Straczynski To Take Over Superman and Wonder Woman

Starting in July with Superman #701 and Wonder Woman #601, J. Michael Straczynski will handle writing duties for 2 of DC's biggest characters.  It's certainly a change from the current teams, who have earned critical appeal, but not necessarily spectacular sales. 

I think people know what they're getting with JMS, and for some people, that's something they like, and the chances are that it will definitely lead to juiced sales numbers, especially on Wonder Woman.  Further, Straczynski's approach is one that often involves sweping gradiose ideas about morality, and that does fit with these 2 characters.  On the other hand, he's also had a hand in really shaking things up, as he did with Spider-Man, and that's something Wonder Woman could no doubt use. The possible downside is the question of whether he'll actually finish what he started, with a long track record of abandoning projects, for whatever reason.

I can't say this move excites me at all, but it makes sense from a business standpoint, and I'll be very interested to see what happens.

 

SUperman #700 and Wonder Woman #600

 

UPDATE – Over at the DC Blog, J. Michael Straczynski has released a statement about both Superman and Wonder Woman. It's on an interesting read that you should check out in its entirety, but here's an excerpt:

On Superman:

…we plan to bring Superman back to his roots, to really explore who he is…how he sees us, and how we see him, in a much more personal way than we’ve seen in a while. This is part of a larger effort that will have national ramifications, but I can’t say much more about it than that for now. Keep an eye on this website for more information when the time is right…but for now, let’s just say that Superman may be a lot closer in proximity to you, the reader, than you ever guessed.

On Wonder Woman:

This is a strong, mythic, powerful character who for some time now has been kind of drowning under the weight of her own mythos, so I’m looking forward to paring away some of the layers of debris and undergrowth that have piled up around her in order to get to the core of the character. Coming from the world of TV and film, the first rule you learn is to service the main character more than anything else, so I’ll be writing with an eye firmly fixed on that rule… As part of that process, we’re going to be looking more closely at how Wonder Woman appears, and functions, and her role in the DCU…and what we have planned will, we hope, come across as dynamic and powerful as she deserves to be.

 

Comments

  1. Color me excited. I’m bias, though. I love JMS’ work on "Babylon 5," and his initial run on Spider-Man with John Romita, Jr. So, here’s being hopeful.

    Also, Josh’s assessment on WW needing a shake-up is absolutely true. This title has treaded water for way too long.

    -J.

  2. Im actually really excited. I recently read Supreme Power, which is JMS writing a Marvel MAX version of Superman, and it was pretty good. I haven’t read a Superman book since Johns left Action but Im definitely going to check this out because  Im loving what the man is doing on Brave and the Bold right now. Im even tempted to check WW out now and thats saying something. 

  3. I really like what JMS did with Thor. Really did the character justice. That said, I didn’t like the lateness. I didn’t mind that he just left due to editorial reasons. I’m wondering what his plans are, though, since you would think he’d have to play along with the big goings on at DC writing two of the most recognizable characters at the company. Very interesting, indeed.

  4. I’m looking forward to this. Especially Superman. Hearing JMS talk about Superman, it’s hard not to feel like "GIve this man the book!" He has a ton of respect and reverence for the character. And I’ve been loving his work on B&tB. I understand the critisim some have for his work, I see it there when I read it, but it’s never affected my enjoyment. What I can say, is this will be the first time I’ve picked up a WW title. And I may finally jump onto Superman in issues.

  5. iFanboy made it clear in the "Marvel vs. DC" video that DC doesn’t have many great writers.  Conor hinted that 1 writer is doing all the great work, and no one else is doing heavy lifting.

    With JMS, they just got a HUGE player.  He’s going to bring alot, seeing that he’s writing some big books.  I predict iFanboy is going to have to rave about his DC work.  It’s unavoidable.

    He’s one of my favorites.  Definitely my favorite DC writer as of now.

  6. Uh, oh.

  7. I am a big fan of JMS and this might get me to read Superman.  I’m assuming he’ll take over after War of the Supermen?  JMS is doing the OGN Earth 1 Superman too, right?  Maybe DC liked what they saw there.

