Some major bombshells were dropped at the Publishers Panel hosted by DC Comics at Wonder Con in Anaheim, California. With the panel emceed by publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio, we learned a ton about DC's new imprints: Ink, Zoom, and Black Label as well as what books we'll be seeing for each one with both writers and editors appearing on stage and in short video clips.
In addition, there was a segement of the upcoming Sandman Universe comics arriving under Vertigo's banner, the announcement of MAD Magazine's rebbot under executive editor Bill Morrison, and Scott Snyder's spoiler-filled rundown on all the new Justice League titles. All in all, it was a very informative panel with tons of exciting news and insights from the publisher's golden content creators. For your convenience, here are the top 5 takeaways we learned from the event.
1. The Ink and Zoom imprints are being pushed to April 2019:
Ink and Zoom were going to be rolled out at the end of 2018, but in order to really get them right, DC is pushing them back to April 2019. This was revealed when editor Bobby Chase and writer Mariko Tamaki were onstage. Tamaki's Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass will launch Ink, which, along with Zoom, was described as books for younger readers who enjoy manga and graphic novels. Harley's book finds Joker's eventual paramour being raised in a house of drag queens. Tamaki said the story is party inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and voiced that Harley's such an interesting character to write for because while she's a villain, she's also totally loveable. Other books under these imprints will focus on younger versions of Bruce Waye, Selina Kyle, and the Joker. DC Super Hero Girls: Search for Atlantis by Shea Fontana and Yancey Labat will kick off the Zoom imprint.
2. Miss Martian returning to Titans:
3. A TV writer is taking over Teen Titans:
4. MAD Magazine's new logo and (polybagged) cover:
"What, me worry?" There's no need to worry anymore because MAD Magazine (and its grinning mascot Alfred E. Neuman) is making a comeback under DC with a major reboot of the publication. As one of the guests, the magazine's editor Bill Morrison showed off the "new first" issue and a revamped logo, launching April 17. The logo itself was actually inspired by the one drawn by artist Harvey Kurtzman for the magazine's comic book issues during the early days at MAD. "We're creating something new and fresh, but we're also going back to our roots," said Morrison. The panel also brought up legendary MAD cartoonist Sergio Aragonés, who, in all of his 56 years with the magazine, only ever missed one issue.
5. Sandman Universe's imprint title began as an internal moniker:
There was an extensive portion of the panel devoted to the upcoming Sandman Universe books, which will created a shared universe of Neil Gaiman's iconic graphic novel series from the 1990s. According to the executive editor of Vertigo (and DC's new Black Label), Mark Doyle, the name "Sandman Universe" started out as the internal title the creative teamed used for the project. However, they soon realized it was the only logical title, particularly after they ran it by Gaiman who loved it.
One of the writers, Nalo Hopkinson, was brought onstage to discuss her contribution to the universe, House of Whispers, which is set in New Orleans. What she loved about being able to join this initiative was taking what she loved about the original Sandman stories and exploring/amplifying them further. Newcomers to this world may be shocked to find that one of its characters, Timothy Hunter, is a young wizard who wears glasses, has a prophecy made about him, and is hunted by some bad people. While he predates Harry Potter, lovers of J.K. Rowling's wizarding world may have their entire worldview thrown into chaos.
Sandman Universe kicks off with a special one-shot comic this August. Take a look at three of the pages from House of Whispers that were teased during the panel: