Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Last Orders

The Irredeemable Ant-Man, Exterminators and now The Order. Yes, as of issue #10, another of my favourite books is getting the chop.

Obviously Marvel feel that The Order isn't selling well enough to justify an extended run, but it can't be healthy to keep cancelling comics that have barely got into their stride. After all why should I continue to part with my cash for titles that have little or no chance of avoiding the chop? And what chance do any new comics have if people like me stop buying them?

Yes there'll always be Superman, Batman, Spidey, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, but outside of those mainstays precious little is making it beyond issue 20. I guess Checkmate at DC is getting a decent crack of the whip despite less than impressive sales, but that probably has something to do with Greg Rucka. I imagine the book would be canned if he weren't such an influential figure. It might still be axed now that he's no longer exclusive to DC.

Very few other new ongoing titles get a chance at the big two. What we're left with is a raft of mini-series, often cynically timed to coincide with the release of new superhero movies and a bunch of over-hyped event linked books.

I suppose I shouldn't grumble. The established titles are the ones that make the money. If the Order and Ant-Man aren't making any dough then it's no surprise that they get cancelled. Surely DC and Marvel realise that these titles aren't going to sell in huge numbers though, which begs the question: "why are they soliciting them as ongoing series in the first place?"

If they had set Ant-Man up as a 12 issue mini series I wouldn't have felt like I'd wasted £24 at the end of the run! And if overall sales of the book had been better than expected they could just have solicited another 12 issues.

If they do insist on selling these titles as ongoing series, then they should be willing to stick with them for a reasonable amount of time. Their refusal to do so leaves me feeling more convinced than ever that I'm wasting my time buying single issues that have little or no chance of survival in an industry which is geared towards trade paperbacks and the cross promotion of big budget movies.

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