On writers moving on

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Within the last month or so, DC has announced that writers on three major books are leaving said book. In one case, the writer left DC altogether. From a fan’s perspective, it might be easy to conclude that things will go downhill from here on out, or that now is a good time to either drop or pick up the book, depending on how you felt about the writer’s run on the book.

Personally, I wish these writers all the best of luck with their upcoming projects.  And I have some great comic book memories of their time on their respective books.

Gail Simone: Wonder Woman

For the longest time, I just didn’t get Wonder Woman.  I had nothing against her as a character; I simply just didn’t feel like I understood her.  Gail Simone’s run changed all that for me.  Gail’s Diana is the definitive version for me right now (and I’ve gone back and read some of the earlier stuff, too).  Maybe I’m a little biased because she’s the first long-term writer of the character that I have experience reading, but oh well.  Gail’s interpretation of Diana has me genuinely loving this character right now and really getting a strong idea of who she is as a person.

And who is Diana as a person?  One of the things I love is that I feel Gail has given her a vulnerability that makes her more accessible.  My idea of Wonder Woman in the past was always that she was this crazy Amazon princess woman who knew how to fight extremely well.  But through all of the adventures Gail has taken Diana on througout her run on the series, I feel like the character is more fleshed out than she was even when the series was relaunched.  Sure, Diana knows how to handle angry gods, but how does she handle a monster like Genocide?  Or even the prospect of love, marriage, and possibly children?

Am I going to miss having Gail as the writer on Wonder Woman?  Of course.  But I’m looking forward to seeing the direction JMS takes the character, and I certainly will be anxiously awaiting Birds of Prey.

James Robinson: Superman

I read somewhere that James Robinson will go down as one of maybe a handful of writers who have been on Superman for at least a year without really writing the main character.  Is that what his legacy on this book will be?  I hope not.

The craftiness of the story the Super-Scribes are telling right now is two (?) years in the making.  And maybe I’m in the minority here, but I actually like this kind of storytelling.  How long ago was it that Supes found the cure to Mon-El’s lead poisoning, making it possible for him to leave the crumbling Phantom Zone?  A long, long while ago.  But even as the mystery of his cure went unsolved for the time being, Mon-El was out there helping Superman in any way he could, even joining the Science Police and the Guardian along the way.

Mr. Robinson should get a little more credit, though.  He, along with Greg Rucka, pulled together the World of New Krypton in a limited series that I enjoyed right up until the very end.  Some have said that it lost its flow toward the end, but I have to disagree.  Because of that series, I care about what happens to New Krypton.  Without those 12 issues detailing exactly how life is on the once bottled city of Kandor, I highly doubt I could say such a thing.

Robinson moves on to keep up his work on Justice League of America, and from what I hear, development of a new Shade mini-series that could possibly become an ongoing in the future.

And for what it’s worth, I support his decisions regarding Red Arrow in Justice League: Cry for Justice. Sure, they were shocking, but I have a feeling people are going to be talking about this one for a while.  And that’s what makes a great comic, right?

Greg Rucka: Action Comics, Detective Comics

This one hurts.  Bad.

But at the same time, I can’t really fault the guy.  Greg Rucka is an amazing writer, and I love that he’s taking an opportunity to concentrate on creator-owned material.  It just really stings that he won’t be bringing us any new Batwoman love in the foreseeable future.

Again, Rucka wrote Action at a time when Superman was off planet and not even in his own titles.  And just like James Robinson, Rucka managed to pull it off.  They’re both JUST. THAT. AWESOME.  (Bear with me here, people.  I’m a huge Superman fan.)  Rucka made me really care for Thara and Chris, both as Nightwing and Flamebird and as just Thara and Chris.  Together and separate.  Thara’s relationship with Kara.  Chris’s relationship with Lois.  This was character development at its finest, people.

And speaking of character development, I can’t go without mentioning Kate Kane, aka Batwoman.  This will undoubtedly go down as Greg Rucka’s “baby” in comics.  She was the character he took under his wings and gave a steady foundation to, something that other writers can latch on to and run with in the future. I think he deserves a huge “thank you” for that.  I know I certainly plan on seeking him out during C2E2 this coming weekend and just shaking his hand in thanks.

Speaking of C2E2, I will be there all weekend so hopefully I will get the chance to meet some of you.  I’ll be roaming the floor, but I also have a date to sit down with Sean and Jim at their booth and do some chatting about comics.

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