This is my personal opinion, folks. So flame away, but don’t blame Newsarama.
I’m a big fan of Geoff Johns, and seeing him succeed warms the cockles of my heart–except for one little thing.
The promotion of Geoff Johns to Chief Creative Officer for DC Entertainment, if I’m not misreading things, gives him a position of authority over those lowly editors and possibly even publishers at DC Comics, a department of DCE. That’s worrying for those of us who think that giving one writer too much creative control (especially one that’s writing several books a month) can lead to sloppy and lackluster writing. While Johns, far and away the DC Universe’s best writer at the moment by most objective ratings, has never been accused of THAT, he’s certainly had his share of detractors pointing out problems with the pacing of some of his stories, his tendency to use death as a cheap storytelling tool and of course his (and DC’s in general) seeming desire to roll the clock back to the Silver Age. In DiDio, he’s found a kindred spirit–someone who wouldn’t tell him no, because the two appear to see comics in very much the same way. I worry, though, that what Diane Nelson has done in creating this particular structure is to grandfather that in–to create an editorial structure which has no authority to challenge Johns, rather than the one we had before, which lacked only the will.
That concern, though, is nothing next to the enthusiasm I have for another element of Johns’ hiring: it seems to me that if he’s got a position at DC Entertainment, and is therefore likely to have stock options and a general economic interest in making every property viable, maybe his enthusiasm for properties like Booster Gold and Hawkman can be appropriated by the company to create best-selling and character-saving stories for Aquaman, Hawkman and other characters who have been abused, neglected or just badly written over the years. Even more, it would be nice to see a superstar-level writer like Johns take on properties that NOBODY cares about, like Sun Devils or H-E-R-O, and make them something that TV and movie studios might take a second look at. And I think he can do it.
The odd man out here, of course, is Jim Lee; his experience as Wildstorm’s publisher during a very crazy time for that publisher, and then the business savvy that he demonstrated in bringing his successful publisher to DC and selling it at the same time many of his Image partners were losing money by the bagful, tells me that he’s well-suited to help DiDio acclimate to the new role; at the same time, I hope that once the pair have their feet under them, DiDio can handle most of the day-to-day so that Lee can continue to be a creative contributor to DC.
And DiDio’s Outsiders? Well…if sacrifices MUST be made…!