For years, he’s been a very much public face and presence at the company that some (including myself) have a very masochistic relationship toward very much due to some of the choice moves he’s made throughout the company.
For me? I take no joy in this man being gone. Even if the man himself did very much a lot of unique things that I so do not agree with. But there has been some good. He kept Blue Beetle and Jonah Hex ongoings on longer than they should have been when the cancellation ax began to swing in their direction. The making comics $2.99 was an inspired move. A pity he and DC never kept going with it. He was always at cons opening himself to the fans, even at the controversial choices he took the company in. That and the man sure gave us a helluva lot of headlines to have fun with.
Those headlines were what always made my eyes roll whenever he made the news for something directly or indirectly caused by running DC. For me, the biggest was his entire dump on why many readers love the company: legacy. Characters such as Dick Grayson, Wally West, Cassandra Cain, Ted Kord, Kyle Rayner, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Bart Allen, Barbara Gordon, Mary Marvel, the entire Legion of Superheroes, so many Teen Titans and of course Donna Troy got put thru quite the blender of awful direction due to some choices he allowed.
Biggest among them, his choice of words always going on about pushing the most “iconic” characters at DC Comics, and pushing those heirs to legacy off the road, and thinking not much of them. Until, well fan demand brought those characters back. Then once again DiDio would allow awful dark direction to continue. Dark and grim with a never ending cycle of no hope was the Dan DiDio method of comic making.
For me, it was always what he did to the Batgirl identity and the characters around it. How he drove one amazing character in the ground, because he wanted to bring back the one he deemed “iconic”. Approved so many horrible stories, that he finally got his way, and that character got ousted. Then at the last minute to change his mind.
Yes, we got a better comic book out of it. I very much enjoyed Batgirl Vol. 3. But DiDio gonna DiDio and but two years later he got his wish. Barbara Gordon was back as Batgirl, and fans had to pick up the pieces with what remained of the mess DiDio created.
To others it could be one of those characters above. No matter what the awful stories that came during his tenure still stain the minds of fans. We all know and recite their infamous names.
“Batman: War Games”. “Teen Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day”. “Identity Crisis”, the event that ushered in his stance that would be a hallmark at the company. “Batman: War Crimes”. “Infinite Crisis”. “One Year Later”. “Countdown”. “Amazons Attack”. “Final Crisis”. “Justice League: Cry for Justice”. Rise of Arsenal. Flashpoint. The New 52.
And of course what will now be his final gritty grim opus all approved by him, “Heroes in Crisis”…
There are so many. So many runs or events that transpired in comics at DC that all bore the hallmark of DiDio’s this awful cycle. Or the tried and true method of events focusing sololy on the villain. So many one-shots on villains. I think the number of villain-centric events that lead “Final Crisis” to “Year of the Villain”, “Forever Evil”, and whatever event that lead to a really bad period of DC (namely the Titans comic that killed off fan-favorite Ryan Choi and gave us dead cat chucking drug addicted Roy Harper).
Whatever good the man did at the company, there was so much bad one can remember about him. There’s probably so much the man did. Bridges he burned in creative because of the antics he allowed or wished for.
And now he’s gone from the company. Some always wished it to happen, and now it has. It’s ironic in a way that the company was moving toward “celebrating” legacy again, and fixing the mess he himself made with the company with the 5G event or whatever they’re calling it at DC these days.
It’ll be curious to see what happens next and where the company goes from here. For some, happiness over the news will be the name of the game. Others, worried because well. Can DC do worse with someone worse than DiDio or better? I guess we will find out soon.
Oh, convention season starts up next week too. Ironically, enough C2E2. I.e. an event that holds much meaning for me, and several former Outhousers just seven years ago. It was a move probably approved by him, that made us blacklisted with the company. So the irony is rich, in that fact. Along with a few other things. I guess that will be the place where the heir to DiDio will be announced. Or sooner. It’ll be really curious to see the DC presence and mood this year there.
For me on DiDio or “Kankor” which the Superdickery forums dubbed him in their Cass Toons. I’ll remember the awful things (along what small good he did), but I’ll also remember more the good. I met numerous people who had the same interests as I do online. On so many formats and places. All sharing the same passion. For that I will say thanks to the man for making numerous friends because of his antics. That and so many hilarious article or mini comics written by so many.
So for that I say thank you Dan at the very least for that.