DC shakes up the New 52

The New 52, DC’s – so far successful – attempt to build new audiences by restarting all of its super hero lines, is in its fifth month.

The comics giant has not been shy about moving around its creative teams in an effort to improve individual lines, with one line receiving two such changes.

As you may recall, a couple of months back it was announced that Paul Jenkins would write for Stormwatch following the departure of the first writer, Paul Cornell, after the upcoming 6th issue.

Now we’ve heard that Peter Milligan – the current writer of Justice League Dark – will be moving over to Stormwatch starting with #9, meaning that Jenkin’s only has two issues to tell his story with the strange troupe. JLD will be written by Jeff Lemire starting at the same time.

The reasoning behind this decision? To bring the comic lines more into focus with audience expectations. Justice League Dark hasn’t been connecting to Justice League at all so far, and Lemire’s job will be to correct that, by creating some crossover stories in collaboration with Justice League writer Geoff Johns.

At the same time, Milligan will be taking Storm watch further from the rest of the DC Universe.

“I like the way these guys are somewhat like Superheroes but are in fact nothing of the sort,” Milligan explained in a recent interview with Newsarama. “They’d get very offended if you called them superheroes. And I like that because there are none of the really big hitters in the book (Batman or Superman or whoever) we’ll hopefully have a bit more license to push things around a bit.”

When questioned further, Milligan says that he wants to return the line to its roots. Stormwatch and most of its characters originate from a DC line which was formerly not part of the greater DC universe, but with the New 52 push to integrate the entire super hero stable into the same world, they’ve been tossed into the salad with everyone else.

The feel, however, is still very seperate, as the Stormwatch team is a sort of secret cabal. Like a Men in Black of super heroes, this team deals with the problems which must be kept completely secret from the public, something the Justice League simply isn’t equipped for.

“Some of it I’ll be shaking up a bit but fundamentally,” he said, “It’s going to be taking a similar direction. This is a book that’s about the characters and there will be some pretty radical movements with them… I want to dig deeper not only into the characters themselves but also the history and meaning of Stormwatch. The strange strategies they’ve employed to do what they do and remain covert.”

Milligan went on to declare that he has no problem killing off characters which aren’t working for him, and  finished by saying Stormwatch under his pen will be “weird and intense.” You can read the rest of the interview here.

Milligan’s first issue as writer of Stormwatch, #9, won’t be out until May 2012.