CANCELPOCALYPSE: Who’s Next? UPDATE: DAKEN Has Been Canceled

Its been quite a few months for Marvel Comics’ lower tier books. And by quite a few months I mean they’ve been dropping titles like flies. Here is a list of the series that Marvel has very recently canceled, along their sales estimates from Diamond courtesy of ICv2:

  • X-23 – 24,043
  • Ghost Rider – 21,012
  • Alpha Flight – 20,731
  • Daken: Dark Wolverine – 19,472
  • Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive – 18,248
  • Iron Man 2.0 – 15,600 (September numbers)
  • Herc – 13,190
  • Destroyers – Canceled before it even came out.
  • Victor Von Dom – Canceled before it even came out.

Eight books isn’t necessarily a lot to get canceled throughout the course of a year. But this hasn’t been over the course of a year, these books have been canceled over the course of just the past few months, most in the past few weeks. With the announcements coming so bunched up as they did along with some not insignificant layoffs at the Marvel offices, eyebrows have certainly been raised.

So we might as well start wildly speculating!

Which titles, if any, will be next? It helps to have information on hand to make an informed wild speculation, so here are the other regular Marvel Universe series that sell fewer copies than those that were just canceled. Numbers are from the same source as above.

  • Thunderbolts – 23,712
  • X-Factor – 23,569
  • Avengers Academy – 23,412
  • S.H.I.E.L.D., Vol. 2 – 21,060
  • Daken: Dark Wolverine – 19,472
  • Generation Hope – 18,424
  • Deadpool MAX – 15,865

I’m not saying any of these specific books will be canceled, or that any more Marvel books will be canceled at all. But if any more books are canceled in the days ahead, the above are probably the most likely candidates. (UPDATE: Daken: Dark Wolverine has been canceled.) It’s important to keep in mind that there are all kinds of reasons to cancel a comic book series, but sales is usually the primary reason.

UPDATE: A reliable source close to Marvel assures us that Thunderbolts is safe.

 

Comments

  1. KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

    I think we’ll see SHIELD end its volume and then go kaput.

    Avengers Academy seems likely to stick around at least through the summer because of it’s association to the Avengers line (hello blockbuster movie!) and because it features younger heroes (hello kids that see the movie but want to read about more directly relatable characters).

    Generation Hope just started a new status quo (and I just jumped on), so I bet that will last through a couple arcs, so I’d give it 6-ish months.

    Deadpool MAX would be the only MAX book left after Punisher ends in February, right? That seems an ill omen.

    I don’t know much about Daken, but that just speaks to his fairly marginal position in the Marvel Universe. I can’t speak to its quality, but it’s pretty much the textbook definition of a book that doesn’t “matter” (since that seems to be a big deal these days).

    Thunderbolts and X-Factor are the most recognizable brands, so my feeling is that they’d be given the most rope even the numbers aren’t quite there.

    But honestly, I wouldn’t lose any sleep if all of these disappeared.

    • Neb Neb says:

      I’m fairly certain Hickman has said that SHIELD is a two volume story, but I could have misheard/completely made that up in my fantasy world. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t return after this volume though. I bet it does pretty well in trades though.

    • cubsmodano cubsmodano says:

      Interesting… I read 5 out of the 7, and would be really upset if AA, Thunderbolts, or X-Factor disappeared. Generation Hope’s still too soon to tell with the new writer.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      I get that longtime readers of those books will be bummed out. But I have a very limited budget for comics (about $20 a week), so I KNOW there are good books out there that I’m not reading because I can only get so many. So while a beloved book ending might be sad, there’s also a LOT of other good books I’d be able to try out and support.

    • @KenOchalek. Good analysis. I too think SHIELD and Deadpool MAX will end when the current or yards are wrapped up. X factor, AA, and Thunderbolts will probably stick around awhile longer. Daken will most likely be scrapped for a lot of the reasons you listed. The only one that could go either way is Generation Hope.

    • God damn you, auto correct! I meant “when the current story arcs are wrapped up.”

    • JackAcid JackAcid says:

      auto incorrect is more like it, amiright!

    • KidMythos KidMythos says:

      Old thread but, why do people seem to think “younger readers will want to relate to characters their own age” is even a thing? The last time I walked into the a comic book store I was the only customer with a full head of hair. I am reminded of this fact when I catch my reflection in the glassy screen of my iPad before it powers up so I can read my latest downloads.

      Look at all of the young x-team books that have bombed over the years. I believe the current New Mutants volume survives almost solely on older readers with a fond nostalgic glow for the pre-Liefeld era of the original run.
      Heck, the latest cover is a total throwback to the style of those scratchy New Mutants covers from back in the day.

      As far as the Avengers go – kids piling out of the cinemas after seeing a big, flashy movie starring Captain America, Thor, Iron Man etc. aren’t going to give a rat’s ass about White Tiger and Lightspeed.

      If they bother picking up one of those flimsy pamphlets for the first time it will probably be Avengers or New Avengers and by God … the confusion … “Spider-Man and Wolverine are Avengers? Is that the Thing from Fantastic Four … ??? … and … and … wait … the Hulk is red now?!? …. oh, he’s not the same Hulk … and the other Hulk has a son … wait … what?!?!” – gone, never to buy another damned issue.

      This comic book world of ours is secret. We’ve been recycling the same nerds for decades!

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      @KidMythos:

      I’m not sure the “young readers prefer young characters” way of thinking holds true anymore, but it sure did for me when I was younger.

