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The Black Guardian 

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 26,433
In Reply To
America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139
Subj: 70s Champions
Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 03:10:33 pm EDT (Viewed 372 times)
Reply Subj: Re: A-listers and others (plus addition)
Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 12:33:29 pm EDT (Viewed 415 times)

Previous Post

    Well, it's your personal definition, so you are free to stick to it and I am free not to. However, while I don't have any sales figures for the last years of the Defenders, but to me at the time it looked as if the series had not been cancelled because it was unsuccessful (it was a title I still enjoyed), but by editorial fiat. They lost half their team (the Angel, Iceman and the Beast, not to mention team leader Candy Southern) because the characters were needed for the launch of X-Factor. (X-Factor #1 and New Defenders #152, the final issue, came out the exact same month). So I got the feeling that the Defenders were at least partly cancelled to ensure that the readers would follow the three ex-X-Men to the new X-Factor book.

Hmm. OK. You make a good point. I saw Black Guardian's reply, which suggests making room for New Universe drove the cancellation. Probably both X-Factor and New Universe were to blame.

So now I'm wondering why the Champions were cancelled.

You know - maybe character success is less natural selection and more political buffoonery than I was thinking.

    The problem with that was that the launch of X-Factor for a while undid most of how Warren, Bobby and Hank had evolved since they left the X-Men in X-Men vol. 1 #94 as the creators were very much on a trip to recreate the X-Men of their youth (they removed Hank's fur, tried to revive the old Scott-Jean-Warren triangle, and even brought back Hank's 1960s girlfriend Vera Cantor).

The whole 1986 thing was ridiculous. It really was a very bad year. Except for Ralph Snart.

    The Human Torch also had his solo outings, first in Strange Tales and later as a frequent participant in Marvel Team-Up (he was, IIRC, the most frequently used hero after Spider-Man there and would usually headline the title in the ten or twenty issues where Spidey did not appear). And currently he is appearing in Uncanny Avengers (where I like him a lot).

I can't bring myself to read an Avengers book lately - but I like the general concept of Johnny Storm travelling around through a variety of books. I didn't like him with Medusa as I couldn't get past my initial impression that Medusa was robbing the cradle, but the general concept of Johnny having a place to appear was pleasing to me. Maybe his next stop will be an X-book. Oddly enough, as I sit here pondering what characters I'd most like to see him teamed with, I end up picturing him with the old entertaining version of the furry Beast (which of course means the Avengers version) along with Warren and Bobby - and yeah, that works, at least for me.

    But using your definition, I am pretty sure that Jean can never become an A-lister. As things stand, her "constituency" in the majority consists of people who love her because of her history as an X-Man, and if she does find success it will largely be because of that, and, as we've seen on another thread, many of those who want her to return say that she has to return because the X-books need her. So I have to wonder whether Marvel or even a majority of fans wants Jean to appear in a title away from the X-Men (either solo or in a team with random non-mutant characters) and if a book like the ones pitched here actually is launched and becomes viable, I think it will be lucky if it lasts a year or two before Jean is drawn back into the family of X-books - i.e. less time than Warren or Bobby spent on the Champions and Defenders.

Yeah - so now I'm picturing a new X-book specially designed with the Reverend and Black Guardian in mind: it would feature 1963 teen Jean, 1975 twenty-something Jean, Rachel, and Hope, with the working title of "Quadrijeania."

(AC ducks, covers, and runs.)

Everything I've read suggests Champions was cancelled due to sales. Most of the series' existence was spent as a bimonthly book (every other month), which is what Marvel did with low sellers back then. There was an attempt to generate interest just before the end, by guest starring in other titles, and when that failed, the plug was pulled. The ending was sort of abrupt, and the team didn't disband until after the series ended.

The series had many problems that caused the low sales. There never was a good reason for the team to be together. There was instability in the creative team (like a dozen different combos between the 17 issues). The cast probably played a role, too. And no really good stable villains.

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