The past thirty days or so haven’t been kind to Marvel Comics. In that time, we’ve learned that Marvel has canceled Alpha Flight, Iron Man 2.0, All-Winners Squad, Destroyers, and Victor Von Doom. Now we can add two more books to that list; Ghost Rider and X-23. While Marvel Comics hasn’t yet made the official announcement, Comic Book Resources is reporting that X-23 will end in January. Additionally, Ghost Rider writer Rob Williams has confirmed on his Twitter account that, yes, Ghost Rider has gotten the axe, as well. Crap.
Between laying off several of its editorial and creative staff and then losing significant market share to DC Comics, the Fall of 2011 has been brutal for Marvel Comics. The sudden cancellation of so many of its titles, some of them before the first issue of the book even shipped (Victor Von Doom and Destroyers), has added to that pain. Marvel attributes the trimming of its titles to new budgetary constraints, a result of sagging sales and a shitty economy. Here’s a particularly depressing quote from the CBR article about the X-23 cancellation…
“In a recent installment of his AXEL-IN-CHARGE column on CBR, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso noted that cancellations of titles like “Alpha Flight” came in part due to “new budgetary mandates” while the publisher is bolstering its line in a tough economy by shipping extra installments of it core series in 2012. In that light it is important to note two things. Firstly, at #104 on Diamond’s Sale Estimates for October books, “X-23″ was not the lowest-shipping Marvel Universe series. Behind it were such comics as “Thunderbolts,” “X-Factor,” “Avengers Academy” and “Ghost Rider” amongst others.”
As I mentioned earlier, Marvel Comics has yet to confirm either of these books being cut. However, when asked if they were being cut, the answer Marvel gave, “No comment”, might as well have been, “Yup”. And with Ghost Rider Rob Williams, backed up by Brian Michael Bendis, taking to Twitter, confirming the news, who needs a Marvel spokesman?
Fans of X-23 and Ghost Rider will be able to see both characters in their upcoming, Rick Remender scripted, Venom team-up. Additionally, X-23 will also be featured as a regular character in Avengers Academy (but with sales lower than X-23′s book, that title might get cancelled as well). Ghost Rider will be ending with issue #9 and X-23 will meet its end with issue #20. Sad news all the way around. I guess all we can do is, like Brian Bendis suggested, go to your local comic shop and get your pre-orders in. Hopefully this is the last round of title cuts at Marvel but, if it’s not, we’ll keep you up to date on the details.
Filed Under: Comic Books