The Beat is reporting that Dark Horse has cancelled Brian Wood’s upcoming series Aliens Colonial Marines: Rising Threat following the revelation by writer and editor Laura Hudson that he harassed her repeatedly.
The Beat writer Samantha Puc wrote that when contacted for comment, Dark Horse responded “Effective immediately, Dark Horse will not pursue any new projects with Brian Wood. Dark Horse has cancelled the upcoming series Aliens Colonial Marines: Rising Threat.” The catalog page for the first issue is no longer visible on the Dark Horse website.
This is a significant move because Dark Horse has become the most important publisher of Wood’s work in recent years, most notably since the artist Tess Fowler accused him of sexually harassing her in October 2013.
Prior to that, Wood had had a robust career that included collaborating with Warren Ellis on Generation X and a five-year exclusive contract with DC, during which he created the Vertigo series DMZ and Northlanders and the original graphic novel The New York Four, which was published under DC’s short-lived teen-girl imprint Minx. In July 2013, he began writing X-Men; his run on that series ended with X-Men #17 in July 2014. Since then, his only Marvel work has been a six-issue run on Moon Knight. Image published two of Wood’s creator-owned stories, Starve and Black Road, and his licensed work includes writing John Carter for Dynamite, Robotech for Titan and RoboCop for BOOM! Studios. Dark Horse has continued publishing Wood’s work steadily all along, however, including his creator-owned series such as Rebels and The Massive, as well as new editions of Demo and Channel Zero, and they have hired him to work on licensed properties such as Star Wars (before it moved to Marvel), Conan the Barbarian and Aliens.
Hudson, formerly the editor in chief of Comics Alliance and a writer and editor who has covered the comics industry for over a decade, went public with her story on Twitter on Aug. 30. She doesn’t say when the incident occurred, but she does say that when she met Wood in a bar, she was a “young vulnerable woman coming up in comics” and Wood was her “hero”:
His name was Brian Wood and I worshipped him at the time (he wrote so many strong female characters!!!). If you think this is going to go badly, you’re correct. I went into a bar with him and he grabbed me he forced me into a kiss
Hudson went to the bathroom, did a quick internet search and learned that Wood was married. “He didn’t care,” she said, and in fact he continued to text her for weeks afterwards, asking her to have sex with him.
In her Twitter thread, Hudson apologized to Fowler for not going public then. In fact, the day Fowler’s accusations went public, Wood emailed Hudson out of the blue:
The day Tess started talking, he knew I liked rock climbing and for No Reason started sending me emails the Exact Same Day (we’re not friends and don’t talk) about his niece and how much she loves rock climbing. Def not bc I had status and he was afraid I could hurt him now
After Fowler tweeted her accusations, Wood responded, saying “The pickup was a lame move, absolutely, and I’ll accept the heat for having done it, but that’s all it was: I liked her, I took a chance, and was shot down… I immediately regretted it, and I apologize to Ms. Fowler for the tackiness and embarrassment of it all.” (Wood’s original statement seems to have disappeared from his timeline, but Albert Ching quoted it in a CBR story at the time.)
Reaction this time has been swift. The Brooklyn comics shop Anyone Comics Tweeted that they will no longer sell Wood’s work.
Editor Tea Berry-Blue Tweeted
I’ve never met Brian Wood or interacted with him in any way that required me to use this info but he’s literally the first person anyone warned me about when I started working in comics. And I heard it from every direction. I’m so sorry to folks who didn’t have that warning.
Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella deplored Wood’s actions on Facebook, and on Twitter, translator Zack Davisson related his own bad experience with Wood, who blew up at him during an interview. Meanwhile, artist Ethan Van Sciver, tacking in the other direction, Tweeted
Looks like Brian Wood has been canceled! These ladies are cutting down Male Feminists in comics like crabgrass. But muh ally! Comics: Stop hiring SJWs. All they bring is drama and grief. Guys: don’t hit on SJWs or Feminists. And stop aligning with them. Grotesque!
Whatever reasons Hudson had for not speaking out at the time, her revelations on Aug. 30 have started the discussion anew—and are already costing Wood some work.