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DC Comics has lost plenty of its creative contributors since the New 52 began. There was John Rozum who left Static Shock, James Robinson who departed from Earth 2, Rob Liefeld who wrote three DC Comics titles including Deathstroke, The Savage Hawkman and Grifter. The list goes on. Now, Paul Jenkins has joined the bandwagon of people leaving DC.
Paul Jenkins wrote two New 52 titles for DC Comics: Batman and Batman: The Dark Knight. He also had quite a few choice words to say to Bleeding Cool about the horrors of working at DC Comics. Paul Jenkins announced he was leaving DC Comics and Marvel in his post on Comic Book Resources by saying, “I’m going to remove myself from working for the foreseeable future with Marvel or DC, and I’ll be working exclusively from now on with BOOM! Studios. I’m finally going to make myself happy again in the process.”
He had a lot to say about DC Comics in his Bleeding Cool interview. I’ve reprinted the juicier tidbits below:
“DC is in the toilet right now… [T]he worst part of all is that they bully their creators.”
“In recent years, I have watched, helpless, as editors made pointless and destructive changes to scripts and artwork that they had previously left alone. It bugs me that the creators were a primary focus when the mainstream publishers needed them, and now that the corporations are driving the boat, creative decisions are being made once again by shareholders.”
“The Big Two have removed their focus away from the creators and toward the maintenance of the characters.”
“I am appalled at the way in which creators are being bullied, and somewhat freaked out at the things I saw in my own time there. I encountered more lies and veiled threats–more attempts to justify dysfunctional behavior and systems–than I have ever encountered in my career.” Paul Jenkins went on to say DC Comics books are being “destroyed by editorial interference perpetrated by unqualified project managers.”
The fact that comics are being destroyed by editors doesn’t really shock me. The highly popularized hatred of Spider-Man’s “One More Day” arc has been blamed on editors and the slew of DC Comics writers and artists who are leaving and pointing the finger at DC are not helping DC’s image in the slightest. Honestly, since the New 52 has started a lot of my love for DC has ended. I kind of feel like the picture floating around on Tumblr with Superman falcon punching Joker into oblivion.
Marvel has definitely been a much more enjoyable company to latch onto with fantastic titles like Captain America and Superior Spider-Man, but Paul Jenkins claims to be leaving Marvel because they were only interested in writing crossovers and he didn’t feel like that fit his style. I’m not reading enough Marvel titles to tell if their universe is crumbling, but I can see quite a few kinks in DC’s multimillion-dollar armor. They’ve been making hit movies like The Dark Knight Rises and have sold tons of comic book related merchandise.
Honestly, DC could probably get away with murder at this point. They don’t need to care about their characters. Just saying a comic book has Batman in it is sure to turn a few heads even if it isn’t very good. But I don’t think the remaining creators at DC or even all the editors will let that happen to all of these beloved characters. After all, people are saying the New 52’s Batgirl is possibly the best Batgirl title (after I inevitably read it I will let you know) and Animal Man, Aquaman and Swamp Thing have all garnered popularity in their titles. I don’t think this is the end of DC, but there is clearly a problem that could become quite serious in the coming years. Especially since other companies have started to make headlines, like the seemingly Omni-present Image Comics which has released such hits as Saga and The Walking Dead and the digital-first publisher MonkeyBrain whose little Parisian thief I’ve praised before.
But only time (and the people who decide whether or not to buy DC Comics) will decide what the fate of DC will be. In the meantime, you can find Paul Jenkins working at BOOM! Studios.