echo what we'd been reporting.
He told the crowd that "DC has been around for 85 years and will be around for another 85 years… We're a huge important part of Warner Bros, we've been with Warner Bros for decades, when you look at DC, the strategy of DC is to put publishing at the centre of everything we do, it's the source material that drives the media engine, all these movies and TV shows and video games and merchandise and all that kind of stuff. They see the value we bring to the greater whole."
He also stated that it was his "intent going forward as the publisher to lean into the collective years of experience that are my team", namechecking the likes of Hank Kanalz, Bob Harras, Courtney Simmons and Jake Hogan saying that "the collective years of experience we have is probably between 120 and 150 years at this point, The company's in really great hands. We have amazing things planned for you guys."
But as to those 5G/Generation Five rumours that Bleeding Cool has been running since last summer, that have somewhat hit the skids of late after DiDio's departure?
Well, Jim Lee brought this up, saying that it's "hard to talk about what we haven't officially announced but I realise we have teased somethings out… our intent is not to do a line-wide reboot that ages up characters and kinda shuffles them off to the side, our focus is to continue what we've done best, which is to really create character-driven stories, pairing the right creators on the right characters, organically developing a universe that is inclusive, diverse and can tell amazing stories that you guys love."
Emphasis ours. Just so you know that was most definitely DC's original plan, pretty much. Not a reboot but a relaunch. And not so much shuffling them off to the side as not having the lead in the regular monthly books they traditionally held – but having other comic books tell their stories in different formats. And this was confirmed from multiple creators, editorial staff, distributors and retailers who had been sounded out over the past year.
But things are changing. And since C2E2, I've been working on an article that might show how… should have it together for tomorrow. Something to look forward to on a Friday.