DC Publishers Talk New 52 Costume Redesigns, Chip Kidd Batman, Earth One [NYCC]
DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee joined moderator and Senior VP Sales Bob Wayne for the DC "Meet the Co-Publishers" panel, which discussed dates for more Earth One books, a new Batman graphic novel from Chip Kidd, information on the New 52 costume redesign process and DiDio's personal connection to Oracle, and more.A new Batman book titled Batman: Death by Design is on the way from designer and writer Chip Kidd (Bat-Manga) for summer 2012, with art by Dave Taylor. DiDio pointed out that Kidd has also done a great deal of work on logo and design elements for may DC properties, from 52 to the All-Star line.
The Geoff Johns and Gary Frank standalone graphic novel Batman: Earth One got a summer 2012 release date, while J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis's Superman: Earth One Vol. 2 was projected for fall of next year.
Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's long-awaited Spaceman is coming out on October 26th, and will be priced at $.99 digitally and $1 in print. The reason for this difference is that digital price points have to be in 99-cent increments, and Diamond requires a comic be a dollar to appear on the sales charts. Jim Lee stated that the book was for fans of Flashpoint: Batman, 100 Bullets and "fans of space."
As would be expected, DiDio delved into the New 52 relaunch, which he said kicked off in the DC summit after last year's New York Comic Con when he knew "something was broken and needed to be fixed." He said that while the existing costumes worked, they felt they needed to become more contemporary. DiDio pointed out King Shark as an example, whom Lee had felt looked far too much like Green Lantern villain the Shark until his revamped hammerhead shark look in the new Suicide Squad.
With regards to the Harley Quinn redesign, Lee said that they wanted to change the character's style to match the tone of the book, as well was the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games. With regards to Nightwing, DiDio described how the original design had the red logo and it was later changed to blue, and right before the cover left the office, the editorial team came to DiDio with two variants -- one blue, one red -- and they eventually decided on the red version, which DiDio said was "more dynamic."
When about how Barbara Gordon's de-paralysis demonstrates DC's commitment to diversity during the audience Q&A, DiDio stated that this was a long-standing discussion at DC, and that Barbara Gordon as Batgirl is the most recognizable and effective version of the character, alongside stating that his own sister is in a wheelchair and an inspiration to him, so it was a personal issue for himself as well.
Questioned about Secret Six, the fan-favorite Gail Simone book that did not get a new #1 in the new 52, DiDio said that "Suicide Squad is filling that need," and that will be where DC's focus resides. Lee added that the spirit of the New 52 was to go forward and narrow the line to the most "iconic and important" characters, and that if the creators continue to look back and draw from the past, that is against the spirit of the initiative.