DC and Dan DiDio's Big Change One Year On – How Did We Do?

Back in February, Bleeding Cool ran a series of spotlights on five creatives who Bleeding Cool had been told were heading for big things at DC Comics. A number of creators brought into DC Comics by publisher Dan DiDio before his firing, with an eye for working on 5G/Generation Five titles. It was a move at DC Comics away from the usual comics writer talent base, to TV, film and animation writers, with the intention to bring in new energy – fans of the comics but people who who have pursued that interest in other directions, with other influences and voices. But none of the bad habits demonstrated by some creators from those fields.

DC and Dan DiDio's Big Change One Year On - How Did We Do?
DC and Dan DiDio's Big Change One Year On – How Did We Do?

Well, Dan was fired, and the 5G relaunch morphed into the Future State two month event, but his talent drive lived on. With 2020 hindsight (and a little 2021 hindsight) how did we do with the names Bleeding Cool mentioned?

Meghan Fitzmartin is best known as her role as executive assistant to the showrunner on the TV show Supernatural, then becoming a staff writer on the show. But in comics-related media, she co-hosts a podcast called "Wine and Comics" with Topher Harless, has written and produced an audio drama called Red Rhino about a high school boy who gets superpowers which are not that super and also wrote for the animation DC Super Hero Girls. When the article was originally published, however, she hadn't written comics.

Well, Meghan Fitzmartin is writing the Robin Eternal series for DC Future State. Whether she continues after Future State, we are yet to learn. But that's tick one.

Geoffrey Thorne was an actor through the eighties and nineties, most prominently as one of the leads in long-running In The Heat Of The Night TV remake cop show as Sgt. Wilson Sweet. In 2000, he changed careers to become a writer, initially a Star Trek novelist, finalist in the Writers of the Future contest, he went on to write for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Leverage and The Librarians, which he produced. He also wrote for animated series Ben 10 Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers series. He went on to create the Avengers: Black Panther's Quest series and the character Mosaic for Marvel Comics as part of their Inhumans push. He has also written episodes of Super DinosaurNiko and the Sword of Light. Thorne is also a co-founder and writing partner of Genre19, a studio he formed with artist Todd Harris in 2008 and he is also the co-creator of Phantom Canyon, an audio drama from Pendant Productions. He is also the co-exec producer on the upcoming Power: Book II: Ghost show from STARZ. For comics, as well as Mosaic, he also wrote Solo, Knight Rider, Black Panther, Dark Horse Presents and more, including his recent  Battlebooks comics, and Marvel's Voices.

But when we reported this, nothing for DC. Now he is writing the John Stewart stories for Future State: Green Lantern and is the ongoing writer of the series from March on, starring John Stewart. And definitely not Hal Jordan. And that's a second tick.

Kevin Shinick is an Emmy award-winning writer as well as an actor, director and multiple Annie award-winning producer. Working alongside George Lucas, directing Stan Lee, collaborating with the rock band KISS and helping Mike Tyson solve a few mysteries, Shinick is perhaps best known for his work on the shows Robot Chicken and MAD, the animated series he created for Cartoon Network. He's also voiced characters on The Cleveland Show, MAD, Robot Chicken, Ugly Americans, Titan Maximum and The Looney Tunes Show. As an actor, he has performed in over a half a dozen Broadway shows, TV and film projects and as the host of Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?

As a writer for Marvel Comics, he wrote Superior Carnage, Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, Avenging Spider-Man and AXIS: Hobgoblin, and wrote and directed the first-ever feature-length stage adaptation of Spider-Man, which played at Radio City Music Hall and toured the country long before U2's accident-prone Turn Off The Dark. He has written a couple of DC Comics, including Joker's Asylum, Batman 80 Page Giant, and the animated feature: Scooby-Doo and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery. But more recently, he wrote four issues of The Flash before Future State. Will he have the series to write afterwards? Tick three.

Ken Kristensen has a lot of comic book-related projects. Some involving actual comic books. An Academy Nicholl-award-winning screenwriter, he was story editor/writer on Happy for SyFy, based on Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's Image comic, story editor and writer on Marvel's The Punisher for Netflix, and back in the day he was Location Manager for Brian Singer's Superman Returns. He is currently developing a TV adaptation of his Image comic Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth for FX, he served as Consulting Producer/writer on the ill-fated Marvel/Hulu Ghost Rider show, he is developing an adaptation of Tony Hillerman's best-selling Leaphorn/Chee crime novels for HBO and is currently Supervising Producer/writer of a big unnamed action series for another premium cable network. He also wrote comics such as the aforementioned ToddMichael Chabon's The Escapist, Fairy Godbrothers, Indestructible and Oblivi8n. But not for DC. Well, Bleeding Cool hadlearned from well-connected sources that it is expected Kristensen will be a major figure in upcoming DC Comics titles. But these were wrong. He has yet to write for DC. No tick for Bleeding Cool here.

Tim Sheridan has already written a lot for DC Comics and Warners. Just not for the comics. He has five episodes of DC Super Hero Girls LEGO – Galactic Wonder, three Justice League Action Shorts, five episodes of Justice League Action, as well as feature-length animations Scooby-Doo! and the Gourmet Ghost, Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost, Reign Of the Superman, The Death and Return of Superman, two episodes of Teen Titans Go!, a Sgt Rock short, and four episodes of the DC Super Hero Girls series – including the two-parter #DCSuperHeroBoys. He is also writer on the upcoming Masters of the Universe: Revelation TV mini-series.

While most of these projects are kids-focussed, I understand that after the Reign of the Supermen movie, he took on a bigger role with the adult-fan-targeted DC animated movies that are currently in the pipeline. Masters Of The Universe: Revelation is also adult-aimed, as is the TransformersWar Of Cybertron project he let slip on Kevin Smith's podcast. A final tick, so that's four out of five. 80% return on investment. Not too shabby one year out?

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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