No, no – you’re not missing a convention this weekend.
This weekend is DC’s RRP meeting, a semi-regular meeting between DC and a focus group of direct market retailers. While the bulk of the meetings are taken up with more…retailer-y
concerns, the publisher also takes the opportunity to present a look at some of its upcoming editorial plans.
And that’s just what they’re doing.
First up…something called DC Universe #0
, which began its “life” as something else altogether. Just prior to DC’s RRP meetings, we spoke with DC Universe Executive Editor Dan DiDio and co-writer Geoff Johns about the many forms this particular issue has taken – and how its final version, which hits in May, was finally decided upon.
: Dan, as you mentioned – but didn’t name it - when we spoke at the end of last year
, this is a bridge issue that fits in between Countdown to Final Crisis #1
and Final Crisis #1
: Originally, we were
going to do Countdown to Final Crisis #0
- that’s what Countdown
has been counting down to: 51 to 0 – 52 issues in total, a year’s worth of work. Ultimately though, what happened was that when we were looking at how #0 was being created, we realized that in collecting Countdown to Final Crisis
, it would be hard to collect the #0 issue, because it would leave us on a cliffhanger at the end of the book. We felt that probably wasn’t the best way to end a book, so we decided to end all the Countdown
stories with #1, and therefore make the #0 issue separate. That’s when it became Final Crisis #0
Then, Grant was involved in the writing of Final Crisis #0
of course, and Grant wanted Geoff to co-write it with him. But as we were building the book, we realized that the story wasn’t contained to the stories that were flowing into Final Crisis
, involving New Gods and Monitors, but really touched upon so many major events going on throughout the DCU including: more hints to the Black Lanterns story, what’s coming up in the Batman storylines, Superman’s upcoming stories and Wonder Woman as well. Because it started to expand outside of Final Crisis
, we repositioned the book one more time, and now it’s called DC Universe #0
And since this is becoming more of a springboard to all
of the DC Universe in 2008, we wanted to make this much more accessible to all of our fans and separate it out from Final Crisis
so it can really stand alone on its own feet. As such, it’s going to sell for 50 cents – 24 pages by Grant and Geoff, with art by a wide variety of folks including Ivan Reis, Carlos Pacheco, Tony Daniel, George Perez and Aaron Lopresti.
: So it’s a quick “calm before the storm” type of thing, a snapsot of the DC Universe with hints to where things are headed before it all goes to hell in Final Crisis
: Absolutely. And there’s a special narrator in it that we’re not going to reveal until it comes out, but it’s something that I think helps to propel the excitement of the DC Universe, and the vision we all share in moving forward.
: Geoff – over to you – how would you describe the issue?
: I really think #0’s going to have a strong tone and set the stage for where we’re going to take the DC Universe. For me, #0 is the next phase, and a really damn good one.
We worked really hard to design it as an entry point to the DC Universe for anybody. Even though we’ve got complexities and histories and tons of characters, DC Universe #0
is really an entry point for everybody. We’re trying to make it a place for current readers and older readers who maybe haven’t read comics in a while or readers new to the DC Universe – the book is designed as a springboard for all of this coming stuff. It gives a sense of where the characters are going, who they are, and what their journeys are going to be. And it’s drawn by some of the best guys in the business.
For me, #0 is putting the stake in the ground and saying, “Okay, we move forward from here.”
And I have to add that it’s really great to be back in the thick of it like this. Grant and I have been out of the center of it all for a while, and it’s really exciting to get back into the center. 52
was unconnected to other things, and after that, we took a year off from that kind of stuff, have done our own books, but now it’s all about getting back into the mix – into the center of it all again.
: Dan, just to clarify one last point, in looking at it as a bridge, it’s more a thematic on between Countdown
and Final Crisis
rather than literal, that is the story of Countdown
ends with its respective #1, and the story of Final Crisis
then begins with its respective #1, correct?
: Correct. But again, it’s a little broader than just that – while it does lay things out for Final Crisis
, it also gives you the tone for the DC Universe in 2008, and sets up key storylines for a number of our major characters.
: Let’s talk about the larger picture – you mentioned that there will be a limited number of other connected issues…but can you give the view of the DCU publishing plan from 50,000 feet for the year?
: Sure – you’ve got Final Crisis
running, you’ll have “Batman: R.I.P. in Batman
, along with another major and separate storyline in Detective
. There will be a major storyline building off of the Brainiac image that we’ve been showcasing around, feeding into the Superman stories which will feed into an important turning point in Superman’s life before the year is out. There’s also a big, epic-style Wonder Woman
storyline coming from Gail this summer as well - along with the two miniseries, Rann-Thanagar: Holy War
and Reign in Hell
, and of course Trinity
As we’ve set it up, all of our key franchises are involved in major storylines in their own series, and for the bigger picture, we’ve got Final Crisis
and the miniseries. We don’t want anything lost in the shuffle, so every book has to stand on its own, and feel as important as the biggest book we have.
The DCU is back in spades.
: And what about the other ancillary material to Final Crisis
that you mentioned when we spoke at the end of last year?
: Two other miniseries - not Holy War
and Reign in Hell
. We’ll be announcing those a little later on – those are two minis that both start in August, and then, we have a Final Crisis
skip month in September where we have anywhere from two to four specials tying in to Final Crisis
’ story, and then Final Crisis
comes to a conclusion at the end of this year.
Newsarama Note: DiDio also announced Family Dynamic, a new project written by J. Torres. Look for more coming later, or early next week.