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What’s Next for DC Comics After Dan DiDio’s Exit?

February 26, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Dan-DiDio-DC-Comics Generation Zero

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last week we discussed Thoughts on DC’s Latest Continuity Update in Generation Zero. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Randy Watson: “For the love of god, just pick something and stick to it.”

Al Lobama: “Carlos Pacheco had an interesting take on continuity in a Twitter post a month or so back, and I’ll try to paraphrase it the best that I can. In the modern comics industry, you’ll have a title like, let’s say Thunderbolts, where they launch it with a new creative team and a bold new direction…and it lasts about fifteen issues or so before it gets cancelled. Then shortly after the book gets killed they relaunch it again with another new creative team and bold new direction, and the process starts over again. In the span of ten years, they’ve published at least six or seven different Thunderbolts series and none of them have anything in common with each other. If you were a fan of the original Thunderbolts series there’s nothing for you to latch onto or enjoy because every other attempt at doing the book took a “throw crap at the wall and see what sticks” approach and NOTHING stuck. And because today’s major comic publishers have embraced this approach and slowly made it the norm, continuity as the fans know it is essentially dead.

And now you have a basic idea of why these reboots and “bold new direction” events no longer work as a way to draw in new readers. Because of how frequently a publisher like DC pulls this trick, the current fanbase knows there’s no point in hopping on a new book/event because it’ll only be a matter of time before that title gets erased and rebooted by the next big event. It now has the opposite effect of chasing away new readers because they don’t want to waste their time and money investing in a book that isn’t going to stick around. Fans want stability; a character and a story that they can depend on every month. So rather than resetting continuity, DC needs to create some actual continuity and rebuild consumer confidence that way.

scottjsafan: “its all screwed til didio is gone”

duh” “Between this and the ending of Doomsday Clock, it’s like DC is making a self aware joke about all the reboots to their entire timeline. Since 1985, there has been Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, One Year Later, Final Crisis, New 52, DC Rebirth, and now this (and that doesn’t include smaller stories that just rebooted/retconned smaller parts like the Geoff Johns Green Lantern reboot in the mid 2000s). It makes it very hard to stay invested when they reset the universe every few years”

George Nolan: “As if DC isn’t fun enough to try properly following continuity-wise when they keep rebooting their timelines? Granted I’m also not a fan of Marvel making countless alternate timelines for their popular superheroes that make it a chore to track. But geez, these guys don’t always have the best track record of keeping consistency with their storytelling and just think they can retcon it if enough issues spring up.”

Mike Riley: “I think I might just stick with the DC Black Label stuff & pay attention to news on this if something newsworthy pops up.”

Too many great comments to share. Go back and see for yourself. Also, as always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

Thoughts on DC’s Latest Continuity Update in Generation Zero

The comic book world is still reeling from the news of Dan DiDio’s departure from DC, even as the company has yet to comment publicly on the matter.

One person who has on note is Marvel Entertainment Executive Vice President/Creative Director Joe Quesada. “While the world of comics likes to look at things in terms of heroes and villains, that’s far from reality,” Quesada tweeted. “I’ve known Dan Didio years before he was at DC. We lived in different universes and competed for more years than I can remember, he’s a good guy and has been a staunch advocate for our medium for nearly two decades. I want to personally wish him the best and look forward to all his future endeavors and successes.”

But what about DC? As many are looking at why DiDio left, others are asking who will step in and what’s going to happen next with the publisher?

And no, we’re not going to entertain the absurd rumor that Marvel is buying DC.

DiDio guided DC through some turbulent and unstable times. Of course we have to point out that biggest among his moves was The New 52 relaunch in 2011 which gave us a reboot of the DC Comics continuity. The reboot brought big sales and fan support, at first, but things leveled out and fell apart. This brought an influx of events and relaunches, including Convergence and DC Rebirth.

As discussed last week, DC is on the verge of another reboot and with DiDio’s departure this puts an interesting spin on what is being call “Generation Five”.

Plans for “Generation Five” would significantly age up the DC Universe and replace many familiar superheroes with new legacy characters, including Jonathan Kent as Superman, Luke Fox as Batman and Captain Cold Jr. as the Flash. 

Got all that?

The odds of it being cancelled are slim but maybe a rewriting? DiDio was said to be deeply involved in the plans but who knows how they will pan out now since DC recently announced Generation Zero Free Comic Book Day offering.

The person to assume his duties will bring their own style to things and most likely move quickly to make changes and set the company on a new course of action. 

What do you think?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!