      I think most of my reading between 1992-1998 (age 10-16) were books that featured young heroes (New Warriors, Generation X, Robin, Impulse, Young Justice, Gen13, and the Legion of Super-heroes). Sure, I read the Flash, JLA, and other X-books (plus some Image books I’d rather forget) during this time, but I’m having a hard time coming up with other “adult” books I bought back then.

  2. gobo gobo says:

    Aren’t SHIELD and Deadpool MAX finite series already?

    I’d be really bummed if Thunderbolts went away. As for Generation Hope I think they would have just canceled it with Schism if they were going to cancel it soon.

  3. BrettWhite BrettWhite says:

    When I fretted about Thunderbolts and X-Factor via Twitter yesterday, editor Tom Brennan replied to not worry about either book being canceled (http://twitter.com/#!/Brennanator/status/137257307154284544). So…there’s that.

    • stasisbal stasisbal says:

      Those are the two I’m reading and they both have a unique flavor I enjoy so that’s nice to hear. Although, all he said was, “Don’t [worry].” That doesn’t mean they won’t be cancelled ;)

  4. mikegraham6 mikegraham6 says:

    I would think its safe to assume they’ll let SHIELD finish its mini

  5. TinCanGoat TinCanGoat says:

    Yeah, I’d be crushed if thunderbolts went away, the whole black panther/DD thing just pisses me off. Seriously, the ONLY reason I’m buying BP is to keep the numbering on my $&@”! DareDevil run.

    • Neb Neb says:

      It seems weird to a buy a series just to keep up with the numbering. Hopefully, you also enjoyed the comic as I felt it was one of Marvel’s strongest titles.

      Don’t worry about the DD numbering. It’ll go back next time there’s an anniversary. It always does.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      You’re welcome to do what you want….but that seems like kind of an irrational reason to buy a book.

    • nikbackm nikbackm says:

      Thanks for for explaining to me why Marvel did use that numbering for BP. Always found it a bit strange.

    • AlanRob AlanRob says:

      I’m curious how many people are doing this? Is that why Herc couldn’t support an ongoing? Lack of Incredible Hulk legacy numbering?

      I really, really, hope not.

    • TinCanGoat TinCanGoat says:

      Show me a rationale comic collector, and I’ll show you a poser. Out of the 18K + solicitations for DD’s comic, i would bet my house that over half of those buying the comic kept with BP for the same reason as me.

      As for BP in DD’s place, I have enjoyed the art, but thought the story was lacking. The Hate Monger? Really?

      Personally, I was hoping that Luke Cage would take DD’s place. Cage is real to me and I can relate to his issues. Black Panther in Hell’s Kitchen is just too unbelievable for me.

    • jmstump jmstump says:

      “Show me a rationale comic collector, and I’ll show you a poser. Out of the 18K + solicitations for DD’s comic, i would bet my house that over half of those buying the comic kept with BP for the same reason as me.”

      This is why I mostly gave up on collecting. I was buying all sorts of stuff and either reading it / not liking it OR not reading it at all. It leads to having a bunch of reminders that you spent your money on books you didn’t want when you could be buying more stuff that you do want.

  6. All of the above. That dude who runs Marvel now is pretty ruthless and from what i’ve read only cares about the numbers and appeasing The Mouse.

    • abstractgeek says:

      the dude who runs marvel is ike perlmutter. He has been ceo of marvel since 2005, and has been on the board of directors since 1993. He and avi arad took control of the company during the bankruptcy in 1998. he is not new. If by appeasing the mouse you mean maintaining profitability, thats pretty much the job of EVERY ceo. Dianne Nelson is no different, if you recall when she came in DC lost the entire wildstorm imprint and 20% of its workforce (hell it lost its whole universe to appease the bunny)

      is what you read more than just reports in bleeding cool? i think you need a little more than vague reports by “unnamed sources” on a news sire paid for by a comic company run by a former advertsing copywriter that spun out of a gossip column. While he does get things right, he also gets a lot more wrong.

    • i’ve read a couple of articles, but in no way do i consider myself an expert on him…and really unless you’re inside the halls you don’t know. Just from what i’ve read on other sites besides the one you’ve listed, he’s been getting really bottom line focussed recently.

  7. Neb Neb says:

    You know, Marvel puts out soooo much product it’s no suprise that we’re starting to see some of the resources be invested in other titles. It’s too bad that that usually means just more books of the same stuff. While the only book in the bunch I read is Thunderbolts, I know that each of these books does add an extra dimension to Marvel’s line. Hopefully, we’ll see these things stick around.

  8. if these signs are true, and a book that hovers in the 20k range is not considered profitable for the big 2, then that’s a symptom of a much bigger problem and trend.

    If these books were only sold digitally exclusive (@ $2 or 3.99)they might be very profitable once you eliminate the hard costs that is shipping and distribution. The only question is whether or not the characters, creators and stories are strong enough to attract those hardline print only people that make up that current 20k.

    • abstractgeek says:

      I think we will eventually see more of this. you dont even need to convert all of the 20K, just enough to make the book profitable. those that dont want digital could still have a print option in trades, or something like what dc is doing with their beyond books as an anthology down the road. as long as digital covers the creation costs, other formats become more profitable. new tech allows for new formats and new rules.

    • Having some professional knowledge of how much printing and shipping 20k + print runs of things run, i’d venture to say you could sell 10k at the same price and pull in the same or more profit if you didn’t have that extremely high overhead or print and freight. And lets not forget, with print books, the wholesale is like $2, so with a digital price, it all goes to the publisher.

