DC Comics Announce New Digital Line Up

Batman by Ben Templesmith

Building off the news of Smallville Season 11 in comics, released digitally back in February, today DC Comics announced a new line up of digital comics via USA Today earlier today. The announcement adds daily releases to the previously announced Smallville Season 11.  Here’s the full breakdown of titles:

  • Ame-Comi Girls – weekly series released on Mondays featuring anime styled version of Wonder Woman and other female characters, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey – beginning in May
  • Batman – weekly series released on Thursdays of out of continuity stories about Batman with a rotating cast of creators including Ben Templesmith, Steve Niles, B. Clay Moore, Nicola Scott, Josh Fialkov and the creative team of Damon Lindelof (of LOST fame) writing with Jeff Lemire on art – beginning in June
  • Beyond – weekly rotating series on Wednesdays, the already launched series of futuristic stories ranging from Justice League Beyond to Batman Beyond and Superman Beyond 
  • Batman: Arkham Unhinged – releasing on Tuesdays, a title set in the world of the ultra successful video game world of Batman: Arkham City
  • Smallville Season 11 – weekly series released on Fridays, continuing the hit TV show in comics with Brian Q. Miller writing

This announcement builds on DC Comics commitment to digital comics, by releasing these first digitally, followed by eventual printing.  The idea here is to have new content daily and have that content be done by established comics talent.  It’s also important to note that these all appear to be outside of continuity of the DC Universe, so the barrier to entry to new readers is already less.

Once of the more interesting notes to this story is the involvement of Ben Templesmith on Batman, who (unless I’m mistaken) has never worked for either of the big 2 publishers (Marvel and DC) before. His work on Batman will mark his first entry into working in “mainstream” comics.  Could we see more from Templesmith at DC in the future?

Check out the article at USA Today for more comments from those involved at DC Comics like Hank Kanalz, SVP of digital at DC Comics and Smallville writer Brian Q. Miller.


  1. This sounds great! Webcomics with DC Characters…i’ll keep a lookout for this.

  2. As someone that gets digital comics exclusively, I definitely like the idea. I hope this represents a new way of looking the business of weekly release dates and price point. Looking forward to the Batman title. Reminiscent of the old Legends of the Dark Knight stories.

  3. Very cool. What’s iFanboy’s plan to cover these?

    Handle it like you do the episodes of ‘Young Justice’ or ‘Avengers: EMH’ – a post as place holder for iFanbase discussion?
    Review/Discuss them when they come out in print as warranted on the podcast?
    Something more diabolical?

  4. Really love the idea that DC is coming out with a line of digital comics, and I really love the idea of a Palmiotti/Gray weekly series. But a Ame-Comi series? I’m sure that there might be a group of people who will get it, but it’s definitely not going to be me. Its just not my cup of tea.

  5. So will these be coming out monthly like the Beyond book, or later as a collection? it would be a bit weird to have yet another Bat book on the stands.

  6. Dude. Templesmith on Batman sounds delightful.

  7. I don’t think it’s possible for a comic company to issue more exciting news than Templesmith/Lindeloft/Lemire on batman. I CANNOT wait to read this. My big hope is that since it’s digital specific, that they’ll implement some of the awesome techniques we saw in AvX Infinite. I wish all my digital comics read that way

    • The AVX Infinite is only available on Marvel’s Comics App. That’s not synched with comixology so DC can’t use it. They can come up with something similar themselves but can’t just steal it.

    • hmmmm… not quite sure i follow. Infinte is a digital comic that uses specific techniques. It’s not a patented technology. I don’t see why other companies/creators cannot adopt using the same techniques in their own digital-specific comics. I mean, if we are going to look at in the way that marvel “owns” the techniques used in Infinite, then they’re going to have some legal problems because they weren’t the first to use them: Power Play (available on Comixology) were the first (to the best of my knowledge). its pretty awesome too, check it out 😀

    • augmented reality isn’t some patented black magic that Marvel/Disney owns. Its a pretty trendy thing in design..right now even though its still in the early baby steps zone…. personally, I designed a storefront using that stuff last summer..a lot of the same techniques marvel is using……..it was an absolute nightmare to get it to work properly.

