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Saturday, December 30, 2017 

Did DC get egg on their face again?

They certainly came close. It appears they hired yet another entertainment writer to script some stories for them, including a Superman-related tale for the 2017 holiday special they had in store, but while they may have published it digitally, the story didn't make it to the printed edition. The screenwriter in question was Max Landis, son of the director who worked on Animal House and Trading Places, and according to this Daily Beast expose, John Landis' son stands accused of sexual abuse, which must've led DC to drop his story from the holiday special. But it's not entirely clear at this point if the allegations go further than than simply allegations or accusations. Though from what I found out when looking at Twitter, Landis does still sound like a sleazebag.

Since we're on this subject, I'd done some research on DC's now-fired editor Eddie Berganza, and discovered this interview with Geoff Johns 2011, revealing how he was hired to become a scriptwriter:
Eventually I came back to work and I kept working and then I got hired as his assistant. I went to New York and we shot a film called Conspiracy Theory. And Donner invited my parents to the set and he put them in the movie! He was a really great guy. I probably worked 90 hours a week but that's where I met some people--Eddie Berganza, specifically from DC Comics--and that's when I started to get back into comics. I met Eddie when I was shooting in New York. And I don't know what his job was. He was probably an editor at that time, maybe an associate editor and I was just an assistant, I was like 22 or 23. And I was talking about DC Comics and they had come to the set because it was a Warner Brothers film. I just talked their ears off about DC Comics because I loved DC. (Eddie) invited me to DC Comics and I went there for kind of a tour on one of my days off and met a bunch of people and really had an amazing time. And he said if you have any ideas to pitch us, let me know. About a year later I finally had some time. I worked so much on the film front I didn't really have a lot of time to do anything else. And I pitched DC Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. to an editor there named Chuck Kim, who later became a writer on Heroes. He liked it and put it through the system and it got approved. I started doing that and I thought I was going to (write comics) on the side and then I met David Goyer and James Robinson who were working on JSA. And James had taken a look at Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E and I owe him a lot--him and Mike Carlin--for helping to shepherd me into the business. James asked if I wanted to co-write JSA and I started to get more and more into comics and eventually a couple years later, I'd worked for Donner for four years and I had been writing comics for two and comics started to take over full time. And so I just went full time into writing.
Recalling Berganza was co-editor with Kevin Dooley on Green Lantern at the time (including the notorious issue 54), to say nothing of how overrated Robinson's own Starman series was, it doesn't surprise me at all he'd recruit somebody with such poor taste as Johns demonstrated in his own writing. I also found that, among Berganza's credits as scriptwriter, he wrote several issues of the 90s Superboy series (such as number 11 and number 20), and depending how many and where, chances are the 90s series starring Kon-El won't be reprinted in trades any time soon, or if they have, they'll go out of print for at least a while, because not many people will want to buy the work of a man who degraded women at the workplace. You have to wonder what Johns thinks of Berganza, the man who wrongfully heaped this bad lot upon superhero comics who since came to work as a company president and "chief creative officer" when he didn't deserve it. This also explains perfectly why Johns couldn't be expected to protest such an awful man.

Again, it's unclear if Landis is the bad lot he's been accused of being. But if it's true, then it's going to weigh even more heavily upon DC's staff, and further taint their reputation.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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