redlanternsConsider it official, Joshua Fialkov is definitely off his Green Lantern books.  DC’s Alex Segura has tweeted the new writers.

That would be Van Jensen of Pinocohio, Vampire Slayer (and more famously, of PW Comics World) with a plotting assist from Venditti on Green Lantern Corps and Charles Soules of 27 (excellent comic, BTW) and having his first issue of Swamp Thing ship next month on Red Lanterns.

So one new writer to the DCU, another new-ish writer getting a second book.

What happened to Fialkov?  In his own words:

Just a quick note to confirm what everyone knows, I am no longer the writer of GLC and Red Lanterns for DC Comics. There were editorial decisions about the direction of the book that conflicted with the story I was hired to tell, and I felt that it was better to let DC tell their story the way they want. I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’ll miss working with the entire Green Lantern team.

That’s pretty clear and up front.

While rewrites may not have been the exact issue here, you can spend an awful lot of time rewriting scripts (and not getting paid for the rewrites) if editorial changes their mind about where the story is going.  It also can make it counter-productive to get ahead on your scripts, from the perspective of hours spent on a title.


  1. This is a really shame. I was really looking forward to trying these books, after reading his ideas for them.
    DC’s revolving door of replacement writers they can just conjure up is insane!

  2. I’ve yet to see a more crazy time to be in DCU than now. Unless you’re Johns, Lemire or Snyder, you may be off a book in a second. I still feel DC has no idea where to go next.

  3. This is just scary. No other way to put it.

    I love these characters and have so much respect for these creators. But I can’t imagine what it’s like to work at DC these days. Good for Fialkov for doing what he thought was right for him, and being such a mensch about it online.

  4. I thought it was fun with just the title churn and the deathwatches that created. Spitballing the over/under on whether or not a title would make it out of the 8 issue kill zone has been glorious fun.

    But now adding the realism of talent churn…the editorial maneuvers are becoming legendary. I could see The New 52 possibly marking a new era of editorial obnoxiousness.

  5. We’ve gone from the Age of Superstar Artists in the 90s to the Age of the Superstar Writer in the 00s to the Age of the Superstar Editor in the ’10s. To the shock of absolutely no one at all, editorial heavyhandedness is NOT actually producing quality books that sell terribly well.

  6. As long as the current big 2 comic books sell the Editors will do whatever they feel will keep the sales figures climb up.
    Some of us, a vocal group on the blogs and fora, are not pleased with that, but it’s not like there are not good stories being told from other companies and/or creators!
    Just bury and mourn your Batman/Spiderman/GL/Wolverine and move along. When I need a fix of good old fashioned spandex action I have quite a few books from the past to get it from ;)

  7. Why don’t the editors go ahead and starting writing the books? I mean, really, at this point that seems to be where it’s headed.

  8. You’re naive if you think that the Big Two comics haven’t been Editor-driven for the last 20+ years. Its just that these days with the internet shedding light on all things once unseen, its more obvious…

  9. I was having a discussion with a friend about this last night. I mean, aren’t editors around to make sure words aren’t misspelled, and that Superman doesn’t have blonde hair on a random panel? I can get if a writer really wants to take something in a crazy direction that the editor completely disagrees with, and therefore tells them no. But when did it become the norm for editors to direct where storylines were going, make major changes at the last minute, etc. It seems that’s been around in comics forever, from the stories you hear of great creative teams leaving titles because of a disagreement. But is this just happening in the land of comics, or is this what editors everywhere do? Seems like they’re overstepping their roles…

  10. I’m guessing that the changes in editorial directions aren’t due just to arguments about what works better. DC Editorial is under pressure to hit sales targets; when books are in groups, a change in direction affects several titles simultaneously. If an editor or editors come up with a plan to boost sales on the GL titles–

    The situation demonstrates the drawbacks to selling the characters instead of situations (standalone stories) or the talent. The talent is replaceable, the editors are replaceable–the characters aren’t.


  11. @Nathan — What you describe is exactly the editor’s job, in any area of publishing. Copyeditors are the ones who make sure nothing is misspelled. In comics, a good editor is also making sure there are no color mistakes, as you point out, but that’s the last step in the process.

    In a shared universe setting, the initial story concepts are even more the responsibility of the editor than in an author-driven setting. Sometimes the stories pitched are dead-on and exactly what the editor needs, so no fiddling required. Other times the editor comes up with the story from whole cloth. More often it’s a blend of both.

    If you’re a novel editor, or editor of something else that comes to you intact from an author, obviously your job isn’t to come up with the story but to help the author hone it and improve it. The copyediting piece falls to someone else when you’re finished.

  12. If the Bleeding Cool story is correct, Fialkov’s reaction is understandable. Writing to implement broad editorial directives wouldn’t be unpleasant; it would be like responding to an editor asking you to come up with a story idea based on a cover drawing. But being told to kill off a particular character, for reasons that range from superficial to crass to manipulative, is something to quit over.


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