10 ANSWERS & A QUESTION WITH DAN DIDIO for 09-28-09
As we announced last week, DCU Executive Editor Dan DiDio will now be taking your questions weekly here on Newsarama.
The former 20 Answers and a Question that we used to bring to you every two weeks is now going to be called 10 Answers and a Question and will run weekly.
Even though the timing of this feature has changed, the format hasn't – DiDio is answering 10 questions, word for word, directly from Newsarama readers. In this week's 10 Answers, we discuss the future of the Titans franchise, where Superboy might show up, and what DiDio himself is doing next, now that his Wednesday Comics gig is done.
And now we turn it over to Newsarama readers...
1) needcomicmoney wrote:
Is Titans going to be cancelled? With Donna, Kory and Vic going to the League and Beast Boy and Raven seemingly returning to the Teen Titans it looks like there will be no need for this book to continue.
Dan DiDio: We're going to have a new Titans team coming your way very soon. You'll see a lot of familiar faces, and maybe a couple new ones. And more importantly, it's being led by Deathstroke. So I think you'll see a new direction for the series, and hopefully, people will stick on board. I don't want to give away what the story is about, but it's tied very closely to Titans lore, and it's also tied very closely to a lot of events taking place in Justice League. So a lot of your familiar faces of Titans, just because they might be on other teams doesn't mean you won't be seeing them in the book.
DiDio: Correct. This will also show a clear delineation between the two teams and their goals.
Nrama: Some comics have shown Kid Flash and Superboy as part of the Teen Titans team. Will that be reflected within the Teen Titans series eventually?
DiDio: The two characters, Superboy and Kid Flash/Bart Allen, have both come back from what we deem to be traumatic experiences. So one of the first things we wanted to do with them was to re-establish them back in current time, re-establish them with their supporting cast. And from there, once we think the time is right, see how they fit within the superhero community and which teams they might end up on.
Nrama: I think a lot of the confusion comes from how Superboy was shown in Adventure Comics as being part of Teen Titans, and now he's going to be leaving that title as Paul Levitz takes over. The question is where he'll end up if not within the Teen Titans comic itself?
DiDio: I think one of the logical places to see Superboy is in Teen Titans. But that's not to say he won't be making appearances in other books too.
2) Mr. Kayak wrote:
Who will be drawing Paul Levitz's Adventure Comics?
DiDio: We don't have an artist finalized right now, but we guarantee there will be an artist on board, and once we're ready to announce what issue Paul will be taking over with, we'll have the artist attached at that time.
Nrama: Does that mean Paul doesn't take over with Adventure Comics #7 once Geoff Johns' is gone after Issue #6?
DiDio: He will not be jumping on with Issue #7. He'll be coming on a little bit later down the line. There will be a couple of issues and an event taking place, a separate story arc, involving characters tied to the current goings on in the New Krypton storyline that's unfolding in Superman right now.
Nrama: So when you say Superboy may show up in other comics, does this indicate Conner's fans will see him in the Superman books?
DiDio: There's a good chance of that.
3) Cyfin wrote:
Can you tell us any more about the upcoming Kid Flash series? When it will be starting, who might be penciling it, anything at all? I've been a huge fan of Bart since the Impulse days, and I'm very excited for his new series.
DiDio: I think we announced that Sterling Gates is writing it. And what you're going to see is it premiering somewhere around April or May of next year. It will launch about a month after the launch of the new Flash book.
Nrama: So there's no artist attached yet?
DiDio: At this particular time, I've got a couple of artists who are under consideration. But right now, we're getting the story worked out in conjunction with the events that are going to be unfolding in both Flash and Blackest Night: Flash.
Nrama: It sounds like this comic will be really closely aligned with the Flash comic written by Geoff?
DiDio: It will. What's great is that Sterling and Geoff have worked together in the past, and this is just an extension of their relationship, and they're creating how the storylines will work between the two series together, and how they will unfold when both series come out.
4) enyggma wrote:
Are there any big plans for the Green Arrow and Black Canary book in 2010? Have you considered putting a new creative team on the book? Are you happy with its direction and reception?
