I looked around Twitter to see what any of the most biased writers and artists had to say following Dan DiDio’s dismissal from DC by Time Warner/AT&T. Here’s the first example of somebody of questionable character who was quite pleased with his leadership:
Dan DiDio took big chances in comics because he believed in the importance of innovative storytelling. He let me turn the Flintstones into a dissection of civilization and Snagglepuss into a gay southern gothic playwright. He always had my back and I will forever be grateful.
— Mark Russell (@Manruss) February 21, 2020
There you have it: DiDio, the social justice advocate’s best ally. Instead of reserving his far-left story ideas for his own separate projects, Russell is a writer who’s just got to jam them into established properties, no matter how badly it sullies them as a result. And let’s not forget how, soon after Identity Crisis, DC under DiDio got around to introducing race-swapped replacements for Atom, Firestorm and Blue Beetle, and possibly a gender-swapped Manhunter, to show how their recent steps weren’t entirely new. Now, here’s another example, no more surprising than the first:
I owe Dan DiDio for so much. His enthusiasm was immeasurable. And just so it is said, no one realizes how many older comic creators were helped by him behind the scenes without anyone ever knowing. The man did right by so many. And never took credit. pic.twitter.com/3U2Xn7eJtB
— Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer) February 22, 2020
I think at this point, we can recognize it’s just a lot of hot air to claim DiDio’s an enthusiast for the medium, or that he ever helped older creators behind the scenes. He certainly didn’t help Dwayne McDuffie, whom he fired over a thoughtcrime, and Chuck Dixon was largely blacklisted from DC’s employ to boot for a time. And if DiDio did help anybody, it was just “consensus-building” to obscure his gravest errors, like the repellent miniseries the above disgrace penned in 2004. The fact that Meltzer would be lauding DiDio is no shock at all.
Here’s more comments that shouldn’t be a surprise us either:
Dan DiDio kept EVERY crazy promise me made me. we met each other 2 yrs ago during the madness of my near death experience. he used it as a reason to make a lot of my personal dreams, big and small, come true. A lot of you specifically LOVE the #wondercomics imprint. that was dan pic.twitter.com/nYFsmpQab8
— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) February 22, 2020
While the world of comics likes to look at things in terms of heroes and villains, that’s far from reality. I’ve known Dan Didio years before he was at DC.
— JoeQuesada (@JoeQuesada) February 21, 2020
It figures Bendis would praise him, so soon after DiDio hired him to ruin the Superman franchise for starters, and the Legion by extension. And I guess, despite any alleged dislike Quesada and DiDio had for each other, which is surely doubtful at this point, given the badness both contributed to the properties they oversaw, it’s no shock Quesada would be fawning over his resume, which is as distasteful as the former Marvel EIC’s. Here’s still several more:
So @bleedingcool is reporting that Dan DiDio is no longer affiliated with DC Comics.
I liked Dan very much. We disagreed on a lot. But he did a lot that others took credit for, and when thinks went bad, he often took the blame he didn’t deserve.
I wish him EVERY SUCCESS.
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) February 21, 2020
Working for Dan Didio was working for the ultimate comic nerd, a man who passionately loved the medium and its creators, a publisher who worked tirelessly on their behalf. I’m eternally grateful he gave me quite a few shots. Can’t wait to see what he does with his next one. pic.twitter.com/Fxq1jHqIQq
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) February 22, 2020
Sad day. My evil twin (pictured far left) Dan DiDio is no longer with DC. The two of us share practically parallel lives. He gave me great opportunities and full support. I’ll miss him at DC. He’ll always be welcome in my home. 🤘🏻✏️🤘🏻 pic.twitter.com/PYmVnAR0n9
— Greg Capullo (@GregCapullo) February 22, 2020
Our Powergirl series happened because of Dan DiDio. Same with G.I.Zombie and 21Down and Monolith and Jonah Hex and Freedom Fighters and Harley Quinn and The Resistance and Terra and so many more.
— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) February 23, 2020
My Jonah Hex series happened because of Dan DiDio. #celebrateDanDidio
— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) February 22, 2020
Obviously with the news just breaking, no one knows much of anything right now. But best wishes to Dan Didio, as well as everyone at DC.
— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) February 21, 2020
Few people brought more energy, passion and enthusiasm to comics than Dan DiDio. If you spent any amount of time with him at or caught one of his many convention panels, you couldn’t help but see that. Sad to see him go and I wish him all the best.
