UPDATED: ALPHA FLIGHT Canceled at Issue #8

Alpha Flight #8Was it only 2 months ago that Marvel Comics played to the home crowd at FanExpo Canada with the announcement that the 8 issue Alpha Flight mini series, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente and Dale Eaglesham, was being upgraded to an ongoing series? Well, today with the January Solicitations from Marvel Comics it looks as if Alpha Flight #8 is the last issue of the series and that Alpha Flight has been canceled.

The solicitation copy for Alpha Flight #8 reads:

ALPHA FLIGHT #8
GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE (W)
DALE EAGLESHAM (C)
COVER BY CARLO PAGULAYAN
VARIANT COVER BY LEINIL FRANCIS YU

• THE FINAL ISSUE!
• The big showdown between Alpha Flight and the Master of the World!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

The question naturally is, why is Alpha Flight canceled so soon after Marvel announced that it would be an ongoing? With rumors swirling of cost cutting measures at Marvel Comics, it’s expected to see some cancellations of under performing books, but this seems somewhat odd given the big announcement around this title becoming an ongoing.

UPDATE: When we asked Marvel Comics about the cancellation they issued a “no comment”, but series co-writer Greg Pak has been talking on Twitter:

On the bright side, Alpha Flight #8 features a variant cover from Lenil Francis Yu, so they got that going for them:

Alpha Flight #8 Variant Cover

Comments

  1. jackietam jackietam says:

    That’s just freakin’ disappointing. Now Marvel is just going to put more Avengers titles with Bendis. Great.

  2. The miniseries was originally meant to last 8 issues. I assume this actually just means that it’s going to relaunch a couple of months later as an ongoing. Unless there’s any word from Marvel editorial staff, I’m assuming this is the case.

  3. Neeks Neeks says:

    hahaha this is funny to me

    As someone who lives in Toronto and went to Fan Expo i was there when they mentioned it and little to nobody cared in the room as far as i can tell. Not to mention the desperation that they had in their voices as they were like cmon you guys must all love Alpha Flight there Canadian!! Like we were to buy any series based off that regardless if it was good or not.

    I am personally not an Alpha Flight fan but still regardess if blaming this on cutting cuts is the case its bullshit because if they wanted to save money they should stop printing all these stupid point one issues and double shipping almost every other god damn title

    • Neeks Neeks says:

      Cutting costs**

    • MisterJ says:

      The .1 issues and double shipping are making Marvel money, not costing them money. Look at the titles where they are doing those gimmicks, they are the high selling titles ( at least the recent .1s).

      Not sure how double shipping could be seen as a losing money proposition, given that it is done with a title that is already profitable.

    • Neeks Neeks says:

      Ya your right of course but what i was trying to say even though those make money is in a perfect world they would stop printing some of those titles that arent necessary if you want to keep something like this around. Unfortunetly if they had to choose they are always going to drop something like this if it isnt making money over some more bullshit

  4. diebenny diebenny says:

    Does anyone else find this hilarious? I think something is wrong with me.

    • diebenny diebenny says:

      Like not in a “people are losing their jobs haha i’m evil” sorta way. But that this was an 8-issue-mini-turned-ongoing that was canceled at issue 8.

      Stringing those poor Canadians along like that.

  5. Smasher says:

    Just curious what are the longest running new series out by Marvel or DC in the past 5 yrs (reboots / re-numberings excluded)?

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to not count a renumbered book as long running, especially in Marvel’s case. Several Marvel titles have renumbered recently with little to no change to the ongoing status quo (X-Factor jumps out in my mind, but I think there are others).

      You probably aren’t counting Vertigo as DC, but Scalped is in the 50s, DMZ is ending at 72, and Northlanders is going to make it to 50.

      But by your rules, at Marvel, Astonishing X-Men, Hulk and Deadpool are probably the “longest running” (all in the mid-40s).

