DiDio talks Return of Barry Allen and Plastic Man

From Artist Alley at Fan Expo in Toronto -- hailed as the third largest comic convention in North America -- DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio told CBR News that he loves that Barry Allen is back and confirmed readers won't see a "Rebirth" of Plastic Man until superstar artist Ethan Van Sciver has the time to draw it.

With the third part of their "Green Lantern" trilogy, "Blackest Night," coming next summer, Van Sciver re-teams with his creative partner Geoff Johns on "The Flash Rebirth" in January 2009. DiDio said it was the dynamic duo's work on bringing former Green Lantern Hal Jordan back to the forefront of the DCU that showed him they were the right team to do the same for former Flash Barry Allen.

"I was a big Barry Allen fan from Day One," DiDio said. "I understood the reason he wasn't coming back, but once we started breaking down the barriers we knew it could be done -- but we needed Geoff and Ethan to do it.

"Plus they would have killed me if someone else had done it! They know where I live I guess. We saw how well they handled everything with Hal Jordan's return and how true it was to the character and how true it was to all of the lore of Green Lantern. Like I said, they didn't throw the baby out with the bath water. As a matter of fact, they embraced every aspect of the character and made him work."

DiDio said that's the best part of what Van Sciver and Johns are doing with Barry Allen. "They are taking that same tact and they are going to push it in the same way," DiDio explained. "They are going to embrace everything there is about The Flash, not ignore it, and I think the story lends itself to the whole Flash legacy and how important Barry is to it."

DiDio confirmed that a new Plastic Man series will happen one day, the book's biggest advocate just needs to free up some time in his incredibly busy schedule."The biggest problem [with the hold on the title] is we're not going to do 'Plastic Man' without Ethan," said DiDio. "That's the rule now. I don't see the reason to do it. [Plastic Man] can do guest star appearances here and there but there is no sense doing the book without Ethan. He's the most passionate about it.

"Also Plastic Man is a character that --I hate to say it-- but he needs star power to draw attention to [his title] and with Ethan's support and what he brings to the table, that's the way to do the book. But naturally with everything going on with 'The Flash: Rebirth' and other projects floating around, it's just a matter of time of getting into it more than anything else."

When asked about the return of other DCU characters, and specifically Aquaman, DiDio said, "We're not just going to push product out the door just to get it done. We want to make sure we have the right people working on the right projects done the best way possible. You can only go back to the well so many times and we want to make sure the next time we go to any of these characters, we're putting our best foot forward with the best teams."

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