DC Relaunch: What An Evil Pitch

This was an intriguing exchange of tweets. Bleeding Cool had previously reported that Brian Clevinger had been dropped from the new Firestorm relaunch before it was announced that Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver were writing the new Fury Of Firestorm #1.

But the timeline seemed interesting – Gail seemed to suggest she and Ethan had been working on it for a longer period than Clevinger’s departure. How come? The tweets seemed to make it clear.

Brian Clevinger: You’re on Firestorm? Now I don’t feel like shit about losing it. Treat those guys right, they’ve had it rough ;)

Gail Simone: Awww, I didn’t know YOU were the other guy pitching! You would have kicked ass! But thank you for the kind words! Guys, Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger is one of the cleverest, funnest comics going. Highly recommended!

Pitching… suddenly this makes the Brian Wood-suddenly-off-Supergirl #1 story make more sense. A qucik check and, yes, it seems that DC Comics has had individuals and teams pitching for the new #1 relaunches  but in some cases, didn’t tell the people involved that they were pitching, or at least that they were in competition with anyone. And so certain people who were given the impression (and in some cases simply told) that they had the gig, have been suprised, so close to announcement, that someone has changed their mind and they suddenly haven’t anymore.

Now pitching for work is a common practice, especially in the freelance creative industry. But it’s common practice to let people *know* that they are pitching. And for the DC Relaunch not everyone seems to have been given that luxury.

In an interview with Firestorm Fan, Clevinger states;

FF: How did you get the Firestorm assignment?

BC: DC called me up one day and offered it to me! They said they were looking for “a voice from outside of DC” to launch “a fun and accessible Firestorm book.” If Atomic Robo is anything, it’s wall-to-wall fun and accessible. Lots of banter, lots of sci-fi, lots of action. Sounds like a pretty good mix for Firestorm!

FF: There are a lot of strong opinions among fans regarding Ronnie Raymond versus Jason Rusch as Firestorm. Were you aware of some fans concerns surrounding who should be in charge of Firestorm? If so, did this affect the way you approached the storytelling?

BC: Very early on I was an advocate of getting Firestorm down to one dude. Or lady! DC emphasized they wanted this series to be fun and accessible, and I posited that the whole “merging” thing confuses people to whom we want the book to be accessible. I had some very loose plans for Ronnie, Jason, Stein, or Loraine (!!!) to be the “lone” Firestorm. But DC insisted that it had to be Jason and Ronnie and that their relationship would be the crux of the series.

FF: How far along had you gotten on your Firestorm scripts? Did you write full-script or plot-first? Had you seen any artwork yet?

BC: I had a detailed outline for five issues with six options for where to take the sixth issue to lead in to the next storyline along with notes on how each of those options could tie into the others to create about two years worth of story lines.

I finished the full script for the first issue and the outline for the second by the time I got the news that the book was given to someone else. No artwork was completed.

FF: Can you tell us why you won’t be writing Firestorm?

BC: I honestly don’t know.

What a pitch.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.