With this afternoon’s surprise news that longtime industry editor Bob Harras would be promoted to Editor-in Chief of DC Comics, the industry became abuzz with discussions, questions and congratulations surrounding the move that came just a week after a major shift in the company’s physical and staff makeup.
While fans and professionals alike wait to hear from Harras on what his tenure as DC’s E-i-C will mean for the company’s comics, CBR News went to work rounding up reactions from some of the biggest names in comics. From Harras’ former co-workers at Marvel Comics including Joe Quesada and Tom Brevoort to the A-list DC talent he’ll now oversee like Kurt Busiek and James Robinson, some of the biggest names in comics below share their impressions, congratulations and predictions for what’s next at DC. And be sure to check out Robot 6 for a complete roundup of public reactions to the news,
Marvel Comics E-i-C Joe Quesada: Several years ago, when I first learned that Bob had been hired at DC and was running their collected editions department, I often wondered how long it would take for them to tap Bob on the shoulder and bring him back into the monthly comics fold. For anyone who has forgotten history, Bob was one of the finest editors at Marvel during the ’90s and was one of the chief architects and driving forces that brought the X-Men to the massive popularity they have today. I’m thrilled for Bob and for the comics industry that he’s back and will have a hand in guiding DC’s comics line. The only downside to this is that it took so long for DC to make the move,
Best of luck, Bob, I look forward to reading some great comics!
“Astro City” Writer Kurt Busiek: I first met Bob back when he was editing the Hulk, I think, and nerd that I am, I used to needle him about his anti-Namorita letters published in “Sub-Mariner” way back in the early 1970s. That’s probably why I never got any work from him back then, the bum.
But Bob went on to heading up the X-books, and then Marvel itself, each time presiding over a tumultuous time that involved dealing with a lot of pressure from other quarters, and did so with aplomb and good humor, and never went out of his way to do horrible things to Namorita just because he could. And he greenlit THUNDERBOLTS in the single fastest sale I’ve ever made (seriously; Tom Brevoort and I pitched the idea to him in the bar at a Marvel retreat, and he thought it over for maybe ten seconds before saying, “Okay, let’s do it”), and then tapped me to relaunch both “Avengers” and “Iron Man,” and was even quite nice about it when he said Tony Stark shouldn’t have a mustache because only losers and dweebs had facial hair, and the bearded Tom Brevoort, the bearded George Perez and the bearded me all locke him in the art returns closet and slid GQ photos under the door until he compromised on a goatee. You’re welcome, Robert Downey, Jr.
And then, when he was over at DC heading up the Collected Editions department, I’d drop by and bug him to collect the “Tales Of The Green Lantern Corps” mini-series and Brian K. Vaughn’s “Batman” and “Wonder Woman” stories, and possibly because I didn’t bring up Namorita at all, he actually did both.
So what am I saying? I’m saying it’s all about me, that’s what I’m saying.
And that Bob has the experience, the skill, the judgment and the temperament for his new gig – he’s a terrific choice for it, and I think both DC the company and the DC Universe will only be the better for it.
But watch yourself, Oliver Queen. And Aquagirl? I’d start finding hiding places now…
“Jonah Hex” Writer Jimmy Palmiotti: What a smart choice was made today. Making Bob Harras the new E-i-C. of DC Comics is the perfect and logical selection in my eyes. Bob has on the job experience, has great relationships with a ton of creators and working with Geoff, Jim and Dan, I think he can really make a difference up there. I personally have been working on and off with Bob for a long time, and not only is he a great editor but a real solid guy who can spot talent in people…something that’s important in that position. This is great news for everyone as far as I am concerned. Congrats to DC Comics and especially Bob!
“Avengers” artist John Romita, Jr.: Congrats, Bob, and good luck to you!
Marvel VP Executive Editor Tom Brevoort: In all honesty, I’m surprised something like this didn’t happen sooner. It always seemed like a waste of resources to have a guy like Bob overseeing collected editions when his real strength was in being a line editor. So I always expected that at some point DC would give him a little line of books and have him go to town.
So I’d expect that this means that Bob will bring his Marvel-honed expertise to DC, and that they, as a consequence, will be a bit more competitive. At least, that’s what I hope will happen, as a strong competition between us brings out the best in everyone, and is good for the marketplace and for readers.
“Red Robin” Writer Fabian Nicieza: It’s one of the smartest moves the new hierarchy could have made. Bob has been a tightly wound bundle of untapped creative energy for a while now, and this decision will help energize the DC Universe. I can’t wait to see how his editorial approach will slowly help to influence the titles. Expect lots of drama, lots of action, lots of character conflict, lots of emotional beats – and that’s just in the office, wait until you see how it also plays out in the comics!
“DMZ” Writer Brian Wood: I work with Bob on a regular basis for the collected editions of my Vertigo work, and despite that being limited to a couple rounds of e-mailing every few months, he’s been nothing but a great guy to work with – very cool, very organized, definitely a guy who knows the business. I look forward to chatting with him face to face at NYCC.
“Supergirl” Writer Sterling Gates: I think this is great news for both the industry and for DC Comics. I’ve been a huge fan of the books Bob’s written and edited over the years, and I’m really excited to see what he can accomplish with this new position. Heartfelt and huge congratulations to him, and I can’t wait to see where his leadership takes the DC Universe!
“Justice League of America” Writer James Robinson: Just heard the news, so I don’t have that much to say. I look forward to working with Bob in his new role as DC E-i-C. I recall how enjoyable it was working with him during my brief tenure at Marvel, writing “Cable.” I, for one, am very pleased with this choice.
“Uncanny X-Men” Artist Whilce Portacio: Bob is full of energy and ideas and he has the real hard experience of taking comics and making them big and epic the way comics should be done…I have high hopes that if the powers that be will allow Bob to go with his guts, we’re in for a wild ride.
“Stumptown” Writer Greg Rucka: My dealings with Bob Harras have always been limited, always professional, always cordial, and always directed to DC’s best interests. I expect nothing less from him as E-i-C, and I – like everyone else in the community, I imagine – look forward to seeing what he does with the rich worlds and cast of characters he now will oversee. He has my sincere congratulations, and my sincerest best wishes for a long-running and successful tenure.
“Fables” Writer Bill Willingham: I think tapping Bob Harras for the EIC position was a marvelous choice. Well done, DC.
Marvel VP Executive Editor Axel Alonso: Never met Bob, but I always found it odd that he was working in DC’s trades department. Apparently Jim Lee did, too.
“Justice League: Generation Lost” Writer Judd Winick: I was thrilled, and greatly relieved to hear that Bob Harras was was coming aboard. He’s been a writer, an editor, and a boss. He’s written great comics as well as shepherded phenomenal stories for many years. I can tell you that there was much frightening talk and rumor about an “outsider” coming in. We had no idea what that meant, and it scared the shit out of us. I’m glad that it was all just crap. Bob Harras is one of us. A comic creator and a comic fan. Both in equal parts.
“Doom Patrol” Writer Keith Giffen: Aside from the occasional collected edition cover I’ve never had much one on one with Bob. The few times we’ve dealt with one another, I found him to be a good, solid, professional and that’s what the job calls for. Looking forward to helping him on his way to that first ulcer.
Watch this space as more reactions to Bob Harras’ hiring come in to the CBR News Team!