The one-time editor-in-cChief of Marvel Comics has been selected to reprise that role for the Distinguished Competition. Robert Harras has been named Editor-in-Chief, VP, DC Comics, overseeing editorial for DC Comics, DC Universe, MAD Magazine and Vertigo, and reporting directly to Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. Harras had been serving as group editor, Collected Editions for the company.
The move comes at a time when DC is still feeling its way forward following the announcement that many of its non-print divisions will be moving to parent company Warner Bros.’ home turf of Burbank, Calif. — with up to 80 employee layoffs and relocations in the offing — while its struggling WildStorm and Zuda imprints are shutting down entirely. Of course, Harras is no stranger to tough times at a Big Two publisher, having presided over Marvel during its late-’90s bankruptcy.
DC had been without an official editor-in-chief since the departure of Jenette Kahn in 2002. As executive editor, Dan DiDio was mainline-DC’s de facto editor-in-chief, and the absence of such a figure since DiDio’s promotion to co-publisher was a much-noted aspect of the year since Diane Nelson was brought aboard as president of DC Entertainment.
As CBR’s Kiel Phegley notes, the announcement bears additional interest in that it appears to be the first time that “DC Universe” has been used by the company to refer to an imprint akin to Vertigo. DC’s shared-universe titles are obviously an institution dating back decades, but the newly official-seeming nomenclature may serve to distinguish these mostly-superhero titles from books that the DC line has inherited from WildStorm and Zuda.