January Sees 'Faces of Evil' at DC - Dan DiDio Spills

The New Year is a time to make resolutions, to plan ahead – to look forward at the year to come.

Oh, and for DC Comics, to showcase the bad guys with the “Faces of Evil.”

For the month of January, the main DC Universe titles will be taken over by the villains of the DCU. Not just that, there will also be three to four villain-centric one-shots hitting that month as well.

“This actually started when we came up with the slogan, ‘The Day Evil Won,’” DCU Executive Editor Dan DiDio said. “That’s become the cornerstone of so much that’s going on within Final Crisis – we built an ad campaign around it, and we also created those anti-motivational ads featuring some of our most recognizable villains. We had a great response to those ads, which pretty much led to wanting to bring the villains of the DC Universe into focus. So, we decided for the month of January, to bring the villains into the spotlight, give them a chance to shine, and give them the opportunity to take over the series that they are appearing in.”

The spotlights won’t be arbitrary villains appearing randomly throughout the titles, DiDio said. The characters that show up in the titles for the month of January will be doing so for a simple reason – they’ll be playing a major role in the series and the respective title characters’ lives in the coming year. And also – on the upside for many readers, “Faces of Evil” won’t be an event in and of itself, and it’s not tied to any larger crossover storyline.

“It’s inspirationally tied to Final Crisis,” DiDio explained. “But only in the sense that its roots go back to the question of ‘what happens when evil wins?’ but realistically and practically, ‘Faces of Evil’ came about as a means to give our villains a chance to shine. We know the villains of the DC universe are extremely popular, and have had success with other stories that have focused on those characters, and we wanted to do this across the line which will get a sense of excitement going in the books for what’s to come in 2009.

“In regards to how it fits in each series, we saw that we had a number of books at the start of the year with standalone stories – either they were between arcs, or the writers had just planned things out that way,” DiDio continued. “The editors are working with the writers in picking out the key villains who will be showcased in the coming year. In other books, we’re wrapping up arcs, and this gives us the opportunity to tell the story, or a piece of the story from the villain’s point of view. And also, we’ll have three or four one shots which will showcase villains, and those stories will be specifically about the villains and will point towards things that are coming down later in the year.”

The stories will also be a chance for the writers to shine, DiDio said. “You always hear from writers that some of the best characters to write are the villains because they don’t perceive themselves as villains, and you can play their machinations – and the reasons for their machinations - in so many different ways. This allows them to really cut loose and have the villain play the lead role in the book and the story, and let the hero take the back seat.”

Along with the stories and spotlights on the villains, DiDio said that the month will have another unifying theme – since the anti-motivational ‘poster’ ads featuring the villains of the DCU helped to inspire “Faces of Evil,” the issues featuring the villains will have covers that mimic the style of the earlier ads. Likewise, each issue’s title will be similar to the poster ads – one word encompassing the theme of the story or villain.

When asked to list the villains who will be getting the face time on the covers, DiDio said that, as readers could guess, some of the most famous villains will be making appearances, such as Lex Luthor and Metallo who will be featured on the Superman titles (Action Comics, Superman), as well as the likes of Brother Blood, Anarky, Ra’s al Ghul, Hush, and Mongul on appropriate titles.

“You’ll also see a number of characters who you might not perceive to be villains, but will be appearing on covers, someone like – Enemy Ace,” DiDio teased. “Likewise, you might see one or two titles where the lead of the book is shown on the cover. It’s a good mix, and there are a lot of good things going on.”

Wait – Enemy Ace?

“Enemy Ace,” DiDio confirmed with a laugh. “And that’s all you’re getting out of me.”

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