— Dan Jurgens (@thedanjurgens) February 21, 2020
My my, we have Tom King gushing over DiDio, all because he gave him the chance to victimize the Titans and Wally West, and Jurgens has long been a very pretentious scribe, with only so many bad steps in his resume that forces one to take his contributions to comicdom with a grain of salt. Simone sounds like an apologist, and come to think of it, she is. That’s what Palmiotti and Capullo are doing too.
Interestingly enough, one artist/writer who took a somewhat opposite path was, of all people, Rob Liefeld:
Dan Didio was holding DC back for YEARS. This is the best outcome.
— robliefeld (@robertliefeld) February 21, 2020
You have to wonder why one of the crummiest artists in the biz is the one who can make at least a modicum of sense, and not take as politically correct a path as the others are. Obviously, Liefeld’s resentful over possible fallouts he had with DiDio’s staff, but it doesn’t change the fact Liefeld is still an extraordinarily dull illustrator, and it’s regrettable IDW recently assigned him to draw a GI Joe/Snake Eyes book, where signs of his awkwardness do show through, like one panel where SE looks wide, if not truly fat.
And seriously, isn’t that an understatement to say DiDio was “holding back” DC? It was worse than that, he was destroying much of what made the creations work, and made it no secret he believed superheroes and their co-stars shouldn’t have happy lives. Put another way, he was editorially mandating that the entire line follow his sick, twisted ideas of what superhero and science fiction tales should be like.
Now, since we’re on the subject, here’s some news from the Science Fiction website about DiDio’s dismissal, which confirms he was indeed fired, and deservedly so:
One thing that has been confirmed is that DiDio was fired. Bleeding Fool, who first broke the news, reports that he was let go at 10:30 a.m. PST, and he left the publisher’s building in Burbank immediately. DiDio and Lee were expected to appear at the ComicPro expo for retailers on Saturday, but neither showed up. DC did not turn up for its one-hour scheduled presentation, but representatives Vince Letterio and Adam Phillips appeared later for a 12-minute discussion.
Comic book professionals took to social media to shower DiDio with praise. Now, DiDio was a divisive figure and he was not universally liked, but it seems that bygones were bygones. One of the creators that he had reportedly clashed with was ‘Batman’ writer Scott Snyder, but Snyder only had nice things to say, although he did acknowledge that they had had “nuclear fights.”
I get the feeling they’re making it sound as though DiDio was only considered a problem on the inside, rather than the outside, among fandom proper. If that’s what they’re implying, it’s just like them to avoid the meatier issues.
Now, as for the next laughable crossover originally planned under DiDio, I don’t expect the company to close down if it’s a failure (though it’d certainly deserve to, seeing how superfluous these events have become), but here’s what the site’s saying about that:
Generation Five/5G basically resets DC’s 80-year continuity to the way it always was pre-“Crisis on Infinite Earths” and every other reboot that followed, but with a few changes, like Wonder Woman being the first superhero having appeared in World War I like she did in the movie. That was technically before DC Comics existed. The first National Periodicals book, ‘More Fun Comics’ began in 1935. But beyond that, Superman made his debut in 1938, when ‘Action Comics’ #1 was published, and the rest of publishing history is DC’s actual history. The plan is to replace Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and everyone else with newer younger people taking over those roles.
Let’s see if I have this right. They’re supposedly going to erase 30-plus years of stories (and it’s rather obvious that wouldn’t hold, seeing what chaos they become with their continuity anyway), presumably restore the multiverse represented primarily by Earth 1 and 2, and yet they intend to replace – long or short term – much of their established leads with a different cast of characters who, if recent mainstream examples say anything, will be different races, sexual orientations and genders? Well, I don’t see why we should give such a move any backing regardless, since, no matter what we thought of the pre-Crisis multiverse, most fans at this point certainly never asked for this replacement mentality, and past experience should be enough to teach “be careful what you wish for”; exactly why less today care about whether the multiverse would be restored to modern pseudo-continuity.
I do think what could be done is clear away at least 2 decades or so of what passed for “continuity” under DiDio’s regime, along with anything else that didn’t work out previously, but assuming a successor would be willing to do that remains to be seen, and isn’t guaranteed to ensure success, if they don’t drop all the social justice pandering, sensationalized violence that became common for years, among other embarrassments since the turn of the century.
DiDio may have left (and interesting how he departed so quickly, even if he was ordered to clean out his desk before he exited the building), but the heavy damage he left behind is still apparent, and it’s not going to be cured in a fortnight, assuming anybody at DC really wants to do it at all.
Originally published here.