DC Comics rebooted its entire line of superhero titles last month, with 52 new series launching with new Number One issues. The relaunch has been aimed at drawing in new readers to DC's familiar characters, and so far it's been a huge success – all of the line has sold at well-above average rates, and total sales have exceeded 5 million comics in six weeks, according to the company. Response to DC's new direction will also undoubtedly be a central topic at this year's New York Comic Con, which starts today at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
The company's new flagship title is Justice League, a comic book that brings together the company's most famous characters – Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Flash and Wonder Woman – as well as its two most popular creators, writer (and DC COO) Geoff Johns and artist (and DC co-publisher) Jim Lee.
Lee, one of the industry's top artists, was a crucial part of the relaunch project, and redesigned many of the company's characters to give them a fresh new look. "There's a lot of things that go about telling or convincing people the cast looks cool, and that is through clothing and gestures," says Lee. "Or how a character carries himself a little bit differently. A little more swagger. His hair is more relaxed. He might cock his head to the side rather than heading straight up. We try to stay away from the more classical, posed Superman and try to make him feel different."
Though the first storyline in the new Justice League series relates how the flagship team came together, Johns and Lee's version of the origin is a bit darker than in earlier series – for one thing, the public does not trust the sudden emergence of superheroes. "We didn't want to show just what DC is known for," says Lee. "We want to show the journey and how we start off in a world where there is paranoia because we have all these superpowers that show up, and a lot of them are aliens, a lot of them have these amazing abilities that make them seem immortal.
"So how do we get from that world to the world we all kind of know DC to be, which is a one of hope and where these characters are more champions than outcasts?" Lee continues. "That's what Justice League is about. It's about showing when these characters come together to save humanity, and humanity accepts who they are. Then there's that transition from that kind of dark world to one that has a little bit more hope and a brighter future."
On the following pages, see an exclusive five-page preview of the second issue of Justice League, in stores on October 19th. The issue kicks off with the re-introduction of the Flash, and a showdown between Batman and Superman, who are meeting for the very first time in the new version of the DC Universe.
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