200712201207A post at Millarworld details a top notch tweaking:

First off, I have no opinion on this question of whether or not Stephanie Brown deserves a memorial in the Batcave. Never read a book with her in it, have only the vaguest idea that she was a female Robin who got killed off. I don’t know why DC doesn’t want to do it, don’t care.

What I do know is that there is a very passionate group of fans out there (largely, but not exclusively, female) for whom this is a major cause celebre. The furor about it kind of peaked a few months ago, and in the wake of various other “outrages,” seemed to have simmered down.

Now you or I, we’d have just put this behind us– no point in stirring things back up, right? Particularly since at least some of these folks are (or were and might be again) paying customers.

Evidently, though, Mr. Didio has decided to tweak those darn feminists again. In this week’s DC Nation, we are shown a list of the Christmas wishes of various DC characters (Superman wants “A new place to call home,” Batgirl wants “My very own mini-series,” etc.), on stationery that says “From the Holiday Desk of Dan Didio.”

Robin’s entry is “A memorial for Stephanie Brown.” This is crossed-out, and penciled over it is the notation “Can’t Do.”

So there, Stephanie Brown-ites, you haven’t been forgotten, after all.


UPDATE: We’re told by far better informed sources that this is really because the “Spoiler” it itching to return from the dead, as this Newsarama story reveals.

More from Kevin Melrose at [email protected]

That’ll teach us to try to figure out what’s going on at DC.

1 COMMENT

  1. It has been show in several comics magazines some clues about the return of The Spoiler, maybe Stephanie or maybe a copycat. So I think this is the cause for the lack of need of her memorial.

  2. Marcos’ comment would make sense and makes me re-think my original impression of Heidi’s post… I was going to comment on what I see as a tendency for Didio and Quesada to use fan outrage to get free publicity the same way a morning shock jock will put a toe over the line to see if they can’t provoke enough outrage to make the news but not lose their job or even how a politician might provoke a minority group in order to suck up to a majority group opposing them (for example, Huckabee’s “accidental” cross in his Iowa ad in which he happen to be talking about celebrating the birth of Christ- when people point it out he acts as if the questions are part of a phony “War on Christmas” and even Christians). Dan D. and Joe Q. seem to be giving the majority of fans what they want- including thumbing their noses or feigning ignorance at the ‘girls’ who complain. When I picture Marvel and DC editorial meetings I tend to think of a bunch of frat boys running around snapping each other with towels and doing keg stands while discussing which female superhero they would most want to “do.”

  3. Joe:

    That’s just silly because I’m sure everyone’s in agreement that Psylocke is the superhero that we’d all most want to do.

  4. My grade school crush at PS 139 in Brooklyn was named… Stephanie Brown.

    Probably not the same, since she wasn’t fictional (as I recall).

  5. “When I picture Marvel and DC editorial meetings I tend to think of a bunch of frat boys running around snapping each other with towels and doing keg stands while discussing which female superhero they would most want to “do.” ”

    -Except DC has their fair share of women on the DCU editorial staff – Joan Hilty, Stephanie Buscema, Jann Jones amongst others…

  6. -Except DC has their fair share of women on the DCU editorial staff – Joan Hilty, Stephanie Buscema, Jann Jones amongst others…
    Rachel Guckerstein, Elizabeth Gerhlien, Jeanine Schaeffer as well. It’s not some all boys club at DC. It’s a group of people trying to tell the best tories possible.

  7. Yeah, I assumed from reading Didio’s back page that he can’t give Spoiler a memorial because she’s not dead. Dixon (Spoiler’s creator) is back writing Robin and the solicitations are hinting she’s back.

    Hopefully DC can use this event to kill two birds with one stone — bring back Steph and redeem Leslie Thompkins. Maybe they can say Leslie pulled a last minute switch on Bruce, convincing him Stephanie was dead and sending her into protective custody (or something) to remove her from harm’s way.

