Marjorie Liu's book Marvel rejected because it "wouldn't sell".

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#1 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

Marjorie Liu describes a team made up of Black Widow, X-23, Elektra, and Mystique— a pitch Marvel rejected because it “wouldn’t sell”:

[They would be] brought together for a very specific purpose…because they have such different personalities they were going to learn that they worked very well together as a team despite the fact that they didn’t really like each other that much, and that they had something to offer as…something to offer that others couldn’t, in a sense that these are all women who are ruthless, they are incredibly strong, incredibly skilled at what they do, assassination to espionage to flat out sabotage and together they were very, very powerful, more powerful together than they would be apart. So…they would come together for special missions and then do their own thing, but they would always be, something like a secret society, that just the four of them knew about, that no one else was aware of.

http://www.ladiesmakingcomics.com/post/27145601947/they-would-be-brought-together-for-a-very

#2 Posted by Mercy_ (92684 posts) - - Show Bio

Great minds O_O found this on the fckyeahblackwidow tumblr and was contemplating posting it. It's a damn shame.

I would have been ALL OVER that book.

Moderator
#3 Posted by Billy Batson (57942 posts) - - Show Bio

It wouldn't sell because Liu would have been writing it :p
BB

#4 Posted by The Stegman (23918 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh well, It's just business.

#5 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

Sounds.... neat, I guess?

#6 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mercy_ said:

I would have been ALL OVER that book.

You're not the only one. ^_^

I really can't understand why Marvel just aren't bothering doing something with Black Widow. Right now she's probably their most bankable female character (shut up Storm fans) and their response is.....................nothing. She's barely even in the team books. Considering how painstakingly they made Samuel Jackson the new Nick Fury, you'd think they'd...bother...with a Black Widow book or something.

#7 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

It could have a better roster.

#8 Posted by Morpheus_ (29873 posts) - - Show Bio
I like the line-up but Liu is the substitute for hipnosedon. 
 
As far as sales (or lack of) goes, three out of four have supported on-goings for respectable, but not exceedingly lengthy terms, and while books with significantly inferior concepts than this have been green-lit in the past, it's not exactly something I could see selling very well in the long run.
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#9 Posted by ragdollpurps (15572 posts) - - Show Bio

Not really a unique idea.... I'd feel obligated to buy it though.

#10 Posted by Mercy_ (92684 posts) - - Show Bio

@X35 said:

@Mercy_ said:

I would have been ALL OVER that book.

You're not the only one. ^_^

I really can't understand why Marvel just aren't bothering doing something with Black Widow. Right now she's probably their most bankable female character (shut up Storm fans) and their response is.....................nothing. She's barely even in the team books. Considering how painstakingly they made Samuel Jackson the new Nick Fury, you'd think they'd...bother...with a Black Widow book or something.

<3

Agree completely.

And as an aside, I believe the next Captain America and ____ arc is going to be Black Widow.

Moderator
#11 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mercy_: Oh you mean that book nobody is reading. Neat. ;)

#12 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

@ragdollpurps said:

Not really a unique idea.... I'd feel obligated to buy it though.

Needs more Psylocke, right? xD

#13 Edited by ragdollpurps (15572 posts) - - Show Bio

@X35: That too. Also, given current circumstances I don't see Mystique working with them. Should switch the two.

#14 Posted by Pacperson (307 posts) - - Show Bio

Man...that roster is so random it could have been awesome :( would have been all over that book.

and the world needs more X-23 comics....

#15 Posted by Illuminatus (9504 posts) - - Show Bio
@Billy Batson said:

It wouldn't sell because Liu would have been writing it :p
BB

Win.
#16 Posted by Mercy_ (92684 posts) - - Show Bio

@Illuminatus said:

@Billy Batson said:

It wouldn't sell because Liu would have been writing it :p
BB

Win.

Haters!

Moderator
#17 Edited by KingofMadCows (345 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, Psylocke is already a part of X-Force.

And X-23 being in another assassin squad?

