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  1. #1
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    Default so if Dan Didio was so bad...

    why wasn't he let go earlier? Don't let the title of the post fool you. I'm no fan, he was a train wreck at DC. But i've found countless artlcles about his stewardship at DC and on here at the board of accounts as well. Plus at the conventions (Where's Wally?). I think Heroes in Crisis was the straw that broke the camels back actually. But anyway yeah fans were crying for him to be replaced and creators were even hinting how toxic his environment was. Why didn't he get the pink slip sooner? Unchecked for 18 years?

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Don’t confuse “story the fans hated” with “story that didn’t sell well”. People here whine about Scott Snyder’s work yet it has all by far been some of DC’s best selling books. Metal and Death Metal? Two of DC’s highest selling events. Didio was hated for stuff like Identity Crisis which also sold well. He let Morrison do Batman which ended up being a powerhouse for DC saleswise. The New 52 rejuvenated DC’s sales which were in the toilet Pre-FP, although he failed to sustain them. So he has done some stuff that peoples liked AND sold well.

    In short? Despite online backlash he managed to deliver enough sales for a long time which kept WB happy, and he fulfilled their demands when they issued them. That’s all WB cares about.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    why wasn't he let go earlier? Don't let the title of the post fool you. I'm no fan, he was a train wreck at DC. But i've found countless artlcles about his stewardship at DC and on here at the board of accounts as well. Plus at the conventions (Where's Wally?). I think Heroes in Crisis was the straw that broke the camels back actually. But anyway yeah fans were crying for him to be replaced and creators were even hinting how toxic his environment was. Why didn't he get the pink slip sooner? Unchecked for 18 years?
    Because the people who could fire him just didn't care since he did what they wanted. Paul Levitz the guy who hired him basically allowed him to do what he wanted within the constraints of the company while following whatever dictates that Levitz had. After Levitz was gone, Diane Nelson did the same. He rebooted DC while under her to start off her reign on a high note. It's only after Diane Nelson was gone and WB being purchased by AT&T that executives started examining his performance. Bat-penis and his firing of editors who were against 5G was apparently his undoing. But giving how they fired so many DC editors, it seems more like he was just the first salvo in a bloodbath to cut costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    He let Morrison do Batman which ended up being a powerhouse for DC saleswise.
    Convincing Morrison to do Batman was by all accounts editor Pete Tomasi who had a working relationship with him back on JLA with Dan Raspler.
    Last edited by Bruce Wayne; 11-10-2020 at 08:32 AM.

  4. #4
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Don’t confuse “story the fans hated” with “story that didn’t sell well”. People here whine about Scott Snyder’s work yet it has all by far been some of DC’s best selling books. Metal and Death Metal? Two of DC’s highest selling events. Didio was hated for stuff like Identity Crisis which also sold well. He let Morrison do Batman which ended up being a powerhouse for DC saleswise. The New 52 rejuvenated DC’s sales which were in the toilet Pre-FP, although he failed to sustain them. So he has done some stuff that peoples liked AND sold well.

    In short? Despite online backlash he managed to deliver enough sales for a long time which kept WB happy, and he fulfilled their demands when they issued them. That’s all WB cares about.
    That's about it. If Didio hadn't been reaching WB sales expectations year after year, he would have been out the door a long time ago.
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  5. #5
    It sucks to be right BohemiaDrinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    why wasn't he let go earlier? Don't let the title of the post fool you. I'm no fan, he was a train wreck at DC. But i've found countless artlcles about his stewardship at DC and on here at the board of accounts as well. Plus at the conventions (Where's Wally?). I think Heroes in Crisis was the straw that broke the camels back actually. But anyway yeah fans were crying for him to be replaced and creators were even hinting how toxic his environment was. Why didn't he get the pink slip sooner? Unchecked for 18 years?
    Didio was not so bad. For a good while, he was quite the business powerhouse: his Crisis events were pretty successful, he managed to make the weekly model work for a long time, knew how to navigate between exces and creatives, fostered the bookstore model, etc. Not to mention (and to me thios is not a good thing, but it probably was for WB execs at the time), he was also apparently very good at burying office scandals and the like.