  8. When I was at one of the DC panels in Baltimore, the Stephanie Brown seemed to send Didio from playful outrage to genuine annoyance. IIRC, he basically said “enough with this” to whomever asked the question (and fwiw, it think it was a male who asked).

    While both Didio and Quesada can come off as abrasive, I do empathize with having to deal with hundreds/thousands of angry fanboys/girls all wanting an answer to why their particular ox was gored, especially at a convention where there might be little room for escape.

  9. But… Didn’t Jason Todd come back from the dead too? or was that a clone?
    or is Bats misogynistic? Given his mental health, I’m surprised he doesn’t have his parents rotting corpses on display to constantly remind him of his failings… geez, like an eight year old kid would have been able to do anything to stop their murder…

  10. Jamal: “It’s not some all boys club at DC. It’s a group of people trying to tell the best stories possible.”

    Trying. Succeeding? That’s up for debate.

    Mark: “I do empathize with having to deal with hundreds/thousands of angry fanboys/girls all wanting an answer to why their particular ox was gored …”

    I empathize up to a point. Many of us would like to be in this field. Nobody told Joe Q. or Dan D. that they MUST serve as editor-in-chief. If they don’t like being the center of attention, being the celebs at panels, and autographing several hundred books … well, they could always step down and just write/draw/whatever.

  11. Good call, Torsten. Why should any dead Robin warrant a memorial over any other? Especially with Jason Todd’s return, the “but we’re bringing the character back” argument holds little water.

    Didio’s wish-list write-in clearly reads as an intentional jab at those for whom this is a symbolic issue.

  12. I agree with Rich.

    Jamal,

    You guys may be trying to tell the best stories possible (and we give you credit for trying) but…. you all have a very, very, very long way to go.

    And while I’m not a fevered fan of the Spoiler character like some, I think Didio’s comments were a bit insensitive to the paying customers who are.

    His tact is oftimes crass and insensitive to readers, to the point where other DC staffers have had to tell him to keep quiet at DC con panels. I mean c’mon, this is the guy who ruined the ending of 52 in a DC Nation column.

    Didio may ‘think’ he’s cutting edge but in public, he doesn’t come off as the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    But this is just another sign of the times.

    People refer to the dawn of comics as The Golden Age, then there was the Silver Age followed by The Bronze Age. Finally, the 90’s were known as the Dark Age. This, this is the dawning of a new time, a brand new era… as Steven Grant said in his recent CBR column, echoing the sentiment of many… this is the Golden Age of FanFic.

  13. Joe Williams said:
    “Marcos’ comment would make sense and makes me re-think my original impression of Heidi’s post… ”
    —–
    Yet you posted it anyway. How disingenuous. Not much thinking involved there.

  14. “Except DC has their fair share of women on the DCU editorial staff – Joan Hilty, Stephanie Buscema, Jann Jones amongst others…”

    And then over at Marvel we’ve got Molly Lazer, Nicole Boose and Lauren Sankovitch to name but a few representing the female demographic in the editorial bullpen.

  15. I preferred Stephanie as Robin. Hopefully she comes back without taking costume hints from the recent Batgirl or convoluted motivation from Jason Todd.

    When I saw this article, my first thought was “Stephanie + Lazarus Pit = Dark Spoiler… ugh”. Hopefully she’ll get a better chance at being accepted into the Bat-family boy’s club.

    Huh. Maybe she’ll become the next Batgirl…?

  16. Alan,

    We love comics, it’s the current trend of publishing material that reads and looks like fanfic that most of us don’t like.

    That said, if you don’t like what people post, don’t read the postings.

  17. Rich: “I empathize up to a point. Many of us would like to be in this field. Nobody told Joe Q. or Dan D. that they MUST serve as editor-in-chief. If they don’t like being the center of attention, being the celebs at panels, and autographing several hundred books … well, they could always step down and just write/draw/whatever.”

