Brian Wood, comics’ newest free agent
Earlier this month, Brian Wood announced that his exclusive contract with DC Comics had expired, and that he was committing to a broad range of projects with the conclusion of both DMZ and Northlanders imminent. Although best known for his creator-owned work, with the success of DV8: Gods & Monsters he proved he could work within the corporate-owned structure and sell some comics. He was penciled in to write for DC’s Fall relaunch before plans changed at the last minute, and with news he’s out from under the DC umbrella, it highlights an interesting situation.
Described as an “entirely new phase of my career” on his tumblr, Wood went on to list a number of projects he has in the near future, from a creator-owned “stylistic follow-up to DMZ” scheduled to be announced at New York Comic-Con to two licensed series, “some big superhero stuff,” a digital-first project, as well as a long-awaited new collection of Channel Zero with the Jennie 1.0 prequel included. Wood talked with us last year about preparing for some of this, including a project he describes as Northlanders but instead of “vikings,” it’s music.
Although his creator-owned work has a long track record, it’s the idea of Wood committing more to work-for-hire that is sure to raise some eyebrows. His few shots doing work-for-hire like Dv8, GenX and the little-known Vampirella short with Dean Haspiel were all enjoyable; but what if Wood were given the keys to a bigger property from DC or Marvel? What if Marvel put him to work on an Ultimate Daredevil? What if DC booked some time for him in Gotham City? The possibilities are promising but purely speculative at this point — but what better way to spend the time while we wait for an announcement?