One Year Ago Today, Dan DiDio Was Out At DC Comics

It was one year ago today that Bleeding Cool ran the news. That Dan DiDio, publisher of DC Comics, the man behind the New 52 and the upcoming 5G, was no longer publisher

Whether he was quit, fired, or pushed out of DC Comics, we don't yet know. We may never know. But Bleeding Cool can confirm that Dan DiDio, publisher of DC Comics is no longer publisher of DC Comics. He is gone from the company, as of today. Whatever happened, happened fast. Bleeding Cool has confirmed with a number of sources, inside and outside of DC Comics that Dan DiDio is gone. Rumour has it that this happened from high up at Warner Bros, and was a result of high staff turnover at DC of late, issues with editorial and publishing plans, and Dan being fingered as the man responsible. But that is, right now, nothing more than rumour.

So Why Did Dan DiDio Leave DC Comics Anyway?
Dan Didio PR shot from DC Comics

That same day, as the ComicsPRO event was taking place. Bleeding Cool reported on what happened to the two DC Comics executives attending the event as the news broke;

Indeed, I am told that once the news broke on Bleeding Cool, that both DC executives present, left the ComicsPRO meeting pretty sharpish.

I also learned that in 2020 and 2021, DC is planning to move away from the traditional comic book talent pool. There is a quiet, concerted and deliberate effort to woo writers from the fields of TV and animation.

Those creators filled the writer ranks of 5G and are continuing into Infinite Frontier too. We soon learnt more.

Bleeding Cool now understands that yes, DiDio was fired this morning by Warner Bros at 10.30am PT in their Burbank offices and he left the building straight away. I am told by sources close to the situation that he was fired, for cause, for 'fostering a poor work environment' – as evidenced, as we previously stated, by significant departures at the publisher by editors. Dan DiDio has a reputation of being a micro-manager from some, for being very involved in projects from others. And DC Comics was heading towards a big change in its publishing programme – one aspect of which was the much-rumoured 5G – or Generation Five. Which would have seen DC's major figures Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Diana and more aged out and replaced with new characters taking the roles of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as part of the new DC Timeline. And some folk at DC Comics were very much against this. But opposition never worried Dan, after all he was at constant odds with the direction the company line was pushed for pretty much his entire career as Publisher, and was always was striving to put comics first, as he saw it.

Certainly, DiDio's departure was a surprise – to him as it was everyone else. I understand that it was internally announced at a series of small staff meetings at Burbank today. Though no one seems to have told the executives attending ComicsPRO, who had to read about it on Bleeding Cool on their mobile phones – and who sharply exited the conference as a resultJim Lee is the remaining Publisher and CCO at DC, and so will be steering the ship for the foreseeable future. Is it too late to change the upcoming C2E2 panel Meet The Publishers to the singular now?

That C2E2 panel was cancelled. In the wake of his departure, DC Comics cancelled and pulped the Free Comic Book Day comic that would have kicked off 5G, cancelled the Generations books that would have led up to it, and repackaged 5G as the current Future State two month line, though a number of the completed comics will never be seen at all.

In the rest of the year, DC Comics would also run two waves of redundancies, with a third expected to follow, including two editors-in-chief, and plenty of senior figures, losing centuries of experience. Faced with lockdown and shutdown, DC Comics would drop Diamond Comic Distributors in favour of DCBS – Lunar Distribution, upending the direct market. The DC that Dan DiDio left is very different to the one now.

As for Dan DiDio, he appears to be having a very relaxed life, and is still under contract at DC. When that gardening leave contract expires, odds are he will return with a bang…

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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