    This is garbage. It is like the sports fan who feels they can be an absolute pick because they paid for a ticket. Yes people in some jobs, that they choose, might implicitly say you may have to give up some privacy, but it does not mean give up the right to be treated with decorum and respect. Having a group of fanboys interrupt your kid’s birthday party to say why you suck is beyond the pale. A fan gave a Mr. DiDio and “DiDio must Die” t-shirt had he took it in stride and rolled with it. Mr. DiDio says something about Spoiler and many of the people who loved the t-shirt want to call a jihad. People need to grow up.

    You want “crass and insensitive” look at the average post on comics. If you are looking for higher quality, look for fanfic of Power Girl and Wonder Woman hooking up. Yes I am so happy that the internet gave so many the ability to write sooo much “hot girl on girl action.” Yes we live in the Golden Age of FanFic and the people that hate it the most seem to be the biggest supporters of it. No matter if they believe it or not, because they are the first to whine about the state of comics today. Mr. Tolino I read the piece by Mr. Grant and the postings you made seems to have missed this.

    “The fact is that any time you approach comics from the position of “this is what they’re supposed to be,” you’re running behind, you’re already hidebound though it might take awhile to catch up to you. They aren’t supposed to be anything, they just are what people choose to make them.” Alan Grant 12/19/2007

    Looking at that, I hope DC keeps doing their best like Mr. Ingle said. If they do, I will be happy.

    Mr. DiDio gives as good as he gets. In the past at cons a fanboy would stand up say why everyone one sucked or pitch a weird idea, the panel would nod smile politely and the and boy would sit smug and happy. From what I have seen Mr. DiDio every now a then will call Fanboys on their BS. Can it get ugly? Yes, but I am sick a tried of fanboys who think they are the center of the Universe and rulers of all that is good and bad in comics. Most of the time Mr. DiDio is saying what most of the people in the room would like to say to the angry fanboy. You all have a very, very, very long way to go and I hope to god DC or Marvel stops feeling that they must as they do to your every fanboy whim.

    To me it is DC that looks bad in this Spoiler thing. It is the fans that have advocated for the memorial that of turn this in to a sad joke.

  18. Brett, if you truly love comics, write a letter to DiDio or Quesada telling them what you think they should do differently. A letter, not an email. Otherwise, you are just another voice lost in the din of the crowd.
    =====
    Ben Morse, what do you mean “we”? I thought you worked for Wizard? Are Marvel and Wizard ‘associates’ now?

  19. Alan, I posted my original thought because I felt Didio was just being an ass and tweaking the feminist fans as he often does. Marcos made me wonder if there wasn’t something more to the story which could excuse Didio’s behavior in this case but I still felt it was more likely that Didio was just being an ass. Not disingenuous at all. Sometimes I read things that make me reconsider my original position but in the end I believe my original position was correct. Not too hard to understand is it? Maybe you just to think about it ; )

  20. I hope that Spoiler is given the justice she deserves already, BUT…I’m also hoping that Jean Loring and Ray Palmer are given the justice they deserve already: that Jean is exonerated of killing Sue Dibny. I suppose it’s possible that somebody asked about that at the conventions, but I have yet to hear about it.

    Yes, I’m of a position where I stand in defense of Elongated Man, the Atom, and BOTH of their wives, and I think it’s an incredible shame if nobody stood up for them. The same goes for Ted Kord. No matter how third-tier the characters, I believe that any damage that was done to them should be repaired.

  21. “Ben Morse, what do you mean “we”? I thought you worked for Wizard? Are Marvel and Wizard ‘associates’ now?”

    I left Wizard to take a job at Marvel as assistant editor of Marvel.com a couple months ago.

