During a virtual presentation to comic book store owners on Friday at the annual ComicsPRO retailer event, DC Vice President of Sales and Revenue Nancy Spears name-dropped several upcoming comic book projects as part of a discussion of an expanded variant cover program. The titles range from the obvious -- there's a Wonder Woman 80th anniversary project, just like they did for Superman and Batman -- to the surprising -- Crush and Lobo and Nubia and the Amazons, setting up next-gen heroes without losing the originals -- to the downright vexing. Some of the titles seem likely to be huge hits, while others are head-scratchers that could turn out to be sleeper hits or just stand-alone one-shots.
The changes to the variant cover program were ostensibly made to allow more retailers to participate in custom retailer variant covers for their customers -- a practice that has been cost-prohibitive to smaller stores in the past. Spears identified a host of publishing projects in the works, including:
- Deathstroke Inc.
- Harley Quinn Animated Series sequel
- A Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary title
- "DC Vampires" (working title)
- Robin and Batman
- Joker: A Puzzle Box
- The Legend of Batman
- Crush and Lobo
- Nubia and the Amazons
- DC Middle Ages
More information will be forthcoming on these projects throughout the year. In addition, Spears also confirmed that DC will be participating in Free Comic Book Day on May 1, 2021, but details on specific titles will be revealed at a later date.
Spears comments were part of a larger virtual presentation to retailers, and included DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, new SVP and General Manager Daniel Cherry III, and Editor-In-Chief Marie Javins. Lee reaffirmed DC's commitment to publishing comic books and the direct market, touching on 2020 sales successes such as Batman: Three Jokers, DCeased: Dead Planet, Batman: The Joker War, and Dark Nights: Death Metal.
Lee also provided updates on the more $1.1 million dollars raised for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) fund to help struggling comic book stores, while Javins commented on the positive reception received by new characters such as Punchline, Clownhunter, Liar Liar and Ghost-Maker and spoke to DC's ongoing commitment to a more additive universe of characters.