Since the debut of the New 52, we have seen lots of hits and misses from the line. Arguably there have been more misses than hits, but the misses have taken their toll on some very fine books. It is hard to say what the contributing factor is for a book to not appeal to comic fans, but we are going to look at five books that were canceled too early.
The five books below should have sold well in today’s comic market. For the most part they all had solid storytelling to go along with very good art. Somewhere along the line, fans just decided not to support these fantastic books.
Take a look at five books DC needs to bring back to the New 52! – in no particular order…
I really don’t know why this book has never succeeded for DC. They tried very hard before the New 52, even extending it longer than anyone could have possibly hope for, with the numbers it was moving. There was even a big multimedia push for the character. He was featured in Young Justice and there was even a test scene filmed for his transformation, for a live action television show.
This new Blue Beetle is the closest thing that DC has to a “Spider-Man” type character. He is the traditional “teenager that isn’t all that popular, gets super powers, doesn’t know how to handle them” guy with a few twists to the concept here and there.
The New 52 Blue Beetle lasted only 16 issues (17 if you count the 0 issue) and was canceled due to poor sales. It was literally the bottom of the barrel in sales at one point for DC Comics. It is mind-boggling that this book could tank so badly in the sales department. It has all the earmarks of popularity with none of the people behind it.
With the right writer and artist behind this property, DC could have a winner. The key is getting a couple of high profile creators behind this project for at least a year.
This particular book has the nostalgic factor turned up to eleven. Artist Keith Giffen did his best to channel his inner Jack Kirby on this book. The art alone sold this book for me. I don’t know if today’s comic fan really understands the importance or the craftsmanship that Kirby brought to every piece of art he brought to the table. In my opinion, some of today’s readers don’t understand his artwork and blow it off as too “childish”. Growing up I felt the same way. It wasn’t until my mid-20’s that I discovered that Kirby’s art was absolutely brilliant.
Art aside, the concept behind O.M.A.C. was brilliant. After the ending of this book, the character was thrust into the middle of a Justice League International story. However O.M.A.C. nor Brother Eye ever got a satisfying conclusion and story threads are still left in the air.
The book gave us a look at Maxwell Lord in the New 52 and was being setup as something great. Unfortunately, this book suffered from the same problems that Blue Beetle did – lack of readership.
O.M.A.C. could have succeeded on so many levels bringing a unique look at the New 52, as well as introducing and creating a unique niche character like O.M.A.C. I guess that is why he fails because he is a rather niche type character.
Springing from the pages of Blue Beetle was Threshold. This book was the “Guardians of the Galaxy” for the New 52, or at least it should have been. This was probably my favorite of the canceled titles to date. A book of this quality would have made great stories for years to come!
Several artist worked on this book through its eight issue run. I don’t know which of them was responsible for character design, but they hit it out of the park. The book contained some of the coolest looking costumes and creatures that I have ever seen in a comic, television or movie! The book could have easily been adapted to film and earned awards in costume design and make-up if they just followed what was on the page.
I don’t know if Giffen got to tell his whole story in the eight issues that were released, but he made the most out of each one. Each issue left you with a cliffhanger ending, fantastic art, great storytelling and a galactic tale desperately needed in the New 52. Sure we have the Green Lanterns, but we only get to see the GL Corps from their perspective and in epic space battles. Threshold explored the dingy cantinas and spaceports around the galaxy, introducing us to new alien species and future threats to the DC Universe.
This is another book that ended to early and is a must have to fill out the outer edges of the New 52. And hey, how can you not like the ‘New 52′ version of Captain Carrot??
This book was a semi-left-over from the Flashpoint event. Jeff Lemire was tasked with a small Flashpoint mini-series Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos and gave the company a surprise hit! This book was the catalyst for Frankenstein to have his own book in the New 52.
The Frankenstein featured excellent covers by the super talented J.G. Jones with scripts by Jeff Lemire (and later Matt Kindt) and art by Alberto Ponticelli. It was a critical success for the New 52 until Jeff Lemire left the book around half way through its run.
The book gave us concepts about an S.H.I.E.L.D. type orginization that kept us safe from monsters and extra-dimensional beings. It even introduced us to the New 52 version of Ray Palmer. Jeff Lemire’s run on the book was absolutely fantastic. He made us need this book each and every month. Unfortunately, there was just some sort of disconnect after Matt Kindt took over. It didn’t have the same luster and appeal to fans of the book.
There is still a need for S.H.A.D.E. and Frankenstein in the New 52, but fans can currently get their Frankenstein fix through Justice League Dark.
Deathstroke is another book that suffered from lackluster sales towards the end of its run. It is always nice to see at least one villain get his own book and Deathstroke should be at the top of the list. The book started out with a bang, but ended with a whimper.
Lots of people will say that it was all Rob Liefeld’s fault for the book ending so early, but Liefeld haters operate on a different wave length than others. There utter contempt for everything the man producing is astonishing. Liefeld himself said that lack of control and editors making changes to scripts at the last minute led to this books downfall.
Deathstroke should be a top selling book for DC. The potential is definitely there, but it will take a writer and artist with the creative chops to pull this one off for any long term effect. I think with the success that Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have given Green Arrow, that a team-up from the two on a Deathstroke book would be a great success.
Deathstroke could be the book that is the antithesis of Batman. Make him the unstoppable force of evil that he can be and let him always win. It would be an interesting read for sure and something that is lacking in the ‘New 52′ which is the villain point-of-view (Villains month notwithstanding).
Do you have favorite ‘New 52′ books that were canceled that you would like to see back? Sound off in our comment section below and let us know your thoughts!
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