      I honestly believe that digital single issues plus selected printed trades and HC’s is the future of the industry if they can’t find a way to significantly increase readership (double or more)

    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      @wallythegrenomster: That money only goes all to the publisher if the publisher is handling all aspects of digital distribution themselves, which Marvel is not. ComiXoogy gets their cut. And Apple will take their cut on books sold through the app.

    • @conor–yeah you’re right, I often forget about the fact that there is actually a secret pixelated middle man involved in digital everything.

      But cutting out the hard costs of printing and shipping is extremely significant and could really be a game changer for these second tier books.

    • mikegraham6 mikegraham6 says:

      i guess having apple/comixology taking a cut of a digital sale is roughly equal to my local comic shop taking a cut from the sale of a physical comic, so that balances it out. If you’re still removing printing, shipping and paper costs, publishers are still saving money from what i can see.

    • Josh Flanagan Josh Flanagan (@jaflanagan) says:

      Apple and Android both take a pretty giant bite.

    • Nerd_Raaage Nerd_Raaage says:

      Which is why I buy directly from the Comixology web site instead of through the Apple app. More money goes to the publisher (and hopefully the creatives).

    • PDubble says:

      @Wally, you’re using knowledge and reasoning. This is not allowed in the digital comics debate.

      This is what I’ve been saying for a while, and written in about numerous times. The 2nd printing is where you make your money in the digital comics market. Hard printed comics have to be reprinted and shipped, whereas it costs just as much to produce a comic that is downloaded one time as it does to produce a comic downloaded 1 million. I think Marvel and the other publishers should come up with a standard format and then let the readers choose what app to use to read the things. The comic piracy market has already done this, and I know personally that it has cut into a couple hundred dollars a month in my town alone. There has got to be some kind of DRM style protection to prevent large scale piracy, and if there isn’t that’s where they should be putting their money. Somehow the lesson the publishers have taken from the piraters is that they need to be in “guided viewing” to make us pay the same amount. I’d rather just have the discount and get a scanned page.

      Don’t worry about getting into that discussion here though, the official iFanboy position is that digital comics will never be preferable to paper comics, but somehow they are part of a digital comic company which makes them realize there is a market, so that’s not actually there position when pressed. If you’re confused, well, you can’t work for iFanboy.

      Does anyone know a weekly podcast that reviews all the comics that come out that week where they’re not in denial about the ongoing digital revolution’s affect on reading?

    • PDubble says:

      Should say “so that’s not actually their position when pressed.”

    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      @PDubble: Are you sure you’re in the right place? Those last two paragraphs are divorced from reality.

    • PDubble says:

      @Connor, the statement that is divorced from reality is the one that outlines the positions I’ve gotten from the iFanboys.

      Connor Kilpatrick on the 28 August 2011 episode of iFanboy: “we could be wrong (about this store closing), but if it is (a sign of comic demise) we’ll see more (closings), and that’s the only way to tell” directly after saying “When any store closes it’s bad, there are so few of them.” The reason there are so few of them is because they have all closed down.

      Josh Flanagan in a 2 September 2011 e-mail to me about these seemingly differing statements, and the need for iFanboy to make some kind of digital stand for comics to make the transition into the post-shop world: “We work for a digital comics company and have long advocated for that. We also like comic shops. They are not mutually exclusives.” which is semantically true, but in the context that I was talking about it, a conflicting argument, unless you assume the average reader is buying both formats. I like horse and buggies too, but I drive a car. There are those who have both, but they are far and few between because of money alone. I’ve heard you all make some statement about the longevity of the paper comics industry and downplay the death of retailers outside of major cities. This is where the “digital comics will never be preferable to paper comics, but somehow they are part of a digital comic company which makes them realize there is a market, so that’s not actually their position when pressed” statement comes from.

      The main point of all this is that I’m just a schmoe in the world of comics. I am a consumer who doesn’t delve that far into what I’m reading. I’ve never attended a convention and I probably never will. I see comic creators and companies tweet articles from this site. I’m interested in a site that is advocating for a better consumer experience, which for me is digitally delivered to my tablet. It should be cheaper as most books are when sold that way. I have heard you all talk on the podcast about how you prefer the paper comic and this site is fairly constant in it’s willingness to fight off the specter of comics demise. Your “quite the opposite” column that was not quite the opposite was dedicated to that. The quite the opposite column that was not even “opposite”, let alone “quite the,” was before the proliferation of e-readers and tablets.

      All that being said Ron said something to the effect of “if you need to know a good comics podcast let us know” when someone mocked his comically large sideburns and pick of the week. At the time I didn’t care because it’s his pick of the week, and I would love to have a Jason LaRue or Rolly Fingers mustache, so who am I to begrudge sideburns? Another podcast though? I’m in the market for one. I’ve unsubscribed all of yours. I look at the site every couple days just to see what’s going on with my books, and I like the pull function to track my books. Don’t worry though, even though I’m an advocate for a better podcast, I still like yours. The two are not mutually exclusives.

    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      … …

    • Foresite Foresite says:

      Someone needs a hug….

  9. Muad_Dib says:

    If I had to place bets, I’d guess that Daken Deadpool MAX and SHIELD, however with SHIELD they may just let it run its course, since Hickman has claimed the end is in sight anyway. Deadpool’s height has been pqssed and he’s spread a little thin currently in my estimation.

    As for the others, with Avengers Academy soon incorporating X-23 I see that one definitely sticking around (its probably marvel’s hope to get the boost from that consolidation), both the other X-titles are definitely on the bubble (and appropriately imo) though with X-Factor they have a proven track record of being able to tell incredibly original stories and the potential in Hope is great though it hasnt latched on that well post Messiah.

