As if being the company’s publisher and chief creative officer wasn’t enough, Jim Lee has been named as the president of DC, the company has revealed. The announcement was made Wednesday by Warner Bros. Discovery president of Global Brands, Franchises, and Experiences, Pam Lifford, who will continue to be Lee’s immediate boss inside the larger WBD corporation.
Lee first came to prominence inside the comics industry at Marvel in the late 1980s as the artist on titles including Alpha Flight and Punisher War Journal, before taking over as main artist on Uncanny X-Men for the closing issues of writer Chris Claremont’s record-breaking 17-year run on the franchise. With Claremont, he launched the adjectiveless X-Men series in 1991, the first issue of which remains the best-selling comic book in U.S. history, before leaving Marvel to cofound Image Comics in 1992.
At Image, Lee founded Aegis Entertainment, a studio of creators that was later renamed WildStorm Productions; in addition to titles Lee worked on directly like WildC.A.T.s, Deathblow, and Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday, WildStorm produced beloved titles include Gen 13, Stormwatch, and Whilce Portico’s Wetworks, as well as the Alan Moore-led America’s Best Comics imprint of titles.
In 1998, Lee sold WildStorm Productions to DC, transitioning back into a more creative role at the company — he worked with Jeph Loeb on Batman on the fan-favorite storyline Hush in 2003, and with Frank Miller on the unfinished All Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder in 2005 — while simultaneously serving as the editorial director of the WildStorm imprint; in early 2010, he was named as co-publisher of DC by then-president Diane Nelson, with the announcement of the closure of the WildStorm imprint arriving some months later.
As co-publisher, Lee worked alongside Dan Didio overseeing such publishing initiatives as Before Watchmen, The New 52, and DC Universe Rebirth, before Didio’s departure from the company in 2020, at which point he became the sole publisher of the company. Two years earlier, he’d taken on the position of chief creative officer following the departure of Geoff Johns from the company.
Lee’s new position makes him the first president DC has had since 2018, when Diane Nelson resigned from the company; in the five years since her departure, the position has been left intentionally empty. Previous to Nelson, earlier DC presidents have included Paul Levitz, Jenette Kahn, and Sol Harrison, who was the first person to hold the title beginning in 1976.