And yesterday on Twitter, Andy Diggle confirmed it, saying he has decided to walk away from Action Comics for 'professional reasons'.
As a fan of DC Comics, I don't know what to say anymore other than I feel embarrassed for the company. They blew up their continuity and established a new one which is muddier than the old one. They have had revolving doors on the creative teams of some books. They had a 'summit' where the editor in chief apologized for stomping on creativity. They have had innumerable instances where they have pandered to the lowest common denominator to sell books starting with Starfire being a sex-starved vapid alien and continuing to the present when they are currently publishing a book where Superman punches a pregnant Lois Lane to death. They have monthly columns on comic websites where they sound absolutely cheery, saying that all is well with their line. But I see the sales on their books eroding. I see creators jumping ship. And I see a lot of bad stories.
And now creators aren't trying to get to write a Superman book ... heck THE Superman book ... in a year when we are celebrating an anniversary and a movie for the character.
Nope ... creators are leaving the book. Before their first issue is even published.
We may never know the 'professional reasons'. But I can't help but feel that it was, again, editorial interference, the 'powers that be' not letting Andy Diggle tell the story he wanted to. So congratulations to him for walking away.
But it makes me sad as a fan.
That sadness shows in my purchases. 50% of my books are DC books, the lowest percentage of titles I purchase from them in a long time. Three of the DC titles I buy are close to being dropped by me. Three more are nearing cancellation numbers.
All this after we were given the most jumbled and inconherent of Superman crossovers I have read, a story where Supergirl is initially the enemy and then tries to stab the villain to death.
It just feels like DC is a burning Rome and Dan Didio is playing the fiddle.
Who would want to work for them? First it sounds like editorial fiats change the directions of things on a whim and at last minute. But what must be more frustrating is editors accepting a creator's direction, publicizing it, and then making them change. Why accept it in the first place if they didn't think it was a good idea? How insane was it that we had 'new directions' of New 52 four issues into their inception!!
But most of all, I will wonder just what Diggle was going to do with the Superman character. Outside of Morrison, I haven't read a consistently good Superman in a long time. The powers that be have called him a loner in the New 52. He is presented as a guy who reads Lois Lane's text messages, floats over people all the time, and generally isn't very nice.
Nrama: Yeah, a recent issue of Superman
established that the two have quite a bit of history. Does that mean the story
is a dark one? Diggle: Tonally, I’m wary of taking Superman himself dark.
He’s inherently a bright and optimistic character. I think if you mess with
that too much, you’ll break the core concept. I’m known for writing rather dark
and cynical stories, which works great when you’re writing a characters like
John Constantine orThe Losers – I’m just not going to put any of that
into Superman himself. I’m pouring all my meanness and cynicism into Lex Luthor
and the new villains I’m creating, and then letting Superman react to that.
Nrama: How would you describe your vision for Superman as a
character? Diggle: I think the ultimate definition of heroism is
self-sacrifice, and Superman is the exemplar of that. He’s driven by
conscience. So no matter how much he does, how hard he strives, he can never
rest on his laurels. There’ll always be that nagging doubt at the back of his
mind that he could have done more... or should be doing more, right now. He’s
pretty tough on himself.
That's right. Superman was bright and optimistic. It is the core of his character. He is the exemplar of self-sacrifice. But he is hard on himself and strives to do even better.
Apparently that doesn't fit in the mode of the New 52.
Best of luck Andy Diggle in all your future endeavors. I think I'll miss this one that might have been.