    Thunderbolts is the only one I dont really know anything about so have no opinion on whether its likely to stay.

  10. trobinson79 trobinson79 says:

    Sorry to say, but this looks like something I wouldn’t want to participate in. Much as it may be fun to speculate, we’re missing the fact the creators behind these books now have less or possibly no work now. I hope for the best for those folks – comic business is rough.

    • abstractgeek says:

      if marvel is just cancelling lower selling titles as opposed to lowering output this isnt too much of a worry, as they will probably just launch new books and those teams may wind up there. remember remender lost dr voodoo but wound up on xforce amd venom, samne lost TMA but got cap & bucky. Gillen lost sword but got uncanny xmen. For some it could be a move to a higher selling and thus higher paying title

    • trobinson79 trobinson79 says:

      Fair point. One could only hope if that will be the case.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      I don’t think anyone WANTS creators to lose their jobs…but if we want to get weepy for creators, why not weep for all the indie books that never sell anything near 20,000? Or the older creators who have been passed over (if not totally screwed over) in favor of the next “Hot Creator”.

      It’s easy to forget as the line between fan, pundit and creator blurs, but we’re primarily fans. We just have to buy the books we like, and enjoy the work.

      But trobinson79′s post made me realize there might be a bigger discussion to be had about the digital media revolution (not just comics, but music, video, radio) “de-professionalizing” those industries.

      The big philosophical question I’ve struggled with (as a video guy) is this: Should content creation (comics, filmmaking, music, etc) be a valid way to make a living?

      When anyone with Photoshop (and loads of skill and talent) could *potentially* create a popular comic book, how does that effect the “professional” output from a company like Marvel?

      Food for thought.

    • Muad_Dib says:

      Thats a debate i’ve been seeing raging quite a bit on many a forum and in my G+ comic creators circles. Personally, yes I believe that a “creative class” is something society should aspire to be able to accomodate, however your points are valid in that there is a shrinking marketplace for the work. When every up and comer trying to make a name is willing to do the work for less or even free that reduces the entire pool of artists ability to “make a living” off these types of pursuits.

      Its impact on the companies is tremendous, they are not just competing with each other, but with all of the free material available in every corner of the web. Individuals entertainment dollars and attentions are spread out more widely than ever before in history. This fact means that every individual publisher and to an even greater extent every creative “professional” is going to see a reduction in revenue (obviously not withstanding growth in other mediums which is what DC and Marvel bank on with their other divisions).

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      @Muad_Dib (his name is a killing word!): Yeah, I’m not sure its a bad thing when taken on a large enough scale (more people exercising their creativity can’t be all bad, right?), but I suppose it really just makes a creative career more of a lottery than it already is.

    • @ken–you can make an extremely good living as an illustrator or writer. I know of many who are extremely wealthy. They just don’t work in the comics industry. If you’re goal is to make money, you have to pick your industry. The term “labor of love” comes to mind.

      I’ve found it to be true in just about every creative industry, that the cooler and sexier the job is, the more competitive it is, and there is less money to go around. There are like 3 or 4 guys who make all the bank, and then the rest of the talent that just scrapes by, hoping to become one of those pantheon guys.

      Medical illustration is A LOT more lucrative than comics, but far less sexier….

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      @wally: Precisely. I’m primarily a video editor. I lived and worked in post-production in LA for a while, but when I realized just how many levels there were between me and the guys editing broadcast TV and feature filmes, I realized that environment wasn’t for me. I moved back to metro Detroit, and I’d been getting by doing freelance work (promo videos, some educational stuff for local school districts, and a weekly video podcast) before my new job – working with focus group clinic videos for a large corporation.

      So even though focus group video is about as sexy as John Goodman in a bikini, I quite like getting a regular paycheck, medical benefits and a 401k for doing work I’m good at and like enough to do for a while. And it still involves using video to tell stories — its just my stories are about what people want in a compact luxury car trunk (spoiler alert: they want larger trunk openings and back seats that fold flat).

    • a discussion inside a discussion of a post. love it.
      although this goes against my strict compliance with ifanboy’s on topic rule:

      the only flaw in the “democratization of content” argument that i find is everyone who currently posts digital content for free, does so mainly for self promotion and mainly with hopes to “sell out” to a real world analog. However their free posting underminds the very system they hope to gain monetarialy from. Why pay a corporation for content when i can get it for free from this guy?

      If content providing corporations truely do disapear and all that is left is free for all you-tube type companies…i feel there will be little incentive for higher value productions and the quality of content will lower even more than currently exists.

      If your fame could never translate to money, would you spend all your free time and money on projects that you just give away? Some would but most wouldn’t. You Tube would by necessity turn into commercial tv or paid cable (creating an incentive for higher quality creative output) and the process will start all over again.

      Everyone on the planet takes photos or video and we want or will take time to see none of them. Quality takes practice and learning. With little incentive there will be few people who put forth the effort. Some form of our current system will always exist, because we value differ content differently. The only thing that would stop that is a complete abandonment of cultural criticism and/or history.

      one day i hope for a short post…one day.

    • syngar99 says:

      As an artist myself, i can say with some veracity that the issue is not whether or not we should have more support for artists a la grants or gov’t subsidation, what we need is for less terrible artists to flood the job market.

      Unlike almost any other discipline the unfortunately highly subjective nature of art prevents “natural selection” from extermination otherwise worthless careers.