    • I don’t know what exactly Marvel’s patented or trademarked, but I don’t see ANY technical reason ANY publisher could pull off something similar. It’s probably results in a larger file, but you could just make every “effect” a separate image.

      For example a rack focus effect is made of two images — image A has the foreground in focus, and image B is the same image with the foreground out of focus. The reader just keeps reading and tapping, and never knows the difference.

      A gradual reveal of a page or captions that pop in and out would work the same way. Just the same image with small variations to control the user experience.

    • @Wally sorry, maybe i was unclear above. When I said AvX Infinite, I was referring to the Waid/Imonnen companion comic, not the AR stuff they shoved in AvX. I haven’t actually seen what Marvel has done with that stuff, but the mini-comic was amazing. It made me wish all my digital comics read that way

    • @mikegraham6–yeah i hear you. I agree the min-comic was really sweet…but even guys like Waid and Bendis openly admit that they were heavily inspired by this dude who posted this rough digital comic thing on Deviant Art a few years back….that was doing some of the same things.

      I hope if DC goes down a similar road, Marvel doesn’t turn into some patent troll battle kinda thing. Man that would suck and totally destroy a lot of innovation for the whole medium.

      @ken–yeah most of the “animation” came from a different slide. Thats why i thought your analogy to a powerpoint presentation last week was so spot on. Its built very similarly.

    • @cagedleo
      I only use Comixology and it was available.

  8. LOVE the idea of Lemire’s art on DC characters. Should be a fun title

  9. Hmmmm… It’s good filler when I’m waiting someplace and feel like reading a quick comic on my Android phone, but I can’t say I’m excited. I’m a casual digital comics reader, hardcore print reader, so, this news, meh…

    Though if Batman Beyond/Justice League Beyond becomes digital exclusive, I’ll make the switch to continue to enjoy these marvelous comics! 😀

  10. Wait, Steve Niles, this year’s self-elected carnival barker for Creator-Owned Comics, is writing work-for-hire comics that have origins in shady contracts and creator rights disputes?

    Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

  11. Interesting. These could be fun.

    However, I do have one very important question. How will this move affect the Pick of the Week? What if an issue of Smallville Season 11 is clearly the best book Conor reads one week this fall? It comes out on Friday. Does it get considered for next week’s pick or does the pick of the week article move to Friday? This is the most important question anyone has ever asked on the internet.

    • As of now, there will be no effect. Like with the BATMAN UNLIMITED book has already been coming out in digital chapters, we (and by we, I mean me because the other guys probably won’t read them… well, maybe Ron will read SMALLVILLE) won’t consider them until the paper versions come out on Wednesdays.

    • Understood. Thank you for the response.

  12. This wil be fascinating to see how DC monetizes this…soooo many web comics guys try to use page views and ads to make some money to cover basic costs like hosting…but DC doing it with Batman…..i dunno, sounds like a webcomic on steroids.

    • but aren’t those (most) web comics free?
      these DC ones won’t be.

    • These are far better than web comics, they are formatted perfectly to fit the iPad screen size, they are the perfect comic for iPad reading, and I really like the Arkham Unhinged one and have also started buying the Smallville one. There’s also a Justice Leage Beyond one, and Beyond the Fringe (a Fringe TV show tie-in) as well in that 99 cent format.

  13. Templesmith, Scott, Lemire, Lindelof, and Niles on Batman? Good lord what a line up!

    I can’t wait for this to be put into print! 🙂

  14. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the Parker/Hardman story as part of this Batman Digital. That could be the best thing ever.

  15. I am definitely excited about Ben Templesmith’s Batman.

  16. I love the nearly ever DC press release has a new Lemire project. I’ve enjoyed everything he’s done at DC. Nice he’s finally getting to draw DC characters too.

    And Templesmith..on Batman…I’ve always thought he could do the scariest Joker we’ve ever seen.

    I’m in for these two if no other

  17. There’s also been a Justice League digital-first comic drawn by Dustin Ngyuen (sp?). It’s great.

    And I’m sure a lot of these other digital-first comics will be great too.

    But very few people are talking about them. The current Justice League digital comic isn’t even mentioned in this article! I wasn’t even aware of it myself until a few weeks ago.

