10 Answers and 1 Question w/ DC's DAN DIDIO 11/16

Dan Didio

It's that time of the week again when DCU Executive Editor Dan DiDio answers questions from the fans, but this time we start with some news about the feature itself.

With the holiday season coming up fast, this weekly feature will switch to monthly for awhile, as Dan and his staff struggle to keep up with the extra demands that come with an altered shipping schedule and staff vacation time.

And the schedule also helps fans get more answers to their questions because DC has promised the next time we get to talk to Dan in mid-December, there will be a lot more announcements to talk about.

"We're rushing and things are getting crazy with the holidays. We'd like to answer as many questions as we can to the best of our ability," DiDio said. "For the next few months, my schedule's going to be pretty insane. What I'd like to do is continue this on a monthly basis. We've got a lot of great announcements coming up over the next month, so by the time we're back doing this, we'll be able to answer questions about some of the things that are coming up."

But this week, fans got Dan to talk about a new character he's inventing for his upcoming Outsiders run, there's a couple important projects on the horizon for James Robinson, a Flash-related character has been revealed as a cast member in next year's Kid Flash book, and believe it or not, DC is planning to drop the price of a comic in the coming months.

So without further adieu, we turn it over to the readers...

1) ICleverMan wrote:

Yes, I am one of those freaks who adore the Legion of Super-Pets -- I own every appearance of each of them, including all Krypto stories.

Since Krypto's return has been such a success, what are the possibilities we can see reinterpretations of Streaky, Comet and even some variation of Beppo (totally discounting the Peter David attempt at Comet)?

DiDio: I never like to say never on anything, because there's always a writer who tends to surprise me. The funny part about Streaky is they showed Streaky in Wednesday Comics. Amanda Conner did a beautiful job with Streaky and Krypto in that book. And I think anybody would love the character except for the character's name, which always seems to get more giggles than anyone wanting to embrace the little kitty.

On Beppo, probably not. I think what happened is that, we start to get a little too deep. One or two of those characters is interesting to see, but I think once you get a little deeper into a list of characters, it starts to weaken the brands or weaken the franchise too much because it doesn't seem like you're taking yourself too seriously.

Because of Comet's origin and the way Comet was played, in the last incarnation of Supergirl, Peter David found an interesting way to make Comet work. But at this time, there's no particular plans to do that again.

Newsarama: Krypto seems to be mostly featured in Adventure Comics. Now that the Legion of Super-Heroes is taking over that title when Paul Levitz becomes the regular writer next year, what will happen to Krypto?

DiDio: There's a really good chance you'll be seeing more of Krypto in Superman. James Robinson is a huge supporter of the character. He's already used the dog a couple of times in the series. And I imagine he'll probably touch upon Krypto a little more, because James is a bit of a dog lover himself.

2) wearelegion wrote:

Hi Dan -

Thanks for taking time to answer questions every week. It really brings DC closer to the fans as well as create great buzz and anticipation for the upcoming stories.

Understanding that there are probably 5 key character franchises in the DC universe (Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman...to some extent), are there any other key characters or teams that you would like to develop as a franchise moving forward?

DiDi: Well, we're trying right now, and I think we have a nice level of success, with Justice Society of America. By spinning out Power Girl and Magog into their own series, I think we've shown some characters that are part of a larger group that haven't had the chance to be showcased nearly to this level before. And then also by splitting the team into JSA All-Stars, it also shows that we have belief in a large group of characters in that book that people are wanting to see and see in more stories.

One of the things we're trying to do now and in the coming months is to put a fire under the Titans and Teen Titans again, to get those stories back in everybody's mind again. There's a richness of characters in there that could probably support their own stories if given the chance. When I look at characters like Cyborg and how long he's been around, and the fact that he's been featured in animation and on television, and the fact that we've never even given him a shot at an ongoing series, I think it something worth considering in the future.

I look at several of our team books, and in particular Justice Society and Teen Titans, and I think each one of them can have more material coming from them.

3) Alive_Man_Fastest wrote:

Hello Dan DiDio,

My question pertains to Kid Flash. Let me first say how excited I am about the Kid Flash book. Impulse is my favorite comic, and what got me into comics. So seeing Bart get his own title once again is like a dream come true.

I know the book probably isn't going to come out until maybe May, but I was hoping for some kind of announcement about it. I would love to know the artist, but I'll settle for any piece of information that hasn't been previously announced.

