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DC Comics news: Creator royalty changes, Wonder Woman, and film scuttlebutt

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DC Comics relaunches their corporate wide creator payment plan!

As DC Comics (now DC Entertainment) continues with their corporate overhaul and relocation from Manhattan, New York to California, changes to their business structure were expected. While this has begun with certain high ranking staff members leaving, retiring, or being promoted (as not everyone at DC wished to move across the coast regardless of salary), a new email by co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio reveals even more changes. Fortunately, it seems to be a corporate shift for the better which seeks to update creator incentives for high selling comics as well as to offer more credits for colorists - who are often unsung heroes in comic production.

According to the email, starting next month, DC Comics' "participation payment plan" is going to change with the times. Under previous plans, creator royalty amounts at DC Comics was closely related to the cover prices of the comics they worked on, kept digital sales separate from print sales. As of July 1st, that calculation would be tabulated by combining the sales for both print and digital comics that a creator has produced. This will allow more creators to meet the sales threshold for additional royalties from high selling work - especially creators of DC's "digital first" comics. Thus, royalties for creators will be calculated based on net sales for their work instead of cover prices, which will both reward top sellers as well as help some lower selling talents finally make the grade. In addition, colorists will now be credited on the covers for all DC Comics the same as writers, pencilers, and inkers currently are, and will also be able to participate in creator royalty programs the same as those peers do. This was seen as a step to help lure quality colorists to DC Comics.

It seems every year, the "pay for hire" model of "big two" comics like DC Comics seems to be even more heavily criticized whenever aging creators (or their heirs) seek to sue for royalties or copyrights. This move will help DC Comics spread the wealth to more fairly compensate creators for their work - especially as they are encouraged to create new characters for the "New 52" who may go on to be adapted into more lucrative mediums such as animation or film.

DC teams up with IDW to reprint Wonder Woman's newspaper strips!

The reprinting of long lost comics can often make for some strange bedfellows. To this end, DC Comics is uniting with IDW Comics to produce a near 200 page hardcover collection of the "Wonder Woman" newspaper strips from 1943-1944. The strips were written and drawn by her original comic book creator William Moulton Marston and her first artist, Harry G. Peters. Less than two years after her debut in "All Star Comics #8", Wonder Woman's creators were tasked with introducing the heroine to more readers via newspaper strips, which had also been done with Superman and Batman. Her newspaper tales followed the course of her comic book origins, detailing her origin on Paradise Island and her fateful meeting with wayward soldier Steve Trevor.

Despite this being Batman's 75th anniversary, this is another major step by DC Entertainment to try to broaden the reach of their iconic heroine. This is on the heels of her getting a digital-first spin off series as well as her role in 2016's film "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" (as played by Gal Gadot) being the increasing source of attention.

Spoilers about "Batman v. Superman" revealed?

It is almost a foregone conclusion that Warner Brothers will reveal some official images and/or footage for "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" at this year's upcoming San Diego Comic Con. As such, leaks, rumors, and spoilers about such announcements tend to float online beforehand. True or not, JoBlo is reporting some interesting tidbits about the film from the usual unnamed "sources".

The biggest is word on the Wonder Woman costume which will be worn by Gal Gadot. At first rumored to be inspired by the redesign spearheaded by J. Michael Straczynski which has since appeared in the "Injustice" video game. However, JoBlo seems to suggest that it may be closer to designs by the current "Wonder Woman" artist Cliff Chiang as it is "ripped from the comics" aside for silver bracelets that go to her elbows as well as a Xena style "warrior skirt". In addition to her magic lasso, she is expected to use a sword and shield in battle. She will have a "fair" amount of screen time to establish the existence of another DC superhero besides Superman (Henry Cavill) or Batman (Ben Affleck), but her origins will not be told. Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor will also reportedly have red hair (which he had originally in the comics before his design was merged with that of Superman's original mad scientist villain, Ultra-Humanite) and Batman will be "veteran crime fighter that will do anything it takes to get the job done" who will operate along different tracts than Superman. Despite demolishing a city and killing thousands to stop General Zod in "Man of Steel", Superman is seen as a "rule follower" in the film.

It will remain to be seen if any of this is true. Regardless, this film's status as a blatant prequel to an inevitable "Justice League" film remains revealed, and thus pressure for it to perform will continue to increase.

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