Interview: Dan Didio and Jim Lee Talk DC Comics' New 52 (Video)

In September, DC will taking a bold new step: rebooting and relaunching their entire superhero line of comics, with fifty-two brand new titles. It was certainly the hot button issue of San Diego Comic-Con this year, with daily panels allowing fans to question the DC brass, visuals everywhere, and every friendly conversation turning – at some point – to armchair quarterbacking the decision.

Lucky us, then, we got to snag some one-on-one time with two of the three heads of DC Comics, Co-Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee. In the first clip, Didio gives the lay of the land, and how DC hopes to, “make comics the leader in the pop-entertainment business.” For Lee, he addresses one of the big questions inherent in the relaunch: why 52 books at the same time?

SDCC 2011: Dan DiDio And Jim Lee Talk 'The New 52'

Crazily enough, releasing 52 new comics and relaunching the entire line wasn’t even the biggest news out of DC. As of August 31st, the official launch of DC’s new universe, they’ll also be releasing every single one of the titles the same day digitally, and in print. For those of you not steeping in the comic book industry, other publishers have attempted this before, but not on a massive scale, and definitely not the Big Two of Marvel and DC. This is a seismic shift, potentially, in how comic books are read and sold… Which is why Lee and Didio spent time talking to retailers. As Lee says, “we want to grow the business; we’re not just here to turn print readers into digital readers:”

SDCC 2011: Dan DiDio And Jim Lee On Digital Day And Date

Okay, so that’s the big news out of the way… But that doesn’t address one of the biggest concerns the fans have going into this relaunch: what’s going on with pants? Or more specifically, why doesn’t Superman wear his underwear on the outside anymore, and why is Harley Quinn missing about 2/3rds of her costume, and why is Batman in a swimsuit? Okay, last one might not be true, but Lee – who co-designed all the new costumes – addresses the tempest in a t-shirt:

SDCC 2011: Dan DiDio And Jim Lee On Costume Controversies

One other large concern fans have had is, what’s going on with DC’s non-superhero titles, at publishers like boutique house Vertigo, and parallel superhero universe Wildstorm. Well, as we’ve already seen, Wildstorm has been shut down, and some of the characters integrated into the DCU. As for Vertigo? Didio promises that there will be a lot of focus on the publisher in the first quarter of next year, particularly when it comes to Day and Date Digital:

SDCC 2011: Dan DiDio And Jim Lee On Wildstorm And Vertigo

And lastly, just in case you haven’t gotten enough of the pants controversy, Didio and Lee took it on one more time. And according to Lee, we can all relax as, “There is no pants policy at DC Comics.” Oh yeah, Jim? Then why aren’t YOU wearing pants in the video??? [NOTE: He may actually be wearing pants in the video.]

SDCC 2011: Dan DiDio And Jim Lee Talks Pants!

DC’s new line kicks off with Justice League #1, available at special Midnight sales on August 31st, with the other fifty-one titles hitting throughout September. We’ll have more on that as it develops.

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