Report: Warren Ellis and Dinosaur Batman Removed from DC Comics’ Death Metal Over Grooming Accusations

Warren Ellis will no longer be writing a two-page story for the Death Metal spinoff one-shot, Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights, following allegations of sexual misconduct and predatory behavior.

Bleeding Cool reports Ellis’s retelling of Bruce Wayne’s origin that sees him become “Dinosaur Batman” is getting replaced by a new story from writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Jamal Igle.

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DC sent out this statement to retailers:

“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.”

Allegations of Ellis grooming, manipulating, and using several women over the years – starting at very young ages – are coming to light. Some of these young women claim he based characters on them.

The first allegations were made Katie West in a now-deleted thread. However, she recently did post a summary of her accusations. She wrote, “Yesterday I posted about men abusing their power in the comics industry to groom, emotionally manipulate, have sex with, or serially Bluebeard young women. My intention was to protect young women from being harmed by these types of men in the future”

In a subsequent tweet she added, “I cited three men in particular, two of whom I had personal experience with. However, I didn’t say my personal experience with these men was abusive, I said they were all men who abused their power.”

She later added that she’s listening to at least 35 women detail their experiences with Warren Ellis.

Ellis responded to the accusations in a statement issued to Twitter.

It begins, “Recent statements have been made about me that need to be addressed. 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.” 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.”

His statement continued, “While I’ve made many bad choices in my past, and I’ve said a lot of wrong things, let me be clear, I have never consciously coerced, manipulated or abused anyone, nor have I ever assaulted anybody. But I was ignorant of where I was operating from at a time I should have been clear and for that I accept 100% responsibility.”

Ellis continued, “I hurt people deeply. I am ashamed for these mistakes and I am profoundly sorry. 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 apologise.”

“I have had friends and relationships end, sometimes in bitterness, often due to my own failings, and I continue to regret and apologise for the pain I have caused,” he added.

Ellis then writes, “I have always tried to aid and support women in their lives and careers, but I have hurt many people that I had no intention of hurting. I am culpable. I take responsibility for my mistakes. I will do better and for that, I apologise.”

He continued to apologize, “I apologise to my friends and collaborators for having created this situation, and I hope they will be treated kindly. Mistakes and poor choices in my personal life are not on them, but only on me. We have a responsibility to one another, every day. And I have, in my past, let too many people down. I hope to one day become worthy of the trust and kindness that was placed in me by colleagues and friends.”

He then added, “I will continue to listen, learn, and strive to be a better human being. I have sought to make amends with people, as I have been made aware of transgressions, and will continue to do so. I have apologised, I apologise, and will continue to apologise and take total responsibility for my actions without equivocation.”

Ellis concluded, “I am going to be quiet now, to listen more than I speak, for other voices matter far more than my own right now.”

You can see his tweet below.

Sexual misconduct allegations are following another DC Comics writer as of late, former Batgirl writer Cameron Stewart. His developing project was pulled from DC’s schedule following charges of grooming originating with artist Aviva Maï who went public with her story on social media.

BC says in the case of Ellis some alleged victims, who aren’t named, “have stated that they don’t want Ellis to be ‘cancelled’ and still feel warmly towards him; they just don’t want others to be similarly targeted.”

They also note other female voices who believe the claims don’t have merit came to the defense of Ellis.

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Ellis’s scrapped story would’ve had an evil Bruce Wayne from the Dark Dimension, going by B-Rex, who was transplanted into a robot Tyrannosaurus.

Ellis credited Scott Snyder with the idea on his blog:

“Yes, there is an evil Batman who is also a T-Rex. This is a thing I discovered when I was asked to write a two-page short comic about an evil Batman who is also a T-Rex. This is lockdown psychosis in full effect. ‘Hey, Warren, Scott Snyder invented an evil Batman who is also a T-Rex. Can you do me a two-page origin story of The Evil Batman Who Is Also A T-Rex?’ And I say yes. Obviously.”

Ellis currently writes the Batman title The Batman’s Grave as well. A planned 12-issue series, issue #7 was published. The eighth was slated for July but now has a TBD date next to it on listings. No word is given as of yet on the status of Ellis’s other work.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights – written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Garth Ennis, Peter J. Tomasi, Joshua Williamson, Frank Tieri, and Daniel Warren Johnson with art by Francesco Francavilla, Tony S. Daniel, Jim Cheung, Joelle Jones, DW Johnson, and Riley Rossmo – goes on sale in August.

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Here is the official synopsis:

“The DC Universe has become engulfed by the Dark Multiverse, where demons dwell and reality is overrun by monstrous versions of the Dark Knight, all ruled by the Batman Who Laughs. In this collection of short tales, learn the terrifying secrets of these new Bats out of hell and other creatures of the night like Robin King, whose origin is just the worst! Plus, read about the secret buried beneath Castle Bat, the sentient Batmobile, and…how did Batman turn into a dinosaur?”

I guess we’ll never know.

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