For the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out what made Josh WIlliamson who was writing Justice League Odyssey. The title was unique and fun and I was really enjoying it! My confusion was and still is, why did we leave that title? Why leave a series that was so good before the end of the first arc. What did he struggle with?
I finally found the answer. Never before reported as far as I can tell after a good 30 minutes of checking. Let’s call this a DCU Exclusive!!
I was listening to AIPT Comics Podcast which this week is an interview with Josh Williamson focused on Batman/Superman (coming in August). When asked how Batman/Superman was going to be different from The Flash, he said the following to start the answer.
“Team books are really hard, that’s the lesson I learned with Odyssey. Team books are really hard. James is terrific at them you know working with Justice League and Justice League Dark, and you know he was doing Detective which might as well have been a team book, I mean it was team book. He’s great at it. I’m not so great at it. I have a hard time managing so many voices.”
So, it seems to me like he left because he struggled too much with writing the story and passed it onto someone else. Justice League Odyssey has a lot of characters: Starfire, Cyborg, Azrael, Darkseid, and Jessica Cruz. It seems to me like Josh didn’t have a good understanding of the characters voices. The title semed incredibly intriguing but struggled to give Jessica Cruz a role. When Dan Abnett (Writer of Titans (team comic)) took over, it seemed to me like Cruz found a role as the morale compess. After Re-reading Odyssey, I came to the conclusion that Williamson’s biggest problem is making the characters stand out. It felt like the events were happening to the group over the individuals. Abnett taking over gave each of the characters more of an arc. This idea can best be seen in an interview with Newsrama in which Abnett said the following “there’s the central four characters, such an interesting combination. Cyborg and Starfire are all-time greats, but often get overshadowed by the big guns; Jess Cruz is a terrific character who needs more screen time and focus; and Azrael - I’ve always loved Azrael, and he seems such an unlikely fit here, but it turns out he’s perfect for a cosmic adventure.” This focus on telling the story with the characters seems like the big focus of Abnett taking over which seems like the same reason Williamson left. It will be interesting to see where the series goes with him at the lead.
For those of you worried that Williamson will struggle with Batman/Superman as a result. He said that he’s always wanted to do the title since he was approached to do an Inventory Comic (A trial run one-shot). So he must have a pretty good grasp on the characters. On top of that, he finds that he can look at the POV’s (point of views) of three characters relative easy. So it will be interesting to see what he comes up with.
Nathan.Payson your friendly neighborhood reporter
P.S. I myself am struggling to write comics with multiple voices as I started writing School of Magic (on DCU). I found more voices means more retries and more feeling like every character is the same. I’m going to be writing a Team story for my 18th birthday in my Superhero Universe called Hunters: Prime #1. I can’t wait to share the story with you!!
DAN ABNETT Brings The Cosmic to JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY
Talking Batman/Superman with writer Josh Williamson & more!