Didio's interview at NYCC 2012
Newsarama asked Didio some fan questions about Steph, and Didio gave an unusually long answer, discussed at length below:
"You know, me and Stephanie, we go way back. The story with Stephanie Brown goes, they came to me as Executive Editor with the "War Games" story, and said we're going to kill Stephanie Brown. I knew Stephanie Brown for who she was, and said, 'I don't know, if this is going to be the big ending to your story it doesn't feel big enough at the time, because the character wasn't strong enough yet.' So I said, 'Why don't we make her Robin for a short period of time, build some interest in her, and then we kill her!'"
Yet again, no one is willing to take credit for the decision to kill Steph off. Horrocks, Simone, Willingham, and Didio have all said either they objected or were told by "others" that the death was happening. Seriously, people, SOMEONE made that decision, and SOMEONE chose to push it through. Gabrich hasn't said anything about the decision one way or another to this date. And Didio conflicts with Willingham's claim, made about the same time, that Willingham wanted to make her Robin.
"Little did I know… so we did and we wound up bringing her back and the level of excitement wasn't there for what we thought it would be, for the amount people were talking about it. So we went ahead and made her Batgirl, and the stories were interesting but it never really took hold, with the sales, with the expectations we had for the series."
Ah, yes, the vague claims of "unmet expectations." What were the expectations? According to Diamond Industry Statistics, Steph's title started at #39, and hovered between 50-70 for most of its two-year run. While it's true it suffered very badly in the last three months of its run, that was also the time of Flashpoint, which always depresses sales of any non-integral part of a crossover. It did significantly better than Gotham City Sirens, and both Harley Quinn and Selina Kyle have been given a huge amount of support in the n52. Ditto Supergirl. Birds of Prey, much as I love it, didn't even place in the top 100 during Steph's run, and it received a relaunch in the n52 as well.
"And again, I say this for every character that's 'missing' with the exception of Wally West (laughs). No, I'm kidding. I say this for every character that's missing, even including Wally West, including Donna Troy, all of them. The reason why we didn't go out there and say 'every character is dead' or didn't kill them off in front of people is because everyone has potential. And every character can come back if the story is right, or at the right time, with the right environment.
"Our main goal was never to introduce everyone all at the same time. We can't do that. If we do that, then we're right back where we started, that's the last thing we want. Every character should be reintroduced with story."
Okay, but you could at least acknowledge that you had plans to do so at some point, instead of company wide silence, and squashing every attempt to bring her in, even out of continuity.
"Even to the point when Stephanie Brown came back from the dead, I'll never forget the scene. Stephanie Brown came back from the dead and she walked into a room and Batman goes, 'oh! I knew she wasn't dead…'
"I said, 'that didn't feel right. If this was a big deal it should've felt bigger!' If Batman knew that, then he seems negligent, because he didn't do anything about it. And the levels of that. So I really want to make sure that when we go ahead and do things like that, the teams do it, that they craft it properly, that they take advantage of every emotional beat, they build it for everything it's worth. Because when you do that, people become more invested in the characters, not just about the conversation of them coming back, but actually going to read about them after they do come back. That's the win. Not the fact you're bringing them back, it's actually making them stay, and making people care about them more than just the people asking right now."
Oh, really? As editor, you couldn't have said, "Hey, lets make this a big deal?" Dixon clearly did the best he could given the insanity of his brief return to DC in 2007-2008. The entirety of Steph's return was a baldfaced retcon simply to erase one of the most unpopular and poorly thought-through decisions in the company's history. Instead of giving it muscle with advertising and getting writers together on the project, they shuffled it off to Dixon, then fired him as soon as he'd finished the job. Then, when they did grudgingly decide to give Steph a chance at Batgirl, they gave it little to no push with advertising, and then cried "no interest" when sales weren't Batman level.
The interviewer is clearly attempting to do a puff piece for Didio, but comes across as more than a little clueless.