I'm also not sure what she meant by this: "that they had something to offer as…something to offer that others couldn’t, in a sense that these are all women who are ruthless, they are incredibly strong, incredibly skilled at what they do, assassination to espionage to flat out sabotage and together they were very, very powerful, more powerful together than they would be apart." Is she just talking in terms of what they can gain from teamwork? Because I don't think Black Widow and X-23 have any abilities or skills that Mystique and Elektra don't have or can't easily replicate with the right equipment.

#18 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mercy_ said:

@Illuminatus said:

@Billy Batson said:

It wouldn't sell because Liu would have been writing it :p
BB

Win.

Haters!

Winners.

#19 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

@KingofMadCows said:

I don't think Black Widow and X-23 have any abilities or skills that Mystique and Elektra don't have or can't easily replicate with the right equipment.

Well...X-23...has...claws.

#20 Posted by SC (12959 posts) - - Show Bio

Its more like some senior Marvel editor working in merchandizing thinks it probably wouldn't sell compared to - some XYZ book that will come out and not sell anyway.  

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#21 Posted by moywar700 (2775 posts) - - Show Bio

Elektra has been MIA for awhile and Mystique too.These character have their own on-goings for awhile like the other post said.I think this is a good idea. .

#22 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

@moywar700 said:

Elektra has been MIA for awhile and Mystique too.These character have their own on-goings for awhile like the other post said.I think this is a good idea. .

I think the last time we saw Elektra was in Heroes for Hire? Not too long ago...

#23 Posted by IrishX (2354 posts) - - Show Bio

I would definitely be interested in this series. Too bad.

#24 Edited by KingofMadCows (345 posts) - - Show Bio

@X35 said:

@KingofMadCows said:

I don't think Black Widow and X-23 have any abilities or skills that Mystique and Elektra don't have or can't easily replicate with the right equipment.

Well...X-23...has...claws.

And all Mystique needs to replicate that ability is a vibranium/adamantium blade, which considering how often they show up, she can probably buy at a pawn shop. In fact, due to Mystique's shapeshifting ability, she would be able to make far better use of an adamantium blade than X-23 with her claws.

#25 Posted by pixelized (62882 posts) - - Show Bio

@Billy Batson said:

It wouldn't sell because Liu would have been writing it :p
BB

Seriously!

That giant blurb about why it wouldn't sell was all of 2 poorly written sentences. I don't want to see that in a series.

Moderator
#26 Posted by SC (12959 posts) - - Show Bio

The more I dwell on this, the more annoyed I am. Especially with Marvel NOW going down. That sort of publicity backing such a book of iconic characters would surely have knocked out a 20 issues series. Especially given a popular artist. Me thinks this is just writer politics at play. I would like buy 5 of every issue of this book. Nyeh. Mystique works really well as a protagonist as her series showed, and Elektra's Dark Reign mini was especially epic. Throw in Deodato or Mann on art, or Mike Choi and Sonia Oback, or three writers who have done art for some of these characters series already and bam. Hell even if it got cancelled after 2 arcs, would be an awesome 2 arcs.    

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#27 Posted by noj (1080 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah cant REALLY disagree with Marvel here, it would not have sold. Good business decision on their part

#28 Posted by Raiiyn (3454 posts) - - Show Bio

This is bull >.<

how could they.. like that would of been epic... I can't believe this!

Oh wait.. yes I can. It's Marvel. >.<

#29 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate to say it but I think Marvel is right, I do not see that lineup sustaining an ongoing for longer than 12 issues. Tying those 4 characters into something like Secret Avengers with a few other characters would be a better idea as having the Avengers connection would boost sales.

If you will excuse me I have to go and flog myself for actually agreeing with the Marvel braintrust

#30 Posted by KingofMadCows (345 posts) - - Show Bio

The idea can work but Liu chose the wrong characters. Mystique can't be trusted at all and X-23 has been trying not to be a killer so it wouldn't make sense for her to sign up with another team of assassins.

Plus Liu is not very good at writing X-23. She always forgets how analytical and methodical X-23 can be and makes her too unstable and impulsive.

