Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Scott Lobdell On Superman ?

Over on Bleeding Cool, it has been reported that Scott Lobdell will be taking over the Superman title in September. It is a brief post, but here is the link:

I really don't know what to think here. I don't know if Lobdell is the right writer for Superman ... and remember I am liking his Superboy. I am not a hater. But still ...

But more than the announcement specifically of Lobdell, I wonder why the new Superman book (if this is true) will have three creative teams in 13 issues. It goes back to my questions when it was announced that Perez was off the book. It goes back to my questions when writers and directions where changed in the middle of opening arcs of the DCnU titles.

What is DC thinking? Who is in charge of okaying these books and creative teams and directions? And why do they seem so bad at it? And why do they seem so eager to change directions before some books can pick up momentum or word of mouth?

Did George Perez say 'I only want 6 months on Superman?' If the answer is yes, should DC have okayed him taking the helm of a major book as it was about to redefine the biggest character in the universe? If the answer was 'no', why was he pulled. If it was because the first story was clunky (which I think it was), why didn't the powers-that-be realize that before giving him the reins?

So Perez leaves and Giffen and Jurgens step in as creators. And, whew, at least the first 2 issues made me feel comfortable with them writing the book.

And now I read they are off the book. And a new writer will come on board.

The problem here is that we have yet to define who Superman is in this new universe. What his relationship with his supporting cast? Which enemies are known commodities and which need to be re-introduced? How is Superman perceived in this universe? I want to learn about this new Superman ... but with rotating people with rotating ideas and no clear vision, I simply can't. There is no foundation to build on.

So the real question is this ... why? Why is this happening to Superman? The Batman books have solid creative teams and a direction. Wonder Woman's creative team is there for the foreseeable future despite some outcry. Superman will have 3 creative teams during its first year.

Why is there such instability? Are the creators opting in for a short time? Or is DC pulling the plug on their stories early on. And if that last statement is true, why did DC okay the stories in the first place if aren't what they are looking for.

I ask DC to take the advice of Superman above as they move forward with their decision on the book, on who will guide Superman into this new incarnation. Use an extra bit of judgment when you decide who is going to write the book. Do they have a clear consistent vision? Do they know Superman and where theyt want to bring him? Do they have more than one arc planned? Check the direction and then double check it to make sure you are satisfied with the direction. And then assign the writer.

Maybe Lobdell has a three year plan. Maybe his stories will be great. Maybe DC is finally going to settle on who they want Superman to be. I hope all of the above is true, although I have my doubts on all of the above.

And Superman deserves better. The book and his fans deserve more than a revolving door of creators with different ideas and themes.


Kent G. Hare said...

To which I can only say "Amen." And that I guess I ought to be disturbed that my mind had already gone where the Bleeding Cool article went in the end .... For all that I'm liking Superboy and Teen Titans, the travesty that was Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 remains seared in my memory.

Gear said...

Somehow it feels like something's broken in the Superman editorial offices, and that it's carried over from before the reboot. I was looking forward to what Levitz and Giffen were going to bring, now they're gone before they had the opportunity to get things spun up.

This is just sad. Superman deserves better than this. The readers deserve better than this. And while I don't know what's going on behind the scenes I suspect that the writers deserve better than this.

Dante said...

Seems like all those years f Superdickery are finally paying their heavey tolls on poor Clark.

Not hating Lodbell,as his Superboy is fantastic thus far and I enjoy his Titans and Red Hood,but he certainly isn't Superman material.His heroes are his own and that's something that doesn't quite work with Superman.

valerie21601 said...

I am wondering what is going on the "real" sales figures at DC?

Wondering if DC is expecting too many immediate hits right out of the box on every series of this 52 reboot. A HUGE mistake television companies learned the hard way and are still now suffering for it, years later.

With an 5% new readers boost which they are steadily losing the longer it is going on. Will this ruthless, cold reboot be worth it to DC Comics in the long run?

Anj said...

Thanks for the comments. As I said, I'm not damning Lobdell's book before it arrives.

But this sense of instability on this book is unnerving.

Dave Mullen said...

Gear said...
Somehow it feels like something's broken in the Superman editorial offices, and that it's carried over from before the reboot

Agreed, I won't blame Matt Idelson as I'm not sure how much of the last few years worth of poor direction are his direct responsibility, as opposed to his superiors, but on the one hand I could well believe all of this is because Grant Morrison is considered the important player with Superman's direction and the 'Superman' book is secondary to hos Action Comics vision.... the problem with that idea is that I can't quite accept it. If Morrison IS considered the architect here then why hasn't DC got him plotting 'Superman' as well?!
All he seems to be is the writer of Action Comics, not the mastermind or director of Superman.

Three writers in a year is extraordinary given the context though...

mathematicscore said...

I've realized I trust Lobdell quite a bit; His Gen X run, Red Hood, and what I've read off the stand of Superboy and Teen Titans is all really good, and he is good at executing long term plans without decompressing single issues too much.

That said, I agree with all of your reservations, and would add one other; why is DC editorial spreading so many books over single creators like this? Guys like Chris Roberson and Greg Rucka are floating out there and were doing great work at DC before the relaunch, yet Lobdell is doing four books. Not to mention all of the great talent not working there. I listened to an interview with Scott Weneger from Atomic Robo, and he had plenty of good ideas for Firestorm, and I think would easily do justice to a number of DC properties, but he's left out in the cold. Like most corporate entities, DC seems to be approaching talent from all the wrong angles.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Chris Roberson will never work for DC again for the foreseeable future.

Greg Rucka also doesn't have anything to do with DC.

They could've relaunched the book with Paul Cornell, who did great work on Action pre-relaunch.

Maybe Morrison should've written (or at least plotted) Superman, in addition to Action Comics.

Dave Mullen said...

Greg Rucka also doesn't have anything to do with DC.
Was there a fallout?

Paul Cornell is a good one to bring up, like Mark Bagley DC poached him from Marvel but I don't think they backed him up all that well and have let him slip into the long grass, out of sight. I can add plenty of writers to that list but as a counterbalance they've also wisely kept faith in the Green and Johnson partnership on the Superbooks, Kevin Maguire, Jeff Lumiere, James Robinson, Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen. So maybe things are actually more flexible than we might give them credit for.