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Carl Walker said on November 19th, 2011 at 1:24 am

The most offensive thing I can see there is Deadpool Max outlasting Punisher Max. But then, I don’t read any of those titles currently, so I’m just going on hearsay (do have the first Parker Thunderbolts trade on my shelf, waiting to be read, though).

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We’ll see Black Panther again I’m sure. You just can’t kill that guy. I doubt it helped this current run to pick up Daredevil’s numbering. Always thought that was a goofy move (like when Incredible Hulk became Incredible Herc). Not exactly the best way to attract new readers.

I don’t think these mass cancellations matter that much though. Considering DC’s success with the Nu52, I’m expecting an announcement of a universe-wide reboot from Marvel any day now.

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Aaron’s said that PunisherMAX isn’t being cancelled, its coming to an end exactly where he planned it to end…

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That’s a relief – PunisherMAX has been nothing short of amazing. Bullseye Max is such a great character

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Avengers Academy has shown an ability to trend upwards so is probably the safest on the list behind X-Factor and the inexplicably immune to cancellation Thunderbolts. Generation Mope will probably get its well deserved mercy killing, as it seems to be following the same pattern as Daken. Original writer replaced after failing to generate interest? Check. Popularly unknown successor making book less interesting? Yep. Mope’s only hope is X-Editorial’s weird idea that the way they came up with to tie Hope into all emerging new mutants is a good one…

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Mecha Velma said on November 19th, 2011 at 10:15 am

Marvel’s been trying to recapture the magic of the 90′s Ghost Rider for a while without having it look like the 90′s Ghost Rider. To accomplish this, they’ve tried giving the title to uninterested big-name writers and tried defining him as an avenging angel in bible land.

Gee, I wonder why they haven’t succeeded yet.

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Just as a note…S.H.I.E.L.D. probably shouldn’t be on that list as much like The Ultimates it’s a series of mini-series. Or so I was led to believe.

Agree that Generation Hope, especially with the X-Men shake-up is probably going to bite the bullet soon.

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I’m not a fan of the Big Two in general, but from what I’ve seen Marvel is at least making a few stabs at being different, bringing on diverse writers and artists (in particular they seem to be employing a lot more female creators than DC right now), and maintaining a somewhat higher quality control standard than DC. And yet it’s DC, with its hollow ‘New 52′ gimmick (and that’s all it is, a gimmick) and blatant fanboy pandering that’s scored a massive bump in sales. What really worries me is that Marvel will desperately try to follow in DC’s footsteps, then in a few months when the heat from the DCnU wears off and sales plummet, it’ll leave both companies locked more tightly than ever into chasing the diminishing fanboy market.

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Avengers Academy may be safe or if it is cancelled will return in another form. If you count it and Avengers: The Initiative together there has been an Avengers-in-training book going back a good number of years now.

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Also, Prankster, how is Marvel being different when they are cancelling almost any book that doesn’t feature Wolvereine or Spider-Man or Avengers in the title?

The DC reboot may be a cheap marketing gimmick, but there are a handfull of books there that show DC is willing to put riskier projects out there than Marvel is at the moment.

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SilverHammerMan said on November 19th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Vondread, you’re probably right about Black Panther, the guy’s probably going to come back at some point since he is an interesting character, but it’s still disappointing to see it cancelled. I was actually a little put off by the numbering too, since I was under the impression that they were going to go to their own numbering once the title changed to the Deadliest Man Alive.
I still pretty upset by this though, because I’ve been interested in the series from the start and only recently got onboard with the .1 issue and then the Spider-Island one-shot. I’ve just lost my newest ongoing. I guess I’ll just have to get the back issues if I want my fix. Dang.
While saddened by the loss of BP, I think it probably is a good idea for Marvel to trim the fat so to speak. It just sucks that they have to do so by getting rid of genuinely interesting books instead of getting rid of a few of the more superfluous Avengers and X-books.

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@vondread

We’ll see Black Panther again I’m sure. You just can’t kill that guy. I doubt it helped this current run to pick up Daredevil’s numbering. Always thought that was a goofy move (like when Incredible Hulk became Incredible Herc). Not exactly the best way to attract new readers.

