Some books, you never stop loving. Some shows, you never miss. Some games, you just can’t put down. This isn’t their story; this is the tale of those that got Dropped.
As a contributor for a comic book/PoP!-culture website, I try to soak in as much as possible. There are a lot of comics I no more than crack open before tossing them aside. But every so often, a character or concept will suck me in and get me “on board.” At least for a while…
In this first installment of Dropped, I’ll be taking a look at four books whose only real crime was being completely and utterly superfluous.
I got into comics reading ’90s X-Men and as such, I LOVE Gambit. But any story you’re going to tell in an ongoing Gambit series probably could have fit just as we’ll in one of the many X-titles in which he currently appears. Captain Marvel’s a great character and Brian Reed’s take on Carol was truly inspired; anything short of that seems like it would be better served as the b-plot in an issue of Avengers – New or otherwise. Deadpool is jumping ship from Uncanny X-Force to join up with the Thnderbolts, but as part of Marvel Now just got another new number one slapped on the cover of his own ongoing. And then there’s DC’s latest new addition, Bat-Gambit…. err, Talon. This perfectly serviceable new addition to Batman’s extended family could have been an intriguing background character for writers to flesh out over time. Instead, readers will be burnt out on him in no time thanks to DC fast tracking him to solo status.
In fact, DC plans to launch two new solo books featuring Justice League of America members Vibe and Katana. Big props to putting the spotlight on characters of varying ethnicities, but do either of these characters really WARRANT their own books?
Here’s the underlying problem; B, C, and D-list characters such as these do NOT have their own villains and best-good-guy friends to feature in the books. Not well known ones, at least. Who supports the supporting cast? And when the characters are currently being featured in team books, what’s the point? These are all stories that could be used to spotlight the characters in the main titles; instead, it’s one less story to tell there, and that much more continuity to try to stay on top of.
Solo titles work best when: 1) a character exists solely on their own, absent any team involvement; 2) there is a rich stable of villainous rivals and heroic companions to flesh out the cast; and 3) the creative team has a unique angle to bring to the book. All too often, new titles are launched that meet none of these criteria and, however “good” they might be, they eventually – some quicker than others – wear out their welcome.
I’ll say this much – I don’t fault the creative teams. In each case, the writing and art have been perfectly serviceable. But to quote a friend “Vibe could be written by Geoff Johns and feature the art of Alex Ross… it’s still going to be about Vibe.” Without some really great hook, the end result is a book that’s not on stands for the story it has to tell, but rather the sales figures it can potentially pad.
So I bid an at least somewhat fond farewell to these four books as I tighten the reigns on my pull list. What will be the next title to get the axe from a discerning PoP!-Star and why? Stay tuned, PoP!ulation. You might be surprised!
Filed Under: Dropped