Yesterday, Bleeding Cool noted that former DC Comics publisher Dan DiDio had been gone for a year at DC Comics, but his influence is still writ large in Future State and how it will continue into Infinite Frontier.
Den Of Geek, talking to John Ridley, saw him talk about the origins of The Next Batman. Tim Fox – now Jace Fox – who will be getting his own series in Batman: Second Son, appearing in Batman: Black And White and Future State: Gotham.
It's been a really interesting journey getting to The Next Batman. I was working on The Other History and the second series of The American Way and I just felt very fortunate to be doing any of that. And at first I got these emails that Dan DiDio wanted to talk to me but I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement. But there was some weird thing where they were having trouble emailing it and this was prior to the pandemic, so finally they got all frustrated and were like, "Dan wants to have lunch with you." We sat down and he said, "Oh we want you to write Batman." That would have been tremendously cool in itself, but they said, "We want to approach Batman in a different way. We want Batman to be a character of color. But he's going to be Batman. It's not going to be an Elseworlds story, it's not going to be, you know, the Dark Knight having his back broken. It's not going to be temporary."
Dan sits down and says, "Hey, we want you to do Batman. But we want you to do the next Batman." We didn't even have that title at that point but that was the phraseology he used. Then there were all of these things that happened with what people thought or what was meant to be 5G, and then Dan leaving the company and all of these changes. But what never changed was the desire to have a next generation of heroes. And one of them was going to be Batman and he was going to be a person of color.
Joelle Jones tells a similar story to Polygon about Yana Flor, Wonder Girl, the Future State Wonder Woman, also getting her own series from March, and looking to Dan DiDio's decision.
Jones became interested in the mythologies of the Amazon basin after a trip to Brazil for a convention, São Paulo's Comic Con Experience. CCXP boasted 280,000 attendees — more than twice that of San Diego Comic Con, North America's biggest fan convention — in 2019. Those numbers have not been lost on Hollywood. Guests at CCXP 2019 included the casts of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Wonder Woman 1984, and Birds of Prey, as well as American comics luminaries like Frank Miller and Neal Adams. During their visit, former DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio suggested that it would be fun to see a woman from the actual Amazon as an Amazon. Jones agreed, and began researching.
Many of the new creators – especially writers – seen at DC Comics during Future State and now into Infinite Frontier, were also as a result of Dan DiDio's outreach. It appears that his influence will continue for a long time.