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The List: Recent Marvel Cancelations

With so many Marvel titles getting the axe, is this it or will there be more?

Over the course of the last several weeks, you may have heard about the cancelation of several Marvel titles. This week took the cake though, as Marvel canceled various titles that were somewhat popular with Marvel readers -- among them is X-23, Daken: Dark Wolverine and PunisherMAX. So how many titles are ending?

DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE #21

We'll start with X-23. Marvel recently canceled the series which happened to be their only female character self titled series. The series will be ending with issue #20. But wait, that's not all. Earlier today Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso revealed that Daken: Dark Wolverine would also be coming to an end, and that the final story arc will begin with issue #21, launching in February. According to the solicit, issue #21 is "the story the series has been leading up to" where Daken will set out to enact revenge upon "the man he hates most in the world," Wolverine.

== TEASER ==
BLACK PANTHER: THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE #529

The recently relaunched GHOST RIDER title, which temporarily had a female lead character has also been canceled. The series will, apparently, come to an abrupt end. The series' writer, Rob Williams confirmed the news via Twitter.Joining the ranks of these three books is the cancelation of BLACK PANTHER: THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE which will end with issue #529. According to the book's solicit, this will be the series' finale and will feature Kingpin vs. T'Challa. The book will also feature Typhoid Mary, Lady Bullseye, Falcon and Luke Cage. The solicit also states that the issue will "change the status quo," implying that there is a chance that the book or the character will return.We recently reported that Marvel canceled both the DESTROYERS, VICTOR VON DOOM as well as ALL WINNERS SQUAD which will come to an abrupt end and will go from an 8-issue miniseries, to a 5-issue series.

We reported yesterday that PUNISHER MAX will be coming to an end, but won't be canceled. Other Marvel titles that we won't be seeing anymore include IRON MAN 2.0 and ALPHA FLIGHT.

Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso spoke about the cancelations and end to many of the Marvel titles, and expressed that while it's sad for fans; it's also sad for the writers, artists and editors of the respective books.

It's always disappointing when a title comes to an end...I guarantee you that as frustrated as a fan might be, there's a writer, artist and an editor who are even more disappointed. That's just the way things go sometimes. The market won't support it.
That said, I'm proud of X-23's run. Two successful limited series and an ongoing series ain't bad. Ditto for Daken [who is also ending his series.] From a supporting role in "Wolverine: Origins” to the lead of ongoing series that included him slicing Frank Castle to bits -- enter Franken-Castle. Both were characters that gained traction in a market that, well, doesn't really have a great track record of supporting new stuff. And both characters anchored legitimate monthly titles. We don't do R&D at Marvel. We'll stick by a title for a while -- like we did with "Spider-Girl" -- but there comes a point where that title has to earn, usually sooner than later.

Maybe it really did just come down to sales. What do you think of the news? Are any of these one of your favorite titles? Hopefully we won't have to see any more Marvel books get the axe (that's a lot of books in one week!) but we will have to wait and see. That still leaves us wondering; why so many cancelations? Why the end of so many titles? Is it all about money, or is something big going to go down at Marvel starting in February, 2012?

144 Comments
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Posted by Nefilim927

Guess I'll be one of the few, sad to see Daken go...

Posted by BritishMonkey

i saw it coming with daken

Posted by Wattup

Meh.

Posted by Baconbot

Sad about x-23.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Truthfully I think its just like what Alonso said, its all the market. When it comes down to sales one only has to realize that the laws of supply and demand apply to this situation; if a book has declining sales, then it gets the axe. Perhaps that's just how it is with all these titles getting cancelled. Your suggestion of something big happening in February has me intrigued though. Another big event though? Not exactly exciting news is it? Who knows for sure!

Posted by Cafeterialoca

A) Most of those titles were at 20,000 or lower. The rule is you drop below, you're gone, X-23 is the only oddity.

