Posts Tagged ‘news’

Gambit #11 Artwork

Gambit #11 Artwork

Is Gambit in Serious Danger of Being Cancelled Very Soon?

After hearing that X-Treme X-Men was cancelled due to sales below 20K, I got to thinking about some of the other titles I read and if they were in any danger of being cancelled themselves. The most important one would be Gambit’s solo series. Here is his sales figures courtesy of ICV2.

Gambit #1 – 40,418
Gambit #2 – 32,336
Gambit #3 – 28,530
Gambit #4 – 27,828
Gambit #5 – 26,723
Gambit #6 – 25,522
Gambit #7 – 23,978

January numbers are not available yet, obviously.

Notice the steady decline? While there hasn’t been any massively huge drops since the 8k drop between 1 & 2, a 1k to 2k drop every issue is nothing to ignore and I’m sure Marvel are looking at those numbers very closely.

Let us compare gambit’s numbers to the Hawkeye solo series which was launched at about the same time and has been ‘critically acclaimed’.

Hawkeye #1 – 41,9256,394
Hawkeye #2 – 33,563
Hawkeye #3 – 35,403
Hawkeye #4 – 34,208
Hawkeye #5 – 34,385
Hawkeye #6 – 33,440

Hawkeye did have a more massive 14k drop from the first issue but unlike Gambit it has remained steady around 34k in readership. And, of course, Hawkeye did get a boost from the current Avengers movie making him better known to the more recent generation of comic book readers.

Now let’s look at the cancelled X-Treme X-Men title which was also launched about the same time.

X-Treme X-Men #1 – 36,802
X-Treme X-Men #2 – 25,689
X-Treme X-Men #3 – 24,490
X-Treme X-Men #4 – 22,584
X-Treme X-Men #5 – 19,841
X-Treme X-Men #6 – 17,947
X-Treme X-Men #7 – 17,602
X-Treme X-Men #7.1 – 16,682
X-Treme X-Men #8 – 16,536

It didn’t launch nearly as high as Gambit or Hawkeye, but after a 11k drop it also did the steady 1k to 2k drop every issue.

Seeing that Gambit has been slowly declining as X-Treme did is not good. He keeps on this slide and he’ll be below the 20k mark before April when Rogue is set to appear. But this also begs the question: how much will Rogue and the Rogue/Gambit shippers boost the sales? A lot of Romy fans are already reading Gambit anyway because they like Gambit on his own (though I do wonder how many were turned off by the lack of Romy or the Joelle character).

Even if the April Gambit issues jump in sales due to Romy, would it be too late to save Gambit if he drops below 20k in Feb/Mar? How far and how long does the drop have to go? X-Termination, which is the arc that ends X-Treme X-Men, was announced in back in November. X-Treme had already dropped to 19,841 in October.  The question is wether they decided to end X-Treme then or when they got November’s totals? Note: Age of Apocalypse #9, the other cancelled title, did 20,630 in November, and Astonishing X-Men, the only X-Termination crossover that survived, did 27,583.

Granted, if they decided to cancel Gambit in March they would still have to finish out the issues in the works which, since we get them three months in advance, could add a buffer. If they see Gambit spike due to Romy, they would have time to call off any cancellation. It’s also possible they might wait to see what Rogue does for sales.

Gambit has had its best issue yet with what a lot of fans have come to want to see from Gambit, also, news only recently struck that yes, Rogue will be here in April for at least two issues. How did this effect January sales? How will it affect February?

I don’t pretend to be an expert, this whole industry is rather new to me actually, but the numbers don’t lie. If Gambit doesn’t see an increase, or at least a plateau of sales, then he’s going to be gone before the title is even legal to drive.

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X-Treme X-Men Finale Artwork

X-Treme X-Men Finale Artwork

X-Treme X-Men Cancelled


I’ve already commented in my reviews how much I really enjoy the clever writing in this series. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s everything you want in a comic. So why did it fall below the 20k mark in sales which CBR says lead to it being cancelled?

