Marvel, What Are You Doing?

So, word on across the web today is that Marvel comics has canceled one of its only female led solo titles, X-23. Speaking as a long time fan of the character and a fan of the title itself, I am not happy.

Cover for X-23 #17, out November 16th

Yes, I understand that X-23 is going to have a part in Avengers Academy coming this December (and I’ve been planning on picking up the title just so I can keep up with her story), but is that really any reason to cancel the title? Wolverine is a member of team after team, in title after title, so what’s the problem with his clone appearing in multiple titles? Especially when this cancellation means that Marvel’s only solo-lead female title come February will be Ghost Rider (which, coincidentally, X-23 has been outselling.)

It’s utterly ridiculous, that with so many strong female characters in the Marvel universe, that they can’t get one female title to stick. Personally, I think that some of Marvel’s female characters are even more compelling than the males, and are fully capable of holding up solo titles. If DC can have Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Batgirl, and a host of other female lead-titles that I hear have been selling well (I don’t read Batwoman, but I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about the current rebooted title), then what’s the deal, Marvel? You can totally let Storm or Spider-Woman (or Ultimate Spider-Woman for that matter) take the lead for once, or even do your own “Birds of Prey” type book.

Come on, Marvel. What gives?

About Angel

A 30 year old everything-nerd living in the southern United States. I devour films and British television like it's my job. My first love is Marvel and the X-Men, but Batman and all of his little helper birds are quickly weaseling their way in.
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14 Responses to Marvel, What Are You Doing?

  1. Maverickman874 says:

    Marvel has no compunctions with characters appearing in multiple titles at once. X-23 appearing in AA likely had nothing to do with the cancellation. The sales of the book were quite low for sometime and Marvel’s sales threshold for on-goings seems to have been increased by their CEO cutting costs.

    The reason for not getting female titles ( or any title for that matter) to stick is pretty simple. Instead of asking Marvel the question, when people know what the answer is going to be, it’s better to seek answers from the market ? Why aren’t they buying these books in the first place ?

  2. Alex says:

    “The sales of the book were quite low for sometime and Marvel’s sales threshold for on-goings seems to have been increased by their CEO cutting costs. […] Instead of asking Marvel the question, when people know what the answer is going to be, it’s better to seek answers from the market ? Why aren’t they buying these books in the first place ?”

    That’s answered in the original post:

    “[T]his cancellation means that Marvel’s only solo-lead female title come February will be Ghost Rider (which, coincidentally, X-23 has been outselling.)”

    Regardless of X-23’s numbers, if it’s outselling a female-led Ghost Rider, then why is it getting cancelled? (Of course, my guess is that GR has a movie coming out next year, and it’d look bad to cancel that series when they already tried and failed with one GR movie.)

    Regardless, the “let the market decide” logic makes no sense when a book that’s selling less gets to stay afloat.

    • Maverickman874 says:

      Yes, GR, Avengers Academy and Thunderbolts are selling low as well and those titles are probably on the chopping block as well. Each book also will have different costs associated with it as exclusives get higher pay rate. Maybe X-23 was getting too expensive to produce. All of Marvel’s previous cancellations of books starring female protagonists or some else have met an early end because of poor orders or early sales. This can happen to books with solid creative talent behind them like Liu. So, yes I put the balme majorly on the readership.

      • Dee says:

        I don’t though. The marketing of these books an characters is truly an afterthought. Over and over books that are getting great buzz from the readers and the critics (and that are often loved by store owners) get no support from the label. X23 is one of those and AA is definitely another.

        • maverickman874 says:

          I don’t think the marketing of X-23 and AA has been an afterthought. The first issue of AA was provided as a backup to one of the avenger books if I am not mistaken. Laura’s book is constantly counted in the Wolverine family of books as it comes from the same editorial group and it started off with a crossover with Wolverine and Daken. The book was also launched when she was revealed as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. You have decently reviewed books with solid creative teams and still people don’t pick them up.

          Marketing tends to screw up titles by over emphasizing core titles and when fanboys tend to buy only the core books which affect the entire line. Both contribute, but I would still blame the consumers more. If the book was selling 40K, this discussion wouldn’t be necessary. Marvel is a business first. They don’t make money on a book ,then it is cancelled.

  3. OverlordOfEvil says:

    Yes, it’s true that Marvel’s sales thresholds for titles have gone up because it’s more and more expensive to produce a book. And yes, it’s true that smaller titles don’t get the hype, support or consideration that flasgship titles and movie tie0in titles receive. But partly that’s a marketing scheme, and parly that’s because it’s harder to plug smaller titles. where would you “advertise” the smaller books? In the bigger ones, sure, but you have to look at profut margins there too. What gets you a bigger return, a one page ad in Avengers for Avengers Academy, or a one page ad in Avengers for, say, ABC’s Once Upon A Time TV series? That’s a pretty simple equation. You’d probably have to quadruple readership of the title to even get close to matching the profit made by selling ad space to ABC.
    So, yes, in a perfect world comic titles would sell on their merit alone. But in reality it’s all about the Benjamins baby.

