Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rob Liefeld To Quit DC Comics After Zero Month

    According to a report on Newsarama, Savage Hawkman scribe Rob Liefeld is quitting DC Comics after next month's Zero Month issues.

    From Newsarama:

On Twitter, the writer/artist stressed that it was his choice, saying he "Officially got off the DC52 treadmill this morning," and "I believe in what DC is doing, but had to preserve my sanity." He continued, acknowledging, "This is the 4th time I quit in the last 4 months. This time it will stick."

Replacements have been informally announced for Deathstroke and Grifter, but no word on who will take over the writing duties for Hawkman.  I suspect that it might be Mark Poulton, who has been Liefeld's co-writer on the series (apparently writing dialogue over Liefeld's plots and/or scripts; it is unclear the actual division of labor).  

This is something of a surprise and then not something of a surprise.  Liefeld has been hinting on Twitter that he was "next" after Grant Morrison to remove himself from DC Comics.  So I am not exactly floored by this turn of events.  I am, however, surprised that apparently this happened very quickly, because Rob's name is on the solicits for #13 and #14, which are after #0.  So this evidently was something unplanned, as DC was advertising his work on the title several months beyond.

I need to see who will replace Liefeld before I decide how I feel about this.  Honestly, if Poulton takes over and the art team stays in place, and the title continues on the current trajectory, then I don't know that Liefeld will be missed.  Then again his plots have been the sort of straight forward, honest superhero stuff which I really enjoy, so who knows?

Mostly I am annoyed by the fact that this is our second major creative shake-up in a year.  I mean, we just went through this when Daniel and Tan left, now Liefeld is leaving and we are doing it all over again.  Like I said, my hope is that Bennett and company will stay in place on the visuals and that we can get someone on board to continue with the same tone we have gotten since #9.  But all of that is up in the air at this point -- assuming that Liefeld's quitting even turns out to be true.  He has "quit" companies before to no avail; as he said above this is the 4th time he has quit in 4 months.

Hopefully the loss of Liefeld will not mean a complete abandonment of the current direction and Hawkman will continue to soar.  More as this develops...


Diabolu Frank said...

Rob Liefeld has a talent for bolting off a title without notice, so this is par for him. His comments just confirm what a slipshod, half-assed, crowd sourced mess the New 52 has been. I mean, beyond giving someone with Rob's reputation control of three titles.

As much as I hate editorially driven comics, they ARE the bosses, and Liefeld has been one of the few exceptions in that area for most of his career. Ideally, an editor steers the ship and inspires talent, rather than dictate to them, but the quality of a given book is supposed to be determined by the guy handing out the pay vouchers.

Luke said...

I dunno, I think that really depends on the team. The crew over on Wonder Woman, for instance, seems to be doing their own thing. Same goes for Flash, and I wouldn't call either of those creative teams guys who can call their own shots like Johns can over on Aquaman.

I don't think a book like Hawkman was being written by the editor so much as this is Rob Liefeld spreading himself too thin and walking off because of it.

From a visual standpoint losing Rob Liefeld is not a loss, period. Especially when you have Joe Bennett on the pencils. The writing is another mater. Liefeld has been cagey about the actual division of labor with him and Poulton; the world may never know (just like Tootsie Pops). The bottom line is that I was enjoying the storyline and want to see it continue, especially considering that it is just about to get very ambitious in that it is spilling over into other titles and expanding Hawkman's profile a bit.

Juss said...

Luke, I agree with you 100%. I'll be happy if the current team and direction, sans Rob, stays. The only thing that I can think of to concern me is that somehow this constant changing of teams with Hawkman will be seen as reflecting on the character rather than on editorial mismanagement. It wouldn't be the first time.