Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dan Didio - Senior VP - Executive Editor of DC

Again this is just my opinion as a fan.

Dan Didio also seems to have a great passion and love for the artform. When I saw him at a couple of convention panels and I have read his remarks in interviews and his weekly column he seems to be a sincere individual with a love for the artform. Also under his tenure DC has re-invigorated their entire super-hero line. In total I have to say that I think the over all line is in the best shape it has been in a long time. Getting to that point was often painful and I think that until we hit the One Year Later jump I was seriously doubting Dan's vision for the super-hero line.

Under Dan's leadership they built-up to Infinite Crisis and have essentially relaunched every super hero title in their line with the one year later jump and have launched and succeeded (so far) in producing a weekly comic (52). While every issue of 52 is not a home run, it is the book I want to read first every week. Also under Dan serious talent has been put on the main two characters of DC Batman and Superman. It is the first time I have been buying Superman for years and Batman has been very good for the first time in at least 10 years. I think it is important that DC's most recognized characters are also well done books, by strong talent. DC has a slew of solid series Aquaman, Atom, Birds of Prey, Green Arrow, Firestorm, Green Lantern, Teen Titans, Outsiders and more are all good entertaining comics month in and month out. The various mini-series as opposed to launching a ton of ongoing series is also a move I agree with. Too often a series is launched based on one or two good concepts and then flounders and dies. This way we have the ability to spotlight characters that would no warrant an ongoing book. Of those Spectre, Secret Six, Mystery in Space, Martain Manhunter and Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters are good series that comes to mind.

We have had some spectacular failures and the worse one of all is a core DC character - The Flash. This book was so bad that is should not have been published. The Wonder Woman relaunch has been bland and the first couple of issues of the Ion maxi-series were very poorly done. Ion has picked up and I hope that Flash can improve.

Another gripe I have is Dan's idea that Bruce Wayne will always be Batman. Superman is an alien so he can age ever so slowly, Wonder Woman is tied to the Olympus Gods and can have immortality that way, but Batman should age and Dick Grayson should take over as Batman. Dan has a similar trait with Joe Q. Over at Marvel and that is they think there characters are timeless for certain core characters and that means they adjusted reality to work around these characters. That causes too many reboots and too many fast and loose interpretations of continuity. Be bolds and daring and let the human characters age.

Another complaint that I have is that it seems like Elseworlds has gone by the wayside since Dan has taken the helm. These are the type of stories that have created the best comics has to offer - as Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come and New Frontier are non-continuity projects that allow free reign to do what you want in the DCU. The amount of these projects was overwhelming, but I feel like those projects are no longer being sought.

All in all I believe Didio has done a good job in handling the DCU and has focused on making each book the best it can be. Also when he makes a mistake (wanting to kill Nightwing) he at least had a logical and good reason for why he wanted to do it and is now challenged his people to make Nightwing more of a central player.

I have been more of a DCU fan then Marvel for a long time now (although the Silver Age Marvel was my first love) and under Didio I don't see that changing.


  1. It seems that your rants about Joe Q and Dan D are similar in that you don't like the way each of the Big Two keep the characters from aging and whatnot.

    It'll never happen. These characters will be who they are for all time. The big ones anyway. The reasons that GL, FLASH, and other smaller scale characters can change is because they've always changed. When the DC character went from Golden Age to Silver, they changed concepts and identities. That is why they were able to change the way they did.

    BATMAN will never be anyone other than BRUCE WAYNE. Except for short, story-driven, pieces of time.

    It sucks, but it is one of the many reasons I prefer the indie comics or series with definitive endings such as SANDMAN, PREACHER, and TRANSMET.

    DC and MARVEL get more money from transfering their characters to other mediums.

    These characters are corporate entities that will outlast all of us, and as such, need to be kept in time bubbles to be used over and over again.

    I don't fault the EIC of either company for this. It's just the way corporate owned characters are run.

    Remember stories change, but the characters will always return, in some fashion, to the status quo.

    They're just servicing the trademarks, which is really their job, moreso than anything else.

    Peace. ;P

  2. Shawn - Thanks for your thoughts. I think real leadership could change the status quo and the trademark is Batman - not Bruce Wayne.

  3. *chuckles* I really can't argue with a desire to see characters age and move on. Who knows? It might even draw more interest and new readers. And think if Dick Grayson did become Batman - then they would have all the story material of how he would interact differently with Superman, etc.

    Sadly, though, Shawn is probably right, because money is a more powerful force than creativity. =(

  4. I'm not against change, though I do think no one should really be under that cape and cowl except Tim Drake. Drake's losses are mounting, where I never really see Grayson getting quite that "dark."

    Marvel's a different story altogether. No one takes over as a costumed hero for long, they always get the original back. At least DC has had FLASH, GL, BLUE BEETLE, AQUAMAN, DOCTOR MIDNITE, STARMAN, ATOM change, and introduces a new ROBIN, SUPERBOY, and WONDER GIRL.

    Marvel very rarely does this. And I think some of their characters that have been bland could use a shake-up like a new person in that role.

    DR. STRANGE springs to mind.

    They really should be using the ULTIMATE line to further set themselves apart from their 616 Universe. ULTIMATES is the only book that has really embraced this.

    Most of their characters are too much like their regular universe counterparts.

    I think I am more prone to read creator-owned stuff because I know stuff tends to HAPPEN in those books.


  5. Marvel never changes and I agree that the independents and Vertigo books tend to be more cutting edge.

    I just wish more of the cape people would not be scared to try the other stuff.

  6. I say they should bring back Elseworlds and let those stories be told.

    You could argue that Spider-Girl was having Parker older with a daughter, and it really isn't "in" continuity.

    Maybe they should retcon books every decade like clockwork and start a new continuity allowing the characters to age, get married, die, etc.

    Unless its a special though, you aren't going to see what you want. Like the Future storyline in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST or the recent TEEN TITANS future tale.

    I'm ok with that.

    I still think DC should do an ULTIMATE line though.

    But that's just me.