Episode 117 – The Dan DiDio Employee Evaluation, Part 1 f/Andy Khouri

It’s the first part of our first-ever two-parter on War Rocket Ajax! We welcome ComicsAlliance Senior Editor Andy Khouri to talk with us about the first seven entries in DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio’s list of his 10 favorite comics projects of his 10-year tenure at the company!

The Rundown

  • Follow Andy on Twitter!
  • Read DiDio’s list of his top 10 comics projects here.
  • Come see Chris and Matt at Heroes Con this weekend! We’re at tables AA-638 and AA-639! Plus, we’ll be the featured players at the ComicsAlliance Live panel at 11 a.m. Saturday in Room 206!
  • Music used: Raekwon, “10 Bricks”

Comics Talked About:

  • DiDio’s list, #1-7

Shameless Self Promotion:

Remember to send in your listener questions to warrocketpodcast_at_gmail.com!

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3 thoughts on “Episode 117 – The Dan DiDio Employee Evaluation, Part 1 f/Andy Khouri”

  1. Not only was Dr. Light featured in the Teen Titans cartoon, he was mainly played as a harmless, comedic villain. As someone who was still in elementary/middle school while TT was on and then started reading comics regularly in high school, finding out about Identity Crisis after the show ended really ruined that character for me for a while there.And I was a big fan of Dr. Light’s portrayal on that show.

  2. Two points (because otherwise I’d be writing an essay):

    1. I agree with most of the assessments, and this was a lot of fun to listen to. I think you’re collectively a bit unfair in blaming individual books for the tendencies/movements/whatever that started up in their wake. Hush is irritating on its own terms, but it shouldn’t take extra blame for the practice of using superstar artists and “cool factor” at the expense of coherent storytelling. Green Lantern: Rebirth shouldn’t get the blame for… well, basically Geoff Johns.

    That said, I think there’s something to the idea that part of DiDio’s legacy at DC was trying to replicate the formula behind financially successful books rather than building on them. What worked on Hush (at least financially) could work in a relatively self-contained Batman book, but was terrible when employed line-wide for the New 52. Bringing in novelists to write comics paid off really well with Greg Rucka (and, in some ways, Brad Meltzer), so let’s get Jodi Picoult to write Wonder Woman. It feels like he’s always looking for the formula, rather than having any sense of individual merits and successes.

    2. I totally get why folks might hate Identity Crisis, but there’s a lot in there that I like. I didn’t have the “it tarnished the things I loved” reaction at all (though I understand it). I really enjoyed Meltzer’s characterization, the sense that all these DCU characters had fully-developed personalities and long-standing relationships. For the first time in a while, it was an “event comic” that presented a DCU that felt lived in, inhabited by full-on people rather than power-sets and bright colours.

    The thing that hurt the book most, for me, was that it was allowed to set the tone for the entire DCU line. That was a terrible decision. Not as all-encompassing as the 90’s wave of darkness that followed Watchmen and DKR, but a similar idea, and stupid for all the same reasons. If this had been an in-continuity standalone (like, say, The Killing Joke), there could have been some follow-up for individual characters or story arcs, without full-on declaring an end to fun in the DCU.

    3. I get the “cool factor” for moments/images in Infinite Crisis, but what poisoned the whole project for me was that it was done in bad faith. To have a book about old-fashioned, decent characters losing it because of the darkness in the modern DCU could work. There’s a story there. But to have the writers largely responsible for that darkness write that story made it seem so self-evidently hypocritical that I couldn’t take any of that theme seriously at all.

  3. Haven’t read Identity Crisis in ages (maybe 7 years). I sort of want to do it again just to see how I respond to the material now that I’m older, but that might be like fiddling with the Hellraiser box, or trying to eat a pound of something I’m allergic to just to tempt fate. (Would need to dress like Evel Knievel if I attempted any of these things.)

    I definitely want to re-read 52–like just spend a week or two with it and enjoy it up until the collapse in the last couple issues.

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