  6. TomSwift TomSwift says:

    Come on – an Internal Canadian government mystery?
    That was Never going to keep readers.
    If Alpha Flight will ever work it needs to have some global significance.
    People just don’t care about Super Heroes in the cold woods.

  7. Shit. Shit. Shit. One of the best series Marvel put out these days, which I rejoiced when it was announced as an ongoing. Incredibly written and imaginative.

  8. CGPO CGPO says:

    Now that’s just douchey. Never mind in that same solicit list, they show that they’re releasing a trade collection that only has the 0.1 issue and 1-4. Why not just wait and collect the whole mini-series? I agree with the Bendis’ Avengers comment, maybe they should call it “Alpha Flight: Canada’s Avengers” and maybe put Bendis’ name on the cover somewhere too. I wish Marvel would go day and date digital, as maybe some of the lower selling titles would have a chance. It sucks how little diversity there is in comics nowadays.

  9. debaser17 debaser17 says:

    I really don’t have a gut feeling either way, but this much is true: It’s WELL within the realm of possibility that, since the original story was an 8 part mini, Marvel would choose to start the actual ongoing over at #1 rather than continuing at #9 purely for the marginal sales increase that would come along with releasing another #1 issue.

  10. debaser17 debaser17 says:

    Also, isn’t Herc ending right away too? That would be kind of double lousy for Van Lente and Pak. I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be something big coming down the pipe for those two if that were the case…

  11. debaser17 debaser17 says:

    ….and Pak just confirmed it’s over

  12. Firevine Firevine says:

    America’s hat.
    Superheroes can’t gain ground.
    What’s this all aboot?

  13. y2kkev y2kkev says:

    One thing killed this book: Fear Itself. I couldn’t biring myself to buy anything that huge banner.

    • They did away with the Fear Itself banner in the most recent issue, which seems to take place after the events of Fear Itself. Aside from Attuma showing up in issue 1, the miniseries had hardly anything to do with Fear Itself, which was the most refreshing thing about it.

    • IroncladMerc says:

      If it barely had anything to do with Fear Itself, then why the cover treatment? Fear Itself killed this book, plain and simple. Marvel has gone too far with Fear Itself and it’s million tie-ins.

    • cosmo cosmo says:

      Actually, my impression was that the whole “world gripped in fear & turmoil” was the excuse for the government to impose such drastic, martial law measures on its citizens. So while it did not have the big fight scenes of most of the not so good tie-ins, this title did make use of the event . . .

  14. John Siuntres wordballoon says:

    Yoink

  15. Well, shit.

  16. AlanRob AlanRob says:

    YulMarvel has ben doing a really fine job of disappointing me lately. Hope my excitement for Xmen isn’t misplaced.uk jk

  17. cromulent cromulent says:

    Alpha Flight? More like……Omega Grounded!

    Get it?

  18. What a big ‘Fuck You’ to fans right there.

    How can you announce this is going on-going only two months ago and then sweep the rug off of everyone? Fuck it seems like Greg Pak didn’t see this coming either.

    Marvel should be ashamed for doing this. I know they’ve cancelled a lot of good titles lately, but this should be the final straw for fans. To cancel a book in this fashion is uncalled for.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      But is there a GOOD way to cancel a book that isn’t selling well enough?

      Since this was originally an 8 issue mini, and they’re still going to release all 8 issues, isn’t this just a case of them making an ongoing announcement and then saying “Oops, sorry, we changed our minds!”

      Yeah, it’s kind of a crappy about-face, but what are they supposed to do? Put time and money into a book that was not going to be profitable?

  19. OneVsWorld says:

    This SUCKS.

    Alpha Flight was easily one the most “fresh” titles Marvel has been publishing lately. It’s been at the top of my reading list since it came out. I think it was a mistake to launch it out of Fear Itself. It got lumped in with the “this crap is irrelevant” cash-grab books.

