Comic-Con: 'Dark Matter' Marks New Start for DC's Comic Line

Dark_Matter_Lineup - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of DC Entertainment
The new imprint is DC's "most aggressive push towards new concepts," according to co-publisher Jim Lee.

A year after DC Entertainment reenergized its main superhero comic book line, the publisher is ready to build out something altogether new — and it all starts with this summer's big summer storyline, Dark Nights: Metal.

During the Friday afternoon panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Metal writer Scott Snyder teased about the six-issue series beginning next month. "This is about a new cosmology in the DC Universe," he said. "We wanted you to feel as if it's an engine of new — new villains, new territory to explore."

The storyline for Metal follows the introduction of something called the Dark Multiverse, which Snyder described as an ever changing reality that responds to the viewer's subconscious fears — which will produce the villains of the piece, a group of evil Batmen called the Dark Knights. (Those characters, which mix Batman with other members of the Justice League, will face off against the regular heroes in a spinoff storyline called Justice League: Bats Out of Hell.)

"I've never felt as confident and not nervous about a story as I do about this," Snyder told the crowd. "I love it that much. It's just what I'd want to pick up and read this summer."

Spinning out of the Metal plot will be seven new comic book series under the banner Dark Matter. Five of the titles (and the overall banner) have been announced, but there are two additions — Brimstone by Justin Jordan and Philip Tan, and The Terrifics by Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis.

"This is a snapshot of the future of the DCU," DC co-publisher Dan DiDio said about the new line, which launches its first titles in December. (Titles will be introduced at a rate of two per month, priced at $2.99.) "This is the way we push out and explore new concepts and new ideas."

The new line will take place in the central DC Universe, and creators explained how that will work in practice. Damage will focus on a creature who has always been in the background of the universe but is now "on the loose," said writer Robert Venditti, while The Immortal Men is, according to James Tynion, "the secret history of heroes and villains in the DC Universe. … These are new characters, but they exist in the same tapestry."

The Dark Matter line is, said DiDio, "the most aggressive push towards new concepts we've done in some time." Co-publisher Jim Lee said that the line was the result of a desire to reintegrate artists in core creative decisions at the publisher. "We were kind of lamenting the fact that artists were being pushed off to the sidelines, and we wanted to bring them back into the creative process," said Lee, the artist of Dark Matter series Immortal Men.