DC Comings & Goings: Palmiotti, Gray & Igle on THE RAY; Rozum Off STATIC SHOCK, Krul Off GREEN ARROW

There’s a lot going on in the comic book world and sometimes news slips through the cracks. Like these three big stories that happened in the last week(ish).

Art by Jamal Igle

When DC Comics first announced their slate of 52 on-going series, it was always assumed that there would be more series on the way, either on-going or mini. In July DC announced two mini-series: The Huntress and Penguin: Pride and Prejudice, both of which are scheduled to hit stores October 5. Friday night (!) it was announced that Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Jamal Igle are handling The Ray, a four issue mini-series due in December.

(Seriously, Washington Post? 9pm EST on a Friday night?)

Palmiotti and Gray are no strangers to The Ray having introduced a new version of the classic character in their 2006 series Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. Back then The Ray was Stan Silver, in the new series he will be Lucien Gates.

Yesterday, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray talked to Newsarama about The Ray.

Here’s a brief quote from the interview from Justin Gray.

We wanted to mess with the origin story formula because so many superhero movies are centered squarely on that moment. How many times can you watch someone test out his or her powers and make goofy mistakes? How many times have we seen someone design a costume or screw up his or her first night on patrol? With The Ray we tried to take a different look at the origin story. We want The Ray to be fun and strange and very human mixed with incredible action sequences provided by the incredibly talented Jamal Igle.


With 52 new on-going series debuting, and with the way that the comic book business works these days, it was also assumed that not all of the creative teams would remain intact for the long haul. The assumption for most people was probably that we’d either lose artists or see a lot of fill-ins (assuming that maintaining that monthly shipping schedule is a high priority for DC). But no, the first two casualties of the New DC Universe are writers.

Static Shock #1

Last week, Static Shock co-writer John Rozum announced on his blog that he was leaving the book. He said, among other things,

My decision had nothing to do with DC Comics. I’ve been very happy overall with my time at DC over the roughly 15 years that I’ve worked for them and I plan to continue working with them into the future. The feeling is mutual. I’m developing new material for them even as I write this. DC Comics is in no way responsible for my decision to leave Static Shock, and have been very supportive of this decision.

There is no word yet on whether or not a new co-writer will be assigned to the book or if Scott McDaniel will carry on with writing duties by himself, in addition to handling art duties. (Seems unlikely.)

In a statement on the DC blog, The Source, DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras said,

John Rozum called me today to tell me that he’s leaving Static Shock. DC Comics has had a great relationship with John for 15 years, and he and I had a great conversation about new ideas, new concepts and moving forward. We’re all excited to see what comes next.


Green Arrow #1

Just four days later the DC Comics December solicitations hit the internet and it was noticed that controversial J.T. Krul was no longer listed as the writer for Green Arrow, instead O.M.A.C. writer Keith Giffen and Justice League International writer Dan Jurgens were listed as co-writers of Green Arrow #4.

Shortly after that news broke, Krul issued a statement to Newsarama,

I am working on a new DC project, among other things, and wanted to focus on it. I had to let something go and there was no way I was leaving Captain Atom. It’s my favorite DC project to date.

He then posted a longer statement on his Facebook page which reads in part,

Effective as of issue #4, I will no longer be writing Green Arrow. As many of you know, Oliver Queen is one of my favorite characters in the DC Universe, so this decision was not easy to make. Getting the chance to do the fall of Green Arrow and my run during Brightest Day was a dream come true, and I was excited to bring a new yet familiar take on Green Arrow in the new 52. But, I’ve been writing him for a few years now and an opportunity came up that I really wanted to tackle. I had to make a choice. In a way, my decision to leave is more a testament to how incredibly thrilled I am about Captain Atom. I don’t think I’ve been more excited about a project. Working with Freddie Williams is amazing and I really think it’s among my best work at DC to date. It was a tough call – like picking a favorite child.

To be completely honest, I was not surprised by this news. I had been hearing rumors and rumblings that Krul was not long for Green Arrow since before the book even came out.

After the Krul news broke, DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras issued another statement, this time directly to Newsarama,

J.T. Krul is moving off Green Arrow, but he’s still just as committed to DC Comics-The New 52 with his writing on Captain Atom. He’s transitioning to another project that we’ll be announcing later this year; he has been working with Green Arrow for awhile, and we’re all excited for him to be tackling some new characters.

Boy, those two statements from Harras are eerily similar.



  1. I will always take a look at any book by Palmiotti and Gray to see if it piques my fancy. However, with Jamal Igle on art duties, it is an automatic buy. I have been missing him ever since he left Supergirl.

  2. Wow, that was quick.

  3. One other thought, the way I read the Rozum announcement, I get the sense that he feels McDaniel has the book under control, and therefore, there is no need for him to be on the book. In J.T.’s case, I think it might be the case that DC wanted to have Green Arrow in it’s new lineup but did not have new writer to take J.T.’s place, so they just went with him until they could find a replacement.

    Or, do you think DC just fired them because their books had some of the weakest sales out of the new 52?

    • I could see them firing Krul at issue 6 or later, but I think 4 would have been too early to know sales numbers

    • GREEN ARROW did not have the weakest sales of the new 52.

