Firestorm fans prepare to cringe. Bleeding Cool is reporting that Gail Simone has walked away from the DC relaunch title Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men.  The rumor, according to Bleeding Cool, appears to be circulating the pre-parties for this weekend’s NYCC, and would prove shocking if true. The book, which is co-written with Ethan Van Scriver, has had mixed reviews, but Simone is a fan favorite due to her work on Suicide Squad and Batgirl and has proven her ability to carry a book.

It does not appear that this departure was Simone’s intent. As Bleeding Cool points out, she has a Firestorm easter-egg in today’s Batgirl 2. Speaking of Batgirl, it is flying off the shelves. There are even reports that Simone’s hit is already selling out its second edition. Bleeding Cool appears to suggest that the reason for Simone’s departure from Firestorm is the result of conflicts with the editorial staff. They go on to suggest that Dan Dido, who has been steering the relaunch ship, has begun to alienate a number of creators.

Assuming the rumors are true and Dido’s iron grip is squeezing the life out of its creators, the New 52 could be in serious trouble. The majority of the positive reviews have stemmed from the creative risks these creators have taken, and it is easy to “love” something to death. I for one would hate to see Simone walk away from Batgirl too.

We here at Comic Booked have put out feelers to Gail Simone to see if the rumor is true. We will also be further investigating the idea that Dido is clashing with his freelancers. In the meantime, let’s hope that if this rumor is true, it does not bleed over to Batgirl or any of our other favorites. As far as Fury of Firestorm goes, we will just have to wait and see.

Here is some preliminary reaction from twitter:

@Greymattersplat tweeted:
 I’ve had a bad feeling that the DC relaunch would cause a big boom followed by catastrophic failure. Not good…
@glecharles tweeted:
WTF is going on at DC?
@essieteric tweeted:
Then I quit reading Firestorm.
@LarrysComics tweeted:
Good. It (Firestorm) was awful. @GailSimone doesn’t DO awful.