Geoff Johns Leaving Aquaman: Brian Booch And Francis Manapul Leaving The Flash
Here are two more big DC shakeups. Unlike the recent Batwoman departures, these changes don’t have anything to do with an editorial/writer fallout or anything like that. These are writer and artists being shuffled around and placed on new books. Geoff Johns announced that he would be leaving Aquaman soon. Shortly after that news hit, Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul announced they would be leaving Flash to work on a new as-of-yet unannounced project.
Geoff Johns leaving Aquaman isn’t unexpected news, but it’s still sad news. Johns spoke with IGN about his decision to leave with this Novembers issue #25, the conclusion to the Death of a King arc. We’ve heard for a while that Johns would be leaving Atlantis before long, and that time has finally come. The writer talks about his love of the character and why it’s time for him to cede the crown:
I absolutely love Aquaman and the character has been a passion since Blackest Night. That was 2009, so I’ve been rebuilding the character and reintroducing him through Blackest Night, Brightest Day, and Aquaman for a little over four years now. What I wanted to do was build that character and his world, first with Ivan [Reis] and then with Paul [Pelletier], and it’s been great.
Aquaman is one of the greatest characters at DC Comics and one of my favorites. Ultimately, there are some reveals coming up in the “Death of a King” arc through issue #25 that sets the stage for his world and some of those threats are going to carry over to Justice League in a pretty big story next year. But between making Forever Evil and Justice League the best they can be and Gary [Frank] and I doing Batman: Earth One, issue #25 felt like the right time to bid farewell to him for now.
Johns says that he feels he put Aquaman back on the map and he also helped position Mera into a level of notoriety the character has never had in her entire comic book history. Johns will now be focusing entirely on Justice League and Forever Evil for the foreseeable future. He’ll still get to play with Aquaman and Mera in those books, so it won’t be a complete breakup for fans’ of Johns King of the Sea. You can read the full interview with Johns by clicking here. Jeff Parker, writer of the highly acclaimed Batman ’66, will be the new writer picking up the trident. Shortly after the IGN story hit, Parker changed his Twitter name to Aquatic Fellow and promised this as far as new stories are concerned:
In short the upcoming stories are about HIM KICKING ALL GRADES OF AQUATIC ASS
— AQUATIC FELLOW (@jeffparker) September 9, 2013
Another big departure that hit withing minutes of Johns’ announcement was a blog post from Brian Buccellato (Brian Booch on Twitter so we went with that for brevity in the title) announcing that he and Francis Manapul will be leaving The Flash. They will be exiting with issue #25 as well, but they’ll be moving on to a secret project. Buccellato’s post in its entirety reads:
Francis Manapul and I have an announcement to make, so here goes…
If you’ve seen the solicits for FLASH #26, you may notice that Francis and I are not listed as the creators… That’s because (as strange as it sounds to even us) we’ve reached the end of our Flash run. #25 is the final chapter in what’s been an incredible journey with the fastest man alive. Fun times!
We were REALLY honored to have the opportunity to usher Barry, Iris, Patty, Lenny, Forrest and the entire Flash universe into the New 52. We’ve lived and breathed Barry and are sorely gonna miss him, but after 3 years and over 30 issues (annuals, zero, Villains Month), we felt it was time to Move Forward and take on a new creative challenge.
Francis and I will be moving on to a NEW regular DC series that will hit stores in MARCH 2014. We can’t tell you what the series is (yet), but we are super excited about this new sandbox we get to play in!
We want to thank everyone who was involved in helping us shape Barry’s world for the last three years. Brian Cunningham, Darren Shan, Mat Idelson, Wil Moss, Geoff Johns, Chris Conroy, Harvey Richards, Marcus To, Marcio Takara, Sam Basri, Scott Hepburn, Ian Herring, Chris Batista, Patrick Zircher and countless others…
A HUGE thanks to the powers that be at DC, for taking a chance on two “new” writers and giving us the room to grow.
We love Barry… We’ll miss Barry… and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for him. But this isn’t goodbye. Not YET. Because of the way solicitations work, we have to announce this now… but don’t forget to pick up issue our Villains Month Books, and #24 and #25! Francis and I still have some story to tell before we hand Barry off…
One last THANKS to all the Flash fans out there that gave Francis and I an honest chance and stuck around for the ride. You know who you are. You guys make this job worth all the crazy deadlines and sleepless nights! Thanks again… we can’t wait to tell you what’s next!
So I guess that’s a nice change-up from the messy JH Williams III Batwoman departure. We’ll have to keep our ears to the ground and see what we can find out about Buccellato and Manapul’s new project is. Jeff Parker is a great choice to step in for Johns on Aquaman if I do say so myself. The writer has had a string of great new books lately and it will be interesting to see what he brings to Arthur and Mera once Death of a King concludes. What do you think about the DC changes?