  8. Superman seems like a strange choice for him. Isn’t he burned out on crossovers? Isn’t that why he left Thor? It seems odd for him to jump to a book that seems to have a crossover every other month.

    May check out his Wonder Woman, though. Could be very cool.

  9. I feel sad about this, because I loathe JMS, and I’m enjoying both Superman and Wonder Woman.  I feel happy about this, because this will clear up room in my budget to buy Flash.  I’ll miss Superman, but I’ll probably be able to start buying it again in 8 months when JMS bails in the middle of the night.

  10. JMS is awesome, but I doubt he can interest me in Wonder Woman. It’s cool that all of DC’s big books are now in the hands of Johns, Morrison, and JMS. What a great driving force.

  11. Sales will go up.  Look what he did for Thor sales wise.  I read that Superman was struggling in sales for a year now.

    @Quinn – JMS likely won’t bail for years.  He said Superman is his favorite, and he’d write it over any movie or tv or comics offer he’d ever get.  He wrote Spider-Man consistently for 7 years.  He’ll at least match that here, if not more so.  14 years.

  12. Is this before or after he finishes the Twelve? I also wonder if JMS will release Superman and Wonder Woman with as much irregularity as he has done with all his other comics.

  13. I’d say it depends on the artists.

  14. hmmmm…should Lois start packing her bags?

  15. Echoing Josh, just another two projects that he’ll probably jump ship from before wrapping his stories up. I feel at this stage I can’t trust him as a creator and I won’t be buying these unless it’s in trades when his complete run is over.

  16. I can understand wanting to put JMS on WW. That book needs some new blood. But Superman has been great and I don’t know what throwing another cook into the kitchen is going to do for the superman family of books.

  17. Good news

  18. Very excited for this news. JMS has been wanting to write Superman for years, so I have high hopes that any ideas he has for the character are going to be big. I also look forward to reading his Wonder Woman work. If anyone can get me interested in the character, it’s him.

  19. I’ll bite on the first arc for Superman. 

    Not Wonder Woman though. 

    WW is just not a stand alone charater to me. 

    She’s an excellent at playing the supporting character, especially when she is interacting with superman….so choice!

  20. get people to actaully pick it up? i mean you might like it how it is, but it’s not selling anywhere near where a flagship character should be selling.

  21. Waiitttt…..so everyone on the Superman books is gone!!!????? So no more Rucka, Gates, Johns or Robinson?

  22. um… why would all the other creators leave their books? JMS is taking over Superman and Robinson is off Superman… that’s all we know.

  23. Who said that? All we know is Robinson won’t be writing Superman.

  24. @Gabe-JMS is writing Superman, not Action or Supergirl. No word on if they other guys will stick around for those books just yet.

  25. Marc Guggenheim is writing Action Comics, they announced that back in December and now JMS is writing Superman. Supergirl is still in question. i hope Sterling Gates is still on it.

  26. Damn i was hoping superman and all his books wouldn’t continue with the teams
    they have now, so we could actually see some movement post war of krypton

  27. @matt- Ohhhhhh yeah. I completely forgot about that. But yeah I assumed Rucka was going to be done with it once the New Krypton stuff wrapped up.

  28. Good news. Isn’t JMS already doing the Earth 1 Superman OGN(s), tho? Eh, whatever, that doesn’t mean he can’t do the main monthly stuff too. I know the iFanboys seem to have liked the Robinson and Rucka regime, but most other readers (included myself) dropped off soon after Johns stopped being the guiding force. Hopefully JMS can get the Superman line back on track.

  29. Great news!!!

     

    Matthew

  30. Excellent news – one of my favourite writers on two of my favourite characters. Totally made up.

    One question, the article (and some comments) paints a rather negative view of JMS’s commitment to projects and I don’t really understand why.

    Outside of The Twelve (which, tbh, we don’t know the reason of delay for) I can’t think of a project that he has started that has been interrupted without good reason (there was a legal dispute with Top Cow that interrupted Rising Stars – seems fair enough and a disagreement with Marvel over Thor’s inclusion in an event – again a good move by JMS because he felt he couldn’t do the story justice). What’s the big deal?  

