PHILADELPHIA — DC Comics' heroes are going to zeros.
In September, DC Entertainment will publish a zero issue for its 52 titles, a move that co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio said this week will help explain the origins and effects of its rebooted characters a year after it erased decades of history and continuity to start everything from scratch.
But, the duo said, zeroing out for the month will create new plots and wrinkles for the likes of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman, among others, and see the debut of some fan-favorite characters as well as set the stage for more ongoing stories in the months to come, too.
When DC relaunched its characters in September 2011 with 52 titles, the rebooted heroes and villains weren't starting from zero.
“We started at different points for the different series,” DiDio said, adding that having every title go to zero with stand-alone stories helps readers, established and new, “find a level playing field and creates another jumping-on point.”
Lee said each of the books will help fill in the blanks of some characters' origins or present a full origin story.
“We underestimated the hunger and appetite that readers would have for this back story when we launched,” he said. “The readership has been very intrigued in finding out the back story in the five years since the emergence of the Justice League.”
It's also a chance to bring four new titles to comic shops, too, said DiDio, who added that DC plans to keep 52 titles publishing no matter what.
After zero, all the titles will go back to their regular numbering, though each of the 52 “zero” issues will end up in a bound omnibus edition in fall. The new titles will include “Talon,” “Sword and Sorcery,” “Team Seven” and “The Phantom Stranger.”