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Liefeld Bails on the New 52

The Orphaned HawkmanWith a surprise announcement on Twitter, Rob Liefeld has made it known that he is done with all three of his current DC titles as of the much hyped zero month. He carried on a conversation about this decision on Twitter, saying that while he supported what DC was doing with the New 52 he did not agree with how the company has been doing it behind the scenes.

Reasons are the same as everyone’s that you hear. I lasted a few months longer than I thought possible.

Deathstroke, Grifter, Savage Hawkman. All three books will now need to find new writers so soon after DC made a relatively high profile move to put Liefeld at the head of the trio. Liefeld says this decision had been months coming but only finally came about now, and his reasons are exactly as he says. They’re the same we’ve heard before, though he does go on to colorfully describe it.

Massive indecision, last minute and I mean LAST minute changes that alter everything. Editor pissing contests… No thxnjs

Heavy editorial interference coupled with indecision from the same source. It doesn’t sound like a good mix. But it does sound familiar.

Last week my editor said ” early on we had a lot of indie talent that weren’t used to re-writes and changes..made it hard”. Uh, no, it’s you

Some say this is Rob Liefeld being Rob Liefeld, which is probably true in part. But others are rightly pointing out that Liefeld is only the latest creator so dissatisfied with DC’s editorial conduct to walk. On Twitter, Brian Wood seemed to back up Liefeld’s assertion quoted above. Wood made a nice creator-owned career for himself at Vertigo, and when it came time for him to go work-for-hire, he went... to Marvel Comics? Not the most mysterious decision anymore.

Already this year, creators like John Rozum and George Perez have made news with their stories of DC’s editorial handling of the New 52. Other writers have done similar by walking off certain titles but not leaving DC completely. The thing to note here is that the majority of creators subject to these abrupt departures from books have not be “indie title” who would be uncomfortable with the reasonable amount of editorial handling to be expected from a major publisher. Several have been established comic veterans.

So as Liefeld says, it’s not them with the problem.

Can Grifter survive another major creative shift?

Liefeld goes on to make it a case against the Big Two in general, but I have trouble seeing it as anything but a case against DC. When Ed Brubaker announced his decision to cut back on Marvel Comics to go creator-owned, I didn’t see him citing frustration with Marvel’s editors as the driving force. In fact, I don’t see many creators jumping ship at all from Marvel. I see writers managing lengthy runs on books.

I don’t see that happening quite so much at DC of late.

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