B) I think Christos Gage said it well:

Sigh. iFanboy has been good to me & they can write what they like (Daniel Day Lewis quote!) But my problem with this:

...is that speculating a book may be canceled tends to make skittish readers stop buying it and retailers stop ordering it. So let me add:

Yes, sales is usually the major factor in cancellations. But the only book canceled that sold more than Avengers Academy was X-23...

...and I think that may be as much about rethinking the strategy of how to handle that character as anything else. (Purely my speculation.)

Look at X-FACTOR, one of the books considered in the "danger zone" by this article. It's been selling at this level for years. YEARS.

If a book is profitable, as X-FACTOR is, and it stays at the same level, canceling it is taking money out of your own pocket.

AVENGERS ACADEMY has been selling at the same level, steadily. Now, what's true is the books on this list can't afford to lose many readers.

So absolutely, if you like the books on the lower end of the Marvel sales charts, PRE-ORDER, and recommend to your friends.

I do think the "where does the axe fall next" mentality has a way of being harmful and a self fulfilling prophecy. So let's not go there.

To be clear I'm not mad at @iFanboy at all. I just wanted to inject a counter-argument before speculation becomes self-fulfilling prophecy.

I speak as one who all too often sees fans on message boards say, "I hear your book's good but I'm afraid it'll get canceled."

I got that a lot when AVENGERS ACADEMY started. "I want to buy it but books with new characters always get canceled"...

...to which I say, if you WANT books with new characters, you HAVE TO BUY THEM! You vote with your $. OK, rant over. Back to work.

Edited by Kallarkz

it is a business...they have to make money

btw Marvel fire David Liss.

Posted by _Zombie_

I get that the market is giving the axe to titles that don't sell well, but how do you explain cancelling titles before they're even released? Victor Von Doom sounded like it had potential, but they didn't even give it a chance. If there's not enough room, or money, why not cancel a few X-Titles? How about an Avengers one? Or they could slow down on the event comics and give titles like the Doom series a chance.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@ZombieBigfoot: Because those sell well. All these titles hit the cancellation threshold except X-23, which I am sure is because she's joining Avengers Academy and it would allow X-23 fans to merge with AA fans.

Posted by thechessclub

@ZombieBigfoot said:

I get that the market is giving the axe to titles that don't sell well, but how do you explain cancelling titles before they're even released? Victor Von Doom sounded like it had potential, but they didn't even give it a chance. If there's not enough room, or money, why not cancel a few X-Titles? How about an Avengers one? Or they could slow down on the event comics and give titles like the Doom series a chance.

Amen!

Posted by redbird3rdboywonder

no marvel is just making some very bad moves i mean how many avenger books we have and how may charcters with more than one book. Exactly! The on top of that they got rid of the only 2 books with female leads while not even Ms. Marvel who sports the company's name has her own book. Its really a shame

Posted by _Zombie_

@Cafeterialoca said:

@ZombieBigfoot: Because those sell well. All these titles hit the cancellation threshold except X-23, which I am sure is because she's joining Avengers Academy and it would allow X-23 fans to merge with AA fans.

I could see the Avengers and X-Titles selling well, some of them are actually good.. but those event comics could do with some cutting back. And I just get frustrated when they cancel titles before giving them a chance.

Posted by Deadcool

Because those characters are not popular enough, that is sad...

People buy comics because the character on it, that is just sad...

Edited by Pbott

The one good thing I see coming form this is a marvel rebot, them may just be cutting some cost before they do something similar to what DC did

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@ZombieBigfoot: Look at top 300 comics of October. Marvel has a Below 20,000 and canceled policy. You see that all these titles, besides X-23 were down there.

Posted by JonesDeini

@Kallarkz said:

it is a business...they have to make money

btw Marvel fire David Liss.

Word? Well glad he got to do Mystery Men if that's the case. Great book.

Posted by saoakden

This sucks big time, I thought some of these titles were doing good. X-23, Daken are some of my favorite characters, it sucks that Iron Man 2.0 was doing good. Also Iron Man 2.0 is one my favorites as well.

