I think part of the issue is there’s a lot of people who aren’t writers making executive decisions. I mean, Dan DiDio was pushing for a plot to make Dick Grayson the arch nemesis of Bruce Wayne. Clearly the man is not a creative literary genius, and yet he’s been an executive editor since 2004, hence the disastrous One Year Later event that came not long after in 2006. DiDio was pushing for dramatic plots, and I feel like that’s why we went from Bruce Jones writing one of the best Dick Grayson portrayals in 2005 in Scarecrow: Year One to one of the worst Dick Grayson portrayals in 2006 in Brothers in Blood. How does a writer go in the complete opposite direction like that? Editorial interference.
Next, in 2009, WB appointed Diane Nelson as president of DC comics. A few months later, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee were promoted to Co-Presidents. Diane Nelson is someone who doesn’t know the industry, and DC Comic’s treatment of their own employees/creators plummeted drastically, which you can [read about here directly from Gerry Conway]. Let’s take a look at a couple of Nelson’s past interviews:
THR: How do you value the fan community’s opinions?
Nelson: I think it’s incredibly important to know it, be in touch with it, respect it. That said, I don’t believe we should take fan feedback into the direct creative process. I am a believer that what Warner Bros. does, what DC Entertainment does, is to be in the business of creating professional storytelling. [x]
For one thing, DC’s fan feedback columns no longer exist. It’s very difficult to get in touch with this company so that fans can express what they like or don’t like about ongoing titles.
DC’s own creators were stifled by editor interference, to the point where many were either fired because they didn’t agree with the direction of a book or they quit for the same reasons. In other cases, they were simply taken off the book with hardly any notice at all.
12/16/2010 - Nick Spencer is the first notable casualty in DC’s new “fired before the first issue hits” practice, when he’s announced as the new writer for Supergirl, then replaced on his very first issue by “co-writer” James Peaty.
9/16/2011 - Writer John Rozum quits Static Shock. due to disagreements with editor Harvey Richards and artist Scott McDaniel. The series is eventually canceled after just eight issues.
9/30/2011 - Writer-artist George Perez announces his departure from the flagship Superman book the same month its first issue is released. Perez completes his first arc, but is the first to dish on behind-the-scenes problems, “Unfortunately when you are writing major characters, you sometimes have to make a lot of compromises, and I was made certain promises, and unfortunately, not through any fault of Dan DiDio, he was no longer the last word, I mean a lot of people were now making decisions; they were constantly going against each other, contradicting, again in mid-story.”
10/12/2011 - Editorial conflicts and strong differences of opinion with co-writer and artist Ethan Van Sciver cause writer Gail Simone to step away from Fury of Firestorm.
11/14/2011 - Ron Marz leaves Voodoo after his script to issue #5 is tossed out by editors. The series is canceled after ten issues.
4/20/2012 - Vertigo writer Chris Roberson (iZombie,Fairest) leaves DC and publicly burns bridges with the company. “Sorry. In a better world, characters like the Legion would be owned by a more ethical company, but sadly not in this one. The short version is, I don’t agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices.”
8/23/2012 - Rob Liefeld leaves all of his DC duties - writing and drawing Deathstroke and writing Grifterand Savage Hawkman. He cites major conflicts with editor Brian Smith, and says of his time at DC, “Reasons are the same as everyone’s that you hear. I lasted a few months longer than I thought possible. Massive indecision, last minute and I mean LAST minute changes that alter everything. Editor pissing contests… No thanks. Last week my editor said, ‘Early on we had a lot of indie talent that weren’t used to re-writes and changes. [That] made it hard.’ Uh, no, it’s you.”
Q: Is There Any Chance of Going Back to the Former Status Quo?
A: In short: no.
DiDio categorically stated that nobody would remember the old DC Universe, or Flashpoint. When asked about Booster Gold, Dan Jurgens intimated that even that character might not. DiDio was adamant about there being no “trap doors,” no characters remembering past events, nothing to even imply the existence of a DC Universe before this one from a storytelling perspective. This was the entire purpose behind renumbering even Action and Detective — to make absolutely clear the degree to which they’re willing to commit. This is the new DC Universe, and it’s up to the readers to decide if they want to live in it. [x]
Where, once again, it’s clear that Dan DiDio doesn’t give a shit.
Go figure that this approach doesn’t work well, and DC has been struggling to save face and act like the New 52 is as big a success as they want it to be. We now have (what is it called?) DCYOU as their current marketing slogan, where they emphasize just how in touch they are with their fans, apparently with [titles like these]. Yeah, in answer to your question, I have no idea why they’re so incompetent.