DC pulls Warren Ellis’s Death Metal story following series of allegations

(Image credit: DC)

DC has pulled a planned Warren Ellis/Jim Cheung story from the August 4 Dark Nights: Death Metal - Legends of the Dark Knights #1 anthology.

"The previously announced two-page story in Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1 by Warren Ellis and Jim Cheung will be replaced with a two-page story written by Marguerite Bennett and illustrated by Jamal Igle," reads the announcement to retailers in an email sent out Friday evening.

The publisher did not provide a reason for the removal of the story, which was to be the origin of the alternate universe Batman who lived in a robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex - "B-Rex."

The removal, however, comes just days after several women alleged sexual misconduct by Warren Ellis dating back to the early 2000s and a day after Ellis himself released a statement seemingly in response to the allegations.

(Image credit: Tony S. Daniel (DC))

Katie West, a former friend of Ellis's, was the first to allege misconduct in a now-deleted Twitter thread. Following West's statements, Meredith Yayanos, a former colleague of Ellis’s who inspired a character in his comic book series Planetary, followed, describing her own series of allegations and characterizations of Ellis's conduct.

Ellis’s subsequent statement did not address any specific allegations or alleged victims directly, but admits some culpability in what he refers to as "these mistakes…"

"I hurt people deeply. I am ashamed for these mistakes and I am profoundly sorry," Ellis states in his Orbital Operations email newsletter. "I will not speak against other people’s personal truths, and I will not expose them to the toxicity of the current discourse. I should have been more aware, more present, and more respectful of people’s feelings and for that I apologize."

Ellis is currently writing DC’s The Batman’s Grave and is writer/executive producer of Netflix’s CastleVania. His previous comics work has been adapted into feature films and TV episodes (including his Iron Man 'Extremis' arc that formed the basis of Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3), and at various times he has overseen publishing imprints for Marvel Comics, DC, and Avatar Press.

"I have never considered myself famous or powerful, to the point where I’ve made a lot of bad jokes about it for twenty-odd years," Ellis writes. "It had never really occurred to me that other people didn’t see it the same way - that I was not engaging as an equal when gifted with attention, but acting from a position of power and privilege. I did not take that into account in a number of my personal interactions and this was a mistake and I own it."

Ellis also announced his decision to end his long-running email newsletter, which he has published under various titles since 1995.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)