In recent weeks, I have been covering the work of a comic book writer "Michael Grey" whose writing work appeared on some of DC Comics' biggest characters, and their high profile new Digital First titles, both Batman: Gotham Nights and Aquaman: Deep Dives after previously appearing in their Walmart Giant titles. But there was no record of such a "Michael Grey" for any other comics, on social media, or in any related field.
I also noted a similar approach to stories, with a central DC Comics protagonist fighting a villain, but one who has an ethical and moral purpose through all the murder and mayhem. Many names were thrown up, from Dan DiDio to Geoff Johns to C.B. Cebulski to JMS to Ethan Van Sciver to Rob Liefeld. But the truth, it seems, is a lot less juicy. Yesterday, talked to "Michael Grey" themselves, via their real identity. I won't be revealing their name, however, and this is why.
"Michael Grey" is a relatively minor writer working in the entertainment industry whose work situation changed shortly before the stories went to press. They found they weren't allowed to do outside work and stopped their comics work immediately. However, as DC already had those comics in production, part of the Walmart Giant line of titles, a pseudonym seemed the best solution for the situation. There's one more story to be released under this name but after that you won't be hearing any more from "Michael Grey." Not unless anybody else wants to take up the moniker.
So I have redacted their name to protect their position, but promise it's not anyone who would have garnered a headline. Sometimes the truth is far more mundane than the explanations we whip up in our minds. So where will Michael Grey's swansong appear? And will it fit the previous pattern? Here's what ran so far:
Batman: Gotham Nights #2
It's a mad dash as Batman races to stop a murderous plan – but when the villain is revealed to be in two places at once, and the victim turns out to be not so innocent, Batman must make the ultimate choice in a fight against Clayface. Written by Michael Grey. Art by Ryan Benjamin.
Aquaman: Deep Dives #2
Aquaman and the Sea Devils team up to stop a group of polluters – and a radioactive creature from the deep! Written by Michael Grey, Art by Aaron Lopresti
Batman: Gotham Nights #3
Batman is hot on the trail of a series of murders in Brazil, where government officials and various captains of industry have been mysteriously murdered by their own bodyguards. None of the assailants knew each other, but the Bodyguard Murders story went viral. As the Dark Knight starts assembling the pieces of the puzzle, he notices the things all these victims have in common are a connection to the logging industry, a penchant for bribes…and a woman who goes by the name POISON IVY. Written by Michael Grey, Pencils by Ryan Benjamin, Inks by Richard Friend, Colored by Alex Sinclair