    • @conor, fair enough. But, it did have low(ish) sales *and* poor reviews (e.g., 2.5 on iFanboy). So, the series wasn’t likely to build a following. Is DC cutting their losses with J.T.? Why do you think they are changing writers 3 issues in?

      I think the key really is that intersection between lower sales and poor reviews. Based on that, I would put Hawk & Dove, Legion Lost, and Mr. Terrific on the watch list. On the contrary, lower selling titles with GOOD reviews (OMAC, Deathstroke) will likely be given more rope. Likewise, books with middling reviews but stronger sales (Men of War, Red Lanterns) will also be given more time.

    • I know there is not sales data (outside of our local statistical microcosm), but would negative buzz/negative reviews be enough to get them replaced? The internet weilds a lot of power. I haven’t read reviews of those books on any other sites, but I doubt they would fare significantly better anywhere else. It’s important to have good word-of-mouth on these new books.

    • @kennyg: negative buzz can certainly push a company to make a business decision, and there has been some negative buzz on this project (of which I am one of the naysayers myself) but there hasnt been enough negative buzz to pull him off the title like this. Most likely, it is what they claim. J. T. Krul wants to work on another project coming up and he dropped GA. Its also possible that when he submitted his outline for the next story arc after the initial one, his editor didnt care for it, solicited an outline from another writer and decided to change direction on the book. In any company, there are policitics, personalities, and cut throat decisions, and you can bet DC is no different. But overall, my money is riding on Krul just wanting to do something else.

    • Green Arrow might not have had terrible sales, but fan reaction has been negative. How many gave the first issue a shot and are not planning on coming back for issue two. Out of the 24 titles I bought these first three weeks I won’t be back for the second issue on half of them. Green Arrow is one of them, will I be back for issue 4? Don’t know.

      For me, so long Red Hood and the Outlaws, Demon Knights, Stormwatch, Detective, Justice League International, and Birds of Prey.

    • Plus, the guys even mention on the last podcast that DC was actually looking to sites like iFanboy to gauge fan’s reactions to the books

    • I doubt that negative reaction or fan buzz had much to do with either of these changes. We forget sometimes that on the Internet the most vocal group is often people that don’t like stuff. If GA sells 100,000 copies and 2,000 vocal people are on the Internet pooping all over it, it still shows that a large percentage may have liked the book or thought it was ok.

      We’re too early into this for sales and negative reacation to remove people, especially if they were able to find replacements in GA’s case for the newest solicits. I’m sure these decisions aren’t made when the news breaks, but instead, many moons ago before it ever graced the Internet.

  4. The similarity between the statements might be that Bob Harras is not enough of an articulate wordsmith or doesn’t know how to issue reassuring statements without repeating several words or phrases. Also, Conor, in paragraph 14, the phrase “controversial J.T. Krul,” might have been worded better if it were “controversial writer J.T. Krul.” The man’s not the butt of the controversy, it’s his writing. I’m sure he’s a fine person, but his work on JL: Cry for Justice and some of his other books has been somewhat problematic for many fans.

  5. I suppose the solicits for Green Arrow #4 let the cat out of the proverbial bag but this is certainly an announcement DC could have handled better. It kind of reads like an after thought.

    The Rozum/Static Shock is equally curious. Presuming that it was a surprise announcement from Rozum, I’m wondering why the rush to announce it? Why not wait on this?

  6. I know this has nothing to do with it, but I wish Matt Fraction would go away.

  7. Looks like I’ll start picking up Green Arrow with issue #4.

  8. Krul should have been off Green Arrow from the start. His departure is some of the best news I’ve heard in a while. I’m excited for the possibility of decent Green Arrow comics again.

  9. James Patrick and Augustin Padilla did the last couple of issues of Green Arrow before the reboot. Can we get them back?Those two issues engaged me far more than any of the previous J.T. Krul issues.

    • Those weren’t bad, where they? It wasn’t Winnick or Smith, but it was a good action/adventure story.

      I think Krul gets a bad rap because of the Arsenal story. I enjoyed some of what he did on GA. It wasn’t super exciting, but it had interesting ideas. I also don’t know how much he was directed to do to dovetail with the Brightest Day stuff. He could have been told “It has to tie into the forest for Swamp Thing, it has to have these elements…” and he had to fill in the blanks. Man, that would suck not being able to tell the story you want and having to write within some dictated parameters, but in some cases that’s what they get paid to do, I guess.

    • I definitely give him the benefit of the doubt on a lot of his run because he picked up the book from both a James Robinson story and a Geoff Johns story that tied together. I wonder what he would have been able to do had he just had a clean slate to work with??

      Now, I’m sure that this was his perfect opportunity, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be around long enough for anyone to really know.

  10. The real story is DC secretly hired Hitler to review all their new books. And based on his reaction to Green Arrow #1, they pulled Krul.

  11. He should have stayed with Green Arrow. Captain Atom #1 is a mess.

  12. Jt krull is a awful writer it was a mistake to have him on any,of the new 52.

  13. Rozum leaving the book so soon is a bit of a surprise, but if McDaniels was always the ‘main man’ in this case then I guess it’s not too big of a shock. Can I get high hopes for a new Xombi series now?

    Hopefully with Krul leaving a book is signals the beginning of the end for that guy’s career. What a terrible writer.

  14. ifanboy gives books negative reviews=writers leave