I’m going to blame the fact that everyone thought it was “a Dazzler title”.

Dazzler leads the team but she doesn’t hog the issues. Logan, Kurt, Sage… all these characters have their share of the lime-light and they all bring something great to the scene. The worlds Pak created had a wonderful sense of depth even if they weren’t necessarily explored. The stories were timely, thoughtful, but not overbearing or on the nose.

I’d jump and whine and complain but I know that won’t do any good.

So while I’m really annoyed as this was one of my favorite titles on my current pull list, at least it does look like it will go out with a bang. I’ve also been introduced to the wonderful writing of Greg Pak, will definitely be on the look out for him in the future.

Goodbye X-Treme X-Men, you join the group of wonderful things ended before their time…

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SyFy has cancelled super-powered tv series Alphas after two seasons according to TVLine. This was a very realistic take on the super-power genre where people weren’t mutants, they were basically humans whose natural abilities were just ‘more advanced’ than normal.

Basically Alphas was a low budget Heroes without the mystique. Heroes was a high budget Mutant X without the B-Film style. Mutant X was a television version of the X-Men without the licensing.

All three of these tv shows did really well, Mutant X had three seasons and high ratings but its production company folded not through fault of the show. Heroes went four seasons, gained lots of awards, but was ultimately done in by its own convoluted writing. SyFy didn’t say exactly why Alphas was cancelled though don’t think it was ratings as it seems to be pulling the same numbers as Warehouse 13 during their season finales. But then Warehouse 13 is more marketable and has a smaller cast, not sure about their FX budget as well.

The audience has spoken though, they like their superheroes… especially when they are the more fanciful/magical kind even if they have a ‘reason’ for being super, like being government experiments in Mutant XAlphas was the most ‘realistic’ and had the worst ratings. This just seems to prove that an X-Men tv series is a no brainer.

You have characters and a style people already love in X-Men that will bring people back, the Animated shows have already proven that X-Men in a serialized capacity sells! In fact, serialized is a much better fit for X-Men than movies simply because you have a huge cast and built in long-arc stories.

Simply make sure you don’t go completely off the reservation like X3 and X:O:W and you have a built in audience who will tune in. Then go a little on the realistic side to save on the FX budget but keep that mystique of super-powers and you’re golden. This can work people!

A girl can dream right?

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The Galactic Empire has responded to the White House’s response to the Death Star Petition:

IMPERIAL CENTER, CORUSCANT – The overwhelming military superiority of the Galactic Empire has been confirmed once again by the recent announcement by the President of the United States that his nation would not attempt to build a Death Star, despite the bellicose demands of the people of his tiny, aggressive planet. “It is doubtless that such a technological terror in the hands of so primitive a world would be used to upset the peace and sanctity of the citizens of the Galactic Empire,“ said Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of the Outer Rim Territories. “Such destructive power can only be wielded to protect and defend by so enlightened a leader as Emperor Palpatine.”

Representatives on behalf of the nation-state leader from the unimaginatively named planet refused to acknowledge the obvious cowardice of their choice, preferring instead to attribute the decision to fiscal responsibility. “The costs of construction they cited were ridiculously overestimated, though I suppose we must keep in mind that this miniscule planet does not have our massive means of production,” added Admiral Conan Motti of the Imperial Starfleet.

Emissaries of the Emperor also caution any seditious elements within the Galactic Senate not to believe Earth’s exaggerated claims of there being a weakness in the Death Star design. “Any attacks made upon such a station — should one ever be built — would be a useless gesture,” added Motti.

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Two different articles on comment on the fact that CW President Mark Pedowitz said this:

“We’re waiting to see the script and are busy casting Diana.”

Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t you need a script first? I mean, I suppose you can work off a teleplay or story treatment (if they even have one)… but we’re talking about the casting and future of a tv show here, not prep for a mid-season episode.