     

  31. This has me worried, as my past JMS experiences have been…painful at times. I’ll definitely give his Superman a try for an arc or so, but I don’t know about Wonder Woman.

     Also, I may be in the minority, but I wasn’t big on JMS’ Thor, so I have little faith that his Superman will do anything for me, but I hope I am proven wrong.

  32. hmmm, i’m marginally more excited for this than Josh (as he writes in the post). I agree that JMS trying to "fix" things often comes with a lot of arrogance (reminds me of Byrne in that way — coming in and re-shaping things to his whim), but I do have to admit that JMS’ style does really seem to be a good fit for these two characters. So, I’m marginally excited. That might also be because I don’t read either book right now, so a solid shift and a jumping-on point might be good for both books — particularly if we’re not tied to any mega-events (and I also feel JMS has the clout to keep the books in their own "worlds," which is really important).

  33. More excited about JMS Superman Earth one but I’ll read it ecspecially if its w/ Gary Frank.  Wonder Woman?  we’ll wait and see.

  34. Yes!!! No more Robinson and JMS takes over!? Finally I can read Superman again!

    Although I’m not really interested in Wonder Woman. I have no doubt he can make that a good title again, but I just don’t care for the character in general. But I am so thrilled to see a GOOD writer on a major comic like Superman again. With his track record on Brave and the Bold already, this is nothing but a great thing.

  35. @Matt the delay of the 12 was due to Weston who had other commitments.

  36. @daccampo – Just playing Devil’s Advocate for a sec. – Why is it that when Johns "fixes" things people enjoy it, but when another writer, like JMS, does it it becomes a problem? I’m not a JMS fan by any means, but that always bugs me just a little when people bring it up. Either way, I pretty much agree with you on where I stand on this post. 

  37. @mikeandzod21: That’s not accurate.

  38. Wait so who is the artist for this? Is it announced? Or is it Gary Frank?

    If it’s Frank then I think I literally died and went to heaven.

  39. @TNC: No artists were given yet.

  40. Great news!!! I might start picking up Superman again and eventhough I don’t have much interest in Wonder Woman I pick it up and give it a shot.

  41. If you are happy about this, awesome… if you are worried about it, don’t be.  Superman has shrugged off bad runs before and he can do it again.  I’m hoping for a good run but I really have no expectations either way.  To be honest I’ve never read anything by JMS except the Twelve and I loved that (Would love it more if it finished).  I can’t say that I’m upset about Rucka leaving Action because I have been lukewarm on his versions of Nightwing and Flamebird… they really disappointed me.

  42. @Anson – If you’ve noticed on this site… I’m not a giant Johns fan either. 😉 So I am not the one to ask your Devil’s Advocate question. I think Johns is a good craftsman, but I think too often his stories are about connecting dots or re-aligning things so they make sense in a modern context. It’s necessary in some cases, but its never my favorite stuff. I thought, got example, Flash: Rebirth and Green Lantern: Rebirth were both fairly dull.

    But to play into your question for a second: I think Johns doesn’t always come across as "arrogant" because he pulls together threads from various eras — so he does it all with a love for what’s come before. Whereas, when you get JMS making everything about a Spider-totem, it’s more like… "everything you read before was a lie!" Which tends to come of a little different.

  43. @Anson17: It all depends on whether you few a particular writer’s "fix" as a success or a failure; as much needed or pointless.

  44. My major concern is the phrase bringing Superman back to his roots. I know there has been an on and off movement for years from some big names at DC, Grant Morrison among them, to undue the Lois/Clark marriage. I love their marriage and feel it adds a lot to the characters. Reading Secret Origin reminds me just how tired I find the old love triangle these days. So I would find the marriage being undone a complete deal breaker and a major step backwards. Combine the previous knowledge with some things JMS has said in the past and the 90 lb gorilla in the room (One More Day) and perhaps you can see why I am nervous. Understand I believe the last year/year and a half of the Superman books is the best the line has been in over a decade. So having to stop reading the books would bum me out. Hopefully I am worrying over nothing. I love JMS and I know he can do a great job on the Superman books if given the right chance. So one caveat aside, I remain hopeful and intrigued.  

