During New York Comic Con, Newsarama spoke with DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. The interview included fan questions, and the inevitable question of Stephanie Brown and Wally West appeared once more. This time, rather than just a short blurb, however, DiDio gave a detailed explanation of why those characters have not yet appeared in the New 52 DC Comics Universe. The following is his full-length answer transcribed.
"You know, me and Stephanie, we go way back. The story with Stephanie Brown goes, they came to me as Executive Editor with the "War Games" story, and said we're going to kill Stephanie Brown. I knew Stephanie Brown for who she was, and said, 'I don't know, if this is going to be the big ending to your story it doesn't feel big enough at the time, because the character wasn't strong enough yet.' So I said, 'Why don't we make her Robin for a short period of time, build some interest in her, and then we kill her!'"Little did I know… so we did and we wound up bringing her back and the level of excitement wasn't there for what we thought it would be, for the amount people were talking about it. So we went ahead and made her Batgirl, and the stories were interesting but it never really took hold, with the sales, with the expectations we had for the series.
"And again, I say this for every character that's 'missing' with the exception of Wally West (laughs). No, I'm kidding. I say this for every character that's missing, even including Wally West, including Donna Troy, all of them. The reason why we didn't go out there and say 'every character is dead' or didn't kill them off in front of people is because everyone has potential. And every character can come back if the story is right, or at the right time, with the right environment."Our main goal was never to introduce everyone all at the same time. We can't do that. If we do that, then we're right back where we started, that's the last thing we want. Every character should be reintroduced with story. "Even to the point when Stephanie Brown came back from the dead, I'll never forget the scene. Stephanie Brown came back from the dead and she walked into a room and Batman goes, 'oh! I knew she wasn't dead…'
"I said, 'that didn't feel right. If this was a big deal it should've felt bigger!' If Batman knew that, then he seems negligent, because he didn't do anything about it. And the levels of that. So I really want to make sure that when we go ahead and do things like that, the teams do it, that they craft it properly, that they take advantage of every emotional beat, they build it for everything it's worth. Because when you do that, people become more invested in the characters, not just about the conversation of them coming back, but actually going to read about them after they do come back. That's the win. Not the fact you're bringing them back, it's actually making them stay, and making people care about them more than just the people asking right now."Never does DiDio, in this detailed explanation, call any of those characters "toxic," a welcome change from the culture we've heard from DC Comics about many of these characters for the last year. Does this mean Stephanie or Wally or Donna or any other missing character will be back soon? Not likely, unfortunately. However, it does mean there's still hope, so cling to your blue power rings. See the full video interview below.