That was fast
The SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE OGN has been a BIG, BIG hit for DC, topping the NY Times graphic best seller list AND the Diamond charts. So a sequel by writer J Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis is a no-brainer. This the DC blog announces today.
It’s too early to talk art, story or release date, but make sure to stay tuned to The Source for more info. We checked in with the DC Comics Co-Publishers, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio for their thoughts on the success of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE.
“Joe created a Superman for the modern reader – a Clark Kent that’s conflicted and inexperienced but also focused and determined to embrace his destiny,” DiDio said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.”
However, this did not come without a price. JMS is leaving the writing reins of SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN to Chris Roberson and Phil Hester respectively.
Starting with SUPERMAN #707 and WONDER WOMAN #605, Straczynski will step back as the monthly scripter of both books, opening the door for two rising talents to step in and complete the books’ respective storylines using JMS’s story notes. Straczynski’s influence will be apparent in both titles – Superman’s Walk Across America continues, the mysteries surrounding Wonder Woman barrel toward a conclusion and in due time you’ll have a second volume of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE to put on the shelf next to the first.
Art teams include Alan Goldman and Eddy Barrows on Supes and dandy Don Kramer on Wonder Woman. And now the truth can be told:
“I’d originally come to DC to do the Superman Earth One book which, at the time, was top secret so nobody knew about it,” Straczynski said, “and filled out on Brave and the Bold for a while to have fun and get up to speed on the DCU. When I was done with SEO I took on the Superman and Wonder Woman monthlies on the theory that I’d have time to script the full 12 issues before bounding back onto Earth One. But when the huge numbers started coming in on Earth One, and the need to fastrack the next volumes became evident in order to keep the momentum going, I knew there was no way in god’s green earth that I could write that and the monthlies simultaneously. Since DC has had my notes and outlines from day one on both titles, so they’re still my stories, it makes sense to let Chris and Phil keep going from the story beats I’ve set up. I’ll dive in on occasion as needed for important story points. It’s still my story, I’m involved in both books, and they’re going to continue in the direction we set up. I’m looking forward to seeing what Chris and Phil have in store.
“Meanwhile, I’m taking full advantage of the situation to take a one- to five-year sabbatical from writing monthlies in order to go exclusively into writing graphic novels like Superman Earth One and Samaritan X, along with the occasional high-visibility minseries. I think that’s where the business is going, and creatively, limited series and graphic novels have always been my strong suit in that they let me tell cohesive stories with a beginning, middle and end. They can also be written and drawn before anything is ever announced or solicited, as was the case with Earth One, which has been one of the greatest and most creatively rewarding experience of my career. At some point I’m sure I’ll come back to monthlies — it’s just too darn much fun — but for the next one to five years, it’s strictly GNs and miniseries, with Superman Earth One being the first priority, followed by Samaritan X.”
While this news will no doubt no nothing to detract from JMS’s rep as someone who has a short attention span (truthfully the guy had earned a reduced working schedule), the bigger story here, from where we sit, is the fact that SUPERMAN EARTH ONE has become a huge hit without any periodicals to back it up or monetize it, or what have you. And a popular writer is leaving the flagship periodicals to work on a GN.
Could be one off or….the start of a trend.
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Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.