I’ve been looking again at the lineup of the launch of the New 52. One of my criticisms at the time was that the relaunch was a perfect chance to grab the best and the brightest from indie and creator owned books, and instead we got a bunch of veterans and a couple of TV writers.
I was reminded of criticism of Bob Harras at Marvel under Bill Jemas’ direction. Bill asked for cutting edge writing talent on the books, Bob suggested existing Marvel creators Scott Lobdell and Joe Harris. Quesada suggested Brian Bendis, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis and Grant Morrison. Harras countered with Fabian Nicieza, Terry Cavanagh and Howard Mackie. It’s not what Bill was after, and this partially led to the change in editor-in-chiefness.
And that’s what I saw we got with the New 52. The old names with Scott Lobdell on three books. Rob Liefeld, Howard Mackie, Tom DeFalco, Ron Marz… Jeff Lemire was probably the standout in terms of less-than-tested creators on superhero comics, doing interesting, spiky work elsewhere, and Animal Man was a hit. Now he’s a familiar name and co-writing Justice League.
And now? Well there’s been a bit of a sea change. Justin Jordan, John Layman, Robert Vendetti, Ray Fawkes, Charles Soule, Van Jensen, China Mieville, Ales Kot, Matt Kindt and Jim Zubkavich (for about three days or so) – all comic book creators who have cut their recent teeth on edgier, non-superhero, being given a chance to do that on DC’s superhero titles. Senior DC sources place a lot of this at the feet of editor Matt Idelson.
They also started out with one female writer, writing one-and-a-half books. They now have managed to increase that to three female writers, writing five books. If that increase keeps up in three years, all the New 52 will be written by women…