Normally, I stick to simply reviewing and critiquing comic books. And, this week I did not get to even publish my normal four to five reviews. But, I have a good reason for that as I am working on something new and special for The Revolution. Hopefully, we will be able to unveil it in a week or so.
At any rate, I felt compelled to publish my take on some news from a few interviews with Dan DiDio and two rumors connected with the scatter-brained EIC of DC. The LA Times blog, Hero Complex, posted a a great interview with Dan DiDio. It appears that DiDio is intent on “shaking” things up in the DCU in the wake of Final Crisis.
DiDio confirmed that DC will be bringing back Adventure Comics and it will be done so with a new No. 1 issue. DiDio hinted that the new Adventure Comics will star a variety of characters including the Legion of Super Heroes. I have to say that my initial reaction to this news is less than positive. It seems that the Legion is going to regress even further as they have been stripped of their own title and are now forced back into appearing in Adventure Comics as a running side-story.
As a long-time Legion fan, it is so depressing to see the Legion once again becoming the unloved and unwanted stepchild of the DCU. The Legion had grown and evolved so much. They broke out of Adventure Comics and Superboy’s title to finally get their name on the cover as Superboy was re-titled Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes. Then the Legion finally attained their very own title after decades of being featured in Adventure Comics and Superboy. I hate to see the Legion regressing in such a fashion. Despite DiDio’s claims that DC has huge things planned for the Legion, I remain utterly unconvinced.
DiDio also addressed the future of the Batman universe. Now, it is not any breaking news that Birds of Prey, Robin and Nightwing are all getting cancelled in February. This will clear the path for the Battle for the Cowl which starts in March. Evidently, DiDio is billing this as a brand new beginning for the Batman universe.
There was also the confusion over who will be writing the Battle for the Cowl. Morrison has denied that he will be writing it. It was then rumored that Winick would be the writer. However, DiDio finally came out on Newsarama and announced that Tony Daniel would be writing and drawing the Battle for the Cowl.
Now, I love Daniel as an artist, but I never knew that he was a writer as well. Has Daniel ever written anything before? I have extreme reservations about DiDio tapping a relatively unknown and untested writer in Daniel to handle such a huge event in the Battle for the Cowl that DiDio has stated will outline the future for the Batman universe. I would have thought that DiDio would have wanted a big name writer to handle this important task.
Personally, I am less than optimistic about the direction of the Batman franchise. Batman is pretty much the only DC franchise that consistently performs well in the monthly sales charts. And I believe that if something ain’t broke then you don’t fix it. DiDio would have been better served tinkering with other parts of the DCU other than his one sales monster in the Batman franchise.
I also find this move of having Bruce Wayne walk away from being Batman to be unoriginal and a bit of a ret-tread story. We already saw Bruce Wayne walk away from being Batman after Bane broke his back. Having to see Bruce Wayne walk away again even if it is for a totally different reason just does not interest me that much. I will probably take this opportunity to join Bruce Wayne in taking a break from Batman. I will twiddle my thumbs patiently for the inevitable “dramatic” return of Bruce Wayne as the Batman probably in two years or so.
DiDio then turned his attention to Superman and revealed that Superman will not longer star in Action Comics. As a fan of comic book history, I must admit that I loathe the idea of anyone else starring in Action Comics other than Superman. Superman has been the star of Action Comics since the beginning with the only exception being when Superman was “dead.” Having said that, I am willing to reserve judgment on this move until I learn exactly who will be writing the title and what character(s) will be starring in Action Comics.
DiDio continues by stating that Superman would continue to appear in Superman. DiDio also said that Superman is going to be leaving Earth for what appears to be for good. DiDio plans on have Superman showcase Superman’s adventures in space instead of on Earth. At first blush, I have to say that I hate this idea. Again, DC is reaching into the past to recycle another story. We already saw Superman’s adventures in space during the Exiled in Space story that began in 1989. I have no desire to read this recycled story.
Also, part of what makes Superman so interesting to me is the wonderful supporting cast. And that is why I have enjoyed Johns’ run on Action Comics so much since he has made a concerted effort to give plenty of panel time to the great supporting cast that Superman is blessed with.
