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Custom Batman (Courtesy of Jim Lee and Geoff Johns!)

Comics superstars Jim Lee and Geoff Johns dropped by the Maxim offices today to hang out, talk about DC's massive "New 52" relaunch and draw us a kick-ass picture of Batman. Oh, and have a go on our trampoline (seriously. We have photos).

In NYC for the Midnight Madness Event, Jim and Geoff took a walk around the Maxim office, remarking on the size of our bar, marveling at our growing collection of rare and unusual Tabasco sauces and politely pretending not to know what a Fleshlight was (what? We get sent a lot of weird shit here). After accidentally spraying bright purple Blunt Magic all over his hands while trying to remove the smell of the giant, four-foot salami on Bova's desk (don't ask), Jim decided to have a go on our trampoline. As you'd expect from a man who draws superhero poses for a living, he rocked it.

Finally, we sat down for a chat about all things comics: their favorite superhero movie (Geoff still loves the first Superman film); which Marvel character they'd bring over to DC if they could (Jim would bring The Thing, while Geoff would love to write The Incredible Hulk so much, he has a two-year story arc mapped out in his head, just in case); and, the topic most on their minds, the New 52. 

"It's an entry point into the DC universe", explained Geoff. "A lot of people know of these characters now - they know Green Lantern, they know Aquaman, they know Wonder Woman - and it's about making these characters as accessible as possible." To that end, all the regular books (including, sadly, Gail Simone's awesome Secret Six) are ending to make way for a whole new start: 52 new books, each starting at number one. The plan is to ditch the extraneous stuff and get to the nub of who these characters really are, not just by removing years of complex continuity (a la every other Crisis event), but by starting afresh and taking the characters back to their roots. Whether the plan will work is the subject of much heated debate (especially the decision to move Barbara Gordon out of the wheelchair and back into her Batgirl costume), but it's certainly a bold move, especially in light of the predictable rage from hardcore collectors. 

Their other big play is to simultaneously make digital editions of the books available on the same day as their paper counterparts, meaning those who read comics on their iPads don't have to wait for their books anymore. For those that don't live anywhere near a comic book store, this is very good news indeed. We had a look at Jim and Geoff's Justice League #1 on the iPad, and it's pretty damn slick - the ability to read panel by panel or page by page is fun, and zooming in on Jim's artwork is always a pleasure. 

Talking of Jim's artwork: did we mention that he drew us a kick-ass picture of Batman?

Ohhh yeaaah. He's the Goddamn Batman alright.