  22. “I felt Didio was just being an ass and tweaking the feminist fans as he often does”

    can i ask a favor? i want you to think about something, just for a moment. i want you to entertain the notion, however briefly, that you might NOT have any real idea what is going on inside Mr. Didio’s psyche. That maybe, just maybe, you have lost sight of the fact that there’s no way you can guess what is really going on inside the mind of a person, a human being, that you have never met. and that it might well be total folly to assume such a person’s thoughts.

    ok, that’s enough. back to what you do…

  23. Alan,

    Hi! Believe it or not I did write a letter (stamped and mailed) to Dan Didio just before One Year Later, about the whole direction of DC and their promoted One Year Later line.

    I actually received a response from a DC assistant which stated Mr. Didio is too busy to read fan mail but he appreciates your interest in DC Comics.

    It was on DC letter head. I wasn’t looking for a job. I have no interest in working in comics at all.

    Your advice was intelligent and well taken nonetheless. Tell DC how you feel by writing a letter. It’s what many people did back in the day when companies cared about their readers and even encouraged letter writing for feedback.

    People like phunengames will turn around and say ‘So what you wrote a letter, do you think you deserve a response? Who the heck are you? Do you think all the companies should cowtow to the demands of every fanboy who writes a letter?’

    I don’t think I deserve a personalized response or that my or any readers every word should be taken as gospel. But I don’t think readers should be callously dismissed the way Didio dismisses them either, especially since readers aren’t children anymore but, mostly are intelligent well educated adults who would simply like some quality in the product they buy.

    That said, ironically the day before this news post, I wrote, stamped and mailed another respectful letter to DC, this time, to Paul Levitz. Out of courtesy, I sent a copy to Dan Didio.

  24. “This is garbage. It is like the sports fan who feels they can be an absolute pick because they paid for a ticket. Yes people in some jobs, that they choose, might implicitly say you may have to give up some privacy, but it does not mean give up the right to be treated with decorum and respect.”

    Actually, THIS is garbage. Joe Q. and Dan D. are the ones who seem to be crass and crude. And they revel in it.

  25. Ooooo how dare Mr. Quesada and Mr. DiDio like their jobs.

    I forgot how comic EIC must leaner the ways of kissing fan boy butt. EIC must feel fan boy pain. To me fans should be respected but their every request should not.

    With stuff like:

    “People like phunengames will turn around and say ‘So what you wrote a letter, do you think you deserve a response? Who the heck are you? Do you think all the companies should cowtow to the demands of every fanboy who writes a letter?’”

    You are saying you have a weak argument and really need a strawman. To me you do not just want to be heard. You just want your way. The way Mr. DiDio handled the he must die t-shirt seems to show he has more class that many of his haters.

    The only reason I would asks Mr. DiDio to “tone it down” is to reduce the whining from his haters.

    The thing that makes this so bad is the person who made the post does not care one way or the other. They just did it to start a crap storm. I will say this again it is the fans that have advocated for the memorial that of turn this in to a sad joke.

  26. phunengames meet mirror, mirror meet phunengames.

    phunengames = fan

    Using the same venom to fans that you criticize them for using towards Didio. Clean up your own room before you condemn someone else’s.

    PS. You say my argument was weak yet you don’t even know what I wrote to Didio. For your information, it was about One Year Later, the project that failed.

    It was also about DC’s problem of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman being chronically late and possibly turning off readers.

    You know, the one where a year ago, Didio went on record saying late comics don’t matter. People vote with their wallets and they buy them anyway. The ones where people like you condemned people like me, saying we’re just whiney and we want our comics on time.

    As Didio said in the interview: he’s in the periodical business, it means things come out on a periodical basis. Not well, whenever.

    You know, this was the weak argument in my letter where I reiterated what Didio said in the Newsarama interview about the lateness of their 3 banner brands: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, a major problem that effects not only sales on their titles but on the rest of the line as well.

    Not all readers are as toxic as you or the ones wearing shirts claiming Didio should whatever. Some of us are well educated individuals who can read, clear signs in the road about the direction DC is heading.

    They say, Wrong Way.