DiDio: Since he's named "enyggma," should I answer with a question? [laughs]
We have a storyline that will be unfolding in the Green Arrow and Black Canary book at the start of the new year. The creative team is still in place. But we have a lot of faith and belief that this storyline will capture a lot the interest of the fans of those characters as it starts to unravel in 2010. A lot of what we're doing right now is to establish a foundation for Green Arrow. And we're hoping, once this storyline starts, it will bring everybody back into the fold too.
Nrama: Just to clarify, by "back into the fold," it sounds like you're aware the comic has lost some fans, and that you think this 2010 story is so important the readers will come back? Is that what I'm hearing?
DiDio: Yes. The numbers could be stronger, obviously, but we could say that about a lot of series at this particular moment in time. And my hope is that, once we get into the events of 2010, as I've mentioned on a couple of different occasions, we want to make Green Arrow front and center in 2010, and I feel he will be, in a very dramatic fashion. As this story starts to unfold, basically, I'm hoping this brings people back into the mix. If there are people who have been away from the book, hopefully they'll sample it again and get caught up for this story.
5) tk422 wrote:
Any plans to bring back Shadowpact? Or just Ragman? Why isn't Ragman kicking butt in Blackest Night?
DiDio: No particular plans at this time for Shadowpact. We've talked about Ragman as a character appearing in a couple locations. But we're going to be using him more as a supporting character, at least for 2010. And the same can be said for a lot of Shadowpact characters.
But the fact that we have Bill Willingham writing Justice Society of America, and we have Matt Sturges writing JSA All-Stars, there's always the potential for those characters to appear in those books or other books those gentlemen are writing in the DC Universe.
Nrama: The last time we talked, you told us there will be a second feature in one of the books for younger magic characters. Will the Shadowpact characters be involved in that? Or is there anything else you can tell us about it?
DiDio: No, it's not Shadowpact. It's another new concept that we'll be introducing in one of the comics. It will be replacing one of the co-features that we have right now.
6) Walt Grogan wrote:
2. What's next on tap for you, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Kevin Nowlan?
DiDio: For me, I'm getting a chance to do one of the one-shots that are going to be unfolding in January, which I'm excited about. It's going to be an interesting challenge. And I'll also be taking over one of the ongoing monthly series in January as well, but we'll talk about that next week.
For Garcia-Lopez, he's actually back doing some work that he put aside to do Metal Men. He had a lot of commitments with the licensing department, but that isn't to say that we're not trying to lure him back in. And the same thing with Kevin Nowlan. We'd like to have both of them in the DCU. But in Jose's case in particular, he has commitments to licensing that he has to fulfill, which were put aside while he was doing Metal Men.
7) heffison wrote:
Are there plans for the Super Young Team after Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance?
DiDio: Right now, what we're going to do is review the reception of the characters. But just like we said with Shadowpact, we have a lot of characters that we want to use in strong supporting situations, similar to what we did with Batwoman and what we did with the Great Ten. Any other use of the Super Young Team after their spotlight in the Final Crisis Aftermath book will be in supporting roles down the line. But the fact is, with Grant writing some material, you might have the chance to see them sooner than later. As of right now, they're not on the schedule.
Nrama: What about the other Final Crisis Aftermath books? Will we see those characters anytime soon?
DiDio: With the Human Flame, there's a chance to see him in 2010. But the good thing about Run! was that the team of Matt Sturges and Freddie Williams are going to move on to JSA All-Stars. And with Ink, we'll see more of the Tattooed Man character in the DC Universe, and also, the team on that book, with Eric Wallace and Fabrizio Fiorentino, they're moving on to being the Titans creative team. So that's two things that came out of those books that I'm excited about. You might be seeing more material with Nemesis down the line as well, not in Wonder Woman, but in other series. There are a lot of concepts in there that I think will be beneficial in helping to build out the DC Universe in 2010. But not only those concepts, but talent too.
8) zartara45 wrote:
With the death of Taz in Justice, there are fewer and fewer gay male heroes in the DCU. Will we ever get a really good gay hero? Obsidian really should get a mini, btw.