  4. Jason says:

    I love how fans like to put the blame for cancelled comics on everyone but themselves….where it BELONGS. Fans didn’t buy it. PERIOD. Quite the fucking whining and take some god damn responsibility. You should be thanking Marvel for letting the titles continue as long as they did. You were having fun in your mamas basement reading your funny books and they were LOSING MONEY! Wake up you entitled, overweening brats. If something doesn’t sell, be it a comic with a female lead or any minority, then the company that PUT THE BOOK OUT FOR YOU TO BUY TO BEGIN WITH is not obliged to keep LOSING MONEY with it. UNDERSTAND MORONS?

    And this BS about marketing is a joke. How many comics get any sort of major promotional push? ALMOST NONE, that’s how many. Yeah, a few posters for the 52, a few posters for new and improved black spidey. But how many third tier books with third tier characters whether white, female or black EVER get any sort of major promotion? Wake the fuck up people and stop your bitching. Grow the fuck up already. It’s a buisness. I know you idiots want companies to “do nice things for people” and put their evil ideas about MAKING MONEY on the back burner until they make all of you whining idiots happy as pigs in slop by putting out 900 titles with all gays all women all minorities. But guess what? It isn’t going to happen because when they do put those books out they get left at the altar and then get castagated because YOU weren’t buying the books. Maybe one day when you graduate from your liberal arts and female studies class and ACTUALLY RUN A BUSINESS you might stop yourselves from talking out your asses and actually speak with some intelligence.

    • Chantaal says:

      For the record, I approved your comment because I don’t believe in hiding comments that aren’t outright troll/spam attempts. I’m kind of insulted (as a black, bisexual woman who is actually studying a liberal art) as a whole, but. You have a right to say what you want to say.

      I can’t speak for every other fan out there, but we at GRCT do buy the comics we love to support them (sometimes both digital AND physical copies). If you want to spew your vitriol at fans who complain but don’t buy in general, fine, but please be aware that we try our best not to be hypocrites here.

      • Alex says:

        You know, Chantaal, as a straight, white male, I found Jason’s rant insulting. Ignorance is bliss, eh?

        I’m a little late re-entering the party, but I’d like to add my two cents.

        As much as I love comics, I rarely buy. Not that I wouldn’t like to, but with school, work, and a family, I don’t even have time to pick up books like I’d like to. And when I do, it’s in collected format. So maybe I’m “part of the problem”, regardless of how I’d love to support comics.

        The big problem I have with the X-23 cancellation is, as the original article points out, it sells better than a female-led Ghost Rider. Jason does have a valid point is stating that the comic business still is a business. Everyone understands they’re out to make money. What is nonsensical about the X-23 cancellation is that it’s MAKING THEM MORE MONEY THAN GHOST RIDER. Whether I read X-23 or not, if it were me, I’d nix the title that pulls in less cash: see ya, Ghost Rider.

    • eruditechick says:

      Maybe this would be an effective argument if you didn’t round it out with an anti-education, anti-woman diatribe.

      Maybe if they stopped turning out five titles per popular character with conflicting timelines and events and stopped imposing giant universe-wide crossover events on writers, then the smaller books would have a chance to get the kind of foothold and attention they deserve. Peter David’s X-Factor being a prime example.

      Maybe you’re an idiot. But what do I know, I’m just a female fan who pays good money for good stories who has no right to be upset by the cancellation of titles that speak to me and are relevant to me because dicks like you don’t want to read about girl heroes.

  5. Anika says:

    I have to sadly admit that I wasn’t reading X-23 and you know why that is? Because I had barely even heard about it. I see someone’s spouted vitriol that no comics really get a big marketing push, but as someone who visits my local comic book shop every Wednesday, I do see marketing items out there for certain comics and even with that, I knew almost nothing about X-23 until I started hearing about its cancellation. It’s very unfortunate and I do think Marvel has some serious work to do acknowledging its female readership and female characters.

    That said, you NEED to check out Batwoman. It’s fantastic.

    – Anika
    anikaguldstrand.com

    • Chantaal says:

      Yeah, it’s sad that most comics don’t get the push they deserve; comics seem to be a very word of mouth industry when it comes to marketing.

      I love Batwoman! I don’t have the money to keep up with all my comics the way I used to, but I always try to make some room for Kate Kane in my life.

      • Anika says:

        I can certainly understand that! Keeping up with all the titles we want can be a pricey habit. ;) For the Batwoman reboot, I actually picked up the zero issue through issue two all at once and I was hooked. The art alone is worth the cover price!

  6. A says:

    seriously. i can’t believe they cancelled spider-woman so quickly. it was filling the empty hole left in me since ALIAS ended & then gone. as stated above batwoman is wonderful! kabuki, too.

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