DC Comics Co-Publishers Discuss Suicide Squad's Impact on Comics

For DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, going to see the premiere of a film like [...]

For DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, going to see the premiere of a film like Suicide Squad is "one of the funner parts of the job," Lee said on the red carpet for the film. "We've been talking about this for so long, it's great to be here, finally and see everybody excited for Suicide Squad," DiDio said.

"For me, it's exciting, because it's a brand new set of characters," he continued. "It's not something you'd expect to see as a feature film. Everyone's seen Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, but to have these characters at the forefront and have people excited about it, it's a great time for DC."

"It's really the conversion of characters that comic book fans know, and elevating them to the point where everyone knows them," Lee added. "I think you've seen in a lot of the movies, where characters that only die-hard comic fans know about are all of a sudden household names. It's pretty cool. I'm anxiously waiting to hear from my grandmother what she thought of the Suicide Squad movie," he said with a laugh.

The give-and-take between publishing and DC Films is strengthened by the fact that Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer and President of DC Entertainment is also now co-running DC Films, but DiDio and Lee work very directly to make sure the two versions of the DC Universe compliment each other – Lee very directly.

"Well one of the things we did most importantly was put a guy named Jim Lee on the Suicide Squad comicbook. That lends some importance to the series," DiDio said jovially. "You put your premiere artist, your co-publisher on a book, that shows you the importance of the characters in the line."

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Lee praised writer of the new comic Rob Williams, which launches with a "Rebirth" prelude issue today and Lee's first issue in two weeks, saying "he's been doing a fantastic job at DC."

"We're just trying to have fun with the characters. What I love about it is there's not one set roster, we're bringing in lots of different villains. At the end of the day, it's a different kind of story in that we can have a character actually die in the storyline. There's a little bit of gravity on top of all the craziness that you get when you throw villains into heroic situations," Lee said.

As for which characters he's especially excited to get his hands on, the prolific artist, who has drawn basically every marquee DC Comics character at least once during his tenure with the publisher, has his sights set on everyone's current favorite, and one that may be a surprise.

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(Portion of Jim Lee's Cover to Suicide Squad #1 Photo: DC Comics)

"Drawing Harley Quinn and Killer Croc, just because they're very different types of personalities and silhouettes, it's a lot of fun as an artist for you to spread your wings and do something different," Lee said. As for in the movie, he's excited for "All of them, really! This is really cool to see these characters brought to the big screen. Harley Quinn for sure is a standout. El Diablo I understand is amazing."

"I'm a big Will Smith fan, so Deadshot's the one I've been waiting for," DiDio chimed in.

Suicide Squad Rebirth #1 from DC Comics, with art by Philip Tan and writing by Rob Williams, is in stores today; Williams and Lee's first issue, Suicide Squad #1 hits stores August 17, 2016. Suicide Squad the film hits theaters August 5, 2016.