Comics / Comics News

Conspiracy Theories Rise over DC Comics Creative Team Changes

By J. Skyler
January 15, 2013 - 14:14

On Monday, DC Comics gave announcements that Christy Marx, who currently pens Sword of Sorcery featuring Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, would be taking over Birds of Prey with issue #19. She is replacing Jim Zubkavich (Skullkickers) who now will only appear as guest-writer for issue #18. Additionally, Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire (Justice League Dark) will be co-authoring the new Constantine monthly title instead of Robert Venditti. Given the bizarre firing and reinstatement of writer Gail Simone on Batgirl, as well as the unpleasant and permanent departure of other long-term talents such as Rob Liefeld and Greg Rucka, readers began speculating (rather pessimistically) as to the nature of these changes. Luckily, it would appear as though DC is not in the habit of burning all of its bridges, as Marx, Zubkavich, Venditti and Fawkes have all stated such changes came about on amicable terms.

Both Christy Marx and Jim Zubkavich have been given rave reviews for their work on Sword of Sorcery and Skullkickers respectively, and while either would most likely make an improvement over Duane Swierczynski's less than stellar run on Birds of Prey, Marx may ultimately prove the best choice. Swierczynski is not a bad writer, but his characterizations of Dinah Lance and Barbara Gordon are lacking, which is a major misstep for characters who have always drawn appeal due to their empathy. Although Jim Zubkavich stated that he has been "digging deep into analyzing what makes Dinah, Barbara, Ev and the others tick," women writing female characters (especially an all-female ensemble) is a necessity DC Comics and the industry as a whole cannot afford to overlook. Marx's Sword of Sorcery has had particular focus on interpersonal relationships, something she can transfer to Birds of Prey.

Even though there was a heap of controversy over her depiction of an attempted gang rape in issue #0, as one blogger illustrates, a proper depiction of rape—which illustrates the far reaching implications beyond the act itself—is a worthwhile literary device because it represents very real problems women face, in light of the fact that rape culture attempts to protect the "integrity" of the rapist over the victim. Hopefully, Marx will explore other aspects of male privilege from the superhero perspective, as both Black Canary and Batgirl have both been seen as victims of sexist and misogynist tendencies in comic books.

There is far less enthusiasm for Constantine, as nearly every creative talent even remotely associated with Hellblazer has reacted harshly to the latter being replaced by the former. Due to the Vertigo imprint being absorbed into The New 52 relaunch, the more mature aspects of all its characters and former titles have been diluted to fit into the Teen+ rating for the DC Comics new Universe (DCnU). Time will tell if the new Constantine gels with readers, but when industry insiders turn up their noses, it can be taken as a particularly bad omen.

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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