As we all know, DC is now a west coast company, and there’s a lot of changes happening. Co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee have been doing the press rounds with a series of interviews conducted at SDCC for various outlets, and in the Comic Book Resources edition it seems like stability is the new word:
While DC is bringing in so many new creators, you’ve got new projects with creators like Marv Wolfman and Len Wein. How deliberate is that balance?
DiDio: It’s really finding the best creators for the best projects. Look at the marketplace right now: There is a proliferation of comic books out there. You can see 400 titles on a monthly basis. We want to make sure we have the best talent pushing forward — we’re looking at the entire talent pool now, and saying, “Who’s best to execute our books? The best interpretation, the best voice, the ones that are able to push this character moving forward?” Our goal is never to be in a position where we are restarting, relaunching a line, ever again. Quite the opposite. What we really want to do is build on what we created from the launch of New 52, take what existed beforehand, integrate that in, to give us the best interpretations of the characters that organically move forward, and are all part of one big continuity, that is DC Comics.
Given the constant upheavals of the Crisis Era—one year later, five years later, final this, infinite that—this sounds like a bit of a sea change. Nü DC has sported fairly modest crossover/events since Convergence, and granted, its only been a few months, but previous Septembers were the launching point for various largeish eventish things, from the original New 52 itself to Trinity War to Forever Evil and so on. Darkseid War and Robin War are happening or in the works but they are a bit more limited in scope, so far anyway. Maybe we’re entering the War Era?
The new staff is one third old timers, one third previous West Cost employees and one third all new, all different staff, so the new DC philosophy is still evolving. Given the realities of the industry, one can’t entirely fault the previous approach of endless electroshock therapy to jolt a jaded readership/retail community into a “what is going to happen now??!??” mindset. But in just a couple of years, comics readers who like a reliable monthly experience of reading about their preferred characters seems to have taken hold as the targeted audience. Stan Lee was a big proponent of the illusion of change to keep people coming back. At the very least, in order to have a status quo to throw into chaos for dramatic effect you need to actually establish a status quo with some sense of stability. Maybe it’s just time for the DCU to become a comfy, reliable place.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.