Well, that didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.
JMS is stepping down from writing Superman and Wonder Woman "to focus on writing a sequel to the recently released original graphic novel Superman: Earth One."
Even as critical as I've been of him, I expected JMS to have a longer term at the helm of those books. But, alas, it was not to be.
So, JMS' last issue of Superman will be #706. Which means A) Given that issue #704 was a fill-in, he leaves after completing only 5 issues of his projected 12-issue story; and B) DC's January solicit for issue #707 is, well, wrong. Adjust your orders accordingly.
As for Wonder Woman? Well, after the much-ballyhooed "reboot," JMS will have completed 4 issues (#604 is his last). 4 out of projected 12 issues? Wow, what a coup, DC.
After abandoning Supreme and The Twelve mid-storyline at Marvel, JMS has now bailed on two of DC's highest profile titles, and storylines which DC has spent a considerable amount of time, effort and money promoting (and I wouldn't count on his Adam Strange story showing up in Brave & The Bold anytime soon. Sorry, Lissbirds!) You would think a guy who came originally from television and movies would have some sense of responsibility about finishing a project. But then again, like many celebrity comic writers, Marvel and DC bend over backwards to praise him to the skies while he quietly shafts them and their fans.
Maybe, though, someone is finally wising up to his act. According to Newsarama article, "Straczynski won't be working on monthly comics for the foreseeable future. The writer is quoted in the publisher's statement as saying this news coincides with a 'one- to five-year sabbatical from writing monthlies' for him."
What a firm commitment, JMS. "One to five years?" Still, at least someone has realized that JMS has no business writing monthly comic books.
I don't know how much longer we'll be stuck with Broody Superman's Walkabout--new writer Chris Roberson will be using JMS' "story notes" (as will new WW scribe Phil Hester). (Please notice that--"story notes," not even completed plots, for issues scheduled to appear this month!!) But at least they'll undoubtedly be better written, and they'll be scripted by writers who have shown the responsibility to write on a monthly schedule.
UPDATE: I love the spin some sites are putting on this, claiming that JMS bailing on yet more projects is actually a sign that original graphic novels are the future of the comics industry, and that "pamphlet's" are dying.
Said death, of course, having absolutely nothing to do with JMS' complete and utter inability to actually complete said pamphlets on anything remotely resembling a monthly basis. Nope, this had nothing to do with DC putting a pretty face on canning JMS because his inability to meet deadlines was humiliating to DC and their attempts at big PR. And had nothing to do with the hugely negative critical reception the books were getting.
Nope, it was "the evolving nature of comics." Uh-huh.