#31 Posted by SC (12959 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's the thing, its Marvels job to make it sell. We know that Marvel and DC puts out books that are risky and might not sell, like the Gambit and Hawkeye solo series are good examples. The process of how books get green lighted varies so some examples where we have a good idea, and others where we don't, but historically and given the current comics climate, a Gambit and or Hawkeye solo are risky. So they probably had very good pitches or just the guy who approved them might be willing to take take that risk and or those factors as well as pricing goes, in terms of how much writer and artist get per issue is affordable. I think Marvel is being riskier by not taking risks on ventures like this. Lends far too much credence to the Disney brought Marvel to appeal to guys and boys conspiracy theories. If DC can get an arc out of books like Hawk and Dove and OMAC... come on Marvel, if one of your writers wants something to do it...      
 
As far as characters in the creative sense? Xavier has hired Mystique before, character has been trusted before, and the fact that she isn't as reliable as say Beast makes for good drama and story telling. That as well as you don't have to trust someone to work with them. Instant tension.   

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#32 Edited by CapFanboy (4789 posts) - - Show Bio

@X35 said:

@Mercy_ said:

I would have been ALL OVER that book.

You're not the only one. ^_^

I really can't understand why Marvel just aren't bothering doing something with Black Widow. Right now she's probably their most bankable female character (shut up Storm fans) and their response is.....................nothing. She's barely even in the team books. Considering how painstakingly they made Samuel Jackson the new Nick Fury, you'd think they'd...bother...with a Black Widow book or something.

Oh god I hate the new Nick Fury. Black Widow would be brilliant in a book like this. I'd buy 2 copies every time...

@noj said:

Yeah cant REALLY disagree with Marvel here, it would not have sold. Good business decision on their part

Best figures I could get so far but birds of prey weren't selling too badly. Marvel's version may sell just as well

39 - BIRDS OF PREY 01/2006: Birds of Prey #90 -- 30,460 01/2007: Birds of Prey #102 -- 29,043 01/2008: Birds of Prey #114 -- 24,211 01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 ------------------------------------- 05/2010: Birds of Prey #1 -- 50,428 (+135.4%) [54,965] 06/2010: Birds of Prey #2 -- 44,064 (- 12.6%) 07/2010: Birds of Prey #3 -- 43,420 (- 1.5%) 08/2010: Birds of Prey #4 -- 46,149 (+ 6.3%) 09/2010: Birds of Prey #5 -- 40,146 (- 13.0%) 10/2010: -- 11/2010: Birds of Prey #6 -- 34,440 (- 14.2%) 12/2010: Birds of Prey #7 -- 33,114 (- 3.9%) 01/2011: Birds of Prey #8 -- 31,616 (- 4.5%) @SC: Totally agree. I think it could've been great at least on a trial run. Maybe a miniseries or something, if it sold well then a ongoing could follow.
#33 Posted by TDK_1997 (14685 posts) - - Show Bio

The roster looks good but I don't think taht Liu will handle well all characters together.

#34 Posted by Arevish (302 posts) - - Show Bio

New costumes every month and hot useless hot girls Marvel. Keep going that way.

#35 Posted by Madame_Mist (1325 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have read it, but I'm a not a big fan of Liu's work especially after X-23.

#36 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC said:

Here's the thing, its Marvels job to make it sell. We know that Marvel and DC puts out books that are risky and might not sell, like the Gambit and Hawkeye solo series are good examples. The process of how books get green lighted varies so some examples where we have a good idea, and others where we don't, but historically and given the current comics climate, a Gambit and or Hawkeye solo are risky. So they probably had very good pitches or just the guy who approved them might be willing to take take that risk and or those factors as well as pricing goes, in terms of how much writer and artist get per issue is affordable. I think Marvel is being riskier by not taking risks on ventures like this. Lends far too much credence to the Disney brought Marvel to appeal to guys and boys conspiracy theories. If DC can get an arc out of books like Hawk and Dove and OMAC... come on Marvel, if one of your writers wants something to do it... As far as characters in the creative sense? Xavier has hired Mystique before, character has been trusted before, and the fact that she isn't as reliable as say Beast makes for good drama and story telling. That as well as you don't have to trust someone to work with them. Instant tension.

1 - Marvel and DC really cannot make anything sell outside of proven franchises right now, just look at any sales list from years back and then to now. Comics are still a boys club so a Gambit or Hawkeye series are still a safer pick sales wise (not creative wise). Of the three examples I see only the Gambit one as having even a chance of lasting past 12 issues.

