It’s the end of an era at DC Comics as longtime co-publisher Dan DiDio is no longer with the superhero publishing company, with DC Comics confirming the news. Rumors based on previously published (and later changed by ComicBook.com) reports said he was “removed.” While the exit has been confirmed by DC Comics, they have not yet issued a statement publicly, though it’s likely coming soon.
The publisher has had multiple false starts and fan-derided initiatives in recent years including the shuttering of the Vertigo publishing imprint, instead bringing the branding in line with the new DC Black Label. He recently stressed that there had been problems with the rollout for those comics, though he vowed to improve the publishing schedule.
“Extraordinarily successful for us,” DiDio revealed in a Q&A with retailers [via Newsarama]. “The response and reaction has been better than we could imagine. Our plan is to make sure we’re consistent in the material we’re putting out, and that it’s strong, and that it comes out on time. We will not be soliciting anything until we are clear that this material will come out as scheduled.”
He added, “We like the maturity, the sensibility, the quality. The talent is going to be driving this line. We will not overproduce here, because we want to make sure this is a long-term plan.”
DiDio joined DC Comics in January 2002, as a vice president of editorial and a writer on Superboy. A key voice in the growth of DC during the mid-2000s, he and comics writer Jim Lee were eventually made co-publishers of the outfit in 2010. A year later, DC Comics launched itself into an editorial shift that would define the company for a new age: The New 52, the company’s first full continuity reboot since 1986.
DiDio’s departure comes ahead of an announced further relaunch of the DC comic book universe that would restore even more elements removed as part of the 2011 reboot, as was teased at New York Comic Con last year. While that project has not been officially announced, certain stories that reportedly tie in have been, including DC’s Free Comic Book Day release Generation Zero: Gods Among Us. It’s unclear at this point if plans for this relaunch will be delayed or cancelled in the wake of this news. It was only a year ago when Warner Bros. laid off 240 employees in the comics division.
Will Jim Lee will be joined by someone or will he take over the publishing duties solo? One potential replacement is Geoff Johns.