  45. It will be interesting to see wha he does with Wonder Woman. Didn’t see superman coming though.

  46. I’ll give the WW a try.

  47. @ mattstev2000

    The Squadron Supreme series pretty much "ended" like The Twelve did, as I recall.

    @ daccampo

    You’re acting as if JMS declared Spider-Man’s actual origin false and declared the totem powers the definitive truth. No, in fact, it was hammered in pretty hard that they were only a possible alternative.

  48. I think ifJMS goes more like the WW animated feature characterization that’ll be cool!

  49. Is there a writer who hasn’t come on to a book and said they want to bring him back to his roots?

  50. I’m personally excited for this news. Robinson has been good on Superman and Simone has been good on Wonder Woman, but I hope JMS can refresh both these characters and make their sales soar. I was starting to feel like for both Superman and Wonder Woman how I feel about the X-Men, being way too bogged down in its own minutia to be accessible or give us those WOW moments. DC did a good job with Batman by taking him out of the picture and giving Rucka and Morrison space and freedom to be original. With Morrison back on Batman with #700 (which has been all but announced), I hope he continues more in this new vain than it the RIP mess. Its interesting that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are all having anniversaries in June. Technically, Flash #3 could be renumbered #600 and Green Lantern #57 could be renumbered to #500 as well. Who knows?

  51. What if they announced a Superman writer and he said, "I hope to take this guy as far from his roots as possible"? "Say goodbye to the cape, for starters! And he’s moving to Luxembourg. By the time I’m done with this stuffy bastard, you won’t even recognize ‘im!"

  52. @Jimski: I would say that someone hired Jon Peters to write Superman.

  53. Cool. JMS has wanted to write Supes for a while. Hopefull he delivers.And hopefully he does’nt have Lex knock up Lana Lang and have them have super powered twins like Spidey.

  54. @conor Hopefully we get a giant spider out of this

  55. @Storyteller – why exactly do think he would break up the marriage? I don’t see any reason for concern. And OMD was editorial not JMS, hell he wanted his name taken off the story.

  56. @BornIn1142 – I didn’t read the books personally. Just going off what folks’ reactions seem to be, and why the positive/negative reactions to JMS vs. Johns.

    Personally, whether its set in stone or just a "possibility", it seemed completely UNNECESSARY for Spidey, and thus is strikes me (again, based on others reactions) as a retcon designed to either put the writers own stamp on the origin or just make it make "more sense"  in the mind of said writer.

    None of it really bothers me in speculation, but if JMS wants to devote a lot of landscape to discussing why Kryptonian powers work in a way we never thought of before, or, say, why the letter "L" informs so much of Clark’s life, then I’ll likely be disappointed and not spend my money on it. I don’t need any of that. I need the "getting on with the good stories," y’know?

    @Josh – It’s kinda like how EVERY writer to tackle the Fantastic Four says, "I’m bringing it back to being about a FAMILY of EXPLORERS." I swear that’s in EVERY writers’ pitch for the FF book in the past 10 years.

  57. The quotes from JMS, especially about Superman, do sound kind of like the same thing we always hear at times like these.  I’m one who’s grown to like the Robinson Superman, especially all the different characters he uses, along with the very nice Bernard Chang art lately.  I like Mon-El too.  And while I dropped Action early on, it was budgetary rather than because I hated it.  I don’t know the circumstances here, but it seems like Rucka never gets quite the respect he deserves from DC.  In short, this isn’t exciting me. But Wonder Woman does desperately need a shot in the arm.

  58. This is great news! Brave and the bold has been awesome, I just hope he can pull off long arcs as well as the recent one-shots.

  59. …Oh and I really hope Jesus Saiz gets the art for Superman. He has been amazing on Brave and the bold.

  60. Excited about JMS taking on Wonder Woman as I like the character but by the time Gail Simone had come on, I was just tired of the really bad stories (looking at you Amazon Attacks.) 

    Was kinda disappointed about the Superman news tho as I like Robinson…and if as someone posted Guggenheim was taking over Action….I’m not looking forward to Superman family books as much as I once was.

