Being counseled by DiDio
Newsarama: First off Dan, Infinite Crisis #5 has jumped around a little on the calendar before finally settling in on this week. What happened?Uh huh. Here we are, in Confusionland. To say nothing short of...editor's mandate?
Dan Didio: While the book was originally solicited for the second week of the month, we always knew we had the option of sliding the issue to the last week if we needed more time for production. Which you can clearly see, we did. But the reason why issue #5 is coming out March 1st rests solely on my shoulders.
NRAMA: How so?
[DD:] Just as the issue was about to ship to the printers, I asked for a couple of last minute changes, which I felt enhanced the emotional impact of certain scenes. Geoff and Phil were great in understanding my concerns and they worked with Eddie Berganza to come up with some excellent fixes in a matter of hours. This meant adding a couple of extra pages to the story… so here we are.
NRAMA: Along with the time shift, Phil hasn’t been the sole artist on the book since issue #3. How related is that the book’s scheduling?In artwork, that is. In all due honesty, since when did artwork become far more important than storytelling? I don't know, but this almost makes it sound that way.
DD: The plan was always to bring in Jerry Ordway to do the Earth 2 sequences and George Perez to do scenes that paid tribute to the original Crisis. Phil is a huge fan of the original series and wanted to make sure they were involved in the sequel. Phil is also a perfectionist and realist, and he has always put the project first. As the schedule got tighter and tighter, he saw that Eddie Berganza needed to move heaven and multiple earths to keep this book on schedule, Phil volunteered to give up pages so that we keep the series on track. Eddie brought in Ivan Reis to help on the middle issues, that way Phil could focus on the final two. There has been a lot of crazy planning and juggling on these books, but everyone involved, from George to Jerry to Phil to Ivan to Geoff to Eddie and all our inkers, have been consummate professionals in their handling of this series.
NRAMA: But still, and not to beat you up too much about this, but how did this happen? It’s not like this was a sudden addition to the DC schedule or Phil’s speed was an unknown…
DD: There is a reason we call this book Infinite Crisis. In any true creative environment, what you plan at the start rarely becomes the final product. This series, not surprisingly, took on a life of its own. And while I consider Phil the ultimate perfectionist, I think Geoff Johns his main challenger for the title. If there is a fourth stage past big, bigger, biggest, that’s were Geoff wants this story to be. With each script he continues to up the ante in regards to scope and characters involved. But each change and addition takes time to research and reference for design and coloring, and this is one of the places where the editorial team of Eddie and assistant editor, Jeanine Schaefer are working overtime.
This series has one of the greatest pedigrees in comics to live up to. Everyone involved in this production understands that and will settle for being nothing less than the very best.
NRAMA: Fair enough. Moving on to some topics raised by issue #4 – first off, the destruction of Bludhaven. What larger point does that serve in the story? Did the villains’ ante need to be upped by that much?Oh, I see! Looks like we're onto something, and if I'm not mistaken, DiDio is hinting at where he stands regarding his political positions as mentioned last year. But what isn't mentioned here is that Deathstroke has something to do with it, and I needn't point out that Slade Wilson, as anyone familiar with his history as a character, wouldn't take part in citywide slaughter, or any slaughter of innocent lives, certainly not after the Judas Contract in 1984. Where exactly are the characterization experts when it comes to things like that?
DD: The destruction of Bludhaven shows the true evil and power of the villains as they begin to take the offensive. When we have an organization of villains set on world domination, I don’t consider that “upping the ante”, I consider it “sending a message.”
NRAMA: Message being, “this is the stage we’re playing on now?”
Now, I may as well take a look at what's said here about Doom Patrol:
NRAMA: Just for the sake of absolute clarification – Doom Patrol. Specifically Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol. Given it’s appearance in Teen Titans #31 – in continuity, or out? And then how does that now work with John Byrne’s Doom Patrol?Frankly, I think I'm quite disillusioned with the whole notion of risks. At best, I'm bored with it. And for heaven's sake, there is no reason, IMO, for DiDio to remain unclear about whether or not Byrne's Doom Patrol is in continuity or not (IMO, it's not, and I guess Johns himself must've confirmed it).
DD: All Doom Patrols are in continuity.
DD: All of them. And some of the shifts have been explained away with the “Continuity Wave.” See, its working already.
NRAMA: So then, John Byrne’s Doom Patrol series was started with this in mind? That is, the unexplained re-appearance of the Doom Patrol in the present day was done so with Infinite Crisis and how it would realign it in mind?
NRAMA: But DC and Byrne took a tremendous amount of heat for the Patrol’s return without mention of their past…in the end, was it worth it?
DD: Absolutely, you cannot publish a large line of comics with out taking some risks and if it had worked better, we would have been having a different conversation. As you’ll soon see with some of the new series planned, we will continue to add a level of risk in everything we do.
As far as risks go, I'm feeling uneasy about DiDio's announcement of "risks". Because it could be risks similar to what they took two years ago to begin with.