Plus, how come they couldn't give VICTOR VON DOOM a chance? It seems like they're canceling titles that star characters similar to other marvel characters, like Daken & X-23. They have Wolverine's blood & power but their own personalities. & Iron Man 2.0 is a slimmed down War Machine that kinda looks like a gray Iron Man.

Posted by Danial79

It's all about money. As you may have heard, Marvel recently laid off a lot of staff as well. Sure it sucks, but if it keeps the company from toppling (again), then I'm all for it. Now if only Bendis' god-awful Moon Knight would get cancelled :)

Posted by HellionVulcan

@Nefilim927 said:

Guess I'll be one of the few, sad to see Daken go...

This big time loved his story besides the drug addict part really felt that ruined him .

Posted by _Zombie_

@Cafeterialoca said:

@ZombieBigfoot: Look at top 300 comics of October. Marvel has a Below 20,000 and canceled policy. You see that all these titles, besides X-23 were down there.

I'm not talking about the comics being cancelled after a couple or several issues(ie: ghost rider, X-23, Daken, etc.). I'm sad to see X-23 and Daken go, but I'm not insanely upset about it. I'm talking about the ones that aren't even given one issue, that look interesting, but aren't given a chance to experience any fan reaction/reviews whatsoever. That's what frustrates me. Fans buy into these idiotic event comics, so they sell more then comics that could be much better.

Posted by xkoenig

It's partly due to sales, but I think it's also partly due to putting effort and belief into titles which you think are important. DC gave themselves a massive advantage when they rebooted because they could go out on a massive sales crusade for all their titles. As long as they can keep the hype and pressure up, they should keep being successful. With Marvel I just get the feeling they launch things, but they are too relaxed about letting things slide. It's like 'Oh, ok, this series is tanking, let's just pull it.' That's ok but if they keep doing it over and over again, the fans who like these characters and series are going to feel less and less excited or enthused about these comics. It's a downward spiral unfortunately. You have to launch it and then believe in it and sustain it more, I think. Somehow Marvel needs to reverse this negativity and move things in a new direction.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@ZombieBigfoot: That we are in agreement with, but I guess they don't have much faith in minis cause they almost all sell below 20,000.

Posted by cody1984

@ZombieBigfoot said:

@Cafeterialoca said:

@ZombieBigfoot: Look at top 300 comics of October. Marvel has a Below 20,000 and canceled policy. You see that all these titles, besides X-23 were down there.

I'm not talking about the comics being cancelled after a couple or several issues(ie: ghost rider, X-23, Daken, etc.). I'm sad to see X-23 and Daken go, but I'm not insanely upset about it. I'm talking about the ones that aren't even given one issue, that look interesting, but aren't given a chance to experience any fan reaction/reviews whatsoever. That's what frustrates me. Fans buy into these idiotic event comics, so they sell more then comics that could be much better.

Or people just buying Spiderman, X-men, or Avengers titles just to keep up with the groups not even liking them...that makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever...why buy a comic you don't like and not buy the ones you most likely will.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@cody1984: That INFURIATES me. I also hate people who stay in those A-list circles and never explore what's out there and end up thinking Bendis is the best writer in the market.

Posted by xkoenig

@cody1984 said:

@ZombieBigfoot said:

@Cafeterialoca said:

@ZombieBigfoot: Look at top 300 comics of October. Marvel has a Below 20,000 and canceled policy. You see that all these titles, besides X-23 were down there.

I'm not talking about the comics being cancelled after a couple or several issues(ie: ghost rider, X-23, Daken, etc.). I'm sad to see X-23 and Daken go, but I'm not insanely upset about it. I'm talking about the ones that aren't even given one issue, that look interesting, but aren't given a chance to experience any fan reaction/reviews whatsoever. That's what frustrates me. Fans buy into these idiotic event comics, so they sell more then comics that could be much better.

Or people just buying Spiderman, X-men, or Avengers titles just to keep up with the groups not even liking them...that makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever...why buy a comic you don't like and not buy the ones you most likely will.