    Sorry to say, it just goes to show you that digital comics are not the be-all, end-all, uber-popular property that many people have heralded them as. Still, I wish everyone involved the best of luck. There’s a lot of great digital comics out there; too bad more people don’t care as much as they were expected to care.

    • The Justice League book is mentioned in the article:

      “Beyond – weekly rotating series on Wednesdays, the already launched series of futuristic stories ranging from JUSTICE LEAGUE BEYOND to Batman Beyond and Superman Beyond ”

      It’s being folded into the BEYOND book.

      And just because you don’t hear anyone talking about that book doesn’t mean it’s not selling. It was the #8 highest selling DC digital book in January (the most recent rankings that DC has made available).

  18. Also – yours truly on a short story with Ryan Sook on art. RYAN SOOK!

    Our story is connected to the events of Miller’s and Mazzucchelli’s ‘Batman: Year One’, chapters one and two. You’ll be able to read our story on its own and fully enjoy it, but there will be some extra Easter Eggs as well.

    Big ones.

    • Where’s the edit button? I used ‘story’ three times in five sentences. Do I lose my writer’s license now? I feel shame. Sort of like Michael Fassbender in that brilliant film of the same name.

  19. This is cool, I guess. I like that it’s out of continuity stories. For one, that’s how it should be if you’re going after less than traditional comic readers. Not sure it’ll make a huge difference. But it’s how you should go after that desired market. Cool to see Templesmith doing Batman. Some other cool creators as well.

    That said, I find it disappointing that Bryan Q. Miller went from writing one of the better DC books, to beign left out of the New 52 relaunch (when there are A LOT of sub-par books in the lot), and to now finally be used on a digital only side project. I guess something’s better than nothing. But the guy has earned a lot more, IMO. His work on Batgirl should have at least earned him a published ongoing. In a DC where Rob Liefeld is writing multiple books, I can’t see why Miller doesn’t get more of a shot.

    • And yes, I know that Miller wrote for Smallville on tv. So yeah, I get it. But I still feel he deserved to be able to cash in on all the eyes that came along with the New 52.

    • I would have loved to see Miller on a New 52 book as well, but I think there’s a greater risk-reward scenario for him with a Smallville book. Like Tad says downthread, the number of Smallville fans VASTLY outpace the number of fans for ANY New 52 title, so I can see how there’s the potential for something much bigger here. Especially when the book as pitched as the next season of the show.

      Now, I guess the concern would be the amount of time that’s passed since the show ended (looks like it’s been a year). Have Smallville fans had their fill and moved on, or are they clamoring for more stories from that world? (I never got into Smallville, so I don’t know)

  20. Wonder Woman and other female DC characters in anime style?? That’s a pass for me, but the Batman announcements, I’m really interested in and also Smallville as well.

  21. Lindeloff and Lemire on Batman?! In.

  22. Not sure what format these are going to be in. But I’m guessing it’s going to be in the style of what we’ve seen so far with a lot of the digital only comics, with the landscape view and a lot of single panel pages. Call me old fashioned, not open to change, whatever. But I’m not a fan. I’ve read a few. It just doesn’t do it for me. The overall creativity in the art suffers due to simplifying the layouts. I’m sure new readers won’t care. But I see it as a simpler, lesser version of comics.

  23. Coupla things:
    @j206 – I hope you don’t have to guess. I’ve seen all sorts of techniques used in digital comics and frankly, simplifying layouts is not one that tops the list. I assume there’s some sort of quick look feature, the equivalent of paging through a comic at a store so a potential reader can make an informed decision.

    About marketing – if you’re a Wednesday comic shop guy and patrol various comic websites, the marketing isn’t for you, or at least shouldn’t be. The companies know you’ll find out about them. Any marketing should be pointed at the non-comic shop reader. There are way more Smallville TV fans than LCS visitors.

  24. HOLY SHIT!!!! Damen Lindelof and Jeff Lemire working together on Batman!!! I am so excited the lack of sleep I just got means nothing to me anymore because that pumped me up so much.

  25. Arkham Unhinged isn’t new, I’ve been enjoying it for the past 6 months! And the Smallville season 11 one just started yesterday, not in February.