DC Comics rebooted their entire line of comics in September 2011 with the New 52. Lately, they've been teasing a Rebirth. The word has been used a few times for titles that returned certain characters to their true core such as Green Lantern and The Flash. With a Rebirth for the entire publishing line, DC is looking to bring some changes and add more excitement to their titles without doing another reboot. Fans have been wondering and speculating what this all means.
Here's what DC Comics Co-Publisher, Dan DiDio, told us back in February.
WonderCon takes place in Los Angeles on March 25-27. DC Comics will finally unleash all their plans and reveal what Rebirth really means. The panel will be livestreamed in order to reach those that are unable to attend. We talked to DiDio to find out about the livestream process and to get an idea how this will change all their titles.
Comic Vine: Where did the decision to do live streams at comic conventions come from?
Dan DiDio: You know, I thought about that for a while. To be honest with you, we were having a lot of fun discussing how we wanted to roll this out and what we really wanted to get the information out there in front of as many people as possible. It's great to do things at a convention. You get that feedback from a live audience, but that could be anywhere from 500 to 1000 people. This is a much bigger message. We want to reach as many places as possible. One of the things we wanted to do was get into the comic stores and let everyone else see what we're seeing. We want them to see how excited we are and let them get a chance to meet the talent as we roll them out.
That's one of the reasons. We love watching things like the Apple announcements. We were trying to get [DC's other co-publisher] Jim Lee to dress up in one of those Steve Jobs turtlenecks to really get that whole point across. I don't think he's going to do it…
Were there any major technical issues or concerns?
Oh yeah. We had a lot of concerns. There's a lot of logistics, naturally. We have to coordinate with the convention, and the people at WonderCon have been wonderful in working with us to make this happen. This is a first for them, as well. It's not technically a panel, but a press conference. It starts a little earlier than when the show starts. We're going to see whether or not if we can get fans to come in a little bit earlier to come sit with us and join us. For the most part, we want to make sure we're playing to the audience in front of us and also the audience watching the livestream.
Will there be any content streamed besides the Rebirth panel?
It's going to be the only thing. We have a two hour block of time, but the panel will be anywhere between an hour to an hour and a half. We have a number of our talent that is coming with us. What we're going to do is take everybody through at least all the titles associated with Rebirth. We have seventeen double ships [books coming out twice a month], and fourteen or fifteen monthly books. We'll be able to get a little snapshot of those. Naturally, the ones in June, we'll be able to get into a little bit more. We'll have more material to show you. We're going to try to touch upon every series so everybody is aware of the scope and excitement the books will contain.
Where can people see the stream?
Will the content live there afterwards for those that miss it live?
What are the biggest problems or obstacles in setting all this up?
I think one of the biggest problems is because we're working in a room that's not really built for the livestream event and how we wanted to bring people in and out. There's a lot of logistics we're looking at in regards to making sure we get a chance to present as much of the talent that's there. We have a great group of talent there, attending WonderCon, and we also flew some special guests in to really fill up the stage. We really want to give you the scope of what Rebirth is all about. The good thing is we want to make sure we're covering everything. Given the limitations of time, we're going to try to touch on every series to the best of our abilities. Some series will get a little more coverage than others. We want to make sure this stays brisk, is exciting to watch, and gives a good sense of what all of Rebirth is.
Will this be something you'll do at all shows DC has a presence at or only certain ones?
We feel with Rebirth, a lot of things we're doing here echo things we did at the launch of the New 52. We know how well that worked and how the message got out there in the broadest way possible. We're trying to do a lot of the same here with Rebirth. We are doing a couple things a little differently. There are two things that are probably most recognizably different. One is we're doing the livestream event this Saturday. The other is we're pulling ourselves out of the Previews ordering catalogue for this month. We're actually producing our own…I don't even want to call it a catalogue. It's almost more like a magazine. It really gives you a lot of excitement and has a lot of images and storytelling that's going to be coming up in Rebirth. It'll also have our normal solicitation material for the month of June.
Normally the monthly solicits would have gone out this week. Does this mean they'll go out next week?
What we're going to do is release them digitally next week. The magazine itself will end up in comic stores the first Wednesday of April. With this, what we've done is not double down but quadrupled down. We're trying to get as many copies of that Previews magazine in stores as possible. We don't just want people using it as an order form for the June books. We want it to be a checklist and a guideline for all of what Rebirth is for the remainder of the year.
What can you tell us or tease about the Rebirth announcements?
We're going to try to cover as many of the books as possible. We have a lot of great surprises in regards to the talent we're bringing there. There's one or two that are really going to capture people by surprise. That's what we hope. For the most part, you're going to get to hear from Jim, Geoff [Johns], and myself. You'll hear our take on Rebirth and how important it is to us. Also what DC Comics means to us. More importantly, what our re-commitment is to the fans, the characters, and the stories with this event and, moving forward, with our line.
We're almost handling this as a stage production. There's a lot of coordination going on with so many multiple departments. For me, one of the most exciting things to come out of this is it's really been able to pull the company together on a single theme and a single plan. This is the first time we're focusing all the energy of the entire publishing line and DC Entertainment on a single spot.
The DC Comics Rebirth panel will take place in Petree Hall C in the West Hall at WonderCon in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 26 at 9:30 am PST. If you're unable to attend, don't miss the livestream on DC Entertainment's YouTube channel.