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Bob Harras & Eddie Berganza Reveal The Reason For DC's Revamped Titles

The Editor-in-Chief, VP of DC Comics & Executive Editor talk to Comic Vine and answer our questions about the changes coming in September.

If you are a DC Comics fan then you've already learned about the massive DC Universe revamp. Not only will fans see the cancellation of many of their favorite books; but they will also be introduced to 52 all new number one titles. We could only speculate as to why DC decided to revamp their entire universe, until now. We sat down with Editor in Chief, VP of DC Comics Bob Harras and Executive Editor of DC, Eddie Berganza to get the details on the decision to revamp the entire Universe, what the future holds for Power Girl, and whether or not the Lois Lane and Superman split rumor holds any clout. Check out the interview below!

== TEASER ==

CV: With the introduction of 52 new #1 titles this fall, how did the decision to revamp the entire DC Universe come about? Why now?

Bob: When Eddie and I came into our new positions, we looked at the universe. We're both fans. We [realized] we have these great properties- we have Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman- and we said, how do we get people really excited about these properties? How do we get them really excited about these characters? What could we do to expand these characters? How do we invite, engage and introduce people to these characters; and that's really how all of this started.

Eddie: It's been planned for a while, like Bob said. Why now? Because we looked at all the platforms available. We want to embrace the future, and what better time to do it than now?

CV: What are your goals for the revamp?

Bob: We want to create exciting comics with great story and art- that's always [been] my main goal. But really, we want to get people excited about these properties and get more and more people reading these characters because these are really incredible characters, and I think Eddie shares in these feelings.

Eddie: We grew up with these characters and they've touched us in so many different ways. Now we want to make that accessible to more people by having them on different platforms.

CV: Eddie you bring up different platforms. I know that Bob, when you were at Marvel, you once published a Marvel comic in a TV Guide. Other than digital, do you guys have other platforms you plan to utilize to target new readers?

Bob: We're focusing on digital. Digital is the main goal because we really do believe that's where more and more people are getting their entertainment.

CV: Are you at all afraid of alienating your core fan base?

Bob: I think we're always concerned, and we have no intention [to alienate our fan base] but the thing we want to stress is that we want to get people excited again about these characters. One of the things we're doing is [we are] incorporating some stories from the past that are very important [to the characters] for September going forward- we've taken a lot of care to create a timeline to explain the reasons why this is happening. We've taken into account a lot of important story lines; Death in the Family, Blackest Night, The Killing Joke and Identity Crisis.

Eddie: I mean we're both fans and we recognize that these stories really had an impact. It also gives us a new direction to go from.

Batgirl #1 cover - Adam Hughes

CV: Part of the revamp is giving characters new identities. I know that in the solicit for the upcoming Supergirl series, she seems like a completely different character...

Eddie: Well she's still the same character, we're just going down to her core. Looking at the characters at their core, looking at them in these new situations that we're creating and seeing how they would react to other characters. We're taking everything back to 'who is this character, how would he or she react to certain situations,' and that's really how we developed some of these new directions.

Bob: We've also been very conscious of making this reality for the real world. Like, what would the reaction be of people coming from outer space with these powers? It's not all gonna be welcomed. So that's the challenge these heroes are faced with and the fact that they continue to be here is the story we're striving to tell.

CV: One character that's gotten a lot of attention recently is Barbara Gordon. Can you talk about the decision to make her Batgirl again?

Eddie: It all came from the core of her character. Where can we take Barbara Gordon where we haven't taken her before? That's what we wanted to deal with by taking her in this new direction.

CV: Why the decision to bring many classic characters, like Swamp Thing, back and to the forefront?

Eddie: We love these characters. We think these are fantastic characters and we want to share them with a broader base of readers. There's a lot of potential for story . We're at the beginning of being able to explore them fully and do it before a broader audience.

Power Girl: A New Beginning cover

CV: Will we be seeing Power Girl in the future?

Bob: Yeah, she'll be around.

CV: But not in her own title?

Bob: No, she won't have her own #1 title, but Karen Starr will appear in one of the 52 titles.

CV: Rumor has it Lois Lane and Superman won't be together after this revamp. Can you confirm or deny?

Bob: You'll have to read the Super books to find out!

CV: Action Comics just celebrated it's landmark 900th issue in June; any chance DC will renumber the series again when it hits issue 1000?

Bob: No plans for that. We're moving forward starting with September's #1's.

CV: What's the future of Batman Inc.? Is it over or will DC return to that story?

Bob: We'll be coming back to Batman Inc. a bit later. There are storyline reasons for that decision, but it all works out perfectly for Grant that we'll be coming back later with that.

93 Comments
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Posted by doordoor123

Great questions babs.

