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Who Owns the Rights to DC Comics? Let's Find Out!

When we were kids, we all wished to be a superhero like Wonderwoman or Superman. Everyone knows the comic-turned-movie from Warner Bros DC, but how much do you know about the rich history of DC comics? 

Find out how their stories are shaping the future, whether in the form of comic books or on the big screen!

DC Comics: An Overview

History

DC Comics, Inc. is a comic book publisher and the subsidiary of the Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences division of Warner Brothers. Its first few publications in 1934 revolved around the DC characters in the DC Universe, featuring recognizable characters such as DC Superman, Batman, and formidable villains like The Joker. 

In March 1989, Warner Communications merged with Time Inc., making DC Comics a subsidiary of Time Warner. The Warner Communications company never failed to issue DC publications of compelling tales of superheroes such as Superman and the Justice League, worthy of developing into DC movies for avid fans to see. 

Both in print and pictures, DC Comics is an era in itself and has shaped the diverse culture of America in one way or another.

What DC Stands For

What DC Stands For

DC stands for Detective Comics, which the company derived from its successful and original series back when they presented themselves as National Periodical Publications. Each of DC’s comic book characters is one of a kind and can make its way into small and big screens, just like its competitor, Marvel. 

Since its first publication, DC has been head to head with Marvel and is continuously making a name in the industry with its compelling superhero stories.

DC Entertainment

DC Comics, Inc. is a flagship unit of DC Entertainment which is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers. In 2009, Walt Disney acquired Marvel, and talks of acquiring DC sprung up too, and it was considered a huge leap for Disney since Disney Channel has been known to air creative shows and cartoons for kids. 

Come April 2015, DC Ent. announced its first franchise - the DC Super Hero Girls universe.

Read: DC vs Marvel

Who Owns It?

Warner Bros. Entertainment 

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros. acquired DC in 1969. The company had its fair share of losses due to the decline of interest in reading comic stories. However, they were able to bounce back by permeating the television screens (just like Disney Channel) and showing movies in theatres (just like its main competitor, Marvel). 

In 2009, Warner Bros. announced that DC would become a subsidiary of DC Ent. with Diane Nelson as president - the same year Disney acquired Marvel. Kevin Tsujihara is the CEO of both DC and Warner Bros, while Geoff Johns, a writer and film producer, got the position of Chief Creative Officer.

WarnerMedia co-owns the CW network that hosts DC’s Arrowverse television shows. It strengthened the foothold of the company on television compared to that of Marvel. Contrary to the rumors, Marvel is not acquiring the company as Marvel is a mere subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. 

Time Warner

Time Warner

Time Warner is the parent company of Warner Bros. and the owner of HBO Max - a platform where fans can stream DC’s movies. It is an American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate corporation owned by AT&T. 

The company has film, television, and cable operations, including WarnerMedia Studios & Networks like Turner Broadcasting, HBO, and Cinemax, and Warner Bros., which consists of film, animation, and television studios.

AT&T

AT&T

AT&T is the parent company of WarnerMedia. However, its recent actions suggest that some changes could occur sometime in the future. Warner Bros. abruptly fired DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, who held the top position alongside Jim Lee over the past 10 years, which came as a shock to the public and all parties with vested interests. 

FAQs

Who founded the DC comic?

Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded DC Comics back in 1939 when the company was still called National Allied Publications [1]. NAP then created Detective Comics and introduced the infamous Batman in issue #27, along with many well-known villains. The series, Detective Comics, published under DC Comics, ran from 1937 to 2011, or 74 years! 

Read: Our Recommended DC Comics Gifts

Is DC Comics shutting down?

Not entirely. The company has shut down its TV and movie support before renaming itself DC Universe Infinite and streaming a library of action comics for its avid readers. Most of DC’s movie collection and TV series were transferred to the streaming service of HBO Max, while some can be viewed on Disney Channel and other streaming platforms.

So, Who Owns DC Comics?

To sum it all, DC is the flagship unit of DC Ent., a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, and a subsidiary of AT&T. Although Disney does not own DCper se,this didn’t stop Disney Channel from creating their versions of Superman and Batman. 

Since then, the company has strived to provide both kids and adults with interesting storylines in their books, and now, this great legacy continues on the screen. 

Make sure to check out our website for DC items and collectibles on sale!

Reference:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Malcolm-Wheeler-Nicholson