At around 11am yesterday, Nick Spencer tweeted the following.
Okay all, breaking some bad news today-- I won't be doing SUPERGIRL after all. But hey, nobody cry for me! All kinds of cool stuff coming up in 2011, so stay tuned and all that.
Around the same time, this was posted on the DC Source blog. Here is the link:
On a related note, Nick Spencer will be stepping off Supergirl to concentrate on T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, with writer James Peaty co-scripting issue #60 and then taking over for him from there. (Bernard Chang will stay on as artist for the book.) Here’s what Supergirl editor Matt Idelson had to say about James Peaty:
“When I was deciding who should write this Supergirl arc, I knew I needed someone who could not just write a good story, but bring their own unique vision to an in progress story. I’ve worked on and off with James Peaty over the years and had been looking for the chance to do so again. James is no stranger to the DCU, having written adventures for Green Arrow, the Justice League, the JSA, Batman, and Supergirl.”
I think it is pretty lousy of DC to sstick this important Supergirl news at the bottom of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents post, not even mentioning it in the headline. Maybe they were hoping that nobody would notice that the 'hot new writer' they put on the title was leaving before one issue of his 'run' was released. Or maybe they think that T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents is a more important book for DC such that the Supergirl part of the story barely warrants a mention.
But the truth is this completely stinks.
This has nothing to do with James Peaty or his abilities.
It has everything to do with perception.
My perception is that Sterling Gates, who loved the character, was well into a critically lauded run and seemed to have more stories to tell, was forced off the book by DC.
My perception is Nick Spencer was hired as the 'hot new writer' to bring in new readers. And maybe he was stretched a bit thin with all of his creator owned stuff, and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and Iron Man. And with all thosee things on his plate, the project he decided to scrap was Supergirl. Guess we know where she ranked on his list.
And now Spencer is off the book before the first issue has been released.
Perception isn't always reality. But my perception now is that this book is in a tail spin. And that is sad given that we are just coming off of one of the best years ever to be a Supergirl fan. That it was holding its own in sales during the toughest economic times comics has faced.
Remember when we had all those different writers in the first 33 issues? Loeb, Rucka, Kelly, Palmiotti, Bedard, Puckett, Pfeifer, and Peaty all were there. 8 writers in 33 issues! 8!! Remember how disjointed the book felt? How there was no direction for the character in those issues? How the title seemed on a collision course for cancellation? Doesn't this feel the same way? We had 2+ years of one writer. In the next three issues - 59,60, and 61 - we'll have three.
Seriously, I would love to hear from DC exactly why Gates was taken off the book. Because in retrospect, I bet that looks like a pretty bad decision right now. Because now the book feels like it is in disarray.
No one can say that this announcement is anything but bad news for the book. Now I have to ratchet up the pessimism again.
I will say it again. This is not a knock against James Peaty, who stepped in to finish Kelley Puckett's storyline right before Gates and Igle took over. My perception about the book isn't about Peaty's ability to write Supergirl. Maybe he will hit the ground running and the book will prosper.
But if the new writer DC was trumpeting is off the book before his first issue is even finished, it gives Supergirl a 'lame duck' feel, a second class citizen sort of feel. And the character and this title deserves better than that.
We, as Supergirl fans, deserve better.
My thanks to the many many Supergirl fans who emailed me to make sure that I had heard the news. I appreciate the support for the blog and glad other people care about Supergirl as much as I do!