    Seriously…. I’ve ALWAYS been a Marvel guy but i’m so sick of Marvel’s crap right now that i can’t stand it. I love Dale Eaglesham…. He smokes half of the artists they have and he was doing a great job here. With that being said DC is MURDERING Marvel from my point of view. Book for book the DC stuff just looks better. Marvel has a a few good looking books ( including Alpha Flight) …. and a ton of of books that look like crap. I’ll most likely be replacing Alpha Flight with one of the DC books i planned on dropping for financial reasons.

  20. WeaklyRoll WeaklyRoll says:

    Question about mini-series vs ongoing, and the answer seems obvious, but I will ask it anyway:

    Do Marvel and DC stick with releasing/relaunching new ongoings instead of continuous mini-series because it’s easier and more cost effective to cancel an ongoing if it’s not doing well than it is a mini series? I ask because i haven’t really seen someone cancel a mini.

    I think about Dark Horses BPRD mini series and wonder why this isn’t a viable option at Marvel or DC.

  21. party party says:

    Herc has like two more issues I think, but that one got pretty bad after the second issue IMO. Event tie-ins killed it and it never got better.

  22. party party says:

    It’s not the end of the world. This book started losing my interest around issue 4… Marvel is still putting out half of the books I like enough to buy.

  23. Jim Mroczkowski Jim Mroczkowski (@jimski) says:

    Whaddya gonna do?

    No, seriously. What are you going to do?

  24. glwarm76 glwarm76 says:

    The following Marvel ongoing titles sold less than Alpha Flight in September: X-factor, Thunderbolts, Ghost Rider, Daken, Generation Hope, Black Panther, and Heroes for Hire. Interesting that Alpha Flight got the ax and these did not. Herc and Ironman 2.0 both sold less but both also are getting cancelled.

    • stasisbal stasisbal says:

      If Thunderbolts and X-Factor ended I’d be a sad panda. It’d also cut my current Marvel pulls in half.

    • glwarm76 glwarm76 says:

      I agree both are solid titles. I just find it interesting that they sold less than Alpha Flight in September. I wonder if the fact that this was originally intended as a miniseries made it easier to cut.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      Sales matter, but Marvel is also aware of the pre-order numbers for the next couple months. While 23 thousand-ish copies of Alpha Flight were sold to retailers in September, it’s possible that retailers are reporting low sell-through (maybe people making room in their budgets to try New 52 books?).

      I can’t explain why some of those books are still around, but I’m sure Generation Hope and X-Factor are seeing pre-order bumps from the Regenesis stuff. Ghost Rider has another movie coming out, so I understand why that one is sticking around too.

  25. Urthona Urthona says:

    I’ve got nothing against all-things-Bendis, as I like Scarlet and Moon Knight, but I also seem to be part of this larger community that much prefers Alpha Flight to all his Avengers books. I used to be an Avengers fan but I’ve never really liked Bendis’ work on the title, and all the Avenger titles seem random. Pick a random assortment of Marvel characters, give ‘em clever dialog where they all seem to be pretty much the same, rinse, and repeat. Alpha Flight has been so refreshing, and had that classic Marvel feel.

    Despite the cancel news, the current Alpha Flight story has been the AF story I’ve been waiting for since Byrne left, and I’m gonna enjoy the hell out of it until its over.

    • RecksDeud RecksDeud says:

      You’ve perfectly summed up my feelings on the Avengers teams, and Bendis’ handling of the characters. In fact, that’s how I felt when the new titles FIRST started, but everyone and their moms seemed to think Bendis was awesome, so I stuck with it in the hopes that I was wrong. Just read this weeks Avengers issue, and now I’m comfortable with the knowlege that I wasn’t.

  26. IroncladMerc says:

    Hmm, maybe they shouldn’t have made the series a Fear Itself tie-in, then. People took one look at the Fear Itself logo on the cover and said “pass”.

