Long Beach may not be as well known as a destination for comic conventions like San Diego or New York, but the show still attracts some of the industry’s big names. This past weekend, Dan DiDio held his own panel where he talked about his start at DC Comics and engaged with the audience to answer their questions about their favorite titles and what to expect from the company in the future. It was an interesting dialog and it provided some insight on behind the scenes and the co-publisher was very candid throughout.
DiDio jumped from animation to DC Comics where he became the VP of Editorial. His job was to oversee the DC, Wildstorm, Vertigo and Mad lines and figure ways on how each could work together. After the first year, he was ready to quit but had second thoughts when he was offered the Executive Editor position and promised changes he was in favor of on how things were run. During the first day in his new role, the critically acclaimed Batman: Hush storyline began with art by his current co-publisher, Jim Lee. Many at the company were surprised by the success and the two have had a great working relationship since then.
One misgiving he had of the New 52 relaunch was the poor planning. Though it was a commercial success, there was a huge disconnect with fans as there was no clear vision after the first year. They don’t want to make the same so they plan to build a new timeline to provide consistency throughout all their current titles. The long-term plan for 2020 is to find a center for all the different books and have them come together. He promises that Doomsday Clock, the Justice Society of America and the Legion of Super-Heroes will all be linked. However, delays in Doomsday Clock has hurt this overall vision. Though the JSA recently returned in Justice League #30, they are also set to appear in Doomsday Clock #12 and will play an integral role in the future.
As several of DC books have experienced delays in the middle of their runs, a new policy was enacted where at least three or four issues must be completed before premiering. A casualty of the new rule is Wildcats. It was a difficult decision but they brought in a new artist which will push the release another four to six months.
Other interesting notes include that the events in Batman #77 were not done for shock factor and there will be larger implications in 2020 as they rebuild the connective tissue of the universe. Also, the upcoming series that DiDio is most excited for are his Metal Men comic, which he describes as having a West World vibe, and Inferior Five, which is partially inspired by Stranger Things. It is written by Keith Giffen and Jeff Lemire.
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