DC has announced that it will put the Orson Scott Card penned digital Superman reboot on hold after illustrator Chris Sprouse resigned from the project. DC has come under attack for the project by fans who disagreed with Card’s publicly stated position on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Sprouse has chosen to resign because he felt that the controversy “took away from the actual work, and that’s something [he] wasn’t comfortable with.”
A Federal Court ruled that Joe Shuster’s heirs do not have the right to reclaim copyright on Superman, a character co-created by Shuster and Jerry Siegel. The judge noted that a 1992 agreement to receive annual payments from DC Comics in exchange for all rights to the character made by Shuster’s sister superseded the Shuster heirs’ claim under “termination rights” in U.S. copyright law. In 2008, Siegel’s widow was able to successfully reclaim some of the copyright.
DC Comics has announced plans to launch seven mini series detailing the lives and backgrounds of the characters of Watchmen. The ground-breaking 1980s series was originally written and conceived by Alan Moore, who will not be involved in the new books. The new series will be written by Brian Azzarello (Rorschach and The Comedian), J. Michael Straczynski (Dr. Manhattan and Nite Owl), Len Wein (Ozymandias), and Darwyn Cooke (Silk Spectre and The Minutemen).
Comic artist Jerry Robinson (b.1922) died on December 7. Robinson is best known for co-creating Robin, the boy wonder, and creating the Joker. Robinson also worked on the creation of Alfred and Two-Face. Robinson began working for Batman creator Bob Kane in 1939. In the 1970s, Robinson worked to get credit for his friends, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for their part in creating Superman. Robinson is in the Comic Book Hall of Fame and has received lifetime achievement awards from the Cartoon Art Society and the National Cartoonists Society.
DC Comics has announced it will cease carrying the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval. The CCA was established in 1954, partially in response to the studies and testimony of Fredric Wertham. DC’s competitor, Marvel, broke from the CCA in 2001. DC will move to a ratings system similar to that used by movies, television, and video games, with E for Everyone, T for Teen, T+ for over 16, and Mature for older than 18. All graphic novels in the Vertigo line will still be considered Mature.
Colorist Adrienne Roy (b.1953) died of ovarian cancer on December 14. Roy was a long-time staple at DC Comics, working on Batman for 189 issues and Detective Comics for 202 issues over 18 years. Roy also spent 14 years coloring The New Teen Titans.