Ever since DMZ writer Brian Wood’s pitch for Supergirl was reportedly nixed at the last possible moment before the launch of DC Comics’ New 52 initiative, there have been rumors–mostly unconfirmed, as creators working on the books are reportedly operating under non-disclosure agreements–that working conditions in today’s DC Universe are…stressful.
While there have been passing comments to confirm that from a variety of writers and artists, the most in-depth remarks on the subject to date have surfaced on Bleeding Cool, where a Q&A conducted by former Superman writer/artist George Perez earlier this month is excerpted at some length. The video is embedded below, ywhich you can see as well. It’s a profoundly revealing interview but, among other things, he revealed that at some point in the process of rebooting Superman for the New 52, he began just telling his editors to change whatever they needed to change and not send it back to him for corrections that would only be ignored and re-corrected again later.
“Unfortunately when you are writing major characters, you sometimes have to make a lot of compromises and I was made certain promises,” Bleeding Cool quotes Perez as saying. “Unfortunately not through any fault of Dan DiDio, he was no longer the last word, lot of people making decisions, going against each other, contradicting, again in mid-story. The people who love my Superman arc, I thank you. What you read, I don’t know. After I wrote it, I told them ‘Here’s my script, if you change it, that’s your prerogative, don’t tell me. Don’t ask me to edit it, don’t ask me to correct it, I don’t want to change something that you’re going to change again if you disagree.’”
He also indicated that when he took on the project, he was unaware that Grant Morrison’s Action Comics would be taking place five years prior to the first issue of Superman and that he would therefore be waiting on certain events to occur in Morrison’s book before he could use characters or make changes.
The veteran writer/artist also recounted getting a call from Keith Giffen, the incoming co-writer on the series who at the time was working on Superman alongside Perez and Dan Jurgens, who co-writes Superman with Giffen and draws the title. Apparently prior to taking the job, Giffen wanted to be certain that DC was doing right by Perez and that he wasn’t simply being fired.
“Regrettably, I did have to tell him ‘I can’t wait to get off Superman’,” Perez is quoted as saying. “It was not the experience I wanted it to be.”
Of course, DC just announced that Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort would be taking over the series from Giffen and Jurgens, with a first issue that features Superman’s Kryptonian father Jor-El on the cover. That character, who will be played by Russell Crowe in the upcoming film Man of Steel, will reportedly be a major part of the movie and so it’s possible that those people making decisions above DiDio’s head are somewhat more actively engaged in the day-do-day operations of Superman now that the movie is drawing close.