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July 14, 2012

Well, it’s official.  Stephanie Brown will not be in the Smallville Season 11 episode 2 story, DETECTIVE.

Despite a PR campaign on June 14th and interviews with Bryan Q. Miller only 3 weeks ago, Stephanie Brown was extracted as the Nightwing character visiting Smallville with Batman.  Barbara Gordon will take her place.

Dan Didio, Co-Publisher and continued Harbinger of Death or Non-Existence for Stephanie Brown, said he decided that Stephanie wasn’t iconic enough for the Smallville series.   Obviously, he never watched the show.  Mister Mxyzptlk was iconic in Season 4?  I think not.  Mia, Green Arrow’s sidekick, appeared on the show but not Roy Harper or Connor Hawke.  Is she considered more iconic than Speedy and Oliver’s son?  Speaking of Oliver . . . he ended up with Chloe Sullivan on the show, not Dinah Lance.  Iconic?  Not really.

So why pull Stephanie now?  Why this late in the process?  Obviously, Bryan Q. Miller was given the green light to put Stephanie, a character he wrote for 24 issues as Batgirl before Barbara Gordon regained ambulatory status and took over the role written by Gail Simone in the new 52.   So why rip Stephanie from the narrative 4 weeks before the first digital chapter of DETECTIVE is about to be released?  Remember DETECTIVE was done and dusted, publicity had started to roll out — and now Bryan Q. Miller has to re-write this 12 chapter episode and get art redone for the first 3 chapters in four weeks.  Pressure much?

Dan Didio has systematically diminished the Superman character’s importance in the DC Universe for years. Starting with the storyline leading to World of New Krypton and Grounded.  With the introduction of the new 52, Didio said Superman was boring.  His marital status was dragging him down. (The marriage was not seen for 3 years.)  He was unrelatable.  (Superman wasn’t in Action for 2 years or Superman for 1 year.)   There were no writers to write what is and shall always be the FIRST SUPERHERO.

Didio handpicked Grant Morrison to write Action Comics.  And also tapped George Perez to write Superman.  Grant writes in his tower in Scotland — and doesn’t say much about what he’s doing.  He’s often called a genius — and I will agree that he is in the following regard.  When he writes in multiple timelines (as is his preference) and you can’t really see the story unfolding in a pattern, then how can editorial know what to edit?  That’s canny.  Especially since we found out that George Perez was micromanaged to the extent he didn’t want to know what they changed after he got done.  He admitted he wasn’t sure what fans saw in his six issues of the Superman Comic.

Some Stephanie Brown fans (many of which are fans of the Smallville book already) have threatened to boycott the book.  I’d think twice about that.  Why hand Dan Didio what he wants?  Hear me out.

True, we can’t get Stephanie back, but the former Batgirl got caught in an editorial power play.  Not Bryan Q. Miller’s fault.  Smallville Season 11 was doing exceptionally well in digital and print — and the announcement of Stephanie coming to Smallville caused even more buzz for this burgeoning success story.  Good thing, right?   DC has a lucrative commodity.  A book based on a television show utilizing a beloved character for a visit . . . and Batman, too.

Does Dan Didio not want Smallville Season 11 to be successful?   Or is Smallville Season 11’s Superman stepping on his toes?  Didio rebooted an entire universe because Superman was boring, too human, and unrelatable.  With Smallville’s back story, its Clark Kent in the cape was proving the Co-Publisher’s conjecture is/was wrong.  June stats for print orders came out this past week.  Was Smallville Season 11 surviving a little to well?  It beat 16 new 52 books and 1 second wave new 52 book last month.  The new 52 is on a downward slide.

I would ask Stephanie Brown fans to support Smallville Season 11 despite the fact she is not in the book.  I know that’s asking a lot.  Just give it some consideration.  Bryan has to redo work in a very short time frame.  It boggles the mind.  We all know that Stephanie’s vibrant, fun and hopeful personality can never be replaced with Barbara Gordon.  They are two different characters.  But think about what Bryan now has to deal with.  When you have a Steph, who brings some light and joy to a story, being eradicated — and her interactions were going to be important to the narrative, Bryan now has to rethink and re-conjure how characters are going to interact with the Barbara Gordon personality and how that will effect the action and plot.  This to me reeks of sabotage on the part of Mr. Didio.

If Smallville Season 11 takes a dive in sales and orders because of this incident, that just gives the Co-Publisher more fuel to cancel the book.  Smallville fans and Superman fans alike would have no where to go.  The new 52 offers them nothing.

Let’s make Smallville Season 11 successful despite editorial interference (sabotage).  Even Dan Didio has a boss.

More constructive thoughts later.  Smallville/Superman fans are made of sterner stuff.  We’ve proven that time and time again.  Let’s show The Powers That Be once again — we want our book written so we yearn to buy it.  Release the shackles from the creators!!!  Let them give us the characters we love!  It’ll make you money, DC.

And THAT’S the bottom line.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. daxam permalink
    July 14, 2012 7:16 pm

    I am in total agreement with everything in this article!

    It is a pity that the real bosses at DC (those guys in the expensive suits) can’t see this.

  2. July 14, 2012 7:22 pm

    I’ve already stopped buying DC. I tried the nu52, really I did, but I felt that it destroyed a lot that I loved or changed it too much. Now if this had been a one series reboot I’d have an easier time getting over it because then I would still have some other titles. I don’t know I just don’t like where DC has gone with their storytelling. Which is sad since I was so super excited about the reboot. I had thought about picking up Smallville when I heard Stephanie was going to be in it. Give DC that one last chance but no. I already took my money over to Marvel and DC keeps breaking my fangirl heart.

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