And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

[ONE EDIT: 9/9/09 9:54 PM, scroll to the next brackets]

As you may have now heard, Paul Levitz is now out at DC, and DC Comics will now become "DC Entertainment", headed by Diane Nelson.

This is, I think, much bigger news than the Disney/Marvel thing from last week. Paul certainly has his shares of detractors, but I've always thought of him as the Smartest Man in Comics, and absolutely one of the key Architects and Protectors of the DM.

Rich Johnston (of all people) has probably the best "eulogy" for Paul over on Bleeding Cool.

[HERE'S THE EDIT: Kurt Busiek nails it even better than Rich]

I think Paul is a Class Act, and there's nothing more that I fear than Warners completely ruining the DM. I'm absolutely shattered by this news -- I was hoping we'd have AT LEAST another decade with Paul at the helm, and now everything -- everything -- is up in the air.

Chances are that, by 2012, nothing in comics will even remotely resemble what it does today.

You can read Paul's farewell statement over here. I appreciate the fact that Paul specifically mentions retailers. He also uses the words "comics" as a noun five times.

You can read an introduction from Diane Nelson over here. This is probably the most relevant paragraph:

DC Entertainment’s mission is to deeply integrate the DC brand and characters into all of Warner Bros.’ creative production and distribution businesses, while maintaining the integrity of the properties and DC’s longstanding commitment to and respect for writers, creators and artists. The founding of DC Entertainment is about Warner Bros. taking DC to the next level and giving DC an even greater degree of focus and prioritization in all the businesses in which we operate—films, television, home entertainment, digital, consumer products and videogames.

She doesn't use the noun "comics" even one time.

That terrifies me.

I'll probably have more later, but right about now I have to start checking in my comics shipment...