That’s the topic and title of a Bleeding Cool article putting a timeline to demise of former Image and DC imprint Wildstorm. As you may know, Jim Lee’s group was shut down as part of DC Entertainment’s restructuring. But perhaps DC started the demise long before that, much as Marvel did with Malibu. And Johnston seems to be pointing the blame at Paul Levitz.
I may have linked to it before, possibly in a Weekly Wrap-Up, but this is the first time I really read through the article, and it is rather telling.
In 1998 DC Comics bought Wildstorm. It was generally agreed they wanted it for three things. The colourists. Jim Lee. And Alan Moore.
Right from the opening paragraph, everything is explained. Marvel wanted Malibu for their coloring process. They didn’t care about the characters, some of which they could have made some money off of, marketed right. Someone thought Lee’s WildC.A.T.s series was worth making a cartoon series. (I’d post the intro, but I’m saving that for tomorrow. An “on the fly” decision.) Rich Johnson mentions The Authority, a comic that he says parodies the DC Universe and from what I hear is everything wrong about today’s comic book superhero. Still, it must have some kind of fanbase so there’s money to be ignored, much like Marvel ignored and cast aside the Ultraverse.
Then there’s Alan Moore. I think Comic Critics covered that one, so allow me to steal one of their comics (but not their bandwidth and totally add them to you RSS feed because they’re that darn good and one of the inspirations for Jake & Leon).
I can add nothing.
Also interesting in Rich’s article is that three times he ends a paragraph with “he would never work for DC or Wildstorm again”, or a variation of the line. Read the article if you haven’t already and read it again if you have. It demonstrates just what is wrong with DC’s mindset when it comes to non-DC properties. I think Levitz was also responsible for the current DC/Marvel feud that makes the Yankees and Red Sox look like a game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots in comparison. By shutting down Zuda and Wildstorm rather than make them work and the DC Kids/Johnny DC line losing some good titles, I don’t think the attitude towards imprints is going to change.
Which makes me wonder who at Vertigo has revealing photos of the DC hierarchy. Must have been one heck of an office party.
Related Articles (just to make sure you can find it)
- How DC Comics Killed Wildstorm (bleedingcool.com)