A friend who just read my 1993 graphic novel Speeding Bullets asked me if I did any other Elseworlds stories. Answer: I tried. Soon after SB, I pitched DC a sequel, a kind of reverse version, where young Bruce Wayne was kidnapped by an alien probe, raised on Krypton by a cold and ruthless Jor-El, and became a revolutionary Superman who brought down the Kryptonian power structure. For reasons I never understood, DC passed on it.
Around the same time I pitched another one where baby Kal-El’s rocket was found by white supremacists and Clark Kent was raised to become, essentially, a Super Klansman. (The idea was to push the character as far from “truth, justice and the American way” as possible—and watch him fight his way back to his fundamental core of decency. By the end of the story Clark rejected hate, took down the supremacists, and became the Superman we know and love.) Another pass from DC—I think it was a little too hot for them to handle—and so ended my Elseworlds experience (until eight years later, when I did an odd, poetic, and obscure story called Supergirl: Wings). But I like to think that somewhere, in some parallel universe, both those rejected stories exist.
No matter how far along in your career, how successful you appear to be, rejection is part and parcel of the creative life. You have to have a hard head, a thick skin, and (like Hal Jordan) a fierce will coupled with a powerful imagination. You have to want that life with all your heart and soul.