Superman, Wonder Woman Writer Straczynski Leaving Six Months Early

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Hidden in a non-announcement about a sequel to DC Comics’ successful Superman: Earth One graphic novel (It was announced as a series initially, so a sequel was pretty much promised from day one) is some genuinely surprising news: Writer J. Michael Straczynski will be leaving both the monthly Superman and Wonder Woman series less than a year after his high profile relaunch of both titles, and with storylines in both series unresolved. Here’s how the official DC Comics blog puts it:

With the added assignment of a sequel, Straczynski has gone from a pretty busy guy to a very busy guy, which means some adjustments have to be made to ensure a top quality second installment to EARTH ONE.

Starting with SUPERMAN #707 and WONDER WOMAN #605, Straczynski will step back as the monthly scripter of both books, opening the door for two rising talents to step in and complete the books’ respective storylines using JMS’s story notes. Straczynski’s influence will be apparent in both titles – Superman’s Walk Across America continues, the mysteries surrounding Wonder Woman barrel toward a conclusion and in due time you’ll have a second volume of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE to put on the shelf next to the first.

The new writers, working from Straczynski’s original notes for the storylines, will be Chris Roberson on Superman and Phil Hester on Wonder Woman. Straczynski himself is on hand to comment:

Since DC has had my notes and outlines from day one on both titles, so they’re still my stories, it makes sense to let Chris and Phil keep going from the story beats I’ve set up. I’ll dive in on occasion as needed for important story points. It’s still my story, I’m involved in both books, and they’re going to continue in the direction we set up. I’m looking forward to seeing what Chris and Phil have in store.

Straczynski started working on both series this summer, with high-profile debuts on Superman #700 – beginning a year-long run of stories in which Superman walks across America that was supported with a contest in which readers could make the case for the Man of Steel visiting their hometown – and Wonder Woman #600, which gave the Amazon Princess her first major redesign in decades, as well as her first sell-out issue in almost as long. Despite an initial rush of publicity and high sales, both series have been hit by missed deadlines and unenthusiastic reviews since their relaunches. The changes will take place with January’s issues of both series.

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