Dan DiDio is taking over The Outsiders.
And by taking over, we don't mean editing. The DCU executive editor becomes the new regular writer of the monthly series in January.
He'll bring artist Philip Tan with him (click for our talk with Tan right here), now that the artist is finishing his run on Batman and Robin. The new creative team will take over with The Outsiders #26.
DiDio has dabbled in writing for the publisher in the past, culminating in a regular gig on the Metal Men segment of Wednesday Comics, which just finished up last month. Admitting on more than one occasion that he has "caught the writing bug," DiDio told Newsarama readers earlier this week that he's not only writing a monthly, but he'll pen a one-shot in January as well.
We caught up with the busy editor to find out more about the gig, and found out why DiDio's plans for the comic didn't come together until Tan made it happen.
Newsarama: Dan, how did the decision to write The Outsiders happen? Has this been in the works for awhile now?
Dan DiDio: We've been talking about this for awhile. I've been looking for an opportunity to do more writing. I've said before that I got a little bit of a writing bug back when I was working on the Metal Men material. Paul [Levitz] and I – before all the changes took place with DC – Paul and I were discussing this, and Paul gave me the thumbs up to work on one of the books. I just had to figure out what it would be. And when this assignment was opening up, I was very interested in it.
I don't want to take away from what Pete and everybody are doing on the book, but Pete's schedule was changing, and so there was an opening on the Outsiders. And this has been a group of characters that I've always loved. I basically had every issue of Batman and The Outsiders from back in the day.
But it didn't really come together until the point when Philip said he was going to be the artist on it. And then it just seemed to take off because there's a level of excitement and enthusiasm that Phil brings to everything he works on that is infectious. And the more excited he got, the more I wanted to do it.
Phil and I have been talking about it for awhile. We were working through the characters that are part of the story. We're bringing some new characters into the mix. For me, it's a lot of fun. It's going to be interesting to be a part of things from this side of the bench.
Nrama: And the reason that the last creative team is leaving?
DiDio: Can't talk about that now, but it definitely has to do with the post-Blackest Night universe.
Nrama: You mentioned new characters. Is there going to be a big change when you take over?
DiDio: No. That's one of the things that I hope we all get over. Putting on the executive editor hat for a second, we're trying to get away from the sense that every time a new writer comes on board, that we have to have this dramatic or drastic change in direction or characters and stories. I think that's one of the things that inadvertently weakens the loyalty for those characters and series because we're constantly reinventing the wheel.
So yes, we've been looking at some new characters designs. But I mean new characters to the book, not new designs for the existing characters. What I hope we're able to do is build on all the good stories that came beforehand and really be able to enhance the direction of the series by building on everything that was there prior to us taking over the book.
Nrama: Can you tell us anything about what you'll be doing with the existing team? Is there a certain character who will be getting a focus as you take over?
DiDio: One of the things I want do is pick up on some of the threads with Geo-Force that actually started with Brad Meltzer in "DC Universe: Last Will and Testament" and that Pete has been building on. And we want to expand on those.
And I have a lot of fun with characters like Metamorpho and a lot of fun with characters like the new Owl Man. What we're really trying to do is show the differences between these characters while also showing why this group really is a group of Outsiders.RELATED STORY Philip Tan Talks Drawing The OUTSIDERS