People buy comics they don't like? Are you sure? I agree that having multiple Avengers titles gives the impression you need to read them all, but really only New Avengers and Avengers are in any way connected. How many people do you know who do this?

Posted by _Zombie_

@Cafeterialoca said:

@ZombieBigfoot: That we are in agreement with, but I guess they don't have much faith in minis cause they almost all sell below 20,000.

If I had a closer LCS, I'd buy minis more often. But I very much prefer minis. It's an unfortunate truth.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@xkoenig: Remember Fear Itself? Many people bought the main event because they have to seeing how it's "CHANGES EVERYTHING!"

...everything except Bucky dying, Thor coming back soon, Paris coming back to life, oh gee, there was nothing important at all about Fear Itself in the end.

Posted by Danial79

@Cafeterialoca said:

A) Most of those titles were at 20,000 or lower. The rule is you drop below, you're gone, X-23 is the only oddity.

Based on the series' sales, X-23 was due to hit the dreaded 20k line by about #19:

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@Danial79: Glad you have that chart. But yeah, there's a difference between stable comics and dropping sales. Avengers Academy and X-Factor have stable sales. They've stayed in the 25,000-20,000 range for extended periods of time. X-23? As good as it was, it was the unstable drop.

@ZombieBigfoot: Which is Marvel's fault because Comics are sold in such rare areas.

Posted by cody1984

@xkoenig said:

@cody1984 said:

@ZombieBigfoot said:

@Cafeterialoca said:

@ZombieBigfoot: Look at top 300 comics of October. Marvel has a Below 20,000 and canceled policy. You see that all these titles, besides X-23 were down there.

I'm not talking about the comics being cancelled after a couple or several issues(ie: ghost rider, X-23, Daken, etc.). I'm sad to see X-23 and Daken go, but I'm not insanely upset about it. I'm talking about the ones that aren't even given one issue, that look interesting, but aren't given a chance to experience any fan reaction/reviews whatsoever. That's what frustrates me. Fans buy into these idiotic event comics, so they sell more then comics that could be much better.

Or people just buying Spiderman, X-men, or Avengers titles just to keep up with the groups not even liking them...that makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever...why buy a comic you don't like and not buy the ones you most likely will.

People buy comics they don't like? Are you sure? I agree that having multiple Avengers titles gives the impression you need to read them all, but really only New Avengers and Avengers are in any way connected. How many people do you know who do this?

Most people on Comicvine do this and most comicbook readers as well. When you see pull lists they almost always have a spiderman, xmen, and avengers title on them. The same people will then b**** endlessly about the writers of those series like Bendis but continue buying the book and saying its crap which to me seems retarded. I doubt many of those people have ever read a vertigo, image, or dynamite comic before. Which is unfortunate because the writing on those titles tends to be so much better.

Posted by xkoenig

@Cafeterialoca said:

@xkoenig: Remember Fear Itself? Many people bought the main event because they have to seeing how it's "CHANGES EVERYTHING!"

...everything except Bucky dying, Thor coming back soon, Paris coming back to life, oh gee, there was nothing important at all about Fear Itself in the end.

I agree Marvel's obsession with events is a big drag. I think they need to get out of that mindset that that is the only way to get sales successes. DC's relaunch is kind of an 'event' but it's an event where the buyer gets to pick and choose more freely I think. Although with Fear Itself I was pretty selective about which extra titles I picked up. Same with Spider-Island. I only got the main ASM book, and avoided all the others.