      No other field lets people delude themselves for decades upon decades like the arts.
      so unlike an accounting graduate who realizes they are not meant for it, and go and learn a new trade while still young, artists may banish themselves to poverty until death.

  11. Timmy Wood Timmy Wood (@TimmyWood) says:

    Thunderbolts and Avengers Academy are two books I love but because of my switch to digital comics/ noninterest in Fear Itself I haven’t been reading.
    I really wish I could purchase those books digitally then I can start reading them again.

  12. Neeks Neeks says:

    Wow that’s so shitty I wasn’t even aware that Von doom mini series got cancelled I was so excited for that

  13. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Don’t lay a finger on my Thunderbolts!

    Not a finger!

  14. Rchapoteau Rchapoteau says:

    I don’t think they will cancel X-factor any time soon. Isn’t Peter David supposed to start on the series again soon? I think they are hoping he will revitalize the brand. I think it will be around till the summer at least.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      Peter David hasn’t left since this new run started in….2006?

    • Rchapoteau Rchapoteau says:

      Huh, I guess I’m totally wrong then. I thought he left and was coming back. I guess we’ll see.

    • PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

      X-Factor has at least until November/December when Regenesis hits it, and probably the first arc there after to get sales. PAD is still the writer on it, the only change is that Havok and Polaris are back.

    • stasisbal stasisbal says:

      Good point, X-Factor always has the benefit of a sales spike when it does an X-Men crossover to keep the numbers up. Kind of a double edge sword for the book but PAD typically does a good job weaving things in and out. Also, in the most recent letters column he mentioned he is confident he’ll have the book for a while longer.

    • srh1son srh1son says:

      Layla Miller- maybe she has a big role left to play? Or did that already happen in the Messiah Complex/Second Coming stuff? Seems like they’re grooming Hope for the future, so maybe Layla won’t factor into their plans. When is the next X-event?

  15. I’m sad to see X-23 get cancelled because it’s one of my regular monthly books and Daken is another and I would’ve expected Dark Wolverine to get cancelled before X-23 would.

  16. SEChambers says:

    Talk about focusing on the negative. Damn, this article is a terrible and pessimistic way to start the day – are basically placing bets on people’s livelihoods.

    I expect better from ifanboy, this is the kind of nonsense I expect from the Newsarama blog.

    • Firevine Firevine says:

      I’ve got a buddy that writes for ‘Rama, and I still can’t bring myself to go to the site. Ugh.

      iFanboy has ruined me for other comics websites.

    • AlanRob AlanRob says:

      I’d hardly call it nonsense. If they didn’t want us speculating about the state of the industry then they shouldn’t release the numbers.

      No one has a problem talking about the numbers when they are good. No one is like “Hey DC, don’t bring up how well Batman or Justice League is doing, it makes creators on other books feel inadequate.”

  17. From a basic business perspective, if you’re selling 15-20k widgets on a regular basis, and its still difficult to make that profitable, then there has to be something extremely screwed up with your business model at that point.

  18. RobotZombie RobotZombie says:

    I think Avengers Academy is safe because it, along with Wolverine & the X-Men, and FF, seem like a concerted effort to inject new or underused characters (Power Pack) into the Marvel U.

  19. iroberts007 iroberts007 says:

    Are these sales numbers direct sales numbers? Or do they take into account online/mail order sales, barnes and noble sales etc?? Besides the fact that some books will sell well in trade and others wont.. ive heard that direct sales really dont mean much if anything.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      Those are likely Diamond’s direct market sales to retailers. So no digital, subscription or newstand sales are factored in. But seeing as these are mostly fringe titles, I don’t think those numbers would drastically improve the situation. And even the direct market numbers don’t tell the whole story because its possible that large portions of, say, Deadpool MAX’s 15,865 could be sitting unsold on LCS shelves.

    • iroberts007 iroberts007 says:

      Ya its just that as much as i like going to my local shop.. ive been contemplating getting my books shipped to me every month and probably saving money.. so im just wondering how many people are doing that. Ya.. I cant imagine that Barnes and Noble is ordering a lot of Daken’s… HA.. although i was there the other day and they were loaded with Ultimate Spidey 4′s.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      If you mean something like Discount Comic Book Service, I think those are still direct market sales. As if DCBS were an LCS with a huge shipping operation. So while it wouldn’t be great for your local shop, you purchases would getting tallied the same as always.

    • diebenny diebenny says:

      DCBS is just a shop that ships their product. A super awesome, discounting, ship straight to your house, comic shop. You have to order a couple months out (preorder) like you had a subscription service with a LCS. This means that it’ll be, as Ken said, tallied the same as any other shop.

      If you don’t have a good shop in your area or you buy a TON of books, I highly suggest using DCBS. The discounts are enough that even after shipping you end up saving more than you would if you went to your LCS. I love it.

    • iroberts007 iroberts007 says:

      That makes sense… Ya thanks guys…
      Ya i have a great shop at the moment and i buy a ton of books.. it just that i may be moving soon… So .. decisions .. decisions..

  20. jonny jonny says:

    It sucks about losing X-23, sure, but I’ll live. But now Thunderbolts, Avengers Academy, and [one of my favorites] X-Factor… any of those getting the ax will break me.

  21. nastysnow nastysnow says:

    Daken gen hope deadpool max

  22. iroberts007 iroberts007 says:

    Oh and I read all of these books for a while at some point or another. Daken was never impressive.. Deadpool was entertaining but repetitive… i wanted to like generation hope.. but it didnt do anything for me (which was disappointing because i watched her grow up).. Thunderbolts used to be great.. however and Avengers Academy has its merits. X factor is the best of the bunch.. its unique. I mean come on dudes.. a mutant private detective agency.. how cool is that? and Peter David writing.. !!