Thank you for your time, and thank you for doing these 10 answers and a question things, they are a fun Monday surprise.

DiDio: I can tell you that Sterling Gates is going to be working very closely with Geoff Johns so that the Kid Flash book and the Flash book really feel like it's a tandem team more than two separate series. And more importantly, we'll be seeing Kid Flash back in Teen Titans relatively soon as well. That hope should keep fans like "Alive Fastest Man" running at full speed until the series appears in May of next year.

Nrama: He mentioned the Impulse comic in particular. Can we expect Kid Flash to harken back to that comic? Or is the style of this come more comparable to work we've seen from Sterling Gates in the past?

DiDio: I think Sterling's already doing such a great job on Supergirl, and he'll bring a lot of those same sensibilities to Kid Flash. That's one of the reasons we chose him for that series. Also, you'll still see the dynamic between Kid Flash and Max Mercury, if I'm not mistaken. And I think that's new information, so you did get something out of me. But Max will be featured in this series as well. So if somebody's a fan of Impulse, they'll get that relationship back in the Kid Flash series. Because of the Max/Bart relationship, I think they'll be very pleasantly surprised about what the plans are for the book.

4) Grandpa_Goodness wrote:

With Amanda Waller getting some screen time on Smallville pretty soon (played in the awesome flesh by Foxy Brown herself, Pam Gier), are there any plans for the Wall to play a bigger role in the DCU in the near future?

DiDio: We've got the Suicide Squad story taking place in January that John Ostrander is writing with Gail Simone, and of course it spins into Secret Six.

There are also some things taking place in the post-Blackest Night DC Universe where Amanda Waller will be called into. Nothing on an ongoing basis, but definitely a strong supporting character in the DCU.

And let me just add something personal to this answer. I can't wait to see Pam Grier play Amanda Waller. I think that is the coolest casting in the world.

5) burr787 wrote:

Do you have plans for the Super Young Team and The Great Ten since they were both given minis this year? Can we also expect other foreign teams/characters to come out of DC? Like, will a European superhero or team be given a mini in the coming year?

DiDio: The Great Ten story has just started, so that's going to be continuing into the middle of next year. And then, right around that time, as we've mentioned before, we'll have the THUNDER Agents appearing as part of the DC Universe. And that book will take on much more of an international flair than it has taken in the past.

Nrama: We also had someone point out that Action Comics had a Canadian presence.

Didio: That's great! It's funny, when you read our books, there should be a stronger Canadian presence and a stronger U.K. presence in the DC books. It think everyone's aware of that, and we're just trying to make sure we find the right places, where it makes sense to introduce something like that and, hopefully, have them take root within the DCU.

And also, in Outsiders, there's going to be a new character in there that's also going to be Canadian.

Nrama: Old mantel? Or brand new?

DiDio: Brand new character.

6) Kooster wrote:


Hi again! Thanks coming back each week as our pink-costumed DCU Q&A guru!

I love all of First Wave previews! I love the additional of Rima! I wouldn't mind if Black Canary was half-Korean and half-Caucasian! What's the chance that we'll see any of the following characters in the First Wave universe: The Creeper, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Black Hood, Wild Dog, or Agent Diana Prince?

DiDio: Out of that bunch, probably Wild Dog fits the model. But quite honestly, we want to go with characters that really fit that pulpy feel that we've created for this world. And when I say "pulpy feel," I just mean characters who are extraordinary without any superpowers. And of the bunch mentioned, Creeper would not be part of that, and Diana Prince would not be part of that. Probably not Black Hood because that's part of the Archie group, and we want to reintroduce him in one fashion right from the start, into the Red Circle books. So I'd rather just keep one interpretation of that running. And for Ted Kord, there's always the possibility for Ted Kord, but at this particular point, there's no need for Ted Kord in this universe. Wild Dog has the potential, but it's not one of the characters that are at the top of our list.

We've got the first issue, Batman/Doc Savage Special, just to give a taste of what Brian's interpretation of those characters is like. And I couldn't be more pleased by the reception of that. That was five years in the making, and when it hits as well as that, it makes you feel really good.

And I think what pushes the First Wave book is the fact that it's Doc Savage standing next to Batman standing next to The Spirit standing next to The Avenger and all these other characters.

What makes that book even more exceptional is the art of Rags Morales. And this is Rags' first continued work for awhile for DC. He's been doing a lot of special projects along the way. But for us to see him dedicated on this mini-series helps push this thing into the stratosphere.

