At the inaugural DC Collectibles panel at Comic-Con international in San Diego, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Co-Publisher Jim Lee, Executive Director for Creative Services Kevin Kiniry, Director for Creative Services Jim Fletcher, artist Amanda Conner and sculptors Jim St. Jean and Phil Ramirez presented attendees a first look at the future of DC Entertainment's recently re-launched brand.
First up was "DC Comics - The New 52: Justice League" action figures. The crowd gasped when the first figure revealed was a large-sized Darkseid based on Jim Lee's design. Johns mentioned that during development Lee was asked what size the figure should be, with Lee jokingly answering, "Two Aquamans high."
Next was the seven-character "We Can Be Heroes" action figure box-set featuring "The New 52: Justice League" roster of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Cyborg. In keeping with DC's We Can Be Heroes campaign, a portion of the proceeds made from the set will go toward aiding famine relief in Africa.
The first world premiere of the afternoon was the "Before Watchmen" Silk Spectre statue designed by miniseries artist Amanda Conner. "That's one of the prettiest sculpts I've ever seen," Conner said. "I was raving yesterday when I saw it, just how amazing it came out and how pretty her face looks. She looks like a really pretty sixteen year-old girl. You guys nailed it."
"That's one of the things I really love about DC Collectibles," Johns remarked. "It's not just about producing one version of the character. They really work very closely with artists to really nail that art style and make them unique representations. This certainly looks just like [Amanda's] work and it's great to see that."
"The next property up is based on a cult movie coming out this summer," Geoff Johns teased as images of "The Dark Knight Rises" statues hit the screen. "The statues these guys did, they worked with the filmmakers, and they're really beautiful. I like Bane the best" Johns declared.
"We got all the assets right from the movie sets. The sculptor on all the stuff is Dave Cortes. He did a really nice job nailing all the details and everything. They're really awesome pieces. I think the Bane one is my favorite one, too," Fletcher said.
The panel then introduced a line of busts based on New 52 characters before moving on to the "Cover Girls" statues that included the world premiere of Poison Ivy along with Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. "This is a pretty amazing statue to see in person," Johns said of the Harley Quinn piece. "She just looks like a total badass."
"This, actually, is now our longest running statue line that DC Collectibles has ever done," Fletcher said as he introduced the latest additions to the "Batman: Black & White" statue series. New statues based on the art of Darwyn Cooke, Jock, Kelley Jones and Dustin Nguyen were displayed. "It shows no signs of slowing down. We keep finding more and more interesting and cool artists to work with."
"It's a classic fight that's a big part of our history and we wanted to do something really important," Fletcher said, speaking of the statue based on the epic battle between Batman and Superman in Frank Miller's classic "The Dark Knight Returns." "The detail is really nice," Fletcher continued, referring to the back of the statue where a hidden Robin lies in wait, slingshot at the ready.
Figures from the "Batman: Arkham City" action figure series were highlighted next. "[This] might be the best super-hero video game ever created and one of the best action video games ever created. I know the figures were a surprise to a lot of us, because everybody bought a lot of them, so we're going to make a lot more, " Johns said of the line.
Flanked by an army of "Ame-Comi" inspired cosplayers, designer Jim Fletcher spoke about the series. "The 'Ame-Comi' line has been going on for four or five years now. It's been a really fun line to work on. The key to the success of the line is taking the characters away from their recognizable forms, but I think you can still pretty much tell who everybody up here is. That's been a fun challenge, going over what makes a really good version of the figure and people can look at it and go, 'Oh, that's still Robin, that's still Batman,' or whatever the case may be."
Imagine the members of the "Justice League of America" stricken with the likeness of Alfred E. Neuman and you'll have pictured DC's "Mad Magazine"-inspired "Just-Us League of Stupid Heroes" action figure line. "The most beautiful Wonder Woman ever sculpted," Fletcher joked. "We hope they'll do well. We'd like to continue on with this line, especially because we don't have to sculpt their heads over and over again. It's all the same guy."
Geoff Johns concluded the presentation portion of the panel with a mission statement. "When we re-launched DC Direct as DC Collectibles we really are making a concentrated effort to do all DC stuff and really focus on our characters, whether it be from publishing or a thing like the 'Ame-Comi' line or 'Batman: Arkham City.' We'll have some product for our new video game, 'Injustice: Gods Among Us.' We also launched an online store so you can get it both at the comic shops and you can preorder it now and get it through our online shop," he said. "We also have a Facebook page now. We're looking at that all the time. If you want to yell at us about something, you can. If you want to tell us what you want, you can. If you just want to 'like' it because you like what we're doing, you can. We encourage you guys to go there and give us your feedback because we really are paying attention."