Edited by chalkshark

If you want to give a book a chance, you've got to market it. If people don't know a series exists, that title is going to find it difficult... if not impossible... to build an audience big enough to support it's continued existence. I was completely unaware that Marvel was putting out a  comic featuring the All Winners Squad. If this was  about the same Golden Age characters that I'm familiar with, then I would have picked it up. I'm a sucker for period pieces. As much effort as Marvel puts into the latest Spider-Man event, or X-Men event, or Avengers event... hell, even the Daredevil event... all the other titles suffer from getting the scraps. If they get anything, at all. Marvel's main titles are already getting phenomenal exposure from their connection to their respective film franchises. Marvel doesn't need to make as big of a push with those titles. People are already buying them. 
                        Marvel should take a hard look at it's bottom feeders & ask what can be done to improve sales, rather than just write them off as unsalvageable. I never read X-23, or Daken:Dark Wolverine. I can honestly say, I have no idea what those series were about. I'm familiar with the characters due to their appearances in titles I do read, but I was in the dark regarding their respective titles. A well crafted house ad might have piqued my curiosity enough to take a look. Something else that Marvel could try is having their weaker titles more closely tie in to whatever that season's big event happens to be. Sure, fans hate having to shell out more money for titles they normally don't take, but if even 10% of the readership picks those titles up during the event's run, then sales have been boosted in the short term, & if the creative team is doing their job, maybe that gain becomes permanent. As far as I know, nothing that happened in X-23, Daken: Dark Wolverine, or Ghost Rider either had impact on Fear Itself, nor where they themselves impacted by that event series. That's a failure on Marvel's part to exploit an opportunity. Avengers, Thor, & Iron Man were threaded closely through Fear Itself, & thus reaped any added sales benefit the event generated. Those books didn't need the boost that others did. 
                     The market may be in a downslide, but there are things the company can do to elevate their sales figures & justify the continued publication of less popular titles. DC advertised the Hell out of the re-launch & are reaping enormous... albeit likely short term... gains for all of their titles. Let me say that again for emphasis. All of their titles. Even terrible books like Green Arrow & Hawkman went back to press multiple times. In this climate, letting any book just fail is criminal. The industry is in rough shape. Marvel needs to do all it can to keep the game going. I'm not saying that drastic measures like the one DC took is the solution, but just shaking your head & wringing your hands & blaming poor sales doesn't do the industry any favors. Be proactive. Get behind your titles. Push until it gives. There's nothing to lose but what you've already lost.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@cody1984: Pretty much. People stay with what's safe or "What was shown to them on TV." Still, it's annoying how my favorite three Marvel Titles, Avengers Academy, Thunderbolts and Generation Hope are on this low end...

@xkoenig: Spider-Island was great. We need more events like that!

Though it's funny how some FI issues were really good.

Posted by xkoenig

Now, obviously Marvel can't do a full line-wide relaunch or they would just look like they were copying DC in the most lame way. But the 'full-court-press' DC were able to do was impressive. And I think the tone of a lot of the DC books has helped - the whole fresh-start feel they have is positive and optimistic. Somehow Marvel has to put more effort into supporting ALL their titles and giving their titles a more upbeat tone. The Heroic Age and Spidey's Big Time were great but they were over so quickly and really not given much weight or push, and then we're immediately back to everyone feeling depressed all the time. Where are the heroes being heroic?

Posted by xkoenig

@Cafeterialoca said:

@cody1984: Pretty much. People stay with what's safe or "What was shown to them on TV." Still, it's annoying how my favorite three Marvel Titles, Avengers Academy, Thunderbolts and Generation Hope are on this low end...

@xkoenig: Spider-Island was great. We need more events like that!

Though it's funny how some FI issues were really good.

I loved Spider Island. Dan Slott is a great writer.

Posted by turoksonofstone

lol.

Posted by _Zombie_

@Cafeterialoca said:

@Danial79: Glad you have that chart. But yeah, there's a difference between stable comics and dropping sales. Avengers Academy and X-Factor have stable sales. They've stayed in the 25,000-20,000 range for extended periods of time. X-23? As good as it was, it was the unstable drop.

@ZombieBigfoot: Which is Marvel's fault because Comics are sold in such rare areas.

