Wednesday, November 19, 2008

James Robinson, Grant Morrison: ???

Two "Lying in the Gutters" things worth talking about, from this week's column:
I understand that James Robinson and Dan had a stand up argument that led to Robinson quitting the Superman books and the DCU in general.
Geoff Johns was HIGHLY supportive of Robinson at the Baltimore Con (and late at night afterwards), and I wonder how Johns will react to one of his teammates bolting just as the new Superman continuity is getting underway? Or maybe Johns himself wasn't happy with Robinson's work after all? Or maybe none of this is true and is pure speculation?

And a bigger bombshell from Rich:

A familiar source known collectively as "New York comics industry employees talking in bars" tells me that the last issue of "Final Crisis" is further delayed as it is suffering from serious rewrites. It appears that DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio was unhappy with the way the story concluded and the implications for the DC Universe for a while and had ordered changes from a, naturally, rather unhappy Grant Morrison. Considering this is the way he wrote the pitch for the book.

As a result, creative teams working on a number of spinoff and affected books have also had to stop work while the “Final Crisis” ending is reworked.

Expect more lateness, more annoyance and less likelihood of Grant Morrison doing DCU work in the near future.

Now, if this turns out to be true, and it sounds more than plausible, then this does not bode well for "Final Crisis," or the DCU, at all. If Morrison isn't allowed to nail the ending, then what's the point of everything he's established in the series so far? It's been a slow build toward something, and if he's not the one in charge of that something, it will certainly spell disaster.

Also, might this mean that "Batman R.I.P." will basically be Morrison's Batman swan song after all. He might not want to go back to the character if this kind of stuff is going down with "Final Crisis."

Rumors are rumors, obviously, but Rich seemed to nail the Shooter situation even though we didn't find that out until recently.



Jason D. Manger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason D. Manger said...

I wasn't that big of a Robinson fan on Superman but even I'll admit that I was warming up to him. Now Morrison on the other hand, I would be extremely upset if he bolts from the DCU. His work on Batman and Final Crisis has been phenomenal. I totally agree with you that if he has to change the ending it will change the dynamic of what has been set up already. What the hell is DC Editorial doing these days? Wouldn't Morrison have had to present his original ending to DC before Final Crisis started??

Shecky Shabazz said...

Both these seem strange, yet there seems to be a consensus feeling that they may also be correct. The Robinson situation I don't know that much about, nor am I really all that bothered. I doubt that Starman epilogue would come any time soon anyway. As for Morrison, there's been a slight sense of some sort of schism for a while now. Everything from Countdown/Death of the New Gods to the rather inelegant artist switches on Final Crisis has seemed like the outward results of a bigger problem. However, that is pure speculation, and something which frankly takes up a little too much bandwith on comic book web sites. What's weird though, is that DiDio in a recent interview said that they're leaving the main workings of the DCU (post-FC, that is) to be handled by Morrison, if, and I think I'm qouting directly, he would "come back" and do them.
DC has gotten really bad at crisis management. I mean, look how (relatively) easy Quesada maneuvered through the One More Day debacle. Who even remembers that now? Yet, whenever a DC book ships a week late, the internet is all aflame with people calling for Didio to be fired.

Mark said...

It looks like its untrue for Robinson - or maybe it was true but the super-team managed to smooth it over.

Or maybe it'll end up like with Jim Shooter on Legion of Super-Heroes, where there was drama and then it got better and then things ended anyways and who knows what the hell actually happened?

Chad Nevett said...

shecky--Didio was referring to Morrison handling the multiverse, not the DCU... subtle distinction, but still one. (At least in the interview I read...)

As for the news, neither would surprise me. Of course, having to change the end of a story that's been years in the making and spanning multiple volumes/titles... doesn't that sound very similar to the reason Morrison left DC the last time?

Kris Krause said...

Rumors are nothing I get worked up over, no matter how accurate a source has been. When Grant Morrison says he's not coming back to Batman next year, then I'll be upset.

But regardless, Grant has already said that the only thing in the DCU proper he wanted to do for a while after Final Crisis was Batman. And over in the Bat-universe, DC seems to be very comfortable with his plan.

So stepping back from it all, even if there have been a lot of issues with Final Crisis, Morrison only wanted to write Batman next year anyway with some Vertigo books and I don't see why that would change as Morrison's big changes to Batman are about to go into effect and Vertigo isn't under Dan DiDio's jurisdiction. Not to mention he is under contract with DC still, so what else is he going to do?

