DC Comics Licensed Off?

So Rob Liefield has an interesting tweet up https://twitter.com/robertliefeld/status/1157004022005370881 in which he states that he thinks AT&T will license off DC Comics. Thoughts on what that might look like, and your general thoughts on this…?

and then there is this article from forbes… https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2019/07/31/where-does-dc-fit-in-atts-vision-for-warnermedia/#1c64955d79b7

Also do not think I am here trying to rumor monger and destroy DC, if you can tell by my avatar I absolutely love DC Comics and its characters. My favorite universe in the world! The more people bring things like this up though, the more I am worried that my little corner of the world is about to be upended or outright pillaged and destroyed…

I wouldn’t worry about it. Rob Liefeld likes to stir the pot, and DC has always been a money maker at least on merchandise. Think of how many people you’ve seen wearing a Batman or Superman t-shirt.


First: Don’t trust Rob Liefeld.

Second: Define “license off.” Like, let other companies that AT&T doesn’t own publish books about DC characters? What on earth would the point of that be? That would give them a stake in the intellectual property. And all DC Comics is is one giant IP mill. They feed ideas to the movies and shows which move action figures and T-shirts. In the entertainment industry, they prefer when content turns a profit, but they make their actual money off of merchandise and theme parks.

Look at what a pain it’s been for Marvel with Sony leeching money from all their Spider-Man content. Sure, that’s adaptations and not source material, but if there are entire characters and story arcs that can’t be adapted without giving some other company a cut? No way. Now, maybe they could work something out with a company that just does comics that they get the boost in sales from the DC characters but AT&T/WB/DC keeps all the IP rights, but any sane licensee is going to want some kind of piece of the action. And besides, what would any other company have that DC itself doesn’t?

And if he’s saying license out the movie rights like Disney did, I still doubt that, precisely because of the Spider-Man problem.


Right… I totally trust Rob Liefeld. There’s a man with his finger on the pulse. For sure. Totally.

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It would be insane for any company to give up any degree of control that they currently have of Batman Superman Wonder Woman and now Aquaman Shazam Harley Quinn and Joker

It would be the equivalent of selling your TV set and then renting it each month. Maybe good for short term revenue but stupid in the long run.

It would be much easier to reduce the number of titles (bad) or increase the readership through material that appeals to younger teens pre teens children and their parents as well as women and other groups that want to see themselves in the comics they buy without becoming political.

We are all Americans is a very good approach. Some Americans are stupid or evil is not.

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I look at this another way; ATT ruined Direct-TV, In my opinion, and whoever has been making decisions for DC Comics (movies and comic books) hasn’t been doing so hot either. So would it be so bad if ATT sold off DC? I don’t think so.

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But pay attention to that Forbes article though

AT&T is heavily promoting DC Comics shows and movies for HBO Max. Why would it sell DC Comics and lose their complete control of that material? It would easier to limit titles for cost purposes. In the long run increasing the readership is the answer.


Rob’s just pissed that Hawk and Dove got cancelled.


That Forbes article is just more speculation. Don’t listen to doomsayers. Even the article itself admits how much AT&T profits from DC merchandising.


Its true that merchandising truly is where DC and WB make the most money off of the brand.

Hell, merchandise is where most entertainment companies make a majority of their money, period.


Marvel is already doing it with IDW. It won’t be anytime soon, but I predict that both Marvel and DC will cease publication of their own books and just license everything out.

Again, what could they possibly gain by doing that? Whatever you think of their creative decisions, DC and Marvel are pretty good at publishing comic books. They have access to far more resources, talent, brand value, and cold, hard cash than any other publisher (aside from each other - and this is all U.S.-specific; I don’t know what the international market looks like). Licensing means making fewer comics at higher cost for less return on investment.

If AT&T dumped publishing DC comics on another company

What would happen to the contracts that DC Comics has with many writers and artist like Bendis?

The company that publishes
would have to, in order to maximize their profits

Minimize titles
Rely on reprints
Work for hire rules for everybody including no royalties fringe benefits etc.

Not only would quality disappear but fan outrage would be large and sales plummet.

Even if DC Comics finances are as bad as the old Soviet Union before its fall, which I dont believe, AT&T could not tolerate the backlash.