The shock news from this weekend's HeroesCon was the announcement of DC Comics' new Executive Editor for the DC Universe superhero line: Dan DiDio. Yes, after the rumors, the cries for his head on a pitchfork and the resignations of other DC higher-ups, DC surprised the industry by renewing DiDio's contract and keeping him at the top of DC's tree for the foreseeable future.
According to professional rumormonger Rich Johnston, the news shouldn't come as that much of a surprise:
This isn't the first time the internet has called for Dan's head and whipped themselves into believing that a message board post was the equivalent of a shareholders' report, only for reality to bite them in the arse. I wrote something very similar this time last year and was accused of being a DC stooge. I was right then, looks like I'm right now. Look forward to the same thing come June 2009... [Y]es, there was an emergency senior editorial meeting held last week... who knows what answers it will provide? It is likely that there is some editorial shakeup in the works. But as of now, for the foreseeable future, Dan is still The Man.
Heidi MacDonald's reasoning is just as down to Earth:
There are many behind the scenes reasons for this, and we'll do our best to parse a few of them, but the bottom line appears to be that DC management clearly feels that there is no one better equipped for the job and has confidence that DiDio can return to his early, sales-boosting ways.
This ties in with something that I was told this weekend - That, despite DC's disappointing performance under DiDio, they may be forced to stick with him due to the lack of anyone else within the company with the experience and/or ambition to step into the position instead. Todd Allen looked at possible reasons why DC wouldn't have put up a stronger defense of DiDio considering the beating he's been taking:
DC isn't exactly the most fan-friendly publisher in the world and if they've just extended a contract, it would be perfectly in character for them to ignore all protests, as opposed to having to defend someone who's in the middle of a negotiation... Indeed, if this happened over a month ago and it never got out, you could almost say they were keeping it a secret. When Marvel extends Joe Quesada's contract, you hear about it and you don't hear rumors of his ouster for a few months afterwards.
Nonetheless, the fact remains: Dan DiDio is still both large and in charge at DC. Here's hoping we get to see a tell-all "I'm still here!" interview before too long.