DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, spoke with Comic Book Resources about the upcoming “Rebirth” line of DC Comics, which has been confirmed as not being a reboot like New 52 and DC You, were but as more of a readjusting to help get the stories legacies back to where they once were.
He also discusses the concern that they will start to change the comics to reflect what is going on with the films and television shows.
What has your process of working with the creative teams been like? How hands on are you in shaping these books?
I have a Writers’ Room here at DC, usually we’re breaking film or TV. So editors come in, writers come in, we sit down, we talk about “Rebirth.” What it means, what our goals are, how to build up and forward instead of tear down. I have a whole wall that’s a whiteboard, and an extensive comic library, and we talk about story, about what we love about the characters. Take “Birds of Prey” — we talk about why we first loved the Birds of Prey; why we love Dinah, Barbara and Helena. The runs we loved. The characters then and now. It begins with that. And then where it all goes next. It can’t be doing the same old thing. Or re-telling another story. It’s got to be new. “Blackest Night” was new when we had the dead rise. So what can we build on in this case? What story can only the Birds of Prey tell? And I think there’s a great one coming up.
In terms of the mechanical nuts and bolts of “Rebirth” — we’ve seen the DC Universe changed before, multiple times, from “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to “Zero Hour” to”Flashpoint.” Is the change to the DCU in “Rebirth” something literal like that?
It’s in the same vein as “Green Lantern: Rebirth” and “The Flash: Rebirth.” Some things alter and change, but it’s more character-driven, and it’s also more about revealing secrets and mysteries within the DC Universe about “Flashpoint” and The New 52 that are part of a bigger tapestry. A hidden and forbidden secret. DC has always felt mythic and sprawling. You can’t put boundaries on it or rules. It will break them. And it should. This does. It does in a big way. This is the start of a storyline that continues, not through one book, but through the entire DC Universe — something I’ll be able to talk about after the one-shot is out. Again, I know we’re keeping a lot of details under wraps — frustratingly so for a lot of people — but “DC Universe: Rebirth” #1 will answer a lot of your questions while raising a whole bunch of new ones. It will reverberate for a long, long time and we can talk more after this massive one-shot is in your hands on May 25!
From your perspective, why is “Rebirth” a necessary move right now for DC?
To build on what I’ve said before, I’ve got a lot of comics, I’ve read a lot of great stories, and one of the most compelling things about published, periodical comic books in a mainstream, comic book superhero universe, is that it’s part of a larger universe — and we’ve got a great story to tell about it. A big story.
This definitely sounds targeted at more long-time fans, more lapsed fans — what about newer or more casual readers?
If you look at “Green Lantern: Rebirth” or “The Flash: Rebirth,” absolutely it’s targeted to fans who’ve read a lot of comics. Who have as many comics as me. But at the same time, people can pick it up, and there’s enough in “Green Lantern: Rebirth” for someone to pick it up who has never read “Green Lantern” and understand what’s happening. With “DC Universe: Rebirth,” it’s the same thing. If you have, like me, long boxes of DC Comics, you will be very happy. If you’ve never read a DC comic before, you won’t be too lost. This is definitely for comic book readers more than it is for casual readers, just like “Green Lantern: Rebirth,” but that doesn’t mean it’s exclusive of them.
Read the full interview over at Comic Book Resources.