    The problem with Didio and WB really started as he gained too much power to decide over the line content: he probably sold a line or two to WB people about "iconic, simpler, most recognizable, translatable to other media", etc, got to implement exactly his vision of what the DCU should be like and then didn't know how to act when said vision didn't really gel with readers as he assumed it would. So he doubled down on it several times, and DC's image took several hits because of it.

    HiC was in no way "the reason" he was fired, I'm sure of that. It may have played a part, because it was quite a shitshow, but there were already a lot of stuff pilled up - stuff that may or may not affect us readers directly. At the end of the day, though, his approach was pretty formulaic: "create controversy -> get fans riled up -> double down -> back down so fans are happy and sales go up artificially -> rinse, repeat". My guess is that both said approach began to saw diminishing returns and that WB after restructuring decided that getting fans angry was not a desirable brand strategy anymore. And if that's the case, Didio's name was already too worn down and could make no good. Even during the Rebirth phase, his presence stuck out like a sore thumb.

    That said, there's probably way more behind the scenes stuff, politics, corporate fights, potential scandals, etc, that we haven't even imagined and contributed to both his prolonged stay and his eventual departure. These things are way more complicated than "he made the Justice League suck" most of the times.
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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    What BohemiaDrinker said.

    If anything, I doubt DC's sales had any reason for why DiDio was fired, when he was fired, or why he was fired. Instead, I think office politics played a big part, and as BohemiaDrinker said, DiDio was good at keeping the lid on office scandals. At the same time he was apparently rather good at creating them, too. To me, I think it's much more likely that it was a case of WB's HR and legal divisions getting to work on DC's workplace culture.
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  7. #7
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    There were some big corporate changes. AT&T acquired Time Warner and he was under Pam Lifford instead of Diane Nelson, and so on. He simply might have gotten on well with his corporate bosses at one time and didn't at another. His new bosses might have had agendas he didn't and different points of view, and they may have felt that DiDio wasn't the best person to execute their vision. I suspect that's generally what happened.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Didio had ups and downs, but under his heading, DC put out some of my favorite stories - and some stories I really didn't love as well.

    I agree that basically he delivered content that sold pretty well, and that's probably the beginning and end of why he stuck around for so long.

    But in terms of being so bad, I don't know, I think Didio's DC was alright. Not the best of all possible DCs, maybe, but not bad.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    why wasn't he let go earlier? Don't let the title of the post fool you. I'm no fan, he was a train wreck at DC. But i've found countless artlcles about his stewardship at DC and on here at the board of accounts as well. Plus at the conventions (Where's Wally?). I think Heroes in Crisis was the straw that broke the camels back actually. But anyway yeah fans were crying for him to be replaced and creators were even hinting how toxic his environment was. Why didn't he get the pink slip sooner? Unchecked for 18 years?
    If all you cared was about Batman and his selective friends like Barry, Hal, Superman, WW and certain others. Those books still SOLD. Those books still got shelf space. Same with most events.
    For all the crying about crap like Heroes in Crisis-it still SOLD.
    For all the crap about New Age Heroes-how many of those books lasted beyond 12 issues?
    He tried to present a diverse JLA-was it his fault fans chose to attack McDuffie?
    He gave shots to Jaime, Hitman, JSA and a few others.

    So in those cases he justified keeping that job.

    At the end of the day, though, his approach was pretty formulaic: "create controversy -> get fans riled up -> double down -> back down so fans are happy and sales go up artificially -> rinse, repeat". My guess is that both said approach began to saw diminishing returns and that WB after restructuring decided that getting fans angry was not a desirable brand strategy anymore. And if that's the case, Didio's name was already too worn down and could make no good. Even during the Rebirth phase, his presence stuck out like a sore thumb.
    THIS is what got him.

