A month ago, Bleeding Cool broke the story that Joshua Hale Fialkov had walked off his Green Lantern books in protest in being told to kill off DC’s most prominent black character, John Stewart.
Seeing a lot of unverified reports on this. To clarify: John Stewart is not going anywhere.
— Alex Segura (@alex_segura) March 22, 2013
John Stewart co-creator Neal Adams was quoted as saying;
I had Jim Lee called and I had Dan Didio called. Ok. Because I can do that. They said “No that’s bullshit. That’s total bullshit.” Now that could still be a lie. You know. It could happen.
Bleeding Cool had by then run a piece detailing DC’s flip-flop on the issue… but had DC even planned to kill John Stewart or was it some media fueled flight of fancy?
Now CBR have interviewed Robert Venditti about the situation, and while he backs up his previous statement that;
Lots of rumors out there. Here’s the truth: Van and I have never even contemplated killing John Stewart.
— Robert Venditti (@robertvenditti) March 22, 2013
We were brought onto the book and we had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do with John that never involved killing him. Nobody ever asked us to kill him and really I thought for a long time whether I should even respond to [the rumors and speculation online] because I don’t really talk about my stories much in that sense…
Since we were brought onboard before the news of John Stewart being killed off was even out there and we never had any plans to kill him, it should seem obvious that our decision to not kill him wasn’t based on any sort of fan reaction because the decision was made before the fans knew there was something to react to.
Note some specific language choices in the second quoted paragraph there. “News” now, not “rumours” and “the decision was made” – so there was a specific decision being made about whether John Stewart would live or die?
Maybe that reading-between-the-lines is the closest we’ll ever get…