  61. @skeet Like I already said I hope I overreacting. About OMD he was completely on board with the story. Everything I have read made it clear the reason for his fight was Quesada was over bringing Gwen Stacey back. Apparently JMS felt very strongly about that especially in light of what was being done with Harry.

    I’m aware the back to roots thing is a common phrase but in light of what this characters roots are, the past works and comments of the person who is saying it, and the almost irrational love for the silver age at the expense of everything else that permeates much of current day DC all came together to set off my BS retcon senses. Hopefully I’m wrong. 

    I will say my other worry is that JMS may be taking on too much. I have not heard if he is leaving Brave and the Bold so it’s possible he could be writing between 2 to 3 ongoing comics in addition to the Earth 1 project. That is a lot of work for a man whose timeliness in the past has been less than perfect. While not everything was his fault, the greater majority of delays in his work can be clearly laid at his feet. I also presume he has gotten over the whole "no crossover/tie-ins" thing that drove him from Marvel or else I suspect there may be trouble.

    I want to make it clear that JMS is a favorite writer of mine. I especially love some of his lesser known works like Bullet Points, Silver Surfer: Requiem, and Book of Lost Souls from Marvel/Icon and Delicate Creatures from Top Cow. I simply refuse to let that love blind me to the faults that, like all creative individuals, he has and the problems that might occur. Honestly I see these upcoming runs going one of two ways: either they will become instant classics ala Johns on Green Lantern or they will be a disaster ala Morrison on Wildcats/Authority. Obviously I am rooting for the former but only time will tell.

  62. I’m all for whatever gets James Robinson off of Superman.  He had a few issues that were good, but i feel like he cant find a good story to tell anymore, and his dialogue has always been awkward IMO.

  63. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    My only concern is that I wish he could focus on just one of these titles rather than both. 

  64. Seeing as how JMS did not want to write Thor through Siege does this mean he won’t do the same for Superman and Wonder Woman? 

    I like to think that’s exactly what it means and we could see Superman and Wonder Woman’s "name only" titles stand alone w/o deep ties to Brightest Day or any other crossovers/event books coming on the horizon.

  65. ill be happy as long as they put superman back in his own books and end this whole new krypton/war of krypton thing

  66. @Paul – it is a bit funny reading his statements on them. He clearly LOVES Superman to death and waxes on at length about him. Then he gets to WW, and it’s a bit of "Oh yeah, she should be cool, too. But Superman…"

  67. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Seriously. Getting Wonder Woman on her feet is a full time job in itself. Wishing him the best of luck. 

    I’ve read a little over a third of his Thor run and I do enjoy it. Historically, I never really liked his Spider-Man. He’s not my first choice for Supes, but I’m cautiously optimistic. 

  68. Totally getting both.

  69. I’d like to take the time and get this thread back to it’s roots and really explore it’s place in the world today.  I also want to bring back the feeling we all had when we first read this post by Josh Flanagan some 8 hours ago and shed some of the mythos that has surronded it and get back to the core original posting.

  70. soooooo  happy !!!!!

  71. I don’t really know how to feel about this.  I’m glad that WW is getting a big name creator, but I’m worried about him keeping on schedule & finishing. (as mentioned numerous times above.)  I’m just having flashbacks to the Alan Heinberg fiasco.  Yuck! 

    I will continue picking up WW, because she’s my favorite DC character.  I just hope I enjoy the ride. 

  72. Sorry, I did a quick scan and didn’t see this.. but the thread is long and I am tired… 

    Is this in addition to the Superman Earth One OGN coming out later this year from JMS?  Or, I wonder if that got changed into him writing the ongoin series instead. 

  73. Interesting news.  I definitely didn’t see this one coming, but it could pay off.  I don’t know if I’ll pick them both up, as I have an on-again/off-again relationship with the characters.  Only time will tell.

  74. JMS on Superman I think it is not a bad move it could be a train wreck but I’ll give him the benefit of the first few arcs.  Wonder Woman I do not buy so I don’t care about that title. Saw a previous poster comment, I will however be dropping Action the second Guggenheim gets near that one as I do not enjoy anything he has written.