Shecky Shabazz said...

Chad: You are correct. Still, bringing the Multiverse back only to have it lying around waiting to be explored by a writer who for a year has stated that he intends to leave supherhero comics for quite a bit of time seems a strange decision. I think one of the reasons Marvel is outdoing DC is that Marvel has a decentralized univers that is, in reality, at least three more or less separate ones (MU central, X-Men, Cosmic). Every big event in the DCU focuses on the same group of characters, and when that fails, the whole line suffers. Whereas Marvel can do an Avengers-focused event that fails, and still get by on the success on an X-Men crossover or an Annihilation-type event.

Anonymous said...

Here is the list of people Didio has alienated so far:

Chuck Dixon (Quit)

James Robinson (Apparently smoothed over, or maybe there was no problem)

Grant Morrsion (Countdown debacle and now this and Didio did know the ending the whole time, that is why Morrison is pissed. Didio changes his mind all the time if Dixon is to be believed.)

Jim Shooter

Greg Rucka (Has made comments in interviews)

Mark Waid (has basically said Didio is destroying the DC Universe in interviews, and DOES NOT want Barry Allen to come back)

How long before Geoff Johns is alienated?!! Will someone fire Didio already.

Julian Darius said...

I'm not going to blame Dan DiDio, since I don't have the facts. But Final Crisis is now thoroughly entering the "debacle" category.

First, it's received by fans and critics as slow, repetitive of past work, and confusing / boring. Along with this, a lot of the tie-ins are incomprehensible, unrelated, or just confusing. Is anyone excited about this anymore? Some of the lack of excitement is event fatigue, which can certainly also be seen at Marvel too. But both series have seemed particularly wrong for the moment.

Second, there's the whole Countdown / Death of the New Gods fiasco, which is simply astounding. DC's pretty much blown anyone's confidence in them. Remember duing Infinite Crisis, when DC kept saying, "don't worry, it's all worked out, we have charts explaining everything" -- and then it turned out they didn't? If you're running continuity-driven events, you want to make sure your continuity is in order.

Third, we've got a fill-in artist coming in to finish off the series, which is running late. I know, it's the same guy who's doing the Superman Beyond issues, so we're not talking about the kind of fill-ins necessary for Infinite Crisis, but still... it really makes you long for Civil War, despite that series's delays.

Finally, we're hearing rumors about DC changing the ending, which we also heard about Infinite Crisis. Let's hope this isn't the case.

marcwrz said...

Hmmm, With the way writers have been making comments at DC...this wouldn't be shocking.

Also, of course DC Editorial is saying this....they said the same thing about Shooter 6 months ago.

I'm not saying DiDio needs to be fired but he might want to think about stepping down soon...before he gets let go.

Rev Sully said...

Hey Callahan!

1st off...thanks! I just started reading your stuff and think we're like kittens with milkcaps on a linoleum floor...having fun!

I'm a huge Morrison fan. I applaud any sci-fi author that changes the way I think about the world; Bobby Heinlein, Douglas Adams, Arthur Clarke, Frank Herbert, George Lucas, Grant Morrison...
As Dr. Highwater said in ANIMAL MAN, "This is the shape of Space/Time!!!" but iDigress...

What can we do...nothing. We can only await next Wednesday's offering.

In a way, continuity is the bane of these superhero funnybooks we adore.
Also we must really change our paradigms...DiDio is not the custodian of our sacred stories...he's a magazine publisher. WE ARE the custodians of continuity...our longboxes the libraries.

Heck...the DC CRISIS Stories are my all-time favorites! I have a dedicated longbox called "Sully's CRISIS Edit"...I'm wickid proud of it although only like 12 people in the world would really appreciate it! ^_^

You have no clue how crestfallen I am now that this FINAL CRISIS has turned into true irony. JG Jones art was great! I am anticipating a wonderful drawing of not Dan Turpin as Darkseid...but Dan DiDio. Look...the most negative I'll get about Dan Didio is that I'd love to drop every issue of COUNTDOWN on his desk desk and say, "Keep the money..." and go home.

I still really love these DC stories though.

I hope it all works out in the end...for all of us.
Who knows...maybe some day a real Golden Age awaits when Morrison is hired to be DC's EIC in 10's only the shape of space/time, eh?

Rev. Sully

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA