Episode 876


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Good one guys! Kudos for jumping onto the news story ASAP, this is the first show I've heard cover Rebirth #1.

I think there's more charity towards Johns' expressions of a shared mea culpa than I've personally found in the past month. I feel as though the blame of DC's tendency for dark, violent stories in the past 10-12 years has been placed at everyone from Didio to Watchmen and not enough of himself. Because this is the same guy who decided to kill off Barry's mother when previously she was fine. This is the guy who decimated the Jurgens' Titans, had Psycho-Pirate's face shoved through his head and Golden Age Superman beaten to death. This is the guy who did Blackest Night, which slaughtered a number of heroes only to bring back Silver and Bronze Age ones near the end. While Johns has always been the Pre-Crisis fanboy at DC, his stories did come with them an influx of Superfriends'-flavored violence that became incessant with each new story.

That being said I can't say I was aware of the inner conflict between him and Didio going on at DC. That's not crossed my notice, so if those stories were tonally dictated by Didio, I can believe it. Because Didio is definitely the guy who wanted to bring a very post-9/11 sense of real world danger to DC. He's been expressively open about this, specifically in talking about Identity Crisis. Whereas Brad Meltzer wanted to write a DC Comics mystery, Didio took that story and turned into a starting point for the new era of DC Comics where the Universe would be a dangerous place to inhabit. So I just figured Johns was on board with the tonal shift as long as he could use as many Pre-Crisis elements as he could.

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Ultimately, the question of whose fault it was is less important than the question of whether or not it's getting addressed. I don't think anyone - least of all Johns himself - will deny that Johns had a major hand in DC's direction over the past decade. However, as the primary architect of whatever new-ish direction DC Comics is getting steered into, he should get some credit for that.

As for the behind the scenes stuff, even discounting pure rumor sites like Bleeding Cool and its ilk, comics journalism is rife with stories about Johns and DiDio butting heads over tone and direction (DiDio almost always won, but Dick Grayson is only still alive because that was the hill Johns was willing to die on).

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Great podcast that made me super-excited for DC Rebirth. I probably won't be picking up individual issues as I generally wait for trades. But for this I might make an exception! I love the fact that Wally is back, and the scans I have seen of old, balding Johnny Thunder were exciting too. I really miss the old-school Justice Society, as you can tell from my comment on the last podcast.

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Really good stuff guys. Dan's summation of the Cap thing at the start was perfect and all the attention that particular drama deserved.

Bringing Watchmen into the DC universe feels like the actions of a company that believes it's audience fundamentally didn't understand what watchmen was. You can't take a book that deconstructs heroes to that degree, plop them down next to Superman and pretend they fit together. You can absolutely tell stories with those people but it just doesn't work for me as an overall concept and won't work for a lot of people.

It's like taking the skin off a tiger and pretending it's still what it was. It looks a bit like one but man, the point of a tiger is not its skin.

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