(Just as an FYI, yes, I know it’s highly unlikely that anyone associated with DC Comics will ever read this, and I assure you that when I write my actual letter of complaint to them it will be when I am feeling less angry and bitter, and as a consequence, the letter will be a lot better. But I am angry and I couldn’t wait any longer to say something. So, here it is.)
I became a comic book reader because of Steph Brown.
I first stepped into a comic shop because of Steph Brown.
I became a customer, fan, and supporter of DC Comics because of Steph Brown.
I ordered several seasons of Smallville and planned to watch all ten because of Steph Brown.
And I will neither be buying or supporting any DCnU products in the future because of the way you’ve treated Steph Brown and her (~your~) fans.
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, I’m used to your casual disregard of your fans opinions, your obstinate belief that we can be told what we will like and indignant surprise when we don’t flock to your latest offerings automatically like bees to honey. I’ve become inured to your constant insults to your readers intelligence and desensitised to your habitual misuse of the word iconic, (which, it seems, in the DC dictionary means “Silver Age only” at best and “as white a world as possible.” at worst,) I had even managed to become somewhat numb to your casual misogyny and cultural myopia. But the incredible arrogance of your latest act of high-handed editorial stupidity took my breath away.
With one senseless act of editorial whim, you took renewed fan interest, a popular and rising buzz of the kind many companies would kill for and a widespread and newly restored feeling of goodwill… And threw them away. Tell me, in what world is that a good business decision? What possible motive could justify antagonising and offending your fanbase with yet another slap in the face?
You went to one of your writers and ordered him to rewrite an already written story by removing one of the core characters. In what world is that a good creative decision? In doing so, you implied that it is your editorial opinion that your characters are so interchangeable they can be replaced at will and your stories will be unaffected. Are you sure that is the the impression you wish to create? (And, if that is the case, I look forward to replacing your characters in my affections with ones from other companies.)
Frankly, I’m tired. I’m tired of defending the only company in the world with the gall to say that using older characters will make their products more appealing to new and younger readers, who by that very definition, have no idea who those characters are. I’m tired of my passion and support for your company and it’s products being utterly disregarded. Most of all, I’m tired of hearing the same weak excuses used over and over to try to explain the unexplainable and defend the indefensible. You have something any other company and any creative person would thank their lucky stars for: Your characters matter to your readers. It takes both an incredible short-sidedness and a staggering degree of ineptitude to turn this into a bad thing. Congratulations to you on somehow finding a way to snatch failure and contempt from the jaws of success and goodwill.
This is actually a wonderful way to address not only the Steph issue, but the issue of all the other interesting characters we have been robbed of.