Geoff Johns Wants Hope, Optimism, and Legacy Back at DC Comics

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(Photo: DC Comics)

When meeting with Geoff Johns in a New York office Wednesday morning, his enthusiasm is instantly infectious to the whole room. A small gathering, with one DC Comics representative and two other press, Johns enters the room with a smile and a mea culpa for arriving a bit late (the guy leaves NYC for a couple of years and forgets about the traffic!). Handshakes and hugs abound, and it's clear he's just as excited for us to check out his DC Universe Rebirth one-shot as we are.

Part of that excitement may be because it's his last comic that he's writing for awhile, as he's suddenly apparently much busier with other projects. The Hollywood trade THR reported Tuesday that Johns is part of a two-man team that is effectively taking over the DC Movie adaptations for Warner Bros., a report he couldn't comment directly on, but did offer, "you can connect the dots."

Despite some reports, he could not and did not comment on his new position or what goals he theoretically has for it. He did, however, talk extensively about what he hopes for DC Comics, and how he wants Rebirth to be the return of "hope, optimism, and legacy" on their printed page.

Johns knew he'd have to pull back from writing comics at the level he once was (he's gone 17 years straight with a monthly title on the stands, the vast majority of that at DC Comics), simply from his role as Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment. He called Rebirth his "love letter" to everything he likes about the superheroes of the DC Universe, and oft-repeated those three words of "hope, optimism, and legacy."

"The compass of hope and optimism is in DC Comics' DNA, and it's important to get those [back] out there," Johns told Comicbook.com. As for Legacy, it's about "moving forward" and allowing "things to evolve."

"I wanted to use this comicbook to say thank you," Johns elaborated, as he wanted to make sure that DC Comics, fans, and even the characters knew how much they meant to him.

"There’s a lot of emotional underpinning of the characters and the stories," he said. "It's not that people take it for granted. They’re just not as aware of it. But when it’s not there, you really feel that emptiness."

The writer, now focusing (at least for now) specifically on bring DC Comics properties to other WB mediums (since that's what he was technically hired to do as his day job about 6 years ago), promised that he'll "still write comics" in the future, just "not for now."

DC Universe Rebirth #1 hits stores next week, Wednesday May 25, 2016. The special leads to the line-wide new first issues (and new status quo) for the DC Universe and runs $2.99 for 80 pages. Stay tuned to Comicbook.com for much more from Geoff Johns and DC Universe Rebirth.