They Said It Better: "Static Shock: What went wrong"

As an original Milestone Comics fan, I really wanted DC's New 52 version of "Static Shock" to succeed. I mused a little bit about why it failed in a comment here last week, and I was planning to expand that into something longer after talking about it in The Comic Book Shop over the weekend, but DC Women Kicking Ass beat me to it. I highly recommend her analysis, including an obvious point about Ultimate Spider-Man that I had entirely overlooked.

Also check out John Rozum's blog, where today he gave a more detailed account of why he quit the book than is quoted in the DCWKA article.


  1. I'm not so sure that the first blog you mention really hits on the real reason for the cancellation. Seems to me that Rozum's comments really get to the root of the problem: an "assigned" creative team rather than two creators who decided to partner. As you read on you realize that the creators were going in two different directions and couldn't agree. That results in a poor story which readers then give up on and lead us to the end result: low sales. It's sad. I couldn't even read to the end of Rozum's blog - - it was too depresssing.

  2. It's both, I think. DC made a sub-optimal comic book via editorial mandate, but also failed to market it to the wider world in which "Static Shock" has more name recognition than "The Flash". To be fair, pretty much everyone publishing comics at the moment sucks at that kind of marketing. (Which is one thing digital distribution is theoretically good for, since it can be used to get people to sample the product without making the effort to find a comic store.)

  3. Scott McDaniel has given his side of this story at great length -- seriously, set aside some time -- on I don't want to bias anyone too much before they read what McDaniel has to say, but I will say: (a) you can definitely tell who the professional writer is, (b) While I certainly can't blame McDaniel for taking Rozum's statements as a personal attack, I actually thought they were aimed more at editorial, and (c) I thought it was a little unfair for McDaniel to quote bits of Rozum's scripts out of context and paraphrase his plots.

    Although they appear wildly different on the surface, I think McDaniel's and Rozum's accounts actually validate each other quite a bit. I see both sides of it. There are definitely days at my office where I feel like everybody thinks they know how to do my job better than me. It's easy to suggest "why don't you write the program this way", and sometimes not so easy to explain why it wouldn't work. And sometimes I think, "Really? I've been doing this for 20+ years and you think you know how to do it better because you can operate your iPhone?" BUT they mean well and -- here's the key thing -- SOMETIMES THEY'RE RIGHT. The trick is to be open to those intuitive ideas without getting micromanaged by someone who doesn't understand your craft.


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