Monday, January 15, 2007

Life Sucks Again: Manhunter and Firestorm Final Issues in April

As I was perusing the April solicits, I couldn't help but feel a bit of sinking in the pit of my gut. DC Comics is saying that Firestorm #35 and Manhunter #30 are the final issues of both series.


So Firestorm gets three issues from the new creative team and ends, while Manhunter just got a reprieve only to be cancelled again. What an absolute shame.

Those of you who weren't reading Manhunter were missing something special. The evolution of the lead character and her cast was beautiful. Every month, this book was at the top of my pile, both for the gorgeous art and the tremendous scripting by Marc Andreyko.

I am also greatly saddened by the end of Firestorm. I started picking up the book at "One Year Later" and was really enjoying the story being told.

Cripes, where is the justice? Between the potentially good news on Wonder Woman and the bad news here, I don't know how to feel.

Final solicits on Firestorm and Manhunter are as follows:

Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by Pop Mhan & Rob Stull
Cover by Pete Woods
The end is here as Firestorm faces the fury of a superpowered Kalibak and a horde of Parademons! After this battle, you'll see a Firestorm that's never been seen before!
On sale April 25 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o Final Issue

Written by Mark Andreyko
Art by Javier Pina & Robin Riggs
Cover by Jesus Saiz & Pina
The shocking series finale! When you're the best superhero lawyer on earth, where do you find your next challenge? Look to the stars…
On sale April 4 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o Final Issue

Have any of you read anything about why the book is being cancelled? Is it the obligatory "bad sales" spin? If you find anything, let me know as I am very curious.


Carl said...

Nope, first I heard of it. I didn't fall Firestorm since forever ago, but as an original Silver Age fan of Paul Kirk's Manhunter, I had picked up the new one with interest. At first I had a time getting into it. It had almost nothing to do with the previous MHs and was a clean break. But I really started to enjoy the book. Sadly, it was another one that had to go when I was nearly broke last year. But, I had been picking up back issues and got #27 last week 'cause it had Blue Beetle on the cover. And actually, a lot of people I knew began to pick up the book after the reprive from the original cancelling, figuring it must have had something on the ball. "Look to the stars"? What does that mean, she's going to be the lawyer for the Green Lantern Corps or something? Weird. When so much crap is being shoved at us, it's a crime to cancel this book...

Carl said...

Fall = follow of course, sheesh!

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, I think it's just sales for both...which SUCKS because I LOVE both of these books. Unfortunately, the comic book world is now polluted with the big events because they bring in the money. The characters that survive tend to be the ones that they know will sell. I mean, I can't really blame DC for needing to make money and, at least in Manhunter's case, they tried different things to market the book.

I think the thing with Manhunter, though, was it was always meant to be a 5 issue reprieve ending at issue 30 with a "we'll see" at the end. I have no ideas if sales numbers have picked up in this story arc, but, hopefully they have and Manhunter will rise again.

What DC needs to do with these characters is have them play bigger roles in their events. We've seen Firestorm only a couple of times...for very short 52 and virtually nothing of Manhunter. BUT, she does get the benefit of surprising us with Blue Beetle!

Now, if they cancel All-New Atom and Blue Beetle, too, I'll be super, duper pissed!

Elayne said...

I'm not thrilled either to see the possible end of Manhunter with #30, as my husband has yet to line up a new assignment...

Anonymous said...

While it's admirable DC extended the run of Manhunter, they're marketing follow-through was nonexistant. I don't recall any kind of marketing push on DC's part, other than "well, here's five more issues of it". No ads, no incentives, no inventive marketing...just the old reliable "bigshot guest star" tactic.

DC's in a really strange place these days when it comes to their whole editorial and publishing philosophy. The cancel quality books that come out on time, yet they look the other way for horribly late high profile books like Wonder Woman. I don't get it.

Lisa said...

WHAT!!! We've sold a TON of Manhunter graphic novels since they paused the series and those really got new peole into it and they're picking up the new series. Throwing that Wonder Woman story into the mix helped too, especially when it's so long between issues of that comic. I'm selling twice as many Manhunter now than I did before the pause - and now I'm just mad that they're ending it! It's one of the best comcis people aren't reading!

As for Firestorm, it has had a pretty modest readership at my store. Honestly, I'm surprised it has lasted this long. People around here just didn't seem to go for it after the one-year-later re-creation of the character.

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, it is really unfortunate that such a quality book gets the axe while certain anonymous titles drag on. This is definitely one of those instances.

As for her career, I wasn't sure what to think. GL Corps is as good a guess as any, but I don't like it! With a young son, Kate needs to be home... oh crap, they aren't killing him are they? Now I am depressed.

Sigh. It is such a shame about this. I am still a bit shell-shocked.

Heidi Meeley said...

Loren, amen to what you said. Great minds think alike and all that... :-)

I can't even think about Blue Beetle being cancelled. It is a joy to read, and that would be like a knife through the heart. Gail's take on the Atom has been fresh, so I am crossing my fingers for it as well.

Please people of the world, buy these books! Actually, it makes me want to pump them here even more, because if even just one more person reads it could be like one of those old shampoo commercials where one becomes multiples!

Take care, Loren.

Heidi Meeley said...

Elayne, I am so sorry to hear that. Your husband and Javier Pina are a great team, and I am really enjoying their work. It would be nice to see them on a book doing quality work instead of one of the "deadline challenged" artists currently doing certain anonymous titles.

Is there anywhere specific we could campaign or offer the idea of Robin on a book? He rules!

Heidi Meeley said...

Mark, I agree. Word of mouth is what has made those books. Having some marketing would have helped immensely. God knows there is a budget there for it.

It is a shame to see such wonderful titles fall by the wayside due to corporate negligence.

Once again, excellent observations, kind sir!

Heidi Meeley said...

Lisa, my retailer would only special order both books for me, so they were part of the problem. It makes me mad to think about it, because I try and be supportive, but that is water under the bridge.

I am really curious what the decisions were based on, or if it just was low sales.

Take care!

Marc Burkhardt said...

When Stuart Moore left the book, he said it was due to low sales.

Too bad, because I really liked his one-year-later adventures until the last one or two issues - which really ended on a whimper for me.

Guess I can't blame a guy for hastily wrapping up all his plotlines though. That's not the first time it's happened in comics!

Heidi Meeley said...

Fortress Keeper, it is definitely a shame about Firestorm. The One Year later stuff was good. I was really hoping for more opportunities to watch the character evolve, so this is a bit disapointing.

It is probably just as well that Moore was able to wrap up his run. I am a bit bummed though, because I was quite interested in what the new creative team would do.

Lisa said...

Did you read this week's Birds of Prey? I just finished it and it got me thinking - maybe Manhunter becomes a Bird. After all, they are short one with Canary on the JLA. Now, I have absolutly NOTHING verifying this, it's just my mind trying to same Manhunter from destruction.

Lisa said...
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Lisa said...
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Heidi Meeley said...

Lisa, I am running late on commenting on this, but I think you are right. With the focus on Kate in BOP, DC must have made the decision. I am sure you have it on the nose here.

Darn it, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too!