DiDio: If we feel a character is strong enough as a hero, absolutely, and we should be able to push that forward. I think this is a similar conversation as we had with Batwoman. We never wanted to put the sexual preference first. We always wanted to be talking about the hero first and foremost. And that's one of the things I'll do here too. We do have gay male characters other than the Tasmanian Devil. We also have the Starman who's in Cry for Justice, as well as Obsidian, who we've seen in Manhunter and Justice Society. So I think we do have some strong gay male characters in the DC Universe. But the story supports the hero. And if that hero's story is important, then we would find ways to show that importance in the DCU.
9) achilles100 wrote:
Dan, I understand the desire to focus on Power Girl in her own title, but why is she seemingly absent from the two big crossovers she should logically be in, Blackest Night and New Krypton?
DiDio: She's in the JSA Blackest Night story, so she's not completely outside of that. But I think Jimmy [Palmiotti], Amanda [Conner] and Justin [Gray] are doing such a wonderful job with that series. The fact that we gave her a series shows our support and our interest and our belief in the character. Plus she's also featured in Justice Society of America and JSA All-Stars as a very strong and influential character, and that's a great platform for people to be introduced to her. Between appearances in Justice Society of America, JSA All-Stars, her own Power Girl title and Blackest Night: JSA, I think we're presenting her in a fashion that shows our support and belief in the character.
I was wondering if you could explain how you guys deal with spoilers in early solicitations? The reason I ask is because the new about Nekron's in Blackest Night was a pretty huge spoiler. Yet you guys had it on the cover or last months Previews. Why did you feel the need to reveal that?
DiDio: You know, that's probably one of the best questions I've ever had here, because people think we just put this stuff out haphazardly at times.
A lot of stuff that we do in order to solicit something properly, in order to drum up the proper excitement and interest among retailers, has to be done in advance, for the solicitation material. It's a tail and dog situation: We're not sure which one's wagging which. Ultimately, we've always got to be out there with as much information as possible so retailers can make the best and most educated assumptions when putting in their orders.
We also put out information to drum up and excite readers, and to get people interested. And that Nekron issue is at the halfway mark of Blackest Night. So we wanted to get out there and show people there's a big change and something occurring within the series, and it's not just repeating the same beats over and over again. There is progression in the story. That's why you get information released like with Nekron.
What we don't want to do is get out specifics that destroy the series. In my mind, showing Nekron might be deemed a spoiler to the person who sees his face and says, "Oh, I know he's part of the story now." But unless you know how he's used, what he does, and what his effect on the rest of the story is, I don't think we're spoiling anything. The fact that Nekron appears may seem to be a spoiler, but what do people actually know about his involvement in the story from that image? Not much. They know he's there.
This is part of an argument we had back when I had stated there were 52 multiverse worlds as part of the ending of 52. What did that mean? What did that give away? What did that spoil? Not really sure. But it did generate a lot of interest in the end of the book. And that's what we were hoping to do.
My goal, whenever we put out information, is to get people excited about what's going on, not ambivalent or thinking they know enough about the story that they can move past it. A spoiler is only a spoiler if it convinces somebody that they don't need to read it or buy it because they have enough information to skip ahead to the next event. So we try to manage information to the best of our ability. We're managing it a lot tighter now than we've ever done before, primarily because there are so many things that I think could spoil stories.
Nekron on the cover of Blackest Night? Knowing what is coming in Blackest Night? Trust me. It doesn't spoil anything. In my opinion, it just gets people excited to know there are bigger and better things coming down the pike with that particular storyline.
Nrama: Ok, that's 10 questions, Dan. Wow, that comes a lot quicker than it did when we used to do 20. Until we talk again next week, what's your one question back to readers?
DiDio: I think I've put this out there in the past, and this is one we need to revisit right now. When we're doing the second features, we have a lot of things to consider. This is a program that seems to be working for us. We're re-evaluating the projects that are in there, but we're considering expanding it out a little more. And if we do, we want to make the right choice.
The idea of the second feature is not just to fill up pages, but to get people excited about the books we've got going on. So I'll throw the question back:
The second features have to be characters that can't support a mini-series or an ongoing, and talent that doesn't have an opportunity to work on the main books, giving them a chance to be part of the DC Universe. What would you like to see in the second features, and who would you like to see working on them?