  75. I always saw a lot of similarities between Thor and Superman so I think this is going to be awesome. I’m all about female empowerment but Wonder Woman just never stood out as a strong character to me. So hopefully JMS will make me respect her the way I respect Oracle, Black Canary, and Batwoman.

  76. Even artists who worked with JMS mock him and his unreliability. Here’s Chris Weston, artist from the Twelve: 

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ONNOnP9IP8A/S0MdgLEkggI/AAAAAAAABe4/DtJaWxjwjHM/s1600-h/Me+and.jpg 

  77. Well, I’m getting the Superman title. I’ve been reading Secret Origin and had planned for Last Stand of New Krypton to be my gateway into the world of Superman ongoing. 

    I am a little worried though.  I really, really, enjoyed his run on Thor and really liked the stange plot devices, like female Loki and Bill. And though Gillen wrapped up the story well I would have liked to have seen JMS wrap up the story, even if it meant doing it with Siege. I just hope my Superman experience wont be soured. Fingers crossed!

  78. I’m about half and half with JMS.  I loved The Twelve, may it rest in peace, and some of the Thor that I read.  I would’ve enjoyed Rising Stars more if they had an artist that I liked.  So I think he’s going to do a great job on both books.  Really looking forward to this.

  79. Geoff Johns was bring back Superman back to his roots (and he is still with Origins). But then they decided to add New Krypton to the mix which totally ruined any chance of Johns continuing his perfect run.

    So what should we do when we get rid of Krypton? Bring Sups back to our level…..or at least a normal level as that man can achieve. If there’s one man, other then Johns, I can see bring back Sups to a more ‘heart warming, down to heart’ level then it’s JMS.

    By the way, if you guys want to see if JMS can write Wonder Woman. Then next month’s Brave and the Bold will hopefully ease you. 🙂

  80. Gah. By "down to heart’ I mean ‘down to earth’.

    I’m tired.

  81. I am concerned this means he will leave Brave and the Bold early.  Anyone know?

    That would increase my sadness.

  82. @kmob181 Newsarama did an interview with him, he mentioned having many stories for B and B. (Granted each story is one issue, so maybe he’s only on for one more year or something, but it sounded like he’d be there for a while)

  83. Mark Waid once said in an interview that there are many writers who want to retcon Superman’s marriage. JMS is pretty hit and miss for me. But he’s a DC guy, so I hope he extends more respect to the characters.

  84. @conor – You mention that Weston being the reason for the delay on the Twelve is ‘not accurate’… do you know what the actual reason is?

     

  85. I’ve been looking for an excuse to drop some books for a while now, and I think that this is the perfect excuse to drop the Superman line of books. I might give his WonderWoman a read though?

  86. @muddi900 – Nice t-shirt. Not sure it explains why the book isn’t being finished though.

    I never thought Weston was the problem because he has done/is doing the Twelve mini with Marvel I just wondered if there was any actual idea what was causing the delay. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any information.  

  87. @mattstev2000 JMS never turned in scripts for Weston to draw.

  88. I wonder how he’ll handle any events or crossovers, the main reason he left Thor. I also worry about late books; i think he’s a great writer, but he needs a strict editor or a co-writer if he’s going to steer two of the three main DC properties.

  89. @Jurassic – Thanks for that.  Feel better now.

  90. JMS is going to be writing a comic book? Excuse me while I yawn. He’s going to take Superman back to his "roots"? What does that even mean? How about Chuck Palahniuk writing Superman?

  91. This is awesome news for me. I havent read that much JMS work but he definitely is a huge upgrade from Robinsons really dull stories of the past two years. The Superman books just havent been very exciting since Johns left(well technically there is still Secret Origin) but hopefully this will be the return to form. Also, since the Wonder Woman DVD last year it really reminded me how much I like the character despite only reading her in JLA books and such but never reading her ongoing series. So I kept my ear open for any buzz for an opportunity to pick up the book but it sounds like this will be it for me.

  92. This will be great for the quality. Not sure about DCs implicit decision to make two of their flagship books quarterly titles, though. (Can anyone really see JMS getting 2-3 monthly books on time, while also working on the Earth 1 OGN?)