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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,578
In Reply To
America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139
Subj: Re: A-listers and others (and an observation)
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 at 06:23:26 am EDT (Viewed 388 times)
Reply Subj: Re: A-listers and others (and thanks to Black Guardian!)
Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 07:42:27 pm EDT (Viewed 437 times)



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

      Here I would guess it really had something to do with disappointing sales. Depending on whether you consider titles like The Defenders "A" or "B-list" during the prime of the title in the 1970s, the Champions never were more than a B or C-list team; the book never made the jump from every other month to monthly (and even a niche title like The Eternals was published monthly in the 1970s).

    Bi-monthly publishing has always seemed self-defeating to me. It's much harder to get readers emotionally invested in something that won't come around again for two months. But yeah, I guess the Champions were B-list at best. I blame Ghost Rider. (At the time, Johnny Blaze was keeping his human mind and speech patterns while skull-faced, which made him far less cool to read about.)

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, before the direct market, it was the normal procedure to test the waters, especially with something different from the normal fare, but if the sales weren't big enough to warrant going monthly, then the title could be in trouble. Sometimes a monthly title would also go bi-monthly in the hope of overcoming a difficult patch. Still, there were some fine bi-monthly titles (for instance Dr. Strange became bi-monthly with its first relaunch). Examples:

Fantastic Four vol. 1 - went monthly with #6
The Incredible Hulk vol. 1 - cancelled with #6
The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 - went monthly with #4
The Avengers vol. 1 - went monthly with #6
The X-Men vol. 1 - went monthly with #14, cancelled with #66, re-started as a bi-monthly reprint title with #67 nine months later, started bringing new material with #94, went monthly again with #112
Daredevil vol. 1 - went monthly with #11, bi-monthly again with #147, monthly again with #170
Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD, started monthly, went bi-monthly starting with #5, went reprint with #16, cancelled a few issues later
Silver Surfer vol. 1 - went monthly with #7
Marvel Team-Up - went monthly with #7
The Defenders vol. 1 - went monthly with #7, bi-monthly again with #11, monthly again with #15

You'll note that X-Men vol. 1 was a slow starter on both its launches, making the jump to monthly on its 14th and 19th (20th, counting GSXM #1, as you really should) issue, respectively. The Champions were cancelled with #17, but I guess that the X-Men at the same time were slowly but steadily picking up readers while the Champions' sales dropped.


      Oh yes, I just looked back, there was this continuous editorial infighting, especially on the Spider-Man books which led to the sacking of Tom DeFalco as head writer and the fumbling of the resolution of the Hobgoblin mystery the following year, and ultimately to the sacking of Jim Shooter as E-in-C (might have been a different story if his pet project, the New Universe, had not been such a failure).

    Jim Shooter is an enigma to me.


      Well, the Beast and Wonder Man are apparently joining the cast of Uncanny Avengers, so maybe you should give that title a try.

    I'll at least thumb through it at the shop.


      And pick up the last few TPBs (Duggan's run). Rogue and Johnny really have a nice interplay; he had been romantically involved with Rogue in one of those so-and-so-many-months gap you get from time to time (i.e. before he became involved with his ex-girlfriend's older sister), and now they're close friends. Speaking of Medusa: How much older than Crystal is she supposed to be?

    Back in the day, it seemed to me that Crystal was Johnny's age and Medusa was Reed's age. Now throw Rogue into the mix. Was she an item with Johnny when she was supposed to be a teen-ager? Johnny just seems to date anything that moves. Bea Arthur might be next. Followed by Ms. Marvel on the day she turns 18. Followed by Carol Danvers. Followed by a resurrected Agatha Harkness. Followed by Squirrel Girl. Followed by Aunt May. Followed by Mystique.

Not counting her pubescent kisses with Cody Robbins and that other boy in Caldecott County, and also not counting her hitting on Longshot during the Outback era (which AFAIK she only did to annoy Dazzler) the first time Rogue had romantic feelings anyone was during the Savage Land trilogy, particularly in UXM #274-275, when she was around 20 IIRC. Of course that was for Magneto, so from her POV the age-difference with Johnny is negligible. Johnny is Spider-Man's age, and in MC-2 and the Renew Your Vows reality Peter is a happily married father. The thing between Rogue and Johnny happened in the gap before Uncanny Avengers vol. 1 #1 (the start of the abysmal Remender run).

    And then Marvel will reveal that Johnny swings both ways and we'll have everyone's dream couple, fire and ice, you guessed it, Johnny and Bobby, which will melt the interwebs.

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