When Geoff Johns was announced as the new head of DC Films, fans rejoiced that the DCEU had found a perfect leader – but if things had gone differently, he may have wound up masterminding Marvel‘s TV and movie entertainment instead. That’s assuming that Johns would have gotten a similar climb up from writer to producer and Chief Creative Officer, of course, but as the writer of some of DC’s greatest comics and events in the modern age, some would argue Johns was always bound for his current position. Which is why it may surprise some DC fans to know that the current President of DC Comics got his start with Marvel.
Even more surprising is his account of exactly what brought him to DC instead, and how easily things may have gone a completely different route. Johns gave a summary of his less-than-direct path to comic book legend status at SDCC, explaining how his early career aspirations had him leaning towards writing and directing films, not comics. The alternative, it turns out, was to channel his early love for DC’s superheroes into a career as a comic book artist.
As Johns explained, his future out of high school came down to a simple decision: to head to Michigan State University film school, or The Joe Kubert School to pursue comic book art. Although his love for DC characters was instilled from his first comic book onward, Johns chose to write and direct film. A knack for writing soon followed, eventually evolving into a job as director Richard Donner’s assistant. Some freelance work with both Marvel and DC Comics soon followed, with DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio asking Johns to find the exact moment when ‘writing’ became his true profession.
Apparently, that day came after his time as a Marvel writer:
[It was] probably the day that I signed an exclusive at DC. I was like, ‘Oh I guess my profession is a writer.’ That was a journey too, because… Obviously I love DC. I like Marvel, but I love DC… I love Hulk. If I could buy Hulk from…