Bleeding Cool has been reporting on DC Comics’ new strategy to make, as standard, the artist the key promotable and artistic lead on their ongoing monthly superhero comics, for some time.
It began in protoform with the New 52, when one of DC’s appeals to sign up artists away from Marvel to DC Comics was to offer them the opportunity to write or co-write series.
But it was still the writer who was most promoted, most interviewed, most marketed and, with writer summits, led the direction of the comic book shared continuity. And when DC Rebirth happened, it was the writers who Geoff Johns sat down with and got to the nitty gritty of the characters being relaunched and the direction their stories would take them.
Things started to change when Dan DiDio took an opposite (surprise surprise) tack to Johns, launching the Dark Matter/DC Masterclass/New Age Of Heroes line, with a specific group of artists, Tony S. Daniel, Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, John Romita Jr., Kenneth Rocafort, and Andy Kubert to launch the initiative.
Indeed, we understand there has been considerable disquiet in the corridors of the company, portrayed as one side of DC Comics stealing talent from another, in a way that the Batbooks, Superbooks, etc. simply aren’t allowed to do to each other.
And while this is how the books’ credits were initially portrayed…
…by this image, the creative order has been reversed, artist first writer second, against the traditional order.
We’ve heard that current DC Comics policy is that, unless there is a specific request from the artist, the DC Comics monthly superhero line will consist of creators working plot-art-script, with the artists working with writers on the plot, rather than the traditional plot-script-art where the writer keeps more of the narrative voice. And that the New Age of DC Heroes line will be the first, most prominent expression of that policy. If they get the comics published that it.
It is also worth noting that the preview of Damage #1 follows that model as well. While Damage is credited as “created by Robert Venditti and Tony S. Daniel”, that order is reversed for the first credit on this specific issue as “Storytellers: Tony S Daniel and Robert Venditti”.
Will this be the model for DC Age of Heroes titles to come? And when will it spread across the line? How about the covers themselves?
Here’s the full preview of Damage #1.
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