Chuck Dixon on DC Editorial
Dan Didio has been widely embraced by DC fans for "darkening" up the DCU and making it "cool". It was quite a trick.
I havent ben a fan of Didio's reign since he started with IDENTITY CRISIS, an ill-conceived poorly constructed "murder mystery" that managed the impossible task of being both a wankfest and desicration of the Silver Age. The next two years of DC Comics focused on a mega-story setting up INFINITE CRISIS. DC promised us a "less dark" DCU after IC with "One Year Later", which mostly consisted of gimmicky new status quos that were mostly undone within months.
The whole thing, to me, was akin to watching CHALLENGE OF THE SUPERFRIENDS mixed with GRAND THEFT AUTO.
But fans ate all this stuff up.
I suppose, in giving Didio his due, he did raise the profile (and sales) of some books that were lagging. The revamps of TEEN TITANS, JLA, JSA and GREEN LANTERN can be considered success stories. But some of the Didio-revamps never quite caught on (FIRESTORM, the ATOM, BLUE BEETLE, AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS, FLASH: FASTEST MAN ALIVE) . And while 52 was a success in both story and form (they pulled off a weekly, and it was good!) -- COUNTDOWN was a creative dud.
Post "One Year Later", it seemed the luster of Didio's "shocking shake-ups" was starting to wear thin.
Most books dropped to their pre-OYL numbers, and even some of the successful revamps faltered (TEEN TITANS lost steam with the loss of Superboy and Kid Flash, while WONDER WOMAN became a scheduling disaster and Meltzer's JLA wasn't liked by many of the DC-faithful). There's been some attempts to jump-start sagging titles, but nothing has caught fire...
Gail Simone couldnt save ATOM. Marrying and relaunching GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY didnt result in sales (the book now sells at the same level as GREEN ARROW before its cancellation). The Winick-written TITANS title is mostly loathed. Dixon (I guess) failed to reignite ROBIN and BATO. And even veteran writer Jim Shooter couldnt create interest in the latest LEGION title.
Are readers starting to speak with their wallets? Are they beginning to grow tired of Didio's cheap stunts?
The numbers are in for May books, and SECRET INVASION #2 has beat FINAL CRISIS #1 is sales. Initial projections say the FINAL CRISIS #1 numbers are expected to be around 150k, as compared to INFINITE CRISIS #1 being 250k. That's quite a dip in a DC Mega-Event in only 3 years.
Could this be the beginning of the end of the Didio Reign?
I've been "waiting out" his editorial regime since 2003. It's been 5 years. Is there a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel?
The "firing" of Shooter, Dixon and others (?) may be a sign of desperation on Didio's part. No one is shocked by bloody deaths, secret silver age pacts and "new faces" under familiar masks. The fans seem to be wise to his tricks, and the creators have been slowly speaking out, from low grumblings to Dixon's more recent, obvious jab.
I miss when DC had actual heroes and clear storytelling. I miss the days when "death" wasn't equated with "plot twist." I long for the stories that didn't focus soley on continuity.
I'm hoping Didio's out or tricks.