They must be very confident in what kind of woman they want as Diana, what type of female fighter she is going to be because there are several different kinds. They must also know what kind of tone they are going for as well, we know it will be more like Arrow in that it will be ‘very realistic’ but that still doesn’t mean it can’t be more light-hearted or darker.

Of course, I’m quite new to the idea of creating a television show so this could be a common practice (though I’ve never heard of them doing such a thing and I have always been an avid entertainment news watcher). They could mold the tv show towards the actress which could be a pretty smart move since she’ll have to carry the lead.

However this ends up playing out, so far Amazon is not inspiring me with any confidence.

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The White House promised to respond to any petition that gets 30k signatures and the “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016” met that mark. See the response below.

Official White House Response toSecure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.                        

This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For

By Paul Shawcross

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.

Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.

We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.

We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.

If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget

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Comic books in general have been known to pull some crazy stunts in order to boost sales or attempt to stay in line with pulp culture. Sometimes it’s totally awesome, sometimes it’s utterly fail. One of the biggest examples of a WTF moment was Spider-Man #700 where the writer even got death threats over the ending.

A lesser known WTF moment was the cancellation of Avengers Academy so that the characters could return in a new title. This, in and of itself, isn’t anything too noteworthy, but the fact that the new title is called Avengers Arena and is specifically about teenage students being forced to fight to the death caused several brows to be raised. Not only were they obviously capitalizing off the recent success of the Hunger Games movie but they literally stole their #1 cover from an earlier, and even bloodier, film called Battle Royale.

Avengers Arena #1 cover and Battle Royale poster

Avengers Arena #1 cover and Battle Royale poster

This made a lot of people unhappy for several reasons, least of all being that Marvel has taken a bunch of kids and basically said they were going to start killing them off… for seemingly no real good reason. It’s not the worse thing Marvel has ever done and a lot of the characters aren’t nearly as well known as, say, Spider-Man, and so the title debuted with about as much fanfare as any other title… until recently.

Just as quietly, a petition on was put up to get Avengers Arena pulled and retconned.

The cancellation of Avengers Arena by Dennis Hopeless: Cancel Avengers Arena and retcon the deaths that have happened.

Marvel has gathered together our favorite teenaged characters in a gambit to ride the coattails of The Hunger Games recent success. We cannot allow these young heroes in training to be killed off, it is an injustice to them and the future of comics – even if the majority of the comic populace; neither care, nor have heard of them. Each of these characters, established before this book, have seen substantial personal growth; growth which is about to be snuffed out in the name of sales. Let us show Marvel that we will not let this transgression go unremarked. Let us show that we will not allow our beloved characters to fade quietly into the night. Let us show Marvel that we are their dedicated fans and these are the characters we love! Join me by signing this petition, and help me show Marvel that this is not the right thing to do, that we will not sit idly by while they lump our beloved characters into the debris pile they have collected. Thank you, each and every one of you , even if you do not sign. So long as you have read this I have seeded the thought of this travesty against fans into your mind.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first time that a petition has gone up for anything like this, esp something that is not so mainstream as one of the ‘big named’ characters. I would have expected a Spider-Man petition long before an Avengers Arena. Then again, all it takes is one person who feels for these characters to put up a petition, and since AA is a smaller title, a petition might be the only way for anyone to take notice.

As for signing the petition, I’m torn. While I don’t like the idea of a Battle Royale style anything, let alone in my comics, I can’t help but think “this is Marvel, they’ll retcon themselves eventually anyway”.

At the time of posting the petition only has 63 signatures and it looks to have been put up almost a month ago (22 days). I don’t know what kind of advertising they did for it but it just hit Bleeding Cool and it’s only a matter of time before a few other outlets pick up the story as well.

In the end, I fully believe that even if the petition got up to 30k signatures, I doubt Marvel would take any notice. It will be all about the bottom line. If Avengers Arena doesn’t sell very well then they will cancel and perhaps go back to Avengers Academy or parcel the characters off into other titles, the ones that are still living that is.

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