Cancelled Comics Commentary for 2015

January-February 2015

Two months and two places where there's nothing to declare, and nothing to feel excited about.

March 2015

Fairest #33 (DC/Vertigo): the second spinoff of Bill Willingham's Fables, and because of the attitude he never apologized for in the wake of his maltreatment of Spoiler/Stephanie Brown from the Robin series during 2004, that's why I don't exactly see this as the...fairest form of marketing. Sure, I think the idea of spotlighting the ladies of Fabletown is a great one, but Willingham's cynicism towards the consumers ruins everything.

April 2015

All-New Invaders #15 (Marvel): a new take on the old retroactive series Roy Thomas wrote in the late 1970s, adding more stories to the time when Captain America and Sub-Mariner first began in the Golden Age. And one of the Alonso era's worst items ever, written by the overrated James Robinson. His stories certainly don't age well, and this won't be missed either.

May 2015

Batwoman #40 (DC): this was one of the early attempts by DC to shove "diversity" into their universe, taking the role originally conceived in the Silver Age with Kathy Kane and putting a new take on the character, lesbian protagonist Kate Kane, in the costume instead. But it never worked out, even if it wasn't the worst of all the social justice tactics DC could've concocted even before Marvel began doing this around the time of this series' cancellation.

And who in the right frame of mind truly wants to give Dan DiDio a boost?

Fables #150 (DC/Vertigo): So comes to an end the flagship of Bill Willingham's fairy tale saga featuring characters based on public domain characters from famous fantasy stories like Snow White and Rose Red, the former who serves as deputy mayor for Fabletown, the clandestine society formed by all these characters after they were driven out of their original Homelands by the Adversary, who may have first been based on Peter Pan, but because of copyright issues, they may have changed the specific identity of the antagonist.

Now, I know the Homelands, as named here, may have been a metaphor for Israel and such, but given what what I feel about Willingham, after his PR debacles when he was writing Robin, that's why I sadly have exceeding difficulty in overlooking things so easily, and besides, as I write this, I've stopped buying products from the Big Two since 2005. Point: if he was using his politics as some kind of a shield, I'm sorry, that's not how to handle things, and his alienating the audience by insulting fans as "cry-babies" was offensive.

I won't say Fables doesn't have its values. But Willingham sure did his darndest to cheapen them and put people like myself in an awkward position about whether to financially support these kind of books or not. In any case, one thing is certain: it may well be one of the last Vertigo series with any substance whatsoever, since the whole imprint's on its way down today.

Green Lantern: New Guardians #40 (DC): there may have once been a time when I'd look forward to the GL franchise. But the time is way past. This volume seems to take its name from the short-lived New Guardians series from 1988-89, written initially by Steve Englehart but taken over for the majority of its run by Cary Bates. Some of the characters from that old series were used very poorly in later years, though I don't think they made any appearances here.

June 2015

This is totally blank.

July 2015

Avengers World #21 (Marvel): this was launched as part of the "Marvel NOW" event, similar in some ways to company wide crossovers, and with a horrible writer like Nick Spencer helming it, that's why it's another sad waste of trees, symbolizing how far the Marvel franchise has fallen, ever since Joe Quesada got his foot in the door and Axel Alonso made things worse. (And even now, with C.B. Cebulski as editor-in-chief, there hasn't been much improvement.)

Guardians of the Galaxy #27 (Marvel): another take on the futuristic answer to DC's Legion of Super-Heroes, launched to cash in on the movie based on Marvel's movie (whose director, I'm sad to say, turned out to have an awful personality). But seeing how awful Marvel became under Quesada, and it was just as awful under Axel Alonso, it should be no surprise this lasted barely 2 years at best.

August-September 2015

Double desolation we have here.

October 2015

Witchblade #185 Vol.1 (Image/Top Cow): thus ends the original ongoing series chronicling the adventures of NY police investigator Sara Pezzini, the lady who acquired the legendary Witchblade artifact during a blowout in a museum.

I'll say that I think it was a pretty good creation and concept, originally pitting Sara against the ruthless Kenneth Irons who hoped to control the magical device himself, which is shaped partly like a gauntlet. I do think, however, that it's absolutely terrible co-creating artist Michael Turner just had to take his talents and use them to illustrate the covers of Identity Crisis in 2004, forcing me to take his resume with a grain of salt. Even if drawing the covers makes him less guilty than Rags Morales, it's still hugely regrettable Turner showed no backbone when it came to that.

But since Turner passed away in 2007, and DC was finally willing to abandon the setups of Identity Crisis circa the very year in focus here, that's why I'm willing to consider it a moot point for now, and continue with the main topic in focus, this particular series, which was the brainchild of folks like Marc Silvestri, chronicling the adventures of Pezzini, who stumbles upon an invasion at a display center where the titular artifact is being kept, and it latches onto her, providing her with magical powers that include producing tendrils and beams to serve as weapons.

Some of the stories in this science-fantasy thriller were pretty good, yet it was never as overtly sexual as some of the covers might imply. That said, it was decided in 2004 to tone down some of that at the time Ron Marz became writer. The Darkness series followed Witchblade fairly quickly, and during the late 2000s, there was a spinoff for a few years called Artifacts, along with a few other substitute bearers of the Witchblade featured here and there.

But Top Cow's boss, Matt Hawkins, started caving to left-wing feminists with sex-negative agendas and this may have had what to do its eventual demise...and then they remade it 2 years afterwards starring a new protagonist named Alex Underwood, who was a news reporter. And it wasn't sexy, let alone entertaining, at all.

It's ultimately a terrible shame when somebody loses the ability stand by his original creations, all because he wants to be part of a PC crowd, or something like that, and throws the earlier creators under the bus in the process. As a result, it shouldn't be surprising if, in the end, Top Cow sputters.

November-December 2015

And that's the empty conclusion to this year, folks.

Copyright Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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