  27. stasisbal stasisbal says:

    Besides the fact that they are superheroes in Canada, what is the hook of Alpha Flight? I’m not judging it. I haven’t read much Alpha Flight at all and I’m not reading this current series. I just don’t see the appeal. It’s a shame people got teased that this would be longer than the original 8 issue mini-series but I was more surprised to see it announced as an ongoing than to see it’s back to a mini.

  28. player1 player1 says:

    It’s been fun while it lasted, it was a pretty solid book, and it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t make the sales numbers they needed. I hope they collect it, and the trade does well. Maybe they’ll try again soon.

  29. JNewcomb JNewcomb says:

    As long as they don’t cancel beer, Canadians will be happy.

  30. TheTaken TheTaken says:

    I don’t take it as coincidence that Marvel waited for the start of the NHL season to announce this. Distraction!

    Good news – Van Lente now available to take over Amazing Spider-man!

  31. HeX HeX says:

    think about all the little hosers out there its just not fair i liked this book :(

  32. PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

    Yessh! One month of DC being top dog and it’s austerity measures at Marvel. Got to make room for that third Bendis Avengers book somehow. It’s been no secret that Marvel has always been quicker on the draw on canceling books, but this is a sort of ridiculous situation. Rule to live by? Let the mini-finish out before promising anything. It’s sad that Pak and FVL seem to be getting shafted here (Herc and this cancelled, Power Man and Iron Fist was supposed to be a tryout for an ongoing). I kind of hope DC goes and snaps’em up.

    On a more general level, the situation itself is full of hilarity in the way Marvel handles things. Remember that spate of books 2 years ago that started out as ongoings, barely sold, and were retroactively turned into miniseries? I’m looking at you Doctor Voodoo! We’ve now got a situation where Marvel started a mini, turned it into an ongoing and then cancelled the ongoing where the mini should have ended. It’s like the irony is flying past them with this one.

  33. Eaglesham is great, but this book is bad. Issue #5 was laughably bad. Pak doesn’t seem to understand his characters. They don’t behave like Alpha Flight, they don’t seem like Alpha Flight, and (thank goodness) in a few issues, this garbage will be done.

    The cover was a good indication that Pak has literally lost the plot. Better to let it die that continue in this state. Unless Byrne decides to write them again, I say leave them alone.

  34. vidiot vidiot says:

    Ugh. I love this series and it would have been great to see these characters grow and change, but at least we”ll have a strong 8 issue run from start to finish.

  35. Flash923 Flash923 says:

    This is some Bullsh*t!! They said they were goind to make this an on going series and my hopes were up high and then they the pulled the plug. Marvel has made a grave mistake in my opinion this is one of the best books they have out there right now!! This will surely be missed by all fans, the artwork and story for this has been a 5 pretty much every issue!

    Just sayin’,

    K

    • MikeG MikeG says:

      You seem to be the only one fixating on that part of the story.

      And so what if he, or anybody was enjoying that part of the story. Let them enjoy it, don’t be a dick.

  36. MikeG MikeG says:

    I read that tweet Ifanboy sent over the weekend that detailed the cost cutting and layoffs at Marvel. One bathroom, no resources or supplies?
    After reading that this doesn’t surprise me at all. Sounds like a tough time to be a Marvel employee.

  37. PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

    Have we seen the news that All-Winners Squadron is being cancelled mid-mini series?

  38. Askanison Askanison says:

    If marvel would stop printing stupid pamphlets and other promotional crap that I always see clogging up the counter at the shop I go to, then maybe they could lower the prices or not cancel some good books like Alpha Flight.

    • a lot of times you gang those things up on the back end of the print runs so you don’t waste the materials and press time you’ve already bought. Printing to pre-order has to create logistical problems on the printer side especially when it comes to paper and how its sold in commercial printing.

      Basically, i’d be SHOCKED if they created a fresh print run just to print freebie promos. That would be Stupidity Itself.

  39. kcekada says:

    Disppointing. Guess I’ll give the new version of Defenders a try, but it’s Fraction — ugh!