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DC Entertainment’s president Diane Nelson and their co-publisher Jim Lee announced two new digital innovations, DC2 and DC2 multiverse digital comics, at Time Warner’s “The Future of Storytelling” exhibition opening in the Time Warner Medialab in New York.
DC2 is a new initiative that aims to add another level of dimension to digital comic book storytelling. It lets the readers decide an outcome to the story by choosing characters, storylines and plot developments. This means one chapter of a digital comic will have dozens of possible story outcomes. It’s a choose your own adventure book in comic book form!
Of course, these choose your own adventure books won’t be part of the main DC universe since continuity in comics is already a confusing mess. The first DC2 will be the new digital-first comic book Batman ’66. Batman ’66 is based on the popular 1960s television show which featured Adam West. The art style is supposed to hearken back to the 60s television show’s action and retro attitude. DC Multiverse is a bit different. It has action sounds and you can insert your own soundtrack and, like the DC2, allows you to choose the storyline and character. There will be multiple options for each chapter in these comics. The digital-first comic book that will be the first to feature DC Multiverse is Batman: Arkham Origins. This comic book is based on the highly anticipated video game coming from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Diane Nelson commented that:
“Since we made the game changing decision to go Same-Day-Digital with the launch of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52, we very strategically built our digital business to have the broadest distribution and most extensive Digital-First content line-up, and now we’re at the forefront of innovation… DC2 and DC2 Multiverse leverages technology to make iconic characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Green Lantern even more relevant through highly interactive storytelling.”
Jim Lee added:
“Digital comics have proven to be a driving force in attracting new readers, in fact, since the onset of Same-Day-Digital our print and digital sales have both risen by double and triple digits, respectively… With Digital-First titles we’ve created a successful formula of pairing comics with other media forms like TV shows and video games. Today’s announcements demonstrate how we can tie innovations that organically fit and enhance comics – for example with Batman: Arkham Origins you can choose the destiny of your character by playing the game and reading the comic.”
Last year DC managed to get the most extensive digital distribution of any comic book publisher, including Marvel. You can get DC comic books by using the Kindle Store, iBookstore, Nook Store and, of course, the most popular digital comic book site comiXology.
Besides Batman ’66 and Batman: Arkham Origins DC is offering several other comics that are released the same day digitally as they are in print, including Injustice: Gods Among Us, Adventures of Superman, Arrow, Legends of the Dark Knight, Smallville: Season 11, Batman Beyond and Batman: Lil’ Gotham.
DC Comics increased reliance on digital comics again makes me question how soon comics will become an all-digital medium. I could see it happening, but I was hoping it would not be in my life time. While I think we’re still probably a couple of decades at the least away from all-digital comics, DC Comics seems to be inching ever closing with DC2 and DC Multiverse.