Six Thoughts on the Six Cancelled DC Books

Blackhawks: Probably the series I am most disappointed to see go, this was really a different kind of book that was beginning to hit its stride. Yes, it was a thinly disguised GI Joe, but through the lens of Warren Ellis transhumanism. It had a different tone from the rest of the DCU and was a welcome experiment from a traditionally conservative publisher. Hopefully Mike Costa will get future DC work, maybe on something a bit higher profile. He's a hidden treasure of a writer.

Hawk and Dove: Wasn't really long for this world anyway. Rob Liefeld comics appeal to a very specific crowd, and that market has been shrinking for a while. Attach that to a pair of, with all the best will in the world, C-listers, and you got an easy choice for a book to let go. It should be said that this has been far less dreadful than it had any right to be, and some of the subplots dealing with Dove and Deadman's relationship has been genuinely interesting. Not really sad to see it go, but it is far from the worst of the relaunch.

Men of War: Seems to be have been rebranded as GI Combat, or maybe at some pointt DC was actually imagining having a whole line of military comics and the sales on this book has cause them to rethink that and go back to the drawingboard. I can't really blame DC for their logic here: Call of Duty is basically the biggest thing ever, and if they can make their own franchise that is kinda-like-that, then they can ride on the wave of that popularity. Why that hasn't actually translated to sales is anyones guess, but this book has floundered for an identity since it appeared, so not shocked to see it go.

Mister Terrific: My least favorite book of the six, though it has been getting better slowly; this week's issue was especially impressive, but that might just be what my expectations for the title have been before. Again a case of a lesser known character struggling for shelf space, but I also felt like this book had a struggle for identity. Eric Wallace seemed to be shooting for some sort of race relations commentary, but it was weighed down by an obsession with cutting edge science and a cast of largely interchangeable characters. Again, the recent two part story dealing with extra-dimensional travel has been better, but it also muddled exactly what this book was about in the end.

O.M.A.C.: Give Dan DiDio and company credit, when the market has spoken with their dollars, they will respond accordingly regardless of their personal feelings on a project. In this case however, it is a shame because O.M.A.C. was kind of a special book. Yes, it was borrowing a lot from its Kirbyism, but it was also unabashedly fun and bright. It also did a yeoman's job of towing the line between be accessible to new readers while also appealing to longterm readers remembrances. It is textbook old school thowback, but in a way that feels fresh in comparison to the overbearing grimdark of most contemporary superhero comics. Another book that will be missed.

Static Shock: The writing was on the wall for this one from the word go. Conflicts among the creative team, a character that has long struggled with making relevant and a change of locale that had the undesired affect of making the book more generic. Add the fact that it wasn't especially good, relied on years of backstory to make some sense of and was coming into a rather crowded 'young heroes' market, and it was probably an easy choice to get cut, especially to make room for Ravagers. The book was more disappointing than its eventual cancellation.

A bonus thought: DC made a serious effort to create a diverse, multi-racial cast of characters for the new DCU, but this first round of cancelations might raise some eyebrows on how committed to that as a long-term goal. Half of the Black lead characters had their books cut (Voodoo and Batwing being the two that survived, and Voodoo is an alien shapeshifter...), as well as a new Vietnamese OMAC and an multi-national Blackhawks team (but really, mostly white). Hopefully this won't become a trend for when the next round of cancellation arrives, possibly around September.

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