I completely agree–that approach never made sense to me and gave me pause about trying the book, because I thought it would expect me to be up on both Panther and DD continuity.

Turning Incredible Hulk into Incredible Hercules worked (by “worked” I mean “wasn’t cancelled in twelve issues”), but I don’t think Marvel should have looked at that as an example to follow. Incredible Hercules was a “nothing to lose” situation, where the character had never supported an ongoing before so the case could be made that just doing Hercules #1 in 2007 wouldn’t have fared any better.

Panther is more important to Marvel than Hercules, and deserves better. Currently I think the best thing for T’Challa right now is tie up the loose ends and give him the Luke Cage/Spider-Woman treatment. That is, stick him in the Avengers for a few years until the high exposure elevates him to one of the “made men” that is guaranteed a prominent role in whatever Marvel happens to be publishing.

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@gnosis:

Also, Prankster, how is Marvel being different when they are cancelling almost any book that doesn’t feature Wolvereine or Spider-Man or Avengers in the title?

It’s important to keep in mind that Marvel may always be cancelling second-string series, but it’s also always launching new ones. I mean, I don’t have any idea what kind of stuff they’re planning for 2012, but I would imagine half of it will end up settling into this same 15,000-25,000 range…then they’ll get cancelled too, and another wave of second-string titles will take their place. It’s the circle of life.

The DC reboot may be a cheap marketing gimmick, but there are a handfull of books there that show DC is willing to put riskier projects out there than Marvel is at the moment.

I don’t see DC taking a lot of risk right now. Their current marketing strategy is to get their audience to associate all of the new 52 as a single cohesive entity–”if you’re excited about Justice League #1 and Batman #1 and Action Comics #1, then you have to buy all fifty-two new series!” Obviously not every consumer falls for that, but at least some will at first, and that helps the sales of the more “out there” titles in the new 52.

I haven’t looked at the numbers for Captain Atom, Hawk and Dove, or Resurrection Man, but I strongly suspect that they’re only doing as well as they are right now because they’re tangentially linked to a Jim Lee Justice League and a Grant Morrison Superman reboot. If these series had been launched in September 2010, to stand on their own, they’d all have been cancelled by now.

Which raises another point–DC had an eclectic group of second-string comics like Zatanna, Booster Gold, Secret Six, and Xombie, and then replaced them with a different group of second-string comics. I don’t see how that’s any different from what Marvel’s doing now, but for one point: Marvel cancelled Black Panther because of low sales; DC cancelled Secret Six because it was September and Justice League needed a new #1.

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Avengers Academy gets my vote for best “Big Two” book.

New characters that I’ve grown to care about (in the fanboy sense), check. High-concept weirdness that doesn’t disrupt the overall tone of the series, check. Teens going through adolescent angst in a way that DOESN’T make my teeth hurt, check. Hank Pym, Tigra and Jocasta as interesting characters with “genuine” inner lives, check.

I’d keep going, but I think I’ve made my point. I would make the same arguments about why Thunderbolts is great as well. And if we could get Exiles back, that would be number three in the set.

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Yeah, I don’t mean to hold up Marvel for any serious praise here, but in recent years their quirkier, smaller series have often been worth checking out–stuff like Johnathan Lethem’s Omega: The Unknown, Strange Tales, S.W.O.R.D., the Thor book by Roger Langridge, the aforementioned (and now cancelled) X-23…yeah, they didn’t last, but they still existed. I also think Jonathan Hickman’s doing some interesting stuff with FF, from what I’ve read (I haven’t got up the Future Foundation yet), and they’ve got Dan Slott writing Spider-man, and Dan Slott will always be often. Their stable of writers includes Kieron Gillen, Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, and the aforementioned Roger Langridge. That’s a good lineup.

DC’s been far more conservative in their lineup of titles–I mean, “All-Star Western” and “Resurrection Man” seem to be about as far as their experimentation goes, and you get the sense that some of the smaller titles are really just there because they wanted to bring the number up to 52. Honestly, almost nothing in the New 52 lineup has grabbed me in any serious way–even Grant Morrison’s Action Comics has been pretty yawn-worthy in the wake of his much more interesting work on Batman. Just my opinion.