  23. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Some positive news. A source close to Marvel has told me they are 100% certain Thunderbolts is safe.

  24. captamerica101 captamerica101 (@Autobot_Hunter) says:

    marvel, if you cancel avengers academy i will stop buying your line… okay, i will stop buying avengers books…okay i wil just stop buying avengers academy… because i won’t be able to.

  25. zakcaldwell zakcaldwell says:

    Axel Alonso just announced on CBR that Daken is cancelled. So there that is….

  26. abstractgeek says:

    We should start a pool, a …..dead pool so to speak on what gets it next and when.

  27. zombox zombox says:

    I swear to the Great Spaghetti Monster, if Marvel were to cancel Thunderbolts I would start the Occupy Marvel Offices movement.

  28. Wow, one more down. I bet we hear Deadpool MAX is cancelled/ending by the end of the month.

  29. OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

    It’s amazing, here are titles to test for digital sales, eliminating the printing cost and testing the waters for digital releases. Once agian Marvel has dropped the ball agian. Kinda scared of X-factor being canceled, but it will free up money to buy any indy work Peter David would do( crossing my fingers).

    • i agree….to me it either says Marvel is managed by old fashioned fuddy duddies who can’t see the future in front of them, or that they’ve done the research and have zero faith in that market to do anything than provide a very slim ancillary income.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      @OliverTwist: I can’t say you’re wrong, but I really doubt you have enough information about the viability of these titles as digital-only releases to say “Marvel has dropped the ball again” with any authority.

      I’ll be the first to admit that “Armchair Publishing” is kind of fun, but really, we actually know next to nothing about the financial side of Marvel comics.

    • OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

      @KenOchalek, I definitely agree with you about not knowing the financial, I am reacting to how far they have put themselves out of the digital realm, It seems by the numbers they have a following for the titles and can serve as a viable test to see if those fans, all or a few, whom would move to digital. They are releasing some new title at 4 dollars a pop and the free download,and these have no sales figures. There are some many discussions at the cons and podcast about digital is here and what are we going to do, by the time they react it will have moved on to something else. There so many kinks to get worked out and losing so much time on something which can feel fresh. Hell they could have taken a blow and tried some type of free download on the x-box360, the ps3and other devices, with a built in audience whom may have been playing those consoles. I am thinking the Seth Godin model as an approach. How would you phrase Marvel’s sudden cancelation of a large number of titles, beside typical or that’s the way it goes. I was just stating dropped the ball on an opportunity.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      @OliverTwist: I read this as Marvel higher-ups reacting to the loss of market share to DC in the last couple months and taking prudent but harsh action to turn things around.

      I’m not a business expert, but if the goal is to be the number one publisher again, they’ve got to make some changes.

      Right or wrong, they feel that in order to regain their market position, they need to trim editorial staff and cancel some books (presumably for not selling well enough) so they can retool before making a push to be number one again.

      It sounds like pretty basic strategy for any company in any industry.

      And I agree that Marvel’s moves into digital comics haven’t been as bold as I’d like, so I’m not rejecting your idea that Marvel should be trying different approaches to digital. While I like the concept of giving titles like X-23 a second chance as digital-only releases, I don’t think Marvel or the digital market is ready for it yet. It has yet to be proven that top-tier, print-profitable characters are finding digital success, so putting resources into characters that were not popular in print seems like a waste of resources.

      We also don’t really know how the costs of publishing a print comic compare to the cost of publishing a digital comic. Publishing digital-only books at this point in time might not reduce costs as much as we think they should.

  30. I seriously was going to say Daken next before I saw on Bleeding Cool that it was cancelled….So with process of elimination I say Avengers Academy. Cause it’s probably the least known Avengers book for mainstream fans and it will probably follow the same trend as Avengers: The Initiative.

  31. MutantSentry MutantSentry says:

    You forgot to mention All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes which was short end to the 5 issue miniseries from an 8 issue miniseries. And no conclusion to the story was included. That is the one that makes me the most mad. I heard most of the material for the remaining issues was already turned it.

  32. X-Factor is one of my favorite comics, I’d be pretty sad if it got cancelled.

  33. elasticviper says:

    Im not that well versed in Marvel, but how many of the cancelled and might be cancelled titles have trades available? A bunch of vertigo titles sell way less than this and they’re still going because of how well they sell in trades…

    • K.FLIP K.FLIP says:

      They all have trade availability these days. If it was like 5-6 yrs ago, then maybe it would be very scarce to find these trades. Only way you could probably find them is online like amazon or ebay for example or your local comic book shop.

  34. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    See ya, Daken. It’s been real.

    PS – I hate you.

  35. vinylhed says:

    Could all these cancellations be Marvel attempting to streamline their output in preparation for a company wide reboot…
    What am I saying? No company would have the balls to attempt something like that! Hang on a minute…

  36. nastysnow nastysnow says:

    I know im alone here but I love daken but the writing was on the wall

  37. RahUniQue RahUniQue says:

    Please Jack Kirby, who art in the Cosmos…watch over the T-Bolts & the kids at Avengers Academy. I really, really like them.

  38. Orionthx Orionthx says:

    Avengers Academy is one of my favorite Marvel books right now. I hope they let that one live a bit longer. Especially with the injection of new characters to the team.

  39. MrSethypants MrSethypants says:

    this is so fucking lame.
    im glad i stopped reading marvel.

