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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 04/ 9/2009

The Interview: DC Comics's Dan DiDio

By Michael Cavna

For DC Comics, 2009 is chock full of big storylines.

There's the action in "New Krypton" (which puts Superman in the unfamiliar position of not being the most super person in the Milky Way). There's "Battle for the Cowl" (which will determine who will stand in for Batman in wake of his supposed death/disappearance). And there's "Flash: Rebirth" -- the return of Barry Allen.

Comic Riffs recently spoke with DAN DiDIO -- senior vice president and executive editor at DC Comics -- about life in the DC Universe.

DAVID BETANCOURT: Would you say this is going to be a storyline that will go down as one of the biggest in Superman's history?

DAN DiDIO: That's what we're hoping to accomplish. Getting people to make Superman a must read. One of the reasons we put the shields on the covers (a numbering system) is because we wanted to show that there's a real sense of continuity. And more importantly, that it's building to something that we consider one of the biggest stories to be told in Superman comics in quite a while. A lot of people refer to the Death of Superman [as a huge event] and we're hoping that New Krypton becomes something just as important as that.

DB: It seems like you're making Superman choose between two worlds. Is this your way of showing that despite growing up on Earth he'll never be human?

DD: Absolutely. One of the things we find interesting--and we did a lot of research on this as we were building the storyline--this is one of the first times we ever pushed a story where we brought all of the Kryptonians back, and really made them a part of the DC universe. And more importantly a part of Superman's world. One of the things we like to see in this is showing how unique Superman is by putting him against people who are just as super powered as he is. It shows him that he is a man caught between two worlds. Not 100 percent from Earth, not 100 percent from Krypton... It shows him how unique he is even though they share the same powers that he does. This is an important turning point in Superman's life, because of all the Kryptonians that have come back. And you're going to see differences between Superman and Supergirl as they pick and choose where there allegiances lie.

DB: It's also family drama as well right? Superman has to deal with differences between his cousin and her mother, his aunt who is one of New Krypton's highest ranking officials.

DD: Exactly. There was always the story of Superman being the orphan and his adoptive family, the Kents. Now we can see his actual family starting to develop. And again, as most family does, problems arise.

DB: How's circulation at The Daily Planet? Any buyouts looming? And how is Clark Kent going to meet his deadlines being on New Krypton?

DD: [Laughter] Clark is on sabbatical. Lois is picking up the slack we're happy to say. More importantly, as of right now, they're making a very good transition into the online business. But they still feel that newspapers are very healthy following Final Crisis. After Final Crisis, it showed that newsprint is still an essential form of communication.

DB: Do you feel there's already a fan preference as to who should be the new Batman?

DD: I think so. We had a lot of fun with this last year as we were building to the story and we were polling a lot of groups and there was definitely a clear favorite to this, but not as unanimous as you would think. Characters such as Jason Todd (the second Robin) who you would think would get no votes, actually got many. It's kind of interesting to see and realistically while we did do a poll, and that has a lot to do with it, the new Batman will be the one that made the most sense just in regards to the history of the character and how you would expect the characters to evolve.

DB: Does the fact that Robin (Tim Drake) is a contender show that he has grown up and he's a man now?

DD: Absolutely. The thing that's most interesting...the fun part for all of us is that we're telling a story where the entire world thinks that Batman is dead, but for everyone in the know who's reading, knows that he's not. As it stands, the entire world does think that Batman is dead with the exception of Tim Drake. He's the only one that doesn't believe it. It shows a maturity level to him, but also how Tim has always been identified as one of the keener detectives of all the Boy Wonders. We always played Tim as the smartest. On a thinking, planning and tactical level Tim is the one who is the most comparable to the way Bruce acted and behaved as Batman.

DB: Is Batman on New Krypton?

DD: No. I shouldn't say no because we're not going to answer that. We're not going to say if he's on New Krypton, trapped in the past, or one of the big choices is Arizona. Everyone seems to think he's in Arizona.

DB:The Flash Rebirth storyline brings back DC Comics legend Barry Allen to the Flash title. How big is this for you guys and what does this mean for Wally West (the current Flash)?

DD: Not just for Wally, but the entire DC Comics Universe. The interesting thing about Flash: Rebirth, a lot of people are coming out and saying oh it's going to be just like Green Lantern: Rebirth, and I'm going to tell you that it's the complete opposite of Green Lantern Rebirth. Barry's return is almost the opposite. In Barry's return, the entire world has moved on. Wally has become a very successful heir to the Flash mantle. His wife Iris has moved on. And the Justice League has moved on. His loss, there isn't a void. Upon his return, he comes back and says "Why am I back?" And when he starts to probe deeper into those questions, the answers are not very good for him or everybody he's involved with.

By Michael Cavna  | April 9, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Interviews With Cartoonists  
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DC needs to make "All-Star Superman" become a permanent series rather than a limited run.

Posted by: seismic-2 | April 9, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

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