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Sorry, that should read “Dan Slott will always be AWESOME”.

…That was a pretty weird sentence, otherwise.

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dangermouse said on November 19th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

It’s still a pretty weird sentence.

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I am really disappointed about X-23 getting cancelled; I just jumped on with issue 17 and it’s eye-bleedingly gorgeous artwork, not to mention some great writing.

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X-23 took an interesting concept and pretty much wasted it for me. The book was depressing, I’m not surprised it was canceled. Avengers Academy, Spider-Man, Venom and Thunderbolts would be the only four Marvels I would be buying right now if it came down to pinch time. Maybe Daredevil since T’Challa’s book is being canceled.

The New 52 has some beautiful art but the storytelling is weak in most of the titles. Every issue ends with only a tiny increment of advancement in the plot. Back in the Silver Age they told more story in 8 pages than modern DC does in a six-issue arc. Marvel is slightly better at this.

DC canceled some of my favorite mags to do their New 52 and the replacements are not measuring up, story and character wise. Zatanna, Power Girl, Dick as Batman, Secret Six, Spirit, I looked forward to these books. Now, I think the only one I can say I look forward too is … dang, can’t think of a single one. Sinestro as GL is interesting though. And All-Star Western.

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I figure Generation Hope will at least be around until the Phoenix event of 2012 wraps. Bleh. They keep trying to convince the readership that Hope matters, and they keep saying “We don’t care!”

Though I guess there’s credit due for at least sticking the storyline out.

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They already added Pixie to Generation Hope (which doesn’t actually have a name for their group in eh book, which I guess makes sense if Hope and Scott consider them an X-Men subset). Now all they have to do is add Armor and we have all three failed attempts at creating the next Kitty Pryde/Jubilee. Mix in the baddies from New X-Men and a bus ride and it’d be my dream ending for the book…

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I’m not so fussed about the Hercules series. I didn’t love the premise. It would have worked for Amadeus Cho to run around with the weapons of the gods, but that’s not really what I wanted from Herc. It also suffered from being bogged down in inane events before it could really find it’s own legs to stand on. Fear Itself rolled right into Spider Island and whatever was developing in the first 4 issues got put on the back burner.

If it was Herc and Cho bouncing off one another I would have enjoyed it more. The new supporting characters just weren’t as interesting. But I would have held on I like FVL’s writing and attention to history and detail.

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Er, Hope isn’t really the Kitty Pryde of her group, Idie is.

And maybe I’m just judging things by different standards than the rest of you, but I don’t see books like Frankenstein, Demon Knights, OMAC or Animal Man as being conservative.

And I loved Secret Six and I am also upset that it was canned as a part of clearing the deck for the New 52, but the fact is it lasted for 36 issues, and I can’t see a book like that lasting anywhere near that long at Marvel.

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Guess this explains why the current issue of Avengers Academy has both “Shattered Heroes” and “X-Men Regenesis” tags on the cover, not to mention a big ass Magneto potrait.

Not that I’ll complain if it keeps the book alive, mind…

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Kristopher A said on November 20th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

@ Jim Smith

I don’t understand your argument here about DC being conservative. So they tried to link smaller, non-traditional niche titles with bigger books to help sell them. That doesn’t make them more conservative, that makes good at marketing and getting people looking at books they otherwise wouldn’t. There are still plenty of risky books beyond the ones you mentioned.

Marvel cuts books quicker than DC does. Yes, it’s the Circle of Life, but DC’s Circle seems to have a larger circumference than Marvel’s does. When it comes to profit line, Marvel is more conservative than DC.

And yeah, DC had to cut their own second string books… and people were ticked off about that, too. It’s only fair that Marvel gets the same heat, right?

@Prankster

Which writers you like are your opinion. To be honest, I really love the X-Men franchise right now but most of Hickman’s recent stuff is either boring me (His Ultimate Stuff), just slowed to a crawl (FF and SHIELD). I think it’s hard to have nothing that has grabbed you (Flash? I mean, it made me like Barry Allen, and I’m a hardcore Wally West guy!), but sometimes that’s how things fall.