With this book, I'm happy to say we've got one of those things where, when the pages arrive, the editor shows them around because they're so excited about what they see.

Nrama: You had said during one of our 10 Answers features that this is one of the 52 earths. I know that was something you realized would be accurate, although it wasn't the reason you were originally doing the series.

DiDio: I said that because it helps people sleep at night.

Nrama: I wonder though, if this is successful and people do see this as another earth, would that open the door for another "numbered earth" in the Multiverse to get fleshed out in the same way?

DiDio: If it has the same level of dedication, support, creation, vision, then sure. But this works because I don't feel that it travels on much of what we have taking place in the DCU right now. In this case, the stories told on this world can't be told inside the DC Universe. One of the reasons we created a separate world for this is that we have a character like Doc Savage who is special and unique and incredibly valuable, and if you put him next to a character like Batman, you can tell this wonderful story. But if you put him next to Superman, he doesn't feel as special. And we wanted him to feel as special as possible, and that's why we built a world around him. We didn't want him to get lost in the shuffle there. That's the way we went about this. But it's not just about Doc Savage not having powers. He just plays in a very particular style of world. And it's a world that's built on him, and it's as valuable as the character himself. And we didn't want to lose that.

7) RickBarrasso wrote:

If I had to put money on the name of the next writer other than Johns or Morrison to head a major event, on whom should I make my bet?

DiDio: Well, if I give the answer, then it's not really a bet, is it? [laughs] This is like insider trading!

If I said James Robinson, then I won't bet against him. Basically, if you're looking for who's leading the next big charge, James is going to be front-and-center for 2010.

Nrama: Is that connected to Superman, or somewhere else?

DiDio: The answer to that question is "yes."

8) JonesHawkeye wrote:

Adventure Comics # 4 ships this Wednesday, and it was strongly suggested to retailers that they order it in numbers equivalent to their numbers for Blackest Night because it contains a huge plot element relevant to that event. Can we get any early clues as to what that plot element may be?

DiDio: Well, that's the Superboy Prime issue. It's a Blackest Night tie-in issue featuring Superboy Prime.

Nrama: Did you warn retailers about this issue?

DiDio: That's news to me. I'm sure we pointed out that it's a Blackest Night tie-in issue. Oh, wait, that's a ring issue, isn't it? That's probably what he's thinking about. It's got a ring with it, so retailers are ordering for Blackest Night customers. Plus, it's Alex Luthor vs. Superboy Prime. And think about the place where Superboy Prime is right now, and think about what might happen when Alex goes searching him out. So things might be a little surprising.

9) JonesHawkeye wrote:

Dan, after all of the talk and arguments concerning legacy characters and their place in the DCU, why did DC decide to kill off Kyle Rayner in the latest issue of Green Lantern Corps? Will he be returning as a Black Lantern? Will he be resurrected in the post-Blackest Night universe, or is this it for him?

DiDio: The only answer I can give for that one is the best answer possible: Keep reading. That story is far from over.

10) Kent_Clark wrote:

Hi Dan. I've been really enjoying the second features. It's been awhile now, and I know you said you'd revisit them after some time. Is there any news you can give us about what's coming next?

DiDio: We're letting this first wave of second features run its course. I'll give you a hint about one announcement, though. One of the ongoing series that we have with a co-feature will be dropping the co-feature. And when we drop it, the price point will move back down to $2.99.

Nrama: That's 10 questions. Did you see what surprised people about Blackest Night, in response to your question last week?

DiDio: Yeah, I enjoyed looking at those. And I think the one that I'm really happy about is the reaction to Mera's role in Blackest Night. Geoff particularly wanted to put her on the main stage. Originally, this was a Green Lantern story, but when it became about the DC Universe, we wanted to know which characters we'd push forth, and Mera was one of the ones we thought was really a fascinating character who never really had the stage to herself. And the fact that people are really excited about her involvement made me feel that we made the right choice putting her out there in this fashion.

Nrama: I think a lot of people, a few months ago, wouldn't have even been able to tell you what her name was.

DiDio: Exactly. And when you accomplish something like that, when you have something that you want to enhance and make better and really show its potential, and when it succeeds, you feel like you really did your job well.

Nrama: OK, so what is your question for fans this week?

DiDio: Given all the talk and discussion concerning digital comics:

What digital format is capturing your attention the most?

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