Now, let’s couple this news with the the rumor from Lying in the Gutters over on CBR that “Morrison is not the only person having difficulties with DiDio’s direction. I understand that James Robinson and Dan had a stand up argument that led to Robinson quitting the Superman books and the DCU in general.”
I find the combination of this news of the direction of Action Comics and Superman coupled with the rumor of Robinson disagreeing with DiDio’s direction and quitting Superman and the DCU in general to be incredibly distressing. Robinson is a fantastic writer and I have enjoyed his work on Superman immensely. And I was greatly looking forward to Robinson returning the JLA back to greatness in the new Justice League title.
I found all of the news from DiDio concerning the “exciting” and “new” direction of the post Final Crisis DCU to be massively underwhelming. All these “new” ideas from DiDio are nothing more than older themes recycled with a different spin on them. I am concerned that the Legion of Super Heroes, Batman and Superman will all begin to regress under DiDio’s direction.
Now, let’s address another rumor that I found incredibly distressing if it is in fact true. Lying in the Gutters posted a yellow light rumor that the last issue of “Final Crisis” is further delayed as it is suffering from serious rewrites. Evidently, DiDio was unhappy with the way the story concluded and the implications for the DCU.
DiDio ordered changed from Grant Morrison, who was obviously angry over such orders. Especially since it is being reported that Morrison clearly included the ending for Final Crisis when he wrote the pitch for the book.
The rumor continues that as a result of this re-write that the creative teams working on a number of spinoff and affected books have also had to stop work while the “Final Crisis” ending is reworked. Lying in the Gutters warns for readers to expect more lateness in the Final Crisis event as well as the possibility that Morrison may not be doing any work on the DCU in the near future.
Now, it must be kept in mind that this is a yellow light rumor. Having said that, if this rumor is true then I am completely stunned and flabbergasted over DiDio’s latest gaffe. How in the world can an EIC be so unprofessional? DiDio knew how Morrison wanted to end Final Crisis before DC green-lighted the title. And if DiDio wants to claim that he did not know then he should be fired immediately. An EIC should never green-light a massive event like Final Crisis and not be privy to how the event is going to end.
DiDio wanting Morrison to re-write the ending to Final Crisis merely emphasizes what we have long known about Didio. The man runs around like a chicken with its head cut off. DiDio constantly changes his mind. DiDio is always flip-flopping and overreacting to criticism.
An Editor-In-Chief needs to have a strong commitment to his decisions and a coherent vision of the future. DiDio posses none of these abilities. DiDio’s weaknesses as an EIC are a large reason why DC continued to gets absolutely thrashed by Marvel in the monthly sales charts.
It is incredibly alarming that DiDio would order a re-write of the ending for Final Crisis. After green-lighting Final Crisis, DiDio should have lived with his decision and trusted Morrison to do his job. Last minute re-writes usually are a bad sign and lead to a butchered story. I feel bad for Morrison and wish that he would be able to tell his story free of DiDio’s manhandling.
I was enjoying Final Crisis. At this point, if it is going to be delayed and re-written then my interest and enthusiasm for Final Crisis is going to be completely killed.
I am also inclined to blame DiDio for DC’s current problems given the evidence of all the blow-ups between DiDio and DC’s talent. When I first heard of DiDio having a blow-up with Shooter, I took into consideration that Shooter has a bad temper and a reputation as a rough person to deal with. Then we get the news of DiDio and Morrison clashing. I kept in mind that Morrison can be a difficult person to deal with.
Now we get news of DiDio clashing with Robinson. You know, at some point DiDio has to take the blame for all of these disagreements. I have to look at the common denominator in all these blow-ups and that is Dan DiDio. Clearly, DiDio does not know how to properly handle or interact with DC’s talent. And that is a fatal flaw for an EIC.
Didio is making it extremely difficult for me to be a fan of DC Comics. DiDio seems to have a lack of creative and original ideas as it appears that DiDio’s idea for a “new” and “different” future involves recycling older story concepts. And DiDio’s inability to work with talent will only continue to harm DC. I will openly admit my bias in that I am a fan of Shooter, Morrison and Robinson. Having said that, I do not think that DC can continue to alienate writers of that quality and pedigree and still expect to be competitive with Marvel each and every month.