But I don’t think that means DC isn’t trying risky stuff. gnosis mentioned OMAC, Demon Knights, Frankenstein, and Animal Man, but you can also include All-Star Western, Blackhawks, Men of War, I, Vampire, Justice League Dark, Swamp Thing, Resurrection Man, and DCU Presents. Perhaps not all of them are great or even good, but they are definitely taking risks and trying different things. If we are looking at different takes on characters, Wonder Woman (beyond the new origin) definitely has a more horror tone than it previously had, and Superboy is definitely a more sci-fi take on the character.

I can respect not liking it all because I can’t tell you what you should like (and at least you have good taste at Marvel :D ). But it’s unfair to say that Marvel is trying harder with eclectic books when nearly a fourth of the 52 are definitely not regular books.

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I’ll miss Herc and I’m worried about Thunderbolts.

(I’ll feel sorry for Avengers Academy fans if that gets the axe too. Even though it’s not a person favorite, I think it’s a solid book.)

X-Factor will keep just barely doing well enough to stay afloat until PAD leaves.

I’m actually kind of happy that they’re no longer pretending that X-23 deserves her own title. The market couldn’t support solo books for more popular x-women like Jubilee and Rogue back when it was healthier.

I’m pretty neutral on the rest.

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I really don’t think there is anything to be worried about with regards to Thunderbolts. Since the first issue came out there has been a gap of at most a year (whatever the time in between the end of the Fight-bolts and the Avengers/Thunderbolts miniseries) where no issues came out. Now maybe since that time the team has taken on forms that you may not have liked but it was still around. I will be sad if they take Jeff Parker off the book though. He’s done a really good job in blending together the various incarnations of the team and is telling some awesome stories right now.

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@Jim Smith
“It’s important to keep in mind that Marvel may always be cancelling second-string series, but it’s also always launching new ones. I mean, I don’t have any idea what kind of stuff they’re planning for 2012, but I would imagine half of it will end up settling into this same 15,000-25,000 range…then they’ll get cancelled too, and another wave of second-string titles will take their place. It’s the circle of life.”

Worth noting that that’s true in the past, but not now. Marvel’s currently being run to maximise profit lines, and upcoming niche products are being cancelled before the first issues ship. (Becky Cloonan and Nick Spencer’s Doom mini is a prime example.) The House of Ideas seems to be somewhat a non-concern, for now. http://www.comicsbeat.com/2011/10/21/marvel-layoffs-the-cheapskate-is-coming-from-inside-the-house-of-ideas/ is worth reading.

DC are trying a lot more at the moment, particularly when you take Vertigo into account.

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@ gnosis
Idie is Kitty? Kitty was a broken, probably insane girl who is one plot point away from doing horrible things because she is a monster and doomed to Hell already? Hope’s the one they keep mentioning is superfantasticwonderful yet really haven’t come up with a way of proving it in story…

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Marvel and DC now have similar but still different motivations going on.

Even before the Disney takeover, Marvel had moved to emphasize its characters as properties rather than produce good comics. I would argue that the comics are now the least important aspect of the Marvel brand, and exist only to create and/or determine what series might successfully make the jump to movies or TV. Marvel Comics has essentially become just advertising for Marvel Studios.

I think TimeWarner would like to do the same thing with DC, but they aren’t there yet. Currently, DC only has one successful movies series — Nolan’s Batman –, and that’s going to end next year. Green Lantern was a bust, basically just breaking even. Man of Steel will likely do well, but that’s no guarantee it will spawn an ongoing series; Superman Returns did really well at the box office, for example, but wasn’t popular with the fans enough to sustain a series.

So, unlike Marvel, DC really has to emphasize its comics in order to develop the properties it has in the hope of building a market for movies/TV, which they won’t be able to do until 2013 or later. A big gimmick like the reboot was one of the only ways DC had of remaining relevant and keeping its properties remotely fresh while the movie-making side of the operation gets around to doing its job.

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