DC Entertainment has revealed its plans for the DC Universe: Rebirth relaunch at a special event held at WonderCon in the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend -plans that include work by several British creators, including Dan Abnett, Bryan Hitch, Simon Oliver and Liam Sharp.
First announced last month, DC Comics will hit the refresh button on its entire slate in late May, with the line-wide “Rebirth” relaunch, which aims to bring back some beloved elements of the DC Universe that have fallen to the wayside over the years, while still pushing things forward.
More than 500 fans jammed into the hall for the announcement, which was also streamed live on the DC Entertainment YouTube channel to a worldwide audience online.
Hosted by DC All Access co-host Tiffany Smith, a mix of DCE executives were on hand to give fans the lowdown on this brand new universe, along with a stellar lineup of writers and artists for the first wave of titles launching in June.
DCE Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee greeted the audience with an overview of the major motivation and themes behind the Rebirth initiative; building on the accomplishments and fan appeal of The New 52 relaunch of 2011 and returning to the essence of the stories and characters that have made the DC Comics imprint a favourite of fans for the last 80 years.
“The comics are the source material for what you’re seeing in other media,” commented Jim Lee. “We’ve got to keep that vibrant and exciting, and that’s what Rebirth is about.”
Comic Book Resources has a full rundown of the new books here, (and search for #dcrebirth on Bleeding Cool for more) but in terms of British talent involved, one writer on board – a longtime contributor to the DC Universe – is Dan Abnett, writing Aquaman, drawn by Brad Walker – a book he’s already working on – and Titans, drawn by Brett Booth.
The goal of Aquaman, says Dan is that the title character wants to “proactively make himself whole.
“One of the things he wants to do is make Atlantis a nation of the world — stop making it secret and hidden away. Atlantis isn’t very willing,” and the surface world isn’t too eager, either.
Also involved are Bryan Hitch writing, not drawing Justice League – and Batgirl and the Birds of Prey will be drawn by talented artist Claire Roe, who downthetubes readers will recall worked on the Scottish independent super hero title, Saltire. (downthetubes contributor Colin Noble has a smashing Supergirl sketch by Claire on his onw blog here).
“I’m super excited,” she tweeted, as congratulations on the commission flooded in.
Simon Oliver, currently writing Last Gang in Town for Vertigo (drawn by Rufus Dayglo, with covers from Rob Davis – check it out!) was announced as the writer on The Hellblazer, to be drawn by Moritat, which will launch in August.
Drawing Wonder Woman will be an artist I was first privileged to work with (as I did Dan and Bryan) at Marvel UK – Liam Sharp.
“Dan Didio, Jim Lee, and Geoff Johns care – a lot!” says comic artist Liam Sharp of the latest DC relaunch, who will be drawing the new look Wonder Woman. “As does everybody I know at DC.”
“They love comics, they love DC, and they know they have made mistakes and have gotten things wrong – which is inevitable, really, given the vast juggernaut they helm. They, as we, are far from perfect. But the passion they shared, their intent, and what they want to achieve – that’s all real. You can’t fake it… The teams they brought together are people they trust, talent they love.
“… Where we go from here only time will tell, but I thought I should share what I witnessed, because I think sometimes we get way too far removed from the ‘humans’ behind the corporations, and never get a sense of their true identity, and passion and love for our chosen medium.
“We’re going to get back to all the usual noise and negativity soon enough, but my aim is to enjoy this as much as I possibly can. I believe in the Wonder Woman title I’m delighted to be drawing. I’m having the best time. And I’m very proud to have been a part of this Rebirth.”
DC Universe: Rebirth will launch on 25th May 2with an 80-page one-shot written by DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, and illustrated by multiple high-profile artists that include Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez and Ethan Van Sciver.
Comic Book Resources reports Johns said at the launch event that some characters will return — and, “There might be a death of a character. There might be the biggest secret in the DC Universe ever.”
“Ever,” DiDio punctuated.
DC Universe Rebirth: Highlights
• All-Star Batman written by Scott Snyder, various artists including John Romita Jr., Tula Lotay and Afua Richardson
• Batman written by Tom King, art by David Finch
• Detective Comics written by James Tynion IV
• Nightwing written by Tim Seeley, art by Javi Fernandez and Marcus To
• Batgirl written by Hope Larson, art by Rafael Albuquerque
• Batgirl and the Birds of Prey written by Julie Benson & Shawna Benson, art by Claire Roe
• Action Comics written by Dan Jurgens. Artists Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham and Stephen Segovia will join Jurgens on the twice-monthly title
• New Superman written by Gene Luen Yang
• Supergirl written by Steve Orlando
More Superman family creative teams were also announced. Debuting in September will be Trinity, written by Francis Manapul and drawn by Manapul and Clay Mann. Superwoman, starring a new character, will be written by Phil Jimenez and illustrated by Jimenez and Emanuela Lupacchino. The main Superman series will be written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, and illustrated by Gleason and Doug Mahnke.
• Super Sons – launches September
• Wonder Woman written by Greg Rucka, art by Liam Sharp
• Justice League written by Bryan Hitch, art by Tony Daniel and Fernando Pasarin
• Aquaman written by Dan Abnett, art by Brad Walker
• Cyborg written by John Semper, drawn by Will Conrad and Paul Pelletier
• The Flash written by Joshua Williamson
• Green Lanterns written by Sam Humphries
Geoff Johns will co-write the Green Lantern: Rebirth one-shot with Humphries, illustrated by Van Sciver
• Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps written by Robert Venditti
• Titans written by Dan Abnett, art by Brett Booth
• Harley Quinn written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
• Suicide Squad art by Philip Tan
• You can catch up on all the news and see the Rebirth press conference in its entirety on the DC Entertainment YouTube channel