Saturday, September 18, 2004

Better Late than Never

Something from the Comicbookgalaxy Blog that I just caught right now. A Challenge for bloggers to name their favorite "Brilliant but Cancelled" comic series. I'm going to do him one better; not only will I name my "brilliant but Cancelled" Series, I will also include "Brilliant but will be cancelled soon" series, and "Absolutely horrible and should be cancelled now" series (For the sake of not having this section go on too long, I'm sticking with series that which have not exceeded 12 issues at this time).

Let's begin


The Establishment - OK, I know next to nothing about all the English pop-culture references scattered throughout this series, but even I know an astonishingly good comic when I see one.

Mr. Majestic - This one already got covered here, but I want to add on to what was said here. It is important to note that before Alan Moore got his hands on him (and later, Joe Casey), this character was an incredibly vain ripoff of Superman with no interesting features whatsover (Kind of like the current superman, only more so). While Moore started to bring some depth, it was Casey who decided to go to the distance (along with Ed McGuiness) and make some comics that you could look at today and see how much damage the concepts of "widescreen" and "decompressed storytelling" have done to take the joy out of superhero comics.

The "MC2" line - More good fun here to be had, courtesy of Tom DeFalco. First, let me say that I find it very weird to defend this guy, because of the fact that I HATED his run on Fantastic Four during the 90s. However, I can forgive him for churning out a whole lot of really readable comics that while a corny, would sell very well in trade. ANEXT in particular, is a fantastic take on a second-generation group of Avengers that clearly shows a love of the Roy Thomas and Roger Stern Eras of the title. You can find these issues real cheap if you take the time to look, and I highly recommend that you do.

Stormwatch: Team Achilles - Despite what you may think of Micah Wright (I know the controversy has caused some division, and I understand and can sympathise, especially with those who blindly defended Micah) his work here was very impressive for a first time comic writer. Had this been marketed correctly, it would have been called "G.I. Joe for grown ups" and might have sold very well indeed. Say what you will about his politics or his regretful lapse in judgement, the comics were good, and should be respected as such.

Alan Moore's Supreme (Honourable Mention) - while not technically "cancelled" (on infinite postponement, until Alan Moore dies and Rob Liefeld decides to capitalize on it by 'releasing these lost works', if I were to guess), it is certainly unfinished. If the current superman books were anywere near as interesting as this comic or Mr. Majestic, well, they'd be selling again, wouldn't they? Moore took (yet another) lackluster Superman riff and showed us what a 21st century superhero comic should look like. Very good reading, and I recommend you either get the issues on Ebay or try and get the recently-released trades from Checker Book Publishing.


Captain America and the Falcon - it is becoming clear to me that Christopher Priest must have angered all the wrong gods. He comes out with a vital and complex look at this 60 year old comic character that is unbelievably entertaining, but is then handicapped by his artist for the first storyline. To make matters worse, the "Main" Captain America title is about to be relaunched and will be getting a much bigger marketing push due to the fact that Ed Brubaker is at the helm. This one's doomed folks. But then, it's a Priest title, so you should have already known that already.

Runaways - Oh, I know there is supposed to be a new "Season" coming out soon. Excuse my pessimism here. Of all the titles on this list, this is the one I want to be wrong about the most. However, when you consider that Marvel isn't making the best push for this book while Vaughn is simultaneously being courted to take over a lot of the "big name" projects, you can see why I might think that it doesn't have a chance.

Fallen Angel - Peter David has pimped for this book like no comic he has ever done, which is saying quite a bit for a man with a 20-plus year career in this field. However, the fact is David's track record when he pushes this hard speaks for itself. This title will probably last the longest of the ones on this list, but I don't expect it to crack issue 30.

Birds of Prey - Gail Simone has gone out of her way to make this an accessible, fun, and entertaining read (This is currently just about the ONLY main DC title I pay any attention to, so that it is saying something). Again, DC won't push it, and it'll likely die out too damn soon. Shame for that.


Invaders - Scroll down to see my review of the first issue, and why I think it qualifies as one of the worst comics of 2004. The premise and nature of this comic are so dead set against gaining new readership that if it makes it to 12 issues, it would be nothing short of a miracle.

Amazing Fantasy - Serves no conceivable purpose save to try and destroy the Spider-Girl comic, and by all industry reports, is failing to do even that.

Superman/Batman - Souless dreck that tries to appeal to your sense of nostalgia while beating you to death with sheer senselessness.

X-Force - Cannot possibly be worth the money you spend on it, and if you are buying it, then lord help you when you look back on yourself in about 5 years.

Michael C. Paciocco

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