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Captain Britain and MI:13 isn’t canceled (Really!)

Captain Britain and MI:13 #9

Captain Britain and MI:13 #9

We’re all accustomed to message-board speculation being presented as fact. But it’s rare that the gossip is substantiated by a publisher’s representative, only to be denied later. Repeatedly.

Such is the case with the fate of Marvel’s Captain Britain and MI:13, which launched with some fanfare — thanks to Secret Invasion tie-ins and a cameo by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown — in May 2008, only to hemorrhage readers over the subsequent months.

Those flagging numbers have been the subject of much hand-wringing in a  long-running thread on the CBR message board, which on Thursday evening received somber news from none other than Jim McCann, Marvel’s marketing manager.

Responding to a post that criticized him for saying in a podcast that Captain Britain has performed better than Marvel had expected, McCann wrote:

… The story, the creative team, and critical reception was through the roof. Unfortunately, the audience left after Secret Invasion tie ins. That podcast was recorded before the cancellation came down & we were all hoping it would stay longer.

In this economic climate, things can change quickly. But something that will NOT change is that I will not be one to lie to you and blow smoke up your ass. Paint me like that if you like, but it’s not what I am.

And guys, I am just as sorry as the rest of you that the book is cancelled. …

That’s all pretty clear, right? Well, no.

It seems that, despite low sales — around 21,000 in December, if ICv2 is to be believed — the series isn’t canceled. Really.

The day after McCann dropped the bomb, series editor Nick Lowe and Marvel.com editor Ryan Penagos took to Twitter to walk back the announcement.

“To readers of Captain Britain, it is NOT canceled!” Lowe wrote. “We have a new kick-A arc with Dracula and Dr. Doom, an annual and such scary plans!” (The new storyline was promoted last week in an article on CBR.)

Marvel later underscored that with an official comment, promising big things for Captain Britain.

If that weren’t enough, Matt Fraction, filling in for Joe Quesada in the weekly MySpace Q&A, spelled everything out:

… CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND THE MI-13 is NOT CANCELLED! There’s been some crazy-pants misunderstanding or misspeaking or just general mess-up and there is BAD INFORMATION out there clogging up the interweb tubes, kids. Don’t believe the antihype! CAP still flies strong and is one of my very favorite Marvel books at the moment. Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk are cranking out an absolute gem of a book and you should listen to the buzz around the thing and give it a read. Here, check out this art if you don’t believe me, featuring Dr. Doom… and Dracula… ON THE MOON.

Let me say that last part again: ON! THE! MOON!

As for McCann? On Friday he tweeted: “Sorry for the confusion & pick up the book!!!!”

(Some links via Comic By Comic)

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Comments

10 Comments

Glad to hear it. It’s (in my humble opinion) the best book Marvel are putting out at the moment.

Yep I’ll second that. At least until Agents of Atlas comes along to give it some competition?

Kevin – I sincerely hope that the book isn’t canceled but something here feels wrong – obviously the currently-solicited arc is going to be published, but I wonder if McCann was mistakenly referring to beyond that.

Hope I’m wrong as this is one of Marvel’s top 4 books right now (along with Nova, Hercules and GotG).

And thanks for the link credit. Geez, you do all the legwork and someone just ups and rewrites it ;)

“… obviously the currently-solicited arc is going to be published, but I wonder if McCann was mistakenly referring to beyond that.”

If I were a betting man, I’d probably place my money on that.

“And thanks for the link credit. Geez, you do all the legwork and someone just ups and rewrites it ;)”

Hey! I had it all but the tweets, mister!

PSSST I heard NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION had been cancelled . . .

Y’know, I had to Google that. I wasn’t convinced it was a real title, but now I imagine something like TV Land’s High School Reunion.

I suspect that it’s got a temporary stay of execution. Marvel will have changed their minds based on fan reaction and are waiting to see how the Dracula story sells.

By the way, I think it’s sheer genius that after drafting Blade, they bring in his first published enemy as a major villain.

But if it does get cancelled at least we know we’ll get some awesome episodes of Doctor Who.

I’m really hoping this whole cancelled/not-cancelled debacle was an elaborate (or not so elaborate) scheme to draw attention to the book — attention it richly deserves.

The chatter was, after all, kicked off by Marvel’s own marketing director, and it happens to coincide with the announcement of Dr. Doom and Dracula teaming up…on the moon! Now, even Fraction’s plugging it on MySpace (which, ideally, reaches a slightly different readership than CBR, Newsarama, and the other comics news outlets).

What better way to say “hey, True Believers, we’re here and we’re awesome!”?

(Aside from 8 page back-ups/teasers in the Avengers books, anyway.)

Thank you God!

[...] Captain Britain was the subject of an earlier scare when it was erroneously announced in January that the titled had been canceled. Less than three [...]

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