– Roughly two weeks ago, Gail Simone found out she was no longer the writer of BATGIRL, or any DC Comics title for that matter, via email. Various parties on the internet raged and railed (such as The Beat and the blog DC Women Kicking Ass). Ray Fawkes was announced as the new writer for BATGIRL #18-19. However, Simone has recently announced the new writer of BATGIRL on her Twitter feed – and it is herself. Later Tweets claim this is now a hoax and Simone has been rehired as the writer of BATGIRL after a mere fortnight and perhaps losing two issues of the book she launched last year. As Newsarama states, such things are incredibly rare – the last time this happened was in 2003, when Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo were fired from FANTASTIC FOUR, only to be rehired after a loud enough fan outcry. DC Entertainment hasn’t commented officially and it remains a bizarre episode. Considering BATGIRL has been a consistently solid seller (often selling well into the Top 30-50 every month), it wasn’t a sacking which had been due to Simone’s inability to move issues. While Simone has usually offered support for DC’s newer editorial moves which did irritate many fans, perhaps someone in editorial considered her expendable? At any rate, the strength of Simone’s fanbase has been felt and she remains one of the biggest female writers in “big two” comics. Perhaps DC feared that another company (i.e. Marvel) would ink a lucrative offer had she been let go for long?
– Additional shuffling within DC Comics’ editorial staff have continued to be made. DC claims these latest moves were made “to enhance and strengthen the company’s three imprints: DC Comics, Vertigo and Mad Magazine”. Last week, Shelly Bond was promoted to Karen Berger’s old position as head of VERTIGO. This week, current editor-in-chief Bob Harras has been promoted to senior vice president – editor in chief of DC Comics. Formerly the EIC of Marvel Comics during its bankruptcy era in the late 90’s until 2000, he was hired to manage the New 52 relaunch over the course of the last two years. In addition, DC Entertainment veteran Hank Kanalz has been promoted to the position of senior vice president of Vertigo and integrated publishing; in this role he’ll continue to manage Vertigo as well as manage DC’s digital comics business. MAD Magazine’s vice president and executive editor John Ficarra alongside Harras and Kanalz will report under DC’s co-publishers, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. Naturally the exit of Berger caused a lot of deck chairs to be reshuffled, as DC attempts better synergy among their various brands.
– Actor/director Ben Affleck has set the record straight and denies the rumor of ever being approached to helm a potential “JUSTICE LEAGUE” film for Warner Brothers. The rumor of him “passing” on such a film arose a few months ago, but Affleck denies ever being contacted by WB for such a project at any time. However, he expresses interest in seeing DC come up with an answer for “THE AVENGERS”. One wonders if this time WB will stick with it; they abandoned an earlier effort for such a film in 2007-2008, although the stakes are much higher now.