Aaaaaaaand right on time, here’re the “What’s happening behind the scenes at DC?!” rumors, courtesy of Rich Johnston:
I understand that at least one high profile creator will be making the jump to Marvel. As will quite a few slightly less-high profile creators with an opportunity to play up their new higher profiles in the wake of the relaunch. And that Marvel has also had to turn down a number of enquiries.
Is there anyone that wasn’t expecting a variation on this to appear within the next week or so? It’s not that I doubt that DC editorial has come into all manner of conflict with creators, pissing more than a few off in the process (One of the benefits of having such a long lead-time for the creation of the books, Dan Didio said in some interview pre-release, was the ability to “tweak” the content as much as possible, which was always going to upset creators), but… It can’t just be me who thinks that the above smacks of Marvel sources pushing these stories to undermine DC’s success, right (The giveaway is “Marvel has also had to turn down a number of enquiries,” which feels like a company release instead of an actual rumor, although maybe that’s just in the way that Rich is telling it)?
What’ll be more interesting will be what happens if a lot of creators do jump ship from DC soon. Because, in the strangest way, I think the New 52 has simultaneously underscored the importance of good creators while also pushing the value of those creators as much to the background as possible. The characters, the franchises and the DC Universe were what were being promoted through this entire process; this wasn’t a “creator name” recognition event for anyone other than the hardcore fanbase, and even then, enough curiosity was created so that even those hardcore fans checked out books by creators they wouldn’t normally sample.
The fact that the entire first month sold out suggests that, depending on whether or not good replacements can be found for departed creators, DC may have actually broken the idea of a creator-led market for the first time in years. Which may be possible for a month, but is it feasible in the long term? And if it is, what replaces creators as the guide for the audience? Characters? Quality?