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WFH WTF

The DCnU is a reminder of the slippery slope of fan expectations.  A lot of people didn't want to see the radical changes occuring.  Some of us still don't want to see some of the changes.  However, it's how it is.  Everyone likes to talk about how the characters are part of the popular consciousness, hence, they belong to the fans.  But that is simply not true.  They belong to DC.  They can do what they want with them.  Same with Marvel.  Hell, same with me.  Suppose I finish my Sound Waves special How Spy I Am, which casts a grown up Rhapsody and Melody as superspies.  And suddenly, the readership wants to see that happen in the regular book.  They want to see the girls eventually become that.  I can say no.  Doesn't matter what the fans want, I'm still in control.

My decision would be based on what I think is best for the characters.  After all, it's not like there's very much riding on Sound Waves.  But for DC, there is far more at stake.  There's money.  Prestige.  Money.  Bragging rights.  Money.  Market share.  Money.  Ancillary deals.  And, in case I didn't mention it, money.

DC is trying to bring in new readers and take the first steps to reviving the direct market, and they should be applauded for that.  But in order to do it, they had to basically junk everything.  DC has "wiped out" history several times, with diminishing returns each time.  And each time, people are left wondering why.  For example, why bring back Barry Allen?  This was the biggest problem for me, because Wally West became my Flash.  But ultimately, all I could do is simply not buy the books that didn't interest me.  They interested enough people to keep the series running.  Ultimately, my opinion doesn't control anything.  All I can do is go along for the ride when I like something and get off when I don't.

That's just a fan perspective, though.  Imagine how it must be for the people doing Work For Hire on these characters.  People like Mark Waid can completely redefine a character, make him great, and then be shunted aside, back issues as the only testimonial to what they created.  If I ever landed a plum assignment ("Yeah, Peter G, we like how you handle characters.  Want to do a fill-in on Captain America?"), I would be thrilled, but also a little sad.  Much as I love the character, I'm still playing with someone else's toys.  And if someone uses my story as a jumping off point for something, that's just how it goes.  I have no rights beyond writing that story.

Which brings me to Gail Simone.  Keep in mind, I have nothing but respect for Gail Simone.  Not a big reader of hers, but I know who she is, what she's done, and I hold her in high regard.  She's been around the comic field long enough, and DC also regards her well.  Which explains why she was just a teeeeeeeeensy weensy peeved when she saw this image for the solicits of Birds Of Prey  #4:



Batgirl is going to be in Birds Of Prey #4.  Which prompted her to tweet:



Someone asked her why Barbara Gordon is wearing Stephanie Brown's batsuit.  Simone's response:



Simone has since taken to the Intertubes to say she just hyped a little bit, she ain't even mad.  I believe her.  We all have snap reactions that we reflect on and go, "Maybe I should have reeled it in a little bit."  The only difference is that we don't have ways to project out thoughts in Real Time as they happen, so we don't get busted.  I'm quite sure it was just an immediate reaction and that's all.

But remember, anyone out there, you can't own something someone else owns.

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