2 - I agree that with the truckloads of money being brought in by the movies based on the comics, Marvel should be willing to take a hit on the comics side by trying out a lot of new things and build up some new properties to potentially be made into movies. Already they are rebooting their main franchises and what do they do after that? Whatever losses they took on the comics side should be considered R+D for the movie side

I just do not find this particular foursome to be an interesting read based on what was given, maybe in a different light I would think differently.

#37 Posted by SC (12959 posts) - - Show Bio
@Brazen_Intellect said:

1 - Marvel and DC really cannot make anything sell outside of proven franchises right now, just look at any sales list from years back and then to now. Comics are still a boys club so a Gambit or Hawkeye series are still a safer pick sales wise (not creative wise). Of the three examples I see only the Gambit one as having even a chance of lasting past 12 issues.

2 - I agree that with the truckloads of money being brought in by the movies based on the comics, Marvel should be willing to take a hit on the comics side by trying out a lot of new things and build up some new properties to potentially be made into movies. Already they are rebooting their main franchises and what do they do after that? Whatever losses they took on the comics side should be considered R+D for the movie side

I just do not find this particular foursome to be an interesting read based on what was given, maybe in a different light I would think differently.

 
1. Then they might as well just quit eh? I mean if even Uncanny X-Men needs to have renumbering and other little tricks to stay afloat? Comics is not so much a boys club as much as a perceived boys club to editors writers who learned to market and write and sell comic books when comic books were having top ten titles selling over 100 000 thousand an issue, and TPB and digital were nast swear words. This means there is a disconnect from what comics are and what comics really really really actually are. So Gambit and Hawkeye are not really safer picks, and if comics are a club, its the dead and dying really fast club. Another thing about comics isn't that the longer a comic goes, the more successful the comic. Writers, artists all get paid differently, so us readers don't get to know much of the finer details that affect such decisions, we just know that there is some risk involved and that there is someone at Marvel whose job it is is to assess that risk. What some like me are dong, is using our positions as anonymous people who don't have as much to lose financially lol is questioning the validity of that person making the assessment. Marvels competition actually shows that comics aren't such a boys club, Marvels own history shows this as well characters being discussed issues numbers stacked up and accounting for time (the further back generally the better a characters solo series looked/sold) So when M Liue says Marvel rejected because it didn't sell, its probably more like backstage politics, writer politics, editor politics blah blah buy my books!   
 
I do feel I get your point though. Then your latter point, thats understandable, there are just a lot of rabid fans of those characters and they have a wide range of appeal and most important;y they have a willing writer. Usually the one of the biggest hurdles for getting a comic made, writer interest.      
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#38 Posted by jrock85 (2874 posts) - - Show Bio

Given the unstable nature of the current market, I'm not sure if it would sell well or not. Still, I'd check it out.

#39 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

I would not suggest that they should just quit just because X-Men needs an event or a renumbering to make the Top 10, but titles outside the established franchises do not have a very long shelf life unless they are somehow tied into them for crossover appeal. DC has had more success with female led series for 2 reasons:

1 - They tie them into established franchises better. Catwoman, Batgirl, and Birds of Prey take advantage of their ties into the Bat-Family and would not sell as well if they were not taking advantage of this. Marvel is simply terrible at this and it shows in the near total lack of success in recent solo series.

2 - Marvel's standards for keeping a book alive are much higher than DC's. Before the New 52, Marvel killed off pretty much every title that fell into the low 20,000's or worse. DC on the other hand would keep around series that sold in the 10,000 to 15,000 range. I have no idea why the standards are so different as I would assume the cost structure at the Big 2 to be similar, and have yet to find any hard data to show it to be one way or another.

There are a lot of people in the comics business who are watching it slowly erode and want to keep their jobs any way they can. It's a lot easier to defend a failed Gambit or Hawkeye series than the female foursome one suggested, I am not in any way supporting Marvel keep the status quo in their handling of female characters and series, I just understand why it stays the same. As for the politics portion, who knows, all that comes out in print from Marvel/DC is the same overblown bs hype.