    • Firevine Firevine says:

      You stopped reading Marvel, eh? Well multiply that by 5000. Oh look, books are getting cancelled. Well, these books I like got cancelled, so I’m done with Marvel. More books get cancelled.

      The readership is a pretty significant portion of this. I wouldn’t read an issue of Daken if you gave it to me. If there’s no market for a consumer item, it can’t make money for the company producing it. Look at the HP Touchpad. Are you going to quit buying HP products because they killed the Touchpad? (You should quit buying HP products for other reasons, but, I digress)

      One portion that is the fault of Marvel is not promoting some titles. That said, all the advertising in the world wasn’t going to get me to drop $3.00 on an issue of Daken. Apparently not many other people will either, because that book sits there and collects dust at my shop. It goes in a few folks pull boxes, they never come and get them, and the rest go on the shelf, and no one gets those either. Out of all the titles listed above, one sells decently at my shop. Thunderbolts sells most copies we order. Most. Orders are lowish.

      Also, as stated, this isn’t even sell through numbers. There’s a possibility that not even half those copies made it into the hands of readers. Can’t run a business if books that don’t sell eat up the profits off those that do. Every buck or whatever that my shop makes off a copy of Batman, gets eaten up by a copy of Mister Terrific.

      I don’t want to extrapolate from sales at my shop, because there’s stuff that racks up numbers here on iFanboy, that there is little to no demand for where I work, and vice versa. Zenescope books sell like meth infused flapjacks, while getting largely ignored by the iFanbase.

    • MrSethypants MrSethypants says:

      Whats the point to continue reading marvel when the only titles left are avengers, xmen and spiderman. What huge waste of time. All those time spent into x-23, daken and black panther. 3 of my favorite titles getting canned. Avengers Academy would also probably be gone. Lack of diversity in genre, characters, double shipping, reducing pages, upping prices, all these are just a fuck you to consumers. Im done with marvel for good.

  40. justinsayne justinsayne says:

    Generation Hope better not get canceled it’s one of my favorite books gong right now at Marvel. You know Marvel just a a rule of thumb if the book is written by Gillen, Remender, or Aaron just don’t touch, leave it the fuck alone, get the hell away from it, you catch my drift? What I wouldn’t mind seeing is more of the Avengers books getting the axe. I know there is a movie coming out next summer, but do you really need 20 fucking Avenger titles?

  41. KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

    At first I said I wouldn’t lose any sleep over any of the “bubble” books getting cancelled. But I bought Generation Hope this week and I really liked it. I saw elsewhere on the web that it’s assured to finish this arc (up to #17), so I’m going to add it to my pull list and see where it all goes.

    And all the strong positive reactions for Avengers Academy in this thread has convinced me to go check out that book as well (but let me add for any Marvel folk who might be reading, I absolutely would not be pulling or sampling either book if they were $3.99)

    CANCELPOCALYPSE only happens if we choose to let it (to a certain extent).

  42. Goodguy_GvE says:

    Marvel needs to put some muscle behind some of these books. We don’t need another full page advertisement about Avengers and X-Men. Everyone buys that crap like it’s required summer reading. But Thunderbolts is consistently one of the best offerings Marvel has, and has been since Dark Reign, and Avengers Academy has the feel of old school New Mutants or Teen Titans when those titles were at their best. It proves that Marvel has a host of fascinating characters worth developing that are not Deadpool, Wolverine or Spider-Man. I know this may come as a shock to a lot of people. Thunderbolts in particular surprises with plot twists month after month and has one of the most excellently paced books being produced today. Shame on tens of thousands of fanboys for ignoring it.

    Another tragedy of Marvel’s axe was Guardians of the Galaxy not so long ago (dear God what a great series), and DC followed suit with L.E.G.I.O.N., a victim of the New 52 along with Zatanna and Power Girl.

    Get your friends buying these books – protect them like an endangered species, like the black rhino. Treat yourself and feed your brain with a solid read that’s outside the norm for a change.

  43. Kzinti says:

    Actually glad to see Daken and Iron Man 2.0 bite the dust. Though they started out as decent books, they soon started to be pretty boring and dull to read. I had already dropped them from my pull list a few issue’s ago. I liked X-23, it had promise. Generation Hope again another one that started good, but quickly became bleh, another dropped tittle of mine.

    X-Factor lost me more than a year ago, so I will not be suprised if this one cancels out as well.

    Hope that A.A. stays, as I think this is a unique way to introduce and build up new hero’s. Not read Thunderbolts, and don’t really care for Deadpool.

    Just to many tittles being published, for any comic reader to buy and collect. The cost of each issue is keeping many from picking up or trying new tittles. Buying and reading comics is my only vice these days and I’m still on a limited budget on what I spend on my vice, gotta pay the bills and put food on the table first.

  44. keith7198 keith7198 says:

    There is nothing on that cancel list that will effect my pull lists.

  45. It would really bum me if Thunderbolts got cancelled. DeadpoolMAX I just read the first trade of and am now buying monthly. It’s the only Deadpool (other than Uncanny X-Force) I can stand. Plus Kyle Baker is drawing. The guy is a master cartoonist and I really don’t understand why I don’t hear more people don’t talking him up.

    The only ones of the recently cancelled I read was Iron Man 2.0. Spencer was weaving a solid tale but event schlock really knocked that series out of whack. Plus that dumb title. Seemed like some not-so-great editorial decisions were involved.

  46. froggulper says:

    Note how many of the canceled titles are $2.99. All of them.

