SAN DIEGO – Jim Lee wears three hats in the comic book world. He’s founder of Wildstorm Productions, which makes videogame comics like Gears of War, he’s co-publisher of DC Comics and he’s executive creative director for Sony Online Entertainment’s DC Universe Online game. Lee was on hand at Comic Con to reveal the story that propels the new game into an adventure that will be chronicled in both the MMO game and a new comic book series.
What did you announce at Comic Con?
We announced that you can pre-order the DC Universe Online game now. You get a lot of cool things if you pre-order. You can play as Batman if you get the PS3 version, you get a cool comic book, if you came to the panel or you can go online you can sign up for the beta of the PC version of the game. We showed the blur trailer for the first time in public, and people loved it; the fans just went ape crap for it. They went nuts for it; it was awesome.
What is the story for DC Universe Online?
Basically, at the start of the game it’s all about this horrible catastrophe that happens in the future. It’s masterminded by Brainiac and Lex Luthor. Luthor realizes that he’s made this horrible bargain, this whole pact with the devil himself, Brainiac, so he actually comes back in time to the present to warn the heroes and creates a whole new legion of heroes and villains. Hence, in the game you have all these players creating their own characters and jumping in the DC Universe to advert this horrible outcome. The thing is, we’re not sure if you can completely trust him because he’s Luthor, and you don’t know if he’s playing everyone to build up to some other grand betrayal in the future where he ends up on top and not Brainiac. So, there’s a lot of different games going on, and there’s a bit of a mystery to it, and that’s the storyline that we start off with the launch, and then we explore and finish with the end game.
Can you talk about the new DC Universe comic book?
We’re launching a DC Universe Online comic book in conjunction with the game. It will come out every two weeks, and it will allow us to tell more of the back story and side stories, a lot of these kind of new characters that are created – both heroes and villains – and maybe even possibly bring in some of the player characters and showcase them in the comic book, and really explain what I just told you in terms of the storyline with how Brainiac and Luthor got together and created this horrible state where the heroes are ultimately betrayed and destroyed. I think it’s a very, very rich story. The backstory was created by Geoff Johns, it’s being elaborated and written by Marv Wolfman, and I think there’s going to be a lot of cool things there for diehard comic book fans, casual gamers, people that love good stories.
Given the new Warner Bros. movie, will the Green Lantern make it into the game?
People ask like, can you be a Green Lantern in the game, and there’s a power set that’s based on light, but you’re not actually a Green Lantern. But, given that the movie comes out next June, we want to make sure that when we do the Green Lanterns we do them right and that they have that richness, and the fact that they’re intergalactic cops. To me, it smells like an expansion, and so it would be awesome to have an expansion where you explore the Green Lantern universe and what it means to be a Green Lantern, and really allow people to play that fiction, to play that role. And so that’s what we’re discussing right now.