Another month, another set of creative changes at DC. This time they’re announcing them via their column at CBR. Here’s the rundown of what’s going on.
The most interesting news is the early switch on Justice League of America’s Vibe. Geoff Johns and Arrow (the TV show) producer Andrew Kreisberg were the writers for the first issue of Vibe. This was promoted by a two-page spread in DC’s titles telling fans they should pick up Vibe because Johns makes all these characters like Green Lantern and Aquaman cool again. Then Johns drops off the writing credits. Now Kreisberg is gone and replaced by Sterling Gates. Gates isn’t completely out of writers loop here, having been working with Johns during that era of the Superman titles and having written Supergirl for awhile. He was also the initial writer on Hawk & Dove for the New 52 relaunch.
Is this a case of a Hollywood creator committing and backing out (*cough* Kevin Smith *cough*)? Were the initial orders on first couple issues low and Kreisberg had better things to do? The first issue isn’t even out yet, so that’s a big unknown. But when the new writer shows up and Batman is guest-starring, it does make you wonder about Vibe being in need of an early sales bump.
An actual question asked of DC’s Bob Harras and Bobbi Chase in that column:
The other Super book that’s getting a new writer is “Superboy,” as Justin Jordan is replacing Tom DeFalco. Justin was the guy working on the now-cancelled “Deathstroke” and “Team 7.” Why the shift him away from those two books to “Superboy?”
Perhaps they moved him because his other two books were no longer being made? At any rate, DeFalco is out on Superboy and Justin Jordan is replacing him. As of December, Superboy was estimated as selling 27,619 copies. That’s not horrible for DC, but it’s the lowest selling Superman title.
Speaking of Superman titles, Supergirl is getting a new writer. Michael Alan Nelson is on and Mike Johnson is off. Supergirl was estimated as selling 30,814 copies in December. A little above Superboy. Nelson had been writing the Ravagers title that was announced as cancelled in the same column.
That’s two more Superman family shuffles ahead of the Jim Lee / Scott Snyder Superman title, which should be announced sooner than later. If Snyder is emulating his very success Batman writing model, expect some Superman family crossovers and these moves _could_ have been made with that in mind.
Batwing sees Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, probably best known for their long tenure with the Jonah Hex character, moving over to Batwing where they replace Fabian Nicieza. Unlike the Supergirl and Superboy switches, this is a clear turnaround job. Batwing is, by far, the worst performing Batman family title, with sales estimated at 14,674 in December. That’s well into the cancellation zone, so they need to start building that audience quickly.
Then, we’ve got Francis Portela returning to art chores on Legion of Superheroes. That’s confirmation that Keith Giffen is no longer drawing the book. It’s curious that he was on and off so quickly, but that’s not unusual for the New 52.
There was also a larger change over at Suicide Squad. IGN announced that Ales Kot and Timothy Green II are the new creative team on the book, as of issue #20. That would have them replacing Adam Glass and Henrik Jonsson. Glass, a producer on Supernatural, is another Hollywood creator who could have been been getting stretched a little thin. Suicide Squad has enjoyed abnormally good sales in the halo of the latest Bat Event in recent months. The last pre-crossover issue, #13 was estimated at 27,644 copies. It’s a little hard to say where it would be without the crossover, but, so it’s hard to say if anything unusual is up with the creative switch.
Kot is best known for Wild Children and Change over at Image. Green has done several issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.