DC Comics Senior Vice President and General Manager Daniel Cherry III is bolting from the struggling company after only 16 months on the job.
The Hollywood Reporter states he has stepped down in a surprise move tantamount to “quitting” with no reason given, according to “multiple sources,” and DC is so far not commenting on the matter.
THR also notes Cherry was brought on in 2020 in a newly created position to compensate for the “harsh executive layoffs” across the board at WarnerMedia and DC that led to “the departure of co-publisher Dan DiDio,” who served in his post for over a decade.
DiDio was reportedly fired unceremoniously when he was called to the home office in Burbank for a rather swift and curt meeting.
Though it’s not 100-percent confirmed, THR and Bleeding Cool claim Cherry left DC to go work for rapper and noted Trump supporter Kanye West – which comes as a surprise when taking into account the woke initiatives DC pushed under Cherry’s watch.
However, Cherry reported to WarnerMedia executives directly including global brands and experience president Pam Lifford and DC executive Anne DePies, so he may have just been a figurehead doing what he was told.
Nevertheless, THR remarked “DC did have a banner 2021 thanks to editorial initiatives and interest in its publishing lines thanks to The Suicide Squad movie, Sweet Tooth series, and The Sandman Audible adaptation, among others,” during his tenure.
In reality, DC didn’t have such a great year with comic sales and general interest is at an all-time low. Future State and the experimentation with characters’ sexuality and gender status gained headlines but ultimately did nothing to move the needle.
And as Daniel Cherry exits, their next big move is to kill the Justice League and replace them with the heirs to every hero identity from Mera standing in for Aquaman to the Brazilian Wonder Girl and the bisexual Son of Kal-El whose book is a total failure.
This idea is so played-out and doomed from the start it’s being roasted by comic pros Gerry Conway and Ethan Van Sciver – with Conway pointing out and making light of the unoriginality.
“Oooo, they’re dead. Oooo, they’re alive. Oooo, rinse and repeat,” he tweeted in reaction to a CBR report about DC’s announcement. “For the love of Cthulu, get some new ideas, people.”
Ethan Van Sciver (EVS), meanwhile, laughs that DC – a company he deems a sinking ship – can’t stop losing and naturally he predicts the new Justice League won’t turn their fortunes around.
“They’re coming at ya,” from DC to avoid paying creators royalties. They get around what they owe, EVS explains again, by giving original characters new identities that make them a “derivative of that character.” Therefore, DC has a legal escape hatch they can slide through.
Van Sciver made similar observations on the diverging of Superman’s motto away from “The American Way” to “A Better Tomorrow.” Moreover, the families of Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster get nothing because Siegel and Schuster didn’t create Jonathan Kent.
EVS added “DC is banking on” readers being interested in “fake” versions of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman that have more diversity boxes checked. “We’ll see how that works,” he said.
Of Daniel Cherry’s exit, he opined the comic “business is bad no matter what they tell you” and Cherry was brought on from out of nowhere to “manage the decline” and “handle business affairs” so AT&T could “shrink” DC, “sell some of it off,” and make it cheap and easy to run.
EVS also noted he saw much of this coming but was written off as ignorant by Bleeding Cool and other members of the comics press.
Cherry’s farewell coincides with the Warner merger with Discovery which, promising to be a massive shake-up in the corporate stewardship that begins this summer, may have been a factor in his leaving suddenly.