Thursday, May 13, 2010

Comic Rant: A Letter To Dan Didio

The following is a letter that I am going to mail to Dan Didio, the editor-in-chief of DC Comics. After scanning a recent issue, I am ticked enough to write an old-fashioned letter to him.

Dan Didio
c/o DC Comics
1700 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

Dear Mr. Didio,

I want to take you back to May 2008. The occasion was Wizard World Philadelphia. The event was a panel on Final Crisis. At the time, I was worried about a favorite character of mine; he had his own book, but it was canceled after 25 issues. I was worried that he was going to end up in editorial limbo or worse. So I stood on line -- something I never do -- and asked my question: Would Ryan Choi, the All-New Atom, be safe?

You and Ian Sattler emphasized that Choi would be "safe." "Our hope," you said, "is that we get to show him in other series, and people get to know him and we can give him his own book again somewhere down the line." Satisfied, I sat down, content that Ryan Choi would not be touched.

Flash forward to the present. I'm looking through a copy of Titans: Villians For Hire, and I see Ryan Choi is there. And then he gets attacked by Deathstroke and a cadre of super-villians. To my horror, Ryan is stabbed through the chest, killed in what I can only describe as a "Ted Kord Bitch Death." To add insult to injury, Deathstroke presented Ryan's body in a matchbox to Dwarfstar, the closest thing he had to an arch-nemesis.

Ryan Choi was a brilliant character, created by Grant Morrison and developed by Gail Simone. While Ray Palmer wasn't totally lacking in backstory, Ryan was intriguing in his own right. He took over Ray's position as a professor in Ivy Town, got into a relationship with Giganta, and had a giant floating head for a roommate. He survived the Black Mercy, teamed up with Wonder Woman, and fought zombie version of his tormentors from high school in Hong Kong. With three guys named "Flash" and four Earthlings as Green Lanterns, surely the world would have been big enough for two Atoms.

What I want to know is this: why did Ryan Choi have to die? Is it so important for Silver Age-era heroes to come back that "legacy" characters have to be sidelined or worse? What happened between May 2008 and now to make Ryan a dead man? I know that it's dangerous to get attached to certain characters, but I figure that you more or less lied to me two years ago, and I feel you owe me an answer. Any answer will do.

As for buying comics from your company? Look, I'm not going to pretend that I'm going to take all of my business to Marvel. The fact that Gail Simone is under exclusive contract means I will buy at least two books from your company. But I honestly feel betrayed by this recent event. And if I don't get a chance to remind you at the next convention I visit, I'm sure somebody else will more than likely do that.

Jason Borelli

I know, the odds of me getting a letter back aren't good, let alone a satisfactory answer. Should I get a response from Didio or anybody else representing DC Comics, I'll post it here.

No comments: