Geoff Johns steps down at CCO of DC Entertainment as Jim Lee steps up

Johns signs exclusive with Warner Bros./DC Entertainment to create films, TV and comic books, including a pop-up imprint at DC Comics called ‘The Killing Zone’ and a new Shazam! comics series.

DC Entertainment announced today that Geoff Johns will leave his executive position as president and chief creative officer to focus on the “hands-on” creative side, as he launches Mad Ghost Productions and signs an exclusive deal with the company to create comics, TV shows and films full time. Jim Lee’s duties will now include those of the Chief Creative Officer, in addition to his co-publisher role at DC Comics with Dan DiDio.

“I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything. But, I want to spend my days writing and on set. I’m thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role. It’s a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC’s vast pantheon of characters,” Johns said in a statement. “I’m also excited to continue to work with the amazing team at DCE and my colleagues at Warner Bros.”

Johns took on his CCO role in 2010, and they added “president” to his title in 2016. The change follows the departure of Johns’ boss, Diane Nelson, who left the company last week.

On the comics side, Johns will oversee a new “pop-up” imprint for DC, called “The Killing Zone.” Similar to the Young Animal imprint curated by Gerard Way, The Killing Zone will focus “on new and lesser known DC characters and titles.” Johns will also write a Shazam! comic that’s due out this fall, as well as the upcoming Three Jokers, illustrated by Jason Fabok. The Mad Ghost Productions site also lists another Batman: Earth One graphic novel as being in development.

“Geoff is one of DC Comics’ most prolific writers, and we can’t wait to see what he does next now that he will be dedicating 100 percent of his time to telling the best DC stories possible across all media,” said DiDio and Lee in a statement. “The new publishing projects we are working on together will be instant fan-favorites.”

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