– Despite overall sales success with the “New 52” relaunch, DC Comics editorial brass have seemed to lose one public relations battle after the next. From debates over inclusiveness to a steady stream of creative talent leaving the company citing editorial mismanagement (including heavies like George Perez and Rob Liefield), and even the loss of Karen Berger, the creator of the VERTIGO imprint. This week brings another debacle: writer Gail Simone has been kicked off duties on BATGIRL via an email by new editor Brian Cunningham, according to her Twitter feed. Later statements saw Simone describe the move as “baffling and sad”, although she has maintained professionalism by encouraging bitter fans not to get vile towards DC brass online. Simone, best known for writing BIRDS OF PREY, SECRET SIX, and WONDER WOMAN, has written BATGIRL since last year and helped smooth other the fan outrage over erasing Barbara Gordon’s tenure as Oracle in their new continuity. This move is odd and doesn’t seem to be due to sales, as BATGIRL has been a consistent Top 40 seller for DC since its reboot. Simone’s final issue of the series seems to be BATGIRL #17, as in March writer Ray Fawkes is listed in solicitations as starting a two issue arc; although announcements of new writers usually are “fluid”. Simone has been a loyal DC talent for years and her next project for the company is currently unknown. It isn’t a good story for a company which has struggled to maintain a satisfied female audience, and seems to not really be courting them.
– Warner Brothers have released a new trailer for “MAN OF STEEL”, the latest Superman film hitting theaters on June 14th, 2013. It naturally features more footage of Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman as well as Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner as Pa Kent and Diane Lane as Ma Kent. It’s tone is somber as it is produced by Chris Nolan, and not as energetic as some of the Marvel Studios’ features. With plans for a “Justice League” film once again down the pipe and theoretical films about other DC heroes in stages of development, it is crucial for this film to perform well. It will remain to be seen if audiences respond to another origin film which appears to be humorless.
– In another major creative team change, Scott Synder and artist Yanick Paquette will be leaving SWAMP THING as of March’s 18th issue. Unlike with Gail Simone’s exit from BATGIRL, Synder describes this as the planned finale for his run on the series, which has become a critical darling. Synder remains the major architect for DC’s Batman books.
– “ARROW”, the Green Arrow TV show on The CW Network, has continued to be an unexpected hit for the channel and continues to add to its cast. Colton Hayes has been cast as Roy Harper in the show; fans would know that he ultimately becomes Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy. The character is described as “a handsome street savvy teenager from ‘the Glades’, the harsh, poverty stricken portion of Starling City”. The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and has seen appearances from many DC characters such as Black Canary, the Royal Flush Gang and Deadshot.