Posted by CrimsonInuTears

Why didn' ya ask about Detective Comics 900 that would have been comin up?

Posted by buttersdaman000

Im kinda pissed that I will no longer be able told hold action comics #1000 in my hands........

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

If this was in the wroks for so long, what was the point in starting titles like Batman Beyond, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and Xombi knowing that they'd be cancelled less than 10 issues in? Why not wait until AFTER the revamp? Especially Batman Beyond.

Online
Posted by DeawonCDelaney

Okay all I am hearing is getting down too there characters "core", and making te stories more exciting, which is fine but the way they are doing it is ridiculous. This is DCs way to get the new "movie" generation to care about these comics which will be an epic fail.
Posted by azza04

Dammm I wanted them to confirm or deny the Superman Lois Lane thing :(

Posted by longbowhunter
@The Mighty Monarch said:
If this was in the wroks for so long, what was the point in starting titles like Batman Beyond, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and Xombi knowing that they'd be cancelled less than 10 issues in? Why not wait until AFTER the revamp? Especially Batman Beyond.

 Good point. This is what I've been thinking the whole time as well.
Posted by djotaku

Good answers.  A bit evasive at times, but they need to create maximum hype.  If they are too candid people might either be turned off because there's too much change or because there isn't enough after all the hype.  It's great that CV was able to get this interview.  September seems like so far away now....

Posted by The Mighty Monarch
@longbowhunter said:
@The Mighty Monarch said:
If this was in the wroks for so long, what was the point in starting titles like Batman Beyond, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and Xombi knowing that they'd be cancelled less than 10 issues in? Why not wait until AFTER the revamp? Especially Batman Beyond.
 Good point. This is what I've been thinking the whole time as well.
Up until now I was hoping they might be able to slip past the revamp and get to stay with their current numbering, but once September solicits rolled out their end was confirmed, and I had a sad.
Online
Posted by The Mighty Monarch
@buttersdaman000 said:
Im kinda pissed that I will no longer be able told hold action comics #1000 in my hands........
But you will! 
…….in about 80 years.
Online
Edited by sj_esposito

I have to say -- and I'm excited, overall, for the relaunch -- that I can't help but feel like Harras and Beganza are using this situation to further some other ends. Perfect example, the creative teams assigned to some of these books; people from the 90s -- people that Harras is well known for working with and having an affinity for. 
 
Then, as one takes a hard look at these titles, one cannot help but wonder why so many of them seem to be reminiscent of a decade long past. And the answer may very well be that they're trying to use the same formula that they did in the 90s to attract the readership that the 90s comics did. And if that's the case, I don't blame them, but they're going about it all wrong. I can't help but feel some of the talent working on the #1s seem a little stale; DC has so many great, young, up-and-coming creators, why not use them? Why bring guys like Lobdell -- who inexplicably gets writing duties on 3 books -- and Liefield into the fold? And worse yet, why let them make the books that they're given seem so 'extreme'? 
 
I'm not a 90s hater like most fans are -- I grew up reading comics in the 90s and I have a certain nostalgia about that time period. But as time goes on and I'm reading more about the titles and what the creators have to say in interviews, I'm starting to feel like they are under the impression that we go through a 90s revival phase, and I just don't agree with that.

Posted by longbowhunter
@The Mighty Monarch
Yeah its a bummer. THUNDER Agents and Xombi were two titles I looked forward to every month.
Posted by Chane

Good interview, cleared some things up for me. Gracias.

Posted by spankymac314

Wow, way to say absolutely nothing about everything. This has me actively LESS excited about the reboot, because it seems like the guys behind it did it just to do it.

Posted by mbembet

dc is being handled by a bunch of idiot right now and they are didio, jim lee and geoff johns

Posted by The Poet

hmmm...I'm thinking positive after that article. Looks like it is capable hands.

Moderator
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

Great interview, though I would have hoped for a few more probing questions, but I suppose CV has to hold to what DC can and can not share right now.

It does make me feel good about the revamp, but then I never distrusted that it would be anything but awesome... (hoping beyond hope) My biggest question is, with the revamp, are they going to finally allow Babs and Dick to be together!?

Posted by Samimista

The digital platform is smart of them since it'll help the comic industry but for their reasoning of the revamp is dumb.

