DiDio's lazy "explanation" for why he shuns Stephanie Brown
"You know, me and Stephanie, we go way back. The story with Stephanie Brown goes, they came to me as Executive Editor with the "War Games" story, and said we're going to kill Stephanie Brown. I knew Stephanie Brown for who she was, and said, 'I don't know, if this is going to be the big ending to your story it doesn't feel big enough at the time, because the character wasn't strong enough yet.' So I said, 'Why don't we make her Robin for a short period of time, build some interest in her, and then we kill her!'Alas, his explanations only land with a thud. The reason the return of Stephanie 2 years after the editorially mandated demise after being tortured with a drill by Black Mask didn't exactly get the big buzz it could've had was because they refused to promote it widely or even to sell that many copies. According to this Bleeding Cool entry, there had been a number of pitches made, even in TV-based media, where the writers' request to use her was refused, and an episode of the animated Young Justice where she made a very brief cameo got pulled off schedule. It doesn't take much to figure out that DiDio for one is doing everything he can to avoid using her all because of his hostility to Chuck Dixon that WB's higher execs ought to put a stop to, but probably won't.
"Little did I know... so we did and we wound up bringing her back and the level of excitement wasn't there for what we thought it would be, for the amount people were talking about it. So we went ahead and made her Batgirl, and the stories were interesting but it never really took hold, with the sales, with the expectations we had for the series.
"And again, I say this for every character that's 'missing' with the exception of Wally West (laughs). No, I'm kidding. I say this for every character that's missing, even including Wally West, including Donna Troy, all of them. The reason why we didn't go out there and say 'every character is dead' or didn't kill them off in front of people is because everyone has potential. And every character can come back if the story is right, or at the right time, with the right environment.
"Our main goal was never to introduce everyone all at the same time. We can't do that. If we do that, then we're right back where we started, that's the last thing we want. Every character should be reintroduced with story.
"Even to the point when Stephanie Brown came back from the dead, I'll never forget the scene. Stephanie Brown came back from the dead and she walked into a room and Batman goes, 'oh! I knew she wasn't dead...'
"I said, 'that didn't feel right. If this was a big deal it should've felt bigger!' If Batman knew that, then he seems negligent, because he didn't do anything about it. And the levels of that. So I really want to make sure that when we go ahead and do things like that, the teams do it, that they craft it properly, that they take advantage of every emotional beat, they build it for everything it's worth. Because when you do that, people become more invested in the characters, not just about the conversation of them coming back, but actually going to read about them after they do come back. That's the win. Not the fact you're bringing them back, it's actually making them stay, and making people care about them more than just the people asking right now."
His sleazy sounding description of the idea they had for killing her after building her up brings to mind the time when Chris Claremont got rid of Courtney Ross in Excalibur, which was decidedly one mistake they made at the time, but at least when Claremont did that, he didn't wipe out Courtney Ross in the same blatant fashion Stephanie was.
And it's unlikely that Wally West and Donna Troy will turn up again for a long time if this is how they're going to run their business. He may not have called them poison, but it's clear DiDio has every intention of shunning all the people who do like Stephanie Brown as well as Wally and Donna's fans, this despite how past writers did much more for them than anyone under his past editorship's done.