Q & A: Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher of DC Comics
One of the things we tried to do with the New 52 was provide a fresh start to everything that we launched. Here, we’re trying to really incorporate a lot of the history and legacy of our characters and, by doing so, attract new fans, because these are new stories moving in a new direction. But we’ve also tried to retain and keep the fans who have invested time and who have been part of DC for many years. We want them to love what we’re doing because it takes all of their favorite stories into consideration.
We have a lot of fans who have made a long-term investment and we have a long history and legacy with our characters. There’s a generational aspect of DC that many of our fans identify with and really enjoy in the storytelling. With the word “rebirth,” we’re acknowledging the history of the company and characters. It really gives us a lot more to play with as we move stories forward. Rebirth isn’t about retelling old stories. It’s about finding what worked best in the past and finding a way to incorporate it into future storytelling.
There are a lot of new creative voices on many of these Rebirth graphic novel series. What are some names that you feel fans should be aware of, if they’re not already?
We’re lucky to have a wealth of great talents working on our books: Josh Williamson is doing a wonderful job on The Flash, and Tom King is really stepping into some pretty big shoes and has done a terrific job on Batman. James Tynion IV has stepped up on Detective Comics, and we couldn’t be more excited to have Greg Rucka return to Wonder Woman. But I think one of the great aspects of Rebirth is the art. Every one of these books is visually striking, from David Finch and Mikel Janin [on Batman] to Ethan Van Sciver on Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps. I’m really excited about the artists working on our titles. I think when books are visually exciting and tell compelling stories, that’s always a great combination.
Did any responses to some of these series surprise you?
I think one of the things that surprised me was the success of Green Arrow. We always had a lot of faith in Benjamin Percy as a writer but with the relaunch—with Rebirth and the inclusion of Black Canary in the storytelling of Green Arrow—the book has exceeded our expectations and has really taken off. Here we are looking at the same writer [as before Rebirth] who was really able to grow his fan base dramatically because they like how the story is being told. It wasn’t so much about the writer; it was more about the environment or the situations for the story, and I think the situations are now really connecting with the fans. Because of that, the book is overachieving.
Give me the first things you think of when I throw these graphic novel titles out at you:
I’m gonna say the same thing to the UK fans that I would say to the U.S. fans—or any fans—of DC products. The awareness of our characters has never been higher in TV and movies. There’s a lot of interest in who these characters are, and they’ve achieved such an iconic nature that they’ve even transcended the company. They’re deep in the psyche and if you really want to know what’s so great about our characters, and you want to read fun, compelling stories, then I think DC is the perfect place to come to.