Posted by MrUnknown

Nice image selection for the digital question XD
Power Girl is going to be in one of the 52? I'm not reading all of them, just to find out which ;/

Posted by doordoor123
@The Mighty Monarch: Theyll be back. The writer of Batman Beyond already confirmed it. 
@mbembet said:
dc is being handled by a bunch of idiot right now and they are didio, jim lee and geoff johns

You should research more before complaining because it doesnt seem like you know what youre talking about xD
 
 
Babs you should have expanded more on how theyre trying to target new readers. Other sites got a little more out of them on that.
Posted by MrUnknown
@buttersdaman000: Well you could in a thousand and two months from now. XD
Posted by doordoor123
@The Mighty Monarch said:
@longbowhunter said:
@The Mighty Monarch said:
If this was in the wroks for so long, what was the point in starting titles like Batman Beyond, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and Xombi knowing that they'd be cancelled less than 10 issues in? Why not wait until AFTER the revamp? Especially Batman Beyond.
 Good point. This is what I've been thinking the whole time as well.
Up until now I was hoping they might be able to slip past the revamp and get to stay with their current numbering, but once September solicits rolled out their end was confirmed, and I had a sad.
@longbowhunter said:
@The Mighty Monarch said:
If this was in the wroks for so long, what was the point in starting titles like Batman Beyond, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and Xombi knowing that they'd be cancelled less than 10 issues in? Why not wait until AFTER the revamp? Especially Batman Beyond.
 Good point. This is what I've been thinking the whole time as well.
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
Posted by maxicere

Angry....

Posted by Press Oblivion

I saw the Power Girl thing coming. I'm bummed.

Posted by Golden Cod

Bob: ... we have Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman- and we said, how do we get people really excited about these properties?  

Sooooo the reason they revamped the characters was simply get people excited about the Big 3...
 
 

Bob: .... we've taken a lot of care to create a timeline to explain the reasons why this is happening. We've taken into account a lot of important story lines; Death in the Family, Blackest Night, The Killing Joke and Identity Crisis.

They're changing the timeline?? So is this a soft reboot then??
Posted by harleyquinnhawkgirl

wow no power girl number one =( This sucks so bad i loved the power girl story and now shes just gonna appear in some issues thanks dc so much for this random re vamp. SMH
Posted by MrCipher

All I'm hearing is a lot of "corporate speak" about "platforms" and "properties". They keep repeating how much they love the characters but I don't feel the love with rebooting the entire universe. Instead I see a chance for them to put their own stamp on the DCU and give their FOTM writers the ability to run roughshod over the DCU with their imaginings.
They say they are going to preserve certain story lines that are intrinsic to certain characters and have helped shape the DCU but I have a sneaking suspicion that they will alter these arcs to suit their own sensibilities (sort of how all the recent 70s and 80s "remakes" are nothing like the originals).
They repeat over and over about getting back to the "core of the characters", but I have a hard time seeing a justification for that when (for example) they remove B. Gordon's wheelchair, give her working legs again and slap her back in the Batgirl costume . The story of her being shot and becoming paralyzed IS INTRINSIC to the character. How can they remove that story from her past?
All I see is them not liking where the universe has gone in the last couple decades and deciding to take matters into their own hands to "put it right" in their minds.
They could EASILY explore new directions with all of these characters within the framework of the current setting. I think it's a ploy so they can claim "these characters are new, bad-ass, and are (our) fresh ideas, these are not your father's/mother's super heroes". The thing about youth is that most kids are attracted to "the new thing" and things that have been around even for just a few months or a year are considered "old". Revamping the DCU gives them an excuse to offer something "new" to kids, but I have a hard time seeing them being able to honor what has come before. Maybe back in 1952 comics were for preteens and teens, but in the past 3 decades, comics have come to have a special place in the minds of older generations who loved them as a child and who still find the concepts and characters compelling. Should that mean that there shouldn't be a line of books made for kids? No, but I also don't think they should take the characters away from us old folks who love them and instead make them only for kids as well. I think a series of comics for the old and the new can easily exist side by side.
I call bunk and shenanigans on this whole thing. Their corporate speak and constant reaffirmation of how much the "love these characters" leads me to believe they in fact don't care one bit about the characters and that this entire thing is simply money driven without any concerns for preserving the integrity of what has come before.

Posted by They Killed Cap!

I don't think any of these reasons are good reasons for a revamp. I think they could have accomplished there goals without major overhauls.
Posted by inferiorego

I will continue to be mad until JSA returns.

Staff
Posted by CrimsonTempest

Well, Bob Harras, congratulations on making DC fans that little bit more angry. Answers like his are the kind of stuff you would need a PR expert for.

Posted by tensor

i am excited

Online
Posted by emmbro30

Sounds to me like DC is finally trying to do what Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko did waaaaaaaaay back in the 60's, by trying to give the characters more depth and apeal. Good luck DC, but make mine Marvel!   