It is. But it's also the fact that not many people feel like opening up comic shops, so their locations are spread relatively thin. For instance.. the closest LCS for me in 30 minutes away. 30 minutes of gas we can rarely afford to use. I don't have a job yet myself, so I can't help pay for that. And I don't really trust UPS and/or USPS to not bend my comics if I order online. So I'm stuck waiting for months on end to go to my nearby comic store and catch up on comics.

Posted by danhimself

I'm not really going to miss any of these titles....I read all of them but they were always bottom of the pile books and I was struggling to read them before their next issues were released

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@xkoenig: I'm still tradewaiting it, but from what I saw, it's great.

Also, anyone noticing they're double shipping a lot of their titles in February? Avengers, Avengers Academy, Secret Avengers, New Avengers, Wolverine and the X-Men, X-Force, Uncanny X-Men, Winter Soilder, and so on? Marvel is desperate to get sales up.

Posted by xkoenig

@Cafeterialoca said:

@xkoenig: I'm still tradewaiting it, but from what I saw, it's great.

Also, anyone noticing they're double shipping a lot of their titles in February? Avengers, Avengers Academy, Secret Avengers, New Avengers, Wolverine and the X-Men, X-Force, Uncanny X-Men, Winter Soilder, and so on? Marvel is desperate to get sales up.

Yeah, that's really weird, but I suppose there will some explanation coming soon.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@xkoenig: It's not weird. It's obvious. Marvel is cutting out all the books that weren't selling and are now doubling the books that are so that their overall sales will be greater.

Posted by daredevil21134

Give me a Blade title now

Online
Posted by BlackArmor

Daken getting the ax?....I'm pretty hapy right now (before anyone sais anything yes I know Hatas gonna Hate I don't care I'm lovin this)
Posted by WarMachineMarkV

- I have no problem with Marvel publishing as many X-Men, Avengers, or Spider Man titles they can convince people to buy. These are franchises with fans who have collected them for years or even decades and will buy them like they are on auto-pilot, they are the safest investment they can make in this declining market.

- The more Marvel can bank on these franchises, the more they can justify taking chances on borderline projects. If you like the more offbeat titles you better hope everyone continues to buy these books as they are financing your personal favorites.

- I do have a problem with the quality of said series, but that is another discussion for another post.

- I understand the disappointment many of you have as one of your personal favorites were among the recent slate of cancellations, but this is the state the industry is in. One of the brightest spots of the move towards digital is that niche titles with numbers well below 20-25k will be sustainable and not every title will need to be tied to one of the major franchises to survive.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

It's the sales. Unless you are a name writer and the sales are doing good, they are not gonna get cancelled. Plus they are trying to limit stuff to a more reasonable number of ongoings. They had alot of stuff coming out that only a few couple of 100 of people read.

It doesn't matter what company does what. Read a book if you like the writer and creative team. don't regulate yourself to a book based on your favorite characters. Half the time it's an epic fail. I love the avengers but I hate bendis avenger writing. He reuses and recycles his work in all his stories now.

Posted by Lonestar88

The writing was on the wall for Daken as soon as X-23 was canceled. No way was X-23 going to get the axe and Daken wasn't. x-23 sold more and is generally more popular.

The decision to cancel comics isn't based on sales alone though, its also based on how important the book is to the larger universe. Generation Hope sells less than both X-23 and Daken, but it's being held up by editorial because its too important to the upcoming events.

Posted by webofthornns

To me it feels like Marvel has to many titles focused on the same characters..How many Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man titles do we need. It's disappointing that what variety was available is vanishing, personally I was very excited about an Alpha Flight on-going series

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

I think Marvel must have something up their sleeves if they are cancelling this many series.

Posted by Ramier

Marvel should cut back on the over kill of character books. to many wolverine books, now spider-man, to many x books and too many avengers I think they should come up with new ways to get ppl into the lesser known books. too bad for these book i just started reading BP when the point 1 came out. anybody in the sf bay area lets talk n figure this out ourselves

Posted by pspin

X-23, Daken, and Ghost Rider!?! Well there goes two of my favorites and a book with huge potential. Damn

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