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DC's Head Editors Weigh-in on Relaunch

DC Comics head editors; Bob Harras, Editor-in-chief, and Eddie Berganza, Senior Executive Editor; both weighed in at all of the speculation around DC's announcement of the relaunch. Both Comic Book Resources and Newsarama conducted interviews and we will break them down for you.


On important events from the characters history occurring as well as renumbering "legacy" series such as Batman and Detective Comics:


Detective Comics #1CBR: The other question I had on this front was about the #1s. These happen often in comics these days, but the big shocker here was around the legacy titles – "Action," "Superman," "Detective" and "Batman." What discussions did you have surrounding those titles? Was there a little trepidation about relaunching books that have been here for decades?


Bob Harras: There was definitely a discussion. As I said earlier, everyone here is a fan. Everyone is aware of the iconic nature of our characters and their history. So the decision was made very thoughtfully, and it's part and parcel of how important we think September and moving forward the rest of the DCU is.


Eddie Berganza: Right. Just because we're starting with new #1s doesn't mean we're getting rid of the history attached. A lot of those big, important storylines are remaining in tact. What happened in "A Death In The Family" stays true, and so does "Blackest Night," "Brightest Day," "The Killing Joke"…


Bob Harras: "Identity Crisis." Again, this is a well thought out process before we went forward.


Newsarama: We've been speaking with creators from different offices and families, and their approach seems to vary. The Batman writers seem to be going out of their way to stress how things aren’t going to be changing that much, but conversely, the Superman titles seem to be going through a radical change. Is there an over-arching editorial edict, or are the “rules” what individual editors and writers want them to be?


Bob Harras: I think there's an overarching discussion. This was a well-thought-out approach to all our characters across the line. But we also looked at events that happened in the past that we wanted to incorporate into current storylines that were going to be part and parcel into our ongoing stories. So we really did take everything very seriously and looked at big events like Blackest Night and Brightest Day, and wanted to make sure those stayed a part of our stories.


Eddie Berganza: Right. The ones that really impacted people, like Death in the Family and Killing Joke. The ones that even people outside regular comic readers know. People know something happened to Barbara Gordon, that the Joker shot her. That counts.


Bob Harras: So we looked at all these characters and really said what we're going to weave in and what we're going keep and what we're going to move forward on.


Newsarama: So to clarify, the storylines you've mention, like the Killing Joke and Death in the Family, are definitely part of history going forward?


Bob Harras: Yes, and in fact, they're even important starting points for some of the storylines we have.


Newsarama: But that doesn't mean other stories didn't happen, right?


Bob Harras: Correct.


On whether these events are definite or have an expiration date:


Batman #1Newsarama: Just to put all rumors to rest, are the stories we're seeing in September taking place on New Earth?


Eddie Berganza and Bob Harras: Yeah!


Eddie Berganza: It's not Earth Prime or any other earth. It's not Earth-One or anything.


Bob Harras: Yeah, this is the whole of our DC characters. These are the stories of Superman, Batman and all our characters. This is the story of the DC Comics cast of characters.


Newsarama: And yet there are a lot of changes. As any informed comic book fan knows, changes to iconic characters rarely “sticks.” We all remember Superman Blue and other costumes that eventually got back to iconic looks, and we've seen characters come back from the dead. Should fans even regard these changes as anything but a phase — a temporary status quo that will give way to the more familiar version?


Bob Harras: I think this time, honestly, we've taken a lot of care making sure we look at what works for each and every character. We love these characters so we've taken an extreme amount of care to look at what we want to do. I think what we've got coming is really exciting. I think people are going to be really happy with what they see in September, and I think people are going to be excited. I'm looking forward beyond that, to just hear people as they discover this amazing stuff.


Eddie Berganza: I think there's a little more reality to the approach we're doing on the costumes, so I think that will enable them to exist for a long time.


On changes between the announcements, the solicitations and what we will actually see in September:


Batgirl #1CBR: Between now and September, there's going to be a lot of speculation about what's going on with the books and what we as readers expect to get out of so many new titles. I know some people have been making hay out of the fact that between announcement and solicitation, there was a mystery woman on the cover to "Justice League International" that's been taken off. What's the challenge in playing story points to the vest while still promoting the comics to retailers and fans? Are there still some things being ironed out storywise that may create some of this dissonance?


Eddie Berganza: I'd say it's a little bit of all of the above that we're dealing with right now. There are certain things we're refining.


Bob Harras: Yeah. Moving forward, the good thing about having three months of titles in the works is that we can go "Okay, maybe we want to tweak this a little." That's one of the things we are looking at across the line. It's all part of the process of making these books the strongest they can be for September.


On the possibility of other series, including Batman Beyond, coming out later than September:


Nightwing #1CBR: So through October, November, December and into next year, can we expect some more titles to continue to build out the line?


Bob Harras: Yes! Mark that as an emphatic yes! [Laughter]


CBR: Well that leads to one question we've had on our site lately about the fate of "Batman Beyond," which Adam Beechen has said there are more plans for moving forward. Should that be on the slate soon?


Bob Harras: We will have a "Batman Beyond" series coming out later. That character and that series has been a major success for us, and it'll be on track for the future. That's part of our bigger plans moving forward.


So there you have it. While there are sure to be more interviews and discussions of what is to come this September, there are at least some questions answered about this historical event taking place at DC Comics.


Posted by Dustin Fritschel

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