    Deadpool MAX sells fewer copies, but it’s a $3.99 and it just got renewed for a second “season” of twelve issues. Plus a holiday special.

    More evidence that $3.99 is not a “greedy” price for a comic. This is the price of doing business now, in our dwindling hobby.

    Some costs would be saved if a title became digital-only, but as Conor has stated, there are additional costs there as well (paying Apple, Comixology, paying people to convert the files to various digital presentation styles). It might be feasible at 2.99, if you could get over 10,000 downloads (far from a sure thing). Otherwise the creative talent would need to take a huge cut in pay to make the enterprise feasible.

    P.S. So Daken got canceled, huh. I guess this puts to rest any of the “sexism” accusations about X-23 getting canceled. Or, it SHOULD put them to rest. It won’t.

  47. KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

    Okay, as to this whole notion that digital MUST be cheaper that print because printing and shipping is SOOOO expensive. The truth is we just don’t know.

    Some of us are putting a lot of weight behind conclusions derived from pure speculation and insufficient information. It’s fun to speculate, but unless you’ve kidnapped someone from Marvel’s accounting department, you have to admit we’re kind of talking out of our asses here. That said, here are some more words emanating from my backside:

    The programming of a digital comic IS a cost consideration, so its worth including in the list of “unique digital costs”, but I agree with TomSwift that it isn’t comparable to printing and shipping. I think the real costs for digital comics right now are the fees for Apple and Comixology built into the presented price of the comic.

    We know Apple takes 30% of every iOS in-app purchase (google it). The purchasing app takes another cut – I have NO IDEA WHAT THAT IS. Let’s say it’s 10% for the sake of having a number, but I bet it’s higher to pay for managing all the content and transaction data. 5th grade math then tells us that a publisher makes $2.40 per $4 book, and $1.80 per $3 book, less other overhead costs (paying the creators, etc).

    We’d need a retailer or Diamond insider to chime in to determine how much Marvel makes on the average print comic (but I’m guessing it varies a lot due to discounts, incentives, and limited returnability schemes applied to specific issues and titles.)

    ONLY THEN can we begin to say whether Marvel makes more money on print or digital, and EVEN THEN…that’s PER ISSUE. We don’t know what the break even point is on any given book — different creators get different rates so just because Daken is not profitable at 19,472 (ASSUMING that’s the reason it’s cancelled) doesn’t mean Generation Hope is necessarily less profitable at 18,424. And again….those are Diamond numbers which we’re told over and over again are not the real numbers.

    Again, speculate because it’s a fun mental exercise, but don’t base your purchasing habits on it.

    • PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

      A few of the retailers I do business told me that companies make slightly more on digital releases because they charge the full cover price, whereas print books are sold to stores at roughly 1/2 the cover. So Marvel’s max profit on a $2.99 book is only $1.50 minus printing costs, shipping, Dimaond’s cut, paying the writer, etc, etc. . If Apple take 30%, Comixology takes… let’s say 10% so marvel’s maximum profit is $1.75. Not wholly different, so they’re roughly the same. But seeing as how Comixology is usually the one responsible for programing the comic (as far as I’ve heard), the Publisher is still coming out ahead in digital. If you buy your books direct from Comixology’s Website though, both Comixology and the Publisher benefit more.

    • PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

      I should note, this is figurative math to make the modeling easier, not based on hard figures. (Even the Retailers I talked with note that sometimes they have a hard time figuring out their margins on some books because of incentives, discounts, increased orders, etc.)

    • what we do know is that anything selling under 20k seems to be not worth the trouble for Marvel or DC. Think about that for a second. 20 thousand units sold, and not profitable enough (or at all). That means that the hard costs such as creator fees and printing and shipping are quite expensive. What does that say about the business model? If you sell 20k of anything and you’re not making money on that, then something is wrong.

    • abstractgeek says:

      Mark Millar who does his books through comixology (marvel doesnt get anything from icon books digitally) said comixology splits the money 50/50 with the publisher

  48. JudgeJoyce JudgeJoyce says:

    Damn! In regard to Black Panther. I followed the first arc and dropped it due to financial constraints. I planned to pick it up in trades. I understand that i contributed to the low sales figures but I figured there was people out there with more cash and more sense. David Liss and Francavello were amazing. Sorry to see it go. Great storyteling with art to match.

  49. K.FLIP K.FLIP says:

    They need to cut down on avenger and x-men books. Spider-man is about to get there in terms of more than 2 ongoings.

  50. BOLT says:

    bring back NOVA and Doc Savage!

  51. Cantseeme Cantseeme says:

    Please don’t cancel Academy! Please don’t cancel Academy! Please don’t cancel Academy!

  52. darktipper says:

    This is what happens when you take T’Challa out of Africa and strip him of being king or prince…… Marvel needs to put him back in the avengers like a batman-ish character and pimp him across the other marvel books. I also feel bad for ghost rider. Is is sad that marvel’s b-list heroes get axed now. I knew it was coming when dr strange got canned back in the day and the influx of xmen titles and spiderman books…. I rather read lower tier heroes now like nova BP Quasar etc…. You just get burnt out on spider man and xmen and all of the “events” I think there needs to be an anti event book movement. What happened to telling good straight stories without crossovers and events. I can see an event happening like once every 3-5 years but every summer is getting nuts. I quit after dark reign……. It got on my nerves but I liked Blackest night.

  53. syngar99 says:

    When discussing the cost of paper comics versus digital comics, one must take lessons from books versus ebooks.

    The cost of a comic is much more than just paying the talent, and printing it. There is advertising for instance.