    You can only tick off fans for so long. Not when you have COMPETITION. Remove Batman from DC and how many books from not just Marvel but IDW, Boom, Image and other companies outsell DC books be it trade or floppies?

    I

  10. #10
    Mighty Member John Venus's Avatar
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    As long as all the cross over events and controversial story telling decisions sold and created a sales spike that kept the sales percentage at a certain level his job was guaranteed. It's short term gain that is ultimately detrimental for the long term health of the universe. Hence, why they kept doing bigger and bigger stunts until finally Didio himself got booted out.

    Comics used to sell in the millions then it just kept declining and declining over the years. There were forces bigger than Didio at play here but I don't think his efforts helped slow down the spiral if any.

  11. #11
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Not many people can navigate corporate politics well enough to keep their job as long as Didio. I think it's less a question of why he was shown the door as how he was able to last longer than most.

    We'll see if Marie Javins is as adept at navigating those waters as Didio was. One thing is for sure though. I don't think any comic exec is going try to repeat Didio's WWE style heel shtick of antagonizing fans. Didio managed to make it work for him for far longer than Bill Jemas did, who tried the same thing at Marvel

  12. #12
    Mighty Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Nu52 is a prime example of Didio's style. Sure, the reboot gave them a temporary sales lead over Marvel but anybody with even a half a brain knows that there will be a drop off after the initial sales high. The first issue of an ongoing always has the highest sales then there will be a drop off in the next couple of issues before settling at a steady level after which sales would either decline or rise. Now imagine that for the whole DCU. It may have looked good for the accountants at WB but the DCU was hanging off of a cliff. Plus they initially kept waffling on whether it was a reboot or just a relaunch with a new coat of paint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Not many people can navigate corporate politics well enough to keep their job as long as Didio. I think it's less a question of why he was shown the door as how he was able to last longer than most.

    We'll see if Marie Javins is as adept at navigating those waters as Didio was. One thing is for sure though. I don't think any comic exec is going try to repeat Didio's WWE style heel shtick of antagonizing fans. Didio managed to make it work for him for far longer than Bill Jemas did, who tried the same thing at Marvel
    Marie Javins is coming to a different playing field than Didio.

    In the late 90's and early 00's comic books were a playground for male adolescents. I don't think WB necessarily cared about their non-Superman and Batman properties. It just wasn't a priority. Their whole model was based on getting proven successes adapted. But then the MCU came along and with lesser known characters becoming billion dollar properties suddenly the whole game changed.

    You can shock readers and challenge their perceptions but you don't want to disillusion them which was Didio's mistake.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    why wasn't he let go earlier? Don't let the title of the post fool you. I'm no fan, he was a train wreck at DC. But i've found countless artlcles about his stewardship at DC and on here at the board of accounts as well. Plus at the conventions (Where's Wally?). I think Heroes in Crisis was the straw that broke the camels back actually. But anyway yeah fans were crying for him to be replaced and creators were even hinting how toxic his environment was. Why didn't he get the pink slip sooner? Unchecked for 18 years?
    Same reason actors, directors, producers, etc. that aren't popular with fans (Micheal Bay and his Transformers come to mind as an easy example) are kept around in Hollywood because as long as they make the studio money and and don't cause too much controversy with the general audience they have no reason to fire or blacklist them. So as long as Didio's chooses were making DC and their parent company money while not doing anything to cause them too much legal trouble they didn't care about what what people online were saying about him or former or corrent employees lower on the corporate hierachy were saying

  14. #14
    It sucks to be right BohemiaDrinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I think it's less a question of why he was shown the door as how he was able to last longer than most.
    If I were to bet, I'd guess that these two questions have the exact same answer, though.
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  15. #15
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BohemiaDrinker View Post
    If I were to bet, I'd guess that these two questions have the exact same answer, though.
    Well, at the very least, I'm sure he'll make for a very lively and fun teacher at the Kubert School, where his penchant for theatrics and trolling won't result in derailing any more characters for decades

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