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UPDATED: DC Shakeup: Gail Simone Off ‘Firestorm,’ Tom DeFalco on ‘Legion Lost’, Cornell Off ‘Stormwatch’

DC Comics confirmed this week some personnel changes for two of its New 52 superhero titles. Specifically, Gail Simone will no longer be Ethan Van Sciver’s co-writer of The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men following February’s issue #6. She will be replaced on the title by Joe Harris of Oni’s Ghost Projekt (in development as a series for SyFy), who will co-write the title with Van Sciver.

Legion Lost will say goodbye to series writer Fabian Nicieza with issue #6, also on sale in February. Nicieza will be replaced by Tom DeFalco, who of course was once the editor and chief of Marvel Comics. Pete Woods will continue to draw the title.Notably, the exit of Simone from Firestorm reduces the number of DC’s ongoing superhero series written or drawn by women to just four: Batgirl, written by Simone; Green Arrow, written by Ann Nocenti (as of March’s issue #7); Superman, drawn by Nicola Scott; and Batwoman, drawn by Amy Reeder (as of February’s issue #6). However, more female credits will be seen on the covers of future DC projects, with Nicola Scott announced as the artist of a forthcoming Justice Society of America book and Jill Thompson drawing future issues of the in-progress The Shade miniseries. For her part, Simone indicated via Twitter that it was her choice to leave Firestorm.

The first arc of Joe Harris’ run on Firestorm is called “The Firestorm Protocols” and will be kicked off in issue #7. Ethan Van Sciver will co-write as well as draw two consecutive issues, with series artist Yildiray Cinar returning with issue #9. Harris hyped the storyline on his blog:

I can promise you, it’s going to be filled with a lot of big science fiction concepts and super-hero smackdowns… some good, tense international and geopolitical maneuvering around the prospect of a new nuclear arms race in a much smaller and interconnected world than the Cold War-era knew, and some really dark, juicy moments that should really shock the hell out of people.

Meanwhile, in the 30th century (or whenever), DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes franchise welcomes a second former comics publishing executive to its ranks in the form of ex-Marvel Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco, who takes over Legion Lost with March’s issue #7. With former DC Comics President Paul Levitz writing Legion of Super-Heroes, it seems obvious that DC is recruiting only top level comics executives for its beloved Legion line. Who will be next?

Writing on DC’s The Source blog, series editor Brian Cunningham indicated with regret that outgoing writer Fabian Nicieza “just couldn’t keep up with a monthly series right now,” but that he’s pleased to be working with industry legend DeFalco.

Lord knows, I’m a sucker for anything Tom writes. He hooked an 11-year-old me with a doomed romance between two a.i. robot characters – let me say that again: robots! – and I think I’ve read practically everything else he’s written ever since.

So Tom came into my office with his infectious enthusiasm, and we just talked about LEGION LOST for over an hour. I really loved what I heard. And then we got on the phone with series artist Pete Woods, and the ideas kept flowing. Carrying over subplots that Fabian had been developing, Tom’s inclinations felt so completely fresh that we were sold instantly. Here’s a taste:

A crossover with TEEN TITANS involving the organization known as N.O.W.H.E.R.E. – with a revelation that will change the entire course of LEGION LOST!

A Timber Wolf romance that could rip the team apart!

A power struggle for leadership!

Tyroc has a deadly secret…and the team isn’t happy when they learn it!

And a traitor lurks in their midst!

I gotta say, I didn’t think it possible, but Tom has me even more excited for the series’ future!


UPDATE

DC confirmed via a post to The Source that Batman: The Dark Knight and DC Universe Presents Deadman writer Paul Jenkins will pen a two-issue story for Stormwatch in issues #7-#9. Series editor Pat McCallum described it:

“The Stormwatch crew can’t ever catch a break – no simple threats like bloodthirsty monsters or world-dominating supervillains to stop, it’s always some mind-cracking knot that Apollo, Midnighter and the rest of the crew have to untie,” says editor Pat McCallum. “This time out, Stormwatch have to solve the puzzle of dimension-stepping gravity miners, creatures so alien they’re not even technically alive. The last stand of humanity or, as Stormwatch calls it, ‘Monday.’”
Regular Stormwatch writer Paul Cornell tweeted that he will indeed leave the title, with February’s issue #6 being his last. Cornell will remain on Demon Knights and his Vertigo series Saucer Country. No word yet on who will follow Jenkins after his short run.

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