Yesterday, Bleeding Cool ran the news that Joshua Hale Fialkov was walking off his two Green Lantern books before a single issue had been published. It was soon confirmed by Fialkov and DC Comics representatives. What wasn’t addressed is exactly why.
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.This was not an easy decision to make emotionally or financially, but, I’m sure it was the right decision for both me, and for the Green Lantern books. The outpouring of support, your kind words and well wishes means so much to me and my family.
I understand that the editorial input for both Fialkov’s books, and fellow walker-outer Andy Diggle‘s Action Comics, were in direct contradiction of the promises made at the DC Creative Summit by Dan DiDio, backed by Diane Nelson. That once an overview of an arc had been greenlit by editorial, it wouldn’t be changed by editorial. One creator told me that the promise lasted four days.
But for Fialkov it seemed it wasn’t so much that there were editorial changes, but what they meant.
I have been told by a number of high profile industry sources that Fialkov was asked to change his upcoming story to one that killed off Green Lantern John Stewart, DC Comics’ most prominent black character. And that is why he quit.
Created by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams in 1971, he was the lead character in the Green Lantern book for much of the eighties, and was the Green Lantern in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series. Such was the popularity of that incarnation that when Ryan Reynolds was announced as the star of the Green Lantern movie, much of the online response was outraged that he was being played by a white actor.
Since the DC Relaunch, the comics line has increased the amount of prominent black characters in the line, from Static to Batwing to Voodoo to Mister Terrific, as well as Cyborg joining the Justice League. And for those whose books were cancelled, the characters have remained players in other titles. But John Stewart has remained the one with the highest profile, shared the lead with Guy Gardner in Green Lantern Corps, and it’s there that this story was planned to play out.
Josh’s departure from the books doesn’t mean that the story is dead of course. Indeed, I understand that this is the story the new guys will be writing. And it’s John Stewart they will be killing off.
Unless of course, the internet can get them to change their minds.
Come on internet. You know what to do next.