DC Comics has announced that Tom DeFalco will be taking over writing duties on Legion Lost beginning with March's issue #7.
"For this series I have seven characters that I'm getting to know better and better with each passing day," DeFalco told Newsarama in a phone interview. "And then the more I get to know them, the more I like them. What I like is these are characters who were given an impossible mission and put into a very desperate situation... They represent that part in all of us, every time we face a new job or an unexpected drama or situation in the family that suddenly goes sour, and you've got to step up and discover what you're really made of."
Current Legion Lost writer Fabian Nicieza is leaving the title, which launched in September as part of DC's New 52 relaunch, after issue #6. Pete Woods, the current artist on Legion Lost, will continue on the comic despite the writer change.
Nicieza said he's leaving because of pressing issues in his non-comics work. "A couple things happened at both the companies that has required far more attention on my part," he told Newsarama via phone. "Some of this is positive, specific writing opportunities, and some of it negative, but both have necessitated my increased focus on those responsibilities."
The addition of DeFalco to DC's ongoing plans for the Legion spin-off titles is a little surprising because the writer hasn't worked with DC for several decades. The one exception came earlier this year, in August, when he wrote a one-shot Superman Beyond comic.
Before that, DeFalco had been closely associated with Marvel, where he even served as Editor-in-Chief from 1987 to 1994. In fact, when he left the position in 1994, among his replacements at the head of Marvel was Bob Harras, who is now DC's editor-in-chief.
DeFalco is also well known as a writer for the Marvel character Spider-Man, and more recently with a 100-issue run of Spider-Girl.
This creative shake-up from DC is the latest in a string of changes the publisher has announced since it introduced the DCnU in September. Among previous changes are the departure of writers on Green Arrow (J.T. Krul), Static Shock (John Rozum), Superman (George Pérez), and Voodoo (Ron Marz).
Legion Lost #1, which launched the new title in September, caused some concern among long-time Legion fans when two Legion characters appeared to die in the issue, although Nicieza later explained to Newsarama that the "deaths" weren't what they seemed.
The issue also launched the title with a very frenzied tone, showing a group of characters in the midst of peril and disorientation from the beginning. Some reviewers questioned the approach, and even Nicieza admitted to Newsarama that the issue's confusion was not his "original intention," but DC wanted "a sense of frantic, chaotic turmoil and uncertainty."
"There's a lot of good to that, but there's some bad too," he told Newsarama in October. "And I do think clarity is one of the things that got sacrificed in that first issue, which is a bit frustrating."
However, Nicieza had said publicly ever since Legion Lost was announced that he was very busy with other projects when he decided to launch the title. He told Newsarama all the way back in June that he was originally reluctant to take on another project because he was busy. "I seem to have a whole lot going on in my non-comics life," he said, but emphasized that he was such a huge Legion fan that he couldn't pass up the chance to launch the book.
Only three issues of the title have been released so far. Legion Lost #4 will be released December 14th.
Newsarama will have full details later today about our discussions with both Nicieza and DeFalco about Legion Lost.