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Comics veteran Dan DiDio departs DC Comics

After nearly 10 years in the role, the co-publisher is out

New York Comic Con 2019 - Day 2 Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for ReedPOP
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Dan DiDio, the co-publisher of DC Comics and one of the most influential comics-industry creatives of the last decade, has departed the company. DC confirmed the news with Polygon on Friday afternoon, but could not offer additional details behind the sudden departure. The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

DiDio joined DC Comics in January 2002, as a vice president of editorial and a writer on Superboy. A key voice in DC’s growth during the mid-2000s, he and comics writer Jim Lee were eventually made co-publishers of the outfit in 2010. A year later, under his co-leadership, DC Comics launched an editorial shift that would define the company for a new age: The New 52, the company’s first full continuity reboot since 1986.

The New 52 was famously controversial, but its effects — on story and on the market — have largely passed the test of time. DiDio was also at the co-publishing helm for 2016’s Rebirth initiative, which served as a mea culpa for many of its most despised continuity changes. During DiDio’s tenure, DC began publishing digital versions of every comic the same day as they were released in physical format, put a steady foot down in the booming world of YA graphic novels, and shuttered its famous Vertigo comics label imprint in favor of Black Label, which features creator-forward non-canonical stories for ages 17 and up.

DiDio was also a perennial avuncular presence at conventions, often hosting DC co-publisher panels that consisted almost entirely of Q&As with fans, whether they were supportive or not. In addition to the obvious questions about DC’s future editorial structure, DiDio’s departure raises questions about the future of his 12-issue Metal Men series, drawn by Shane Davis, which put out its fifth issue this month.