Cancelled Comics Commentary for 2013

January-March 2013

Nothing to see here. And no surprise when story quality is so bad these days either.

April 2013

I, Vampire #19 (DC): Featuring a character who appeared in the House of Mystery anthology during the early 1980s, originally co-created by J.M. deMatties and Tom Sutton, this was just a pathetic attempt to remake the concept for the sake of having vampire thrillers around, all as part of the ultra-violent angles the DiDio staff was going for during the "New 52". In the original take, Lord Andrew Bennett was a guy living 1591 who'd been turned into a vampire, and turned his lover Mary Seward into one as well, and she decided to take up the title Queen of Blood and form an army of more vampires operating under the name Blood Red Moon for world conquest. The story shifted into the modern era as Bennett tried to fix the mistakes he led to, aided by Deborah Dancer and a Russia guy named Dmitri Mishkin, whom Bennett had once saved from the Moon army.

In the new take, the setup is much more forced, as writer Joshua Fialkov had to haul Batman into the mess, in a story where a vampire hunter named Tig winds up killing Bennett and releasing an older vampire named Cain from extra-dimensional captivity, who proceeds to take over command of the monster movement from Mary, and this all leads to the formation of Justice League Dark. Because that's all we need; darkness for the sake of it. Indeed, one could argue that with titles and directions like those, that's all the New 52 approach was about.

May 2013

Empty for now.

June 2013

DC Universe Presents #19 (DC): Hmm, it appears we have here an otherwise unsuccessful attempt by a company fallen from grace to duplicate the success of the old DC Comics Presents semi-anthology from 1978-86, which usually starred Superman and fill-in-the-blank, and was in turn meant to capitalize on the success of the Brave and the Bold with Batman. It was one of the last pre-Crisis concepts they produced back then. This new series did not follow that same idea of one main host and various guests, but was rather a title that could star a whole random lineup. And two of the guests in this new rendition included messed up takes on Black Lightning and Blue Devil, who'd already been mishandled by DiDio and the upper echelons of DC even before this galling junk was produced, recalling that already back in the mid-90s, when the Underworld Unleashed crossover was published, Dan Cassidy was thrown into a most embarrassing storyline where, after his agent Marla Bloom was killed in a helicopter crash (and the way the story was written could easily make it look like she was at fault), made a deal with Neron to become an actual devil! They don't get more stupefying than that. Come to think of it, they don't get more insulting and badly written than that either.

But that's the consecutive DC editorial boards for you, alas, who have no respect or faith in many of the minor characters that all they can think of doing is turning them into cannon fodder. The story in DCUP's 13th story, featuring both Cassidy and Jeff Pierce, seems written more as an excuse for them to get into a pointless fight together. And that's reason enough for me to want to avoid books like this new nonsense strenuously.

July 2013

The Darkness #116 vol. 3 (Top Cow/Image): Jackie Estacado, wielder of the powers of darkness that were a variation on the parent series Witchblade's own weapon, came to a bitter end with the cancellation of this volume. I'm not sure if it was in this series proper where it happened, but it most certainly was in Witchblade itself, where Jackie wound up decapitated. Apparently all part of Top Cow's decision to move away from some of their previous approaches and instead deal with some politicized crud.

Sword of Sorcery #8, vol. 2 (DC): this title, originally used for an anthology series that was even more of a failure in 1973, was a definite botch. DC tried to use this as a means for remaking Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, the notable fantasy-adventure from the mid-1980s by Dan Mishkin, which was originally about a 13-year-old girl named Amy Winston who discovered she was actually a 20-year-old princess from an alternate dimension/planet called Gemworld, after the minions of the evil wizard Dark Opal abducted her back and tried to murder her there, but she managed to escape and one of the goodies in the story came to her aid against them. From there, she embarked on a quest to unite several small kingdoms to give her backing in the ensuing war against Dark Opal.

This new rendition, however, changed it all to a family feud, as the rival was instead a wicked aunt named Lady Mordiel. Not very creative, I'm afraid. It didn't help that the prequel issue numbered 0 (yes, there were actually nine issues published) featured at least 3 students setting up a girl to be raped, and while New 52 Amy succeeded in rescuing her, the whole subplot was abandoned very quickly as this new take on Amy and her mother, first appearing as travelers on the road in the USA, decide to return to their own dimension and deal with the aunt's own minions. It didn't even help that the writer this time was a woman, namely Christy Marx, the animator who conceived the original template for Marvel's Firestar in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon from the early 80s. That she was willing to write up such a slapdash story and even throw away any decent chance for character drama between the fish out of water and the folks in a different dimension is just what brought down a project that in a better time, would've been something to look forward to. Now it's all in the dustbin of history.

August-November 2013

There's nothing I can add here for now either. Not that it really concerns me now though.

December 2013

Astonishing X-Men #68 (Marvel): a series that was launched after Grant Morrison left the once sans-adjective title in 2004, this was scripted by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's movie and 1997-2003 TV series. The team reclaimed their spandex costumes after the laughable editorial mandate to make them wear outfits similar to the overrated 2000 movie at this time, and Kitty Pryde was given a prominent role here. But was it really much good in the long run? I can't say it was such a big deal, even if it didn't get mired in company wide crossovers EIC Joe Quesada forced upon the MCU by that time. Interestingly, after almost a year, the series shifted to a mostly bimonthly format, something not too common since the end of the 1980s, because Whedon had to busy himself with more TV and film projects, including the Avengers movie from 2014.

Today, it'll probably age even less well after the scandal that rose when Whedon's former wife wrote an article on The Wrap revealing that the would-be feminist led a number of adulterous affairs, one of the first being on the set of Buffy itself. Of course, anyone who doubted Whedon was the true friend of women's causes he'd claim in past years to be may know that, if you know where to look, there are hints that he was two-faced. For example, he wrote the introduction to the trade collections for Brad Meltzer's repellent Identity Crisis miniseries at DC in the mid-2000s, and one can only wonder what he thought of the notion that the story would make light of a serious issue like sexual assault, not unlike how the now disgraced comedian Bill Cosby did the same when he testified in the original investigation into his abuse of Andrea Constand in 2005.

Return to Cancelled Comics Main Menu

Home FAQ Columns Reviews Links Favorite Characters Special Features Politics Blog Comics Blog Food Blog
Web hosting by