Last week, DC Comics announced that it would undergo a massive internal restructuring ahead of the launch of its upcoming Rebirth event, which will effectively reboot all of the publication's comics.
Of the many changes that the company planned, two stuck out: the departure of Shelly Bond, vice president and executive editor of DC's Vertigo imprint, and the promotion of Eddie Berganza, who had been working as the lead editor for the publisher's dedicated Superman team.
Some publications in the comics press had alluded to a senior editor accused of sexual harassment in the past, but until DC's announcement of his promotion, few people had publicly named Berganza as the problematic "open secret" to which DC had repeatedly given a pass.
The announcement sparked an immediate reaction from people with connections to DC. Many saw the company's decision as yet another instance of the comics industry excusing, if not literally promoting, a toxic and sexist culture.
In a series of tweets, Janelle Asselin, a former editor at DC, explained that Berganza's behavior was one of the contributing factors that ultimately convinced her to leave the company. Despite reporting him in 2011, Asselin said, DC still chose to promote him rather than discipline him.
In 2012, Berganza's title within DC changed from executive editor to group editor following an alleged incident that took place at WonderCon, a comic book convention in Anaheim, California. According to comics news site Bleeding Cool, Berganza made advances toward another con-attendee in a hotel lobby. Berganza's change of title, the site reported, was allegedly DC's response to the incident. Neither DC nor Berganza has publicly commented about his alleged harassment.
When I spoke with Berganza Wednesday, he directed me to a DC spokesperson who declined to comment.
Last September, I spoke with Alex de Campi, a writer on the now-canceled Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman series about the structural sexism that she felt was keeping Wonder Woman from really standing out in DC's books. She wrote on her personal blog that after the cancelation of Sensation, Wonder Woman's stories were going to be headed by the all-male team that also oversaw Superman comics. Berganza was a senior editor for this group.
"The Superman office allegedly employs no women, and a cursory glance over the mastheads of several Superman titles and Wonder Woman seems to confirm that allegation,” de Campi wrote. “The reason, I’ve been told by several people who work or used to work at DC, is because one of the most senior editors is a sexual harasser with multiple incidents on his HR file.”
I've reached out to both DC for comment about the renewed interest in the allegations regarding Berganza and will update if and when they respond.