#40 Posted by moywar700 (2775 posts) - - Show Bio

@Brazen_Intellect said:

I would not suggest that they should just quit just because X-Men needs an event or a renumbering to make the Top 10, but titles outside the established franchises do not have a very long shelf life unless they are somehow tied into them for crossover appeal. DC has had more success with female led series for 2 reasons:

1 - They tie them into established franchises better. Catwoman, Batgirl, and Birds of Prey take advantage of their ties into the Bat-Family and would not sell as well if they were not taking advantage of this. Marvel is simply terrible at this and it shows in the near total lack of success in recent solo series.

2 - Marvel's standards for keeping a book alive are much higher than DC's. Before the New 52, Marvel killed off pretty much every title that fell into the low 20,000's or worse. DC on the other hand would keep around series that sold in the 10,000 to 15,000 range. I have no idea why the standards are so different as I would assume the cost structure at the Big 2 to be similar, and have yet to find any hard data to show it to be one way or another.

There are a lot of people in the comics business who are watching it slowly erode and want to keep their jobs any way they can. It's a lot easier to defend a failed Gambit or Hawkeye series than the female foursome one suggested, I am not in any way supporting Marvel keep the status quo in their handling of female characters and series, I just understand why it stays the same. As for the politics portion, who knows, all that comes out in print from Marvel/DC is the same overblown bs hype.

It seems weird that marvel would cancel X-23 during her low 20k. I mean it would had made it very far with if they simply just lowered their standards.Selling the book would be worthwhile.

#41 Posted by Vance Astro (91196 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel should have at least tried it. None of those character faired well on their own. Maybe they would have together.

Moderator
#42 Posted by danhimself (22490 posts) - - Show Bio

it really doesn't sound like a good book...plus Liu's X-23 was horrible

#43 Posted by pixelized (62882 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself said:

it really doesn't sound like a good book...plus Liu's X-23 was horrible

And her NYX was worse.

I think the main drawback to Marjorie's summary of the title for me was that there wasn't a real direction. "They would all be brought together for a purpose... they would come together for special missions then do their own thing." It all sounds very empty calorie... almost as though she was unprepared to deliver this pitch.

Makes you wonder though, what other pitches get shot down, I'm sure Marjorie's idea wasn't the first.

Moderator
#44 Posted by KingofMadCows (345 posts) - - Show Bio

@pixelized: I doubt that she actually pitched it like that. My guess is that she's only giving a very rough summary without revealing any plot details because she hasn't given up on this idea and is trying to drum up some publicity.

#45 Posted by danhimself (22490 posts) - - Show Bio

@pixelized said:

@danhimself said:

it really doesn't sound like a good book...plus Liu's X-23 was horrible

And her NYX was worse.

I think the main drawback to Marjorie's summary of the title for me was that there wasn't a real direction. "They would all be brought together for a purpose... they would come together for special missions then do their own thing." It all sounds very empty calorie... almost as though she was unprepared to deliver this pitch.

Makes you wonder though, what other pitches get shot down, I'm sure Marjorie's idea wasn't the first.

her pitch was pretty much "I've got these 4 completely unrelated characters and they're gonna do stuff sometimes."

#46 Posted by Mercy_ (92684 posts) - - Show Bio

I would give a limb to have her on a Black Widow book again T___T

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#47 Posted by Original_Sin (356 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm with Marvel. Liu is an amazing writer......But I just can't see that working.

#48 Posted by danhimself (22490 posts) - - Show Bio

the other problem I have is that judging by the company that she would be keeping is that she wanted to try and turn Mystique into a hero AGAIN....it's been tried about a hundred times and it hasn't worked...she's a villain...writers either need to stop trying to completely change characters to fit their needs for a book or come up with new characters....Mystique in Uncanny X-Force right now as a member of the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is AWESOME!

#49 Posted by CellphoneGirl (18853 posts) - - Show Bio

Based on the characters I would have been all over it.

She has written some good stuff in her time, but with what happened in the X-23 series... I'd want her to stay far away from Laura for a while.

#50 Posted by daak1212 (7901 posts) - - Show Bio

Would have been awesome, wish they did it.

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