While many have speculated that the hard deadlines required for DC Comics New 52 to ship both in print and digital every month might mean a rotation of art teams was inevitable, today the first major creative change for a relaunch book hit, surprisingly, on the writing side.
Via his Facebook page, writer John Rozum announced this afternoon that he is leaving DC's "Static Shock" series as co-writer. He wrote, "Just so everyone knows, I have resigned from 'Static Shock.' Before any speculation starts the decision was entirely mine. My issues for leaving had nothing to do with the character or with DC Comics. I plan to continue working for DC long into the future and am developing new projects for them at this time. I'm also open to any other offers, so if you are in the position to give me work, please let me know."
Rozum soon followed up on his personal blog with a post where he explained, "I think Static is a great character with loads of potential, which I hope will get exploited. Given a lot of people's suspicious feelings regarding the relationship between DC Comics and Milestone Media, I will also warn not to read into this that my decision was based on any decisions regarding the handling of the character by DC Comics. This is not true. I maintain a belief that the folks at DC also share a belief that Static has a lot of potential as part of the DCnU and that they would like the character to remain true to his origins, and established nature.
"My decision had nothing to do with DC Comics. I've been very happy overall with my time at DC over the roughly 15 years that I've worked for them and I plan to continue working with them into the future. The feeling is mutual. I'm developing new material for them even as I write this. DC Comics is in no way responsible for my decision to leave Static Shock, and have been very supportive of this decision.
"For now, this is all I'm going to say on the matter."
Co-written by artist Scott McDaniel, "Static Shock" has had a long road to the stands. The Static character originated with '90s entity Milestone Media before making his way from 2000 to 2004 to a Kids WB animated series. In recent years, Static migrated to the DC Universe along with a number of other Milestone characters and appeared in DC's "Teen Titans" monthly. A solo series for the teen hero was announced in February of this year for May shipping to be written by animation writer Felecia Henderson with McDaniel on art. That book was delayed with the only Henderson story seeing the light of day being a special one-shot in honor of recently departed co-creator Dwayne McDuffie.
"Static Shock" finally made its way to the stands as part of the New 52 line of relaunched DC comics, and in July Rozum and McDaniel spoke to CBR about the book's prospects. "I'm excited for the comics out in September. I'm really pleased to be writing the book, it's providing me with a lot of new challenges," Rozum said then, noting that the process of preparing the series had its own unique circumstances. "I think unlike other times it was less just trying to make the comic of "Static Shock" right, it was fitting it into the bigger picture of relaunching 52 titles in September that all felt like they belonged together as a creative whole. I imagine most of the other creative teams had to go through a lot of finessing."
The first issue of "Static Shock" shipped to comic stores last week. CBR Reviewer Kelly Thompson gave the issue three stars. "Overall, 'Static Shock' has some punch and promise," she wrote. "Scott McDaniel and John Rozum bring an enthusiasm to this book and, for the most part, the constant action is fun and well done."
CBR News reached out to both Rozum and DC Comics for further comment but have received no response as of press time. More details will be provided as they become available.
UPDATE 7:45 PM PDT: DC Comics Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras sent the following response to our inquiry late this evening. "John Rozum called me today to tell me that he¹s leaving 'Static Shock.' DC Comics has had a great relationship with John for 15 years and he and I had a great conversation about new ideas, new concepts and moving forward. We¹re all excited to see what comes next."