Posted by uroboros

..if we weren't already experiencing the core of the characters..then what was the point of all the comics, story lines and characters up to this point..
 
also every time I see that new JLA image I get slightly concerned Wonder Woman is gonna pull a nip slip..it's like she's just resting her boobs in two tea cups..could she really not have a little bit more realistic support..even Emma Frost..the most sexualised character of Marvel has more cover these days..Wonder Woman is supposed to be an icon of strength for women..not an icon for T&A..good job you put her in pants..did you steal the material for them from her bra?..actually does Wonder Woman own a bra?
 
Just give me a good rendition of Aquaman and I'll shut my mouth..still wish they had just given him his Young Justice look..rugged beard and all..[le sigh]

Edited by Decept-O

What I'd been thinking, this is a bit of a test run so to speak to see how the digital market works out for DC, and I bet other companies are going to be watching as well.  That is their goal, perhaps,  to gain a foothold in that market as younger readers are more prone to utilize the digital and mobile devices, so having a "new" start with these characters would make the merging more compatible on all fronts.   I also thought there'd been speculation, brought up by this site, that Superman's legal status was a possible reason for the revamp.  Would've been interesting to have  that question asked.    
 
Nice interview, we get a little bit of insight regarding DC's impetus behind the revamp and the digital approach. 

Posted by mesosteros
"Bob: No, she won't have her own #1 title, but Karen Starr will appear in one of the 52 titles." 
 
RAGE! ENDLESS RAGE!
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus
@inferiorego said:

I will continue to be mad until JSA returns.

Cannot say I'm happy that JSA will not return either.  
 
With that said though, after reading the intentions behind this whole revamp, at least I know the why.  The rest is just scenery now as well as decisions. I mean the remaining monthly titles I get from DC currently are Action, Superman, JLA and JSA and all those are gonna end obviously come August.  All I can do now is look toward the future and see how this revamp goes.
Posted by haydenclaireheroes

That was a great interview. I am glad our characters are still our favorite characters

Posted by eter

The good news is that PG will be back. I hope for other members of the JSA like Cyclone, Wildcat or Doctor Fate returning too.
Posted by AirDave817

Great interview, Babs! 
 
DC is really diving into the deep end of the pool head first as far as digital delivery goes. There really is no "best time" to wait on that.  

Posted by Lorrie

Anytime one of these guys talks about returning to a character's "core", we should be afraid.  Corporate-speak like that in this interview should be a big red flag.  And I don't want to literally judge a comic by it's cover or solicitation, but I fail to see how the apparent changes for many of these characters are returns to their "cores".  Or were they only talking about the major hitters, and no one at DC really cares about the "core" of a fan-favorite who isn't starring in a movie? 
 
Anyone who really thinks that if DC is still publishing Action Comics eight years from now that it won't get renumbered back to 1000 is very naive.  For all we know, this new direction (whatever it is) will crash and burn long before then.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were at least one or two reboots/relaunches/whatever before then.
Posted by Duo_forbidden

As long as Power Girl shows up in one of the 52 titles, I'm okay with it (not). I was worried that somehow Supergirl and Powergirl were one in the same the way Supergirl looked. I hope she'll be one of the titles I'll be picking up.

Posted by Blindside002

Lol, I can almost outright tell you that this stupid revamp is not going to bring in any new comic goers whatsoever. Comics are not getting the same outlook as video games where they are slowly not being seen as a geek outlet. You are going to have the same number of issues sold, if not less, thanks to this stupid revamp and alienating fans. Congrats, you've now become the friend who says they still want to hang out but starts to try and hang around another group of friends cause he thinks he likes them better.

Posted by Fantasgasmic

Great questions, it's a shame that the answers were a load of evasive generalized crap.

Edited by RoninAutomaton

Rather than call it a revamp, can’t we just call this “Ultimate Crisis” or “Crisis Reborn” or “Fifty-Two Pick-Up”?

*face-palm* FML

Posted by waruikumo

I'm cool with this.   
 
 
I would really like to see Xombi continue however.

Posted by SuperXAsh

sounds like cop-out to me... and failing to really explain themselves.

Posted by afierce

CV: Action Comics just celebrated it's landmark 900th issue in June; any chance DC will renumber the series again when it hits issue 1000?

Bob: No plans for that. We're moving forward starting with September's #1's.
 
I'm going to remember you said that!

Edited by Mercy_

I find it incredibly hard to believe that they're not going to renumber for the 1000th issue. That's an ENORMOUS landmark.

Moderator
Posted by thecheckeredman

Thanks for not really answering any of these questions very well fellas!  

"It's been planned for a while"


Really? 
Posted by Sekele
@DeawonCDelaney said:
Okay all I am hearing is getting down too there characters "core", and making te stories more exciting, which is fine but the way they are doing it is ridiculous. This is DCs way to get the new "movie" generation to care about these comics which will be an epic fail.
And if it won't?  
What will you do then? 
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