Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Nixed Comics

I came across this list of “Top Ten... cancelled shows we miss” here. It was fun to read especially as it was from a British perspective, although something needs to go to make room for The Tick.

This got me thinking, what cancelled or unfinished comic series do I miss. Hmmmm…

Guardians of the Galaxy: I’ve always liked these sci-fi heroes from the 31st century. Their stories were set in an alternate timeline that’s a post-apocalyptic lovers wet dream, with the bionics Wars ala Deathlok, the Martian invasion (War of the Worlds) ala Killraven, and the Badoon conquerors nearly wiping out the human race. I also really liked the fact that these were space-fairing superheroes. Just when the Guardians title was gonna start tying up Killraven’s history with that of the Guardians of the Galaxy it got canned.

Hex: Hey I loved the scifi, and mad max action of this comic. Who cares if was in continuity or not. With Vietnam vets, road reapers, robot guard dogs, time travel, and the Jewish Batman how could you go wrong? I don’t care what anybody says, Jonah Hex’s bounty hunter characterization stayed true despite the fact he was blazing a trail across the irradiated wasteland and not the old west. It was cancelled with issue 18 so we never got to see how he made back to the 19th century… and what was up with those Dogs of War guys anyway?

Scout: A post-apocalyptic western, with Hopi mysticism and political disintegration. Great stuff. We got Tim Truman’s first two story arcs in Scout, and Scout: War Shaman then bam, the third series never appeared. I’m singing the blues, what happened Tim?

Squadron Supreme: After Mark Gruenwald’s magnum opus mini-series, “Squadron Supreme” about a Marvelized version of the JLA taking over the world to save it, I was expecting a regular series with these characters. Then Mark had to go and die… Later, Squadron Supreme: New World Order raised my hopes for a moment but it didn’t lead to anything.

1963: Alan Moore’s parody of Marvel Comics in the Silver Age. Great one shots like Mystery Incorporated, No-one Escapes the Fury, Horus Lord of Light, and Tales of the Uncanny were supposed to be tied up by an annual. Then Image went through big changes and the last part of project was shelved, never to return.

Miracleman: What can be said about Miracleman that hasn’t been said before. Hmmm.., How do you take a British rip-off of Captain Marvel and make it one of the best superhero stories ever written? Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, that’s how. Now have Eclipse Comics go bankrupt, a confusing distribution of rights and Todd Macfarlane, and then you get a character that’s perpetually stuck in litigation with an unfinished story.

Ambush Bug: This character and his comic series totally changed my perception of reality; on top of that, the bug is really funny. Rarely do you get a character that breaks the forth wall. I never even thought it was possible to do something like that until Ambush Bug came along. Through several mini-series, the fans were treated to some of the funniest tales that had ever been put in a comic book. A good analogy would be to say that this character is the Monty Python of Comics. Ambush Bug made such an impression on me that I actually photocopied one of the issues and read it in my speech class in high school. Well, DC has reduced Ambush Bug to minor appearances and sightings. Bring back the Ambush Bug mini-series DC! We could all use a good laugh.

Xenozoic Tales: the inspiration for the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs cartoon. Xenozoic Tales is Mark Schultz’s unfinished pulp masterpiece set in a future world were the Dinos have returned and Humans eke out a simple existence in the ruins of a past civilization. Well written and amazingly illustrated, this series captures the magic of 1930’s adventure strips with modern sci-fi edginess. (From the back of volume one of the collected stories) “Once you let the profound creativity of Xenozoic Tales sink it’s teeth into you, you’ll be screaming for more!” Uh, Mark, …I’m screaming for more here…

Claw the Unconquered: Ok nobody read this title or they dropped it quickly after getting the first issue , but I loved it. Perhaps folks didn’t like it because it wasn’t made clear that this title was a continuation of the Red Sonja/Claw crossover “Devil’s Hands.” I found the Sword and Sorcery action crossed with the curse of Valkin’s demon hand very compelling. The title character was like Conan mixed with Elric. We were just getting started when the whole title was brought to a quick end due to lack of sales. I blame Wildstorm for not handling the transition from the Red Sonja/Claw crossover to the claw series very well. Hmmm… perhaps Red Sonja can come back and rescue him in another mini… yeah right. Not gonna happen.

Sectaurs… Just Kidding

I was gonna pick Airboy too, but I just came across an announcement that it’s being revived by Moonstone. See here. I hope it's good.



Dean Wormer said...

A good analogy would be to say that this character is the Monty Python of Comics.

Terrific sum-up of a very funny comic.

Don Snabulus said...

Mandingo, Swinebread! How I grok your mouth music. The Tick in this list would be like the warm milk of justice poured over the strawberries of evil.

Arkonbey said...

Airboy! I am so checking that out. I agree with Snabulus. The Tick is missing. It might fit on a 'fabulous comics that jumped the shark' list, though.

Swinebread said...

dean - it was the best way to put it

snab - spoon!

arkonbey - Airboy's great but Valkrie's the best! That's so true about the tick.

ladybug said...

I remember the Scout: War Shaman one, and I like it alot. It's a bummer that they didn't continue it, had endless story possibilities too!

DinosaurPrince said...

Should have done a sectaurs feature.