Robot 6

Quote of the day | Joe Quesada, on the end of Thor: The Mighty Avenger

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #4

“Sorry about the TMA cancellation, folks. For the record, I don’t make those decisions. That said, it’s a great [comic] and may be back again someday.”

Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief and chief creative officer of Marvel,
on the cancellation of the critically acclaimed, yet low-selling, Thor: The Mighty Avenger

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33 Comments

So if it’s not the editor-in-chief’s job to cancel a book, nor a “chief creative officer’s” job to cancel a book…..then who at Marvel makes those decisions? Tom Breevort?

This reminds me of those “Family Circus” cartoons. Perhaps Marvel’s offices also have little invisible phantom editors roaming around who did all the things no one wants to own up to.

Well then, who is to blame Joe?

No one is To blame except for the fact that not enough people cared for the book marvel most likely has a low threshold below which a book is deemed unprofitable and that is a business decsion not a creative one (sadly)

This could be a wasted opportunity. There are folks who would enjoy reading Thor: The Mighty Avenger if they knew more about it, but the stores I visited to purchase the first three issues (issues #1 and #2 in Seattle, WA and #3 in Annapolis, MD) made them hard to find on the shelves – some were stocked in the bottom corners of shelves and some were stocked in the children’s sections. I should have taken it as a sign when I realized the LCS didn’t know where to display my favorite title.

Mr. Quesada may not make those decisions but as EIC I think he would have a say on what to do about a low-selling title. Why not continue the Thor: TMA as a digital exclusive or experiment with some new ideas for the distribution for a loved-but-not-LCS-friendly title? Why not take a risk or two if it may benefit Marvel in the long run?

You guys think Joe gives a shit if you know if it was him that decided to cancel a book? Lol. What would you have done if was him/he did admit. Nothing. lol lol lol

I never read this book, but I can understand where its followers would be upset. Given the nature of this book (not really a mainstream book and definitely not an Ultimate book) it was bound to happen. They’ve got a handful of Thor books out right now and only one of them takes place in the mainstream Marvel Universe. It stinks when good books go unnoticed. Young Allies was great (better than Avengers Academy if you ask me) and it fell apart 6 issues in.

“So if it’s not the editor-in-chief’s job to cancel a book, nor a “chief creative officer’s” job to cancel a book…..then who at Marvel makes those decisions?”

Usually, the person who decides which books to publish is called the “publisher”.

Sales figures like these are what got it cancelled:

Thor: Mighty Avenger #1 – 20,076
Thor: Mighty Avenger #2 – 14,315
Thor: Mighty Avenger #3 – 12,112
Thor: Mighty Avenger #4 – 10,887
Thor: Mighty Avenger #5 – 9,673

Why is it every time one of these random books is canceled it all of a sudden becomes critically acclaimed and ten times the people actually buying it appear from nowhere to say it’s the best thing out there?

I switched to trades after their last big events, (Siege and Messiah) and so far the books I would of been buying in singles have been canceled a week or two within the trade announcement.

I really hope Marvel will re-solicit the trade to contain all the issues.

“Why is it every time one of these random books is canceled it all of a sudden becomes critically acclaimed and ten times the people actually buying it appear from nowhere to say it’s the best thing out there?”

What, it wasn’t critically acclaimed?

The cancellation is a dumb decision. If Marvel would let Langridge and Samnee stay on their monthly schedule, they could have two high-quality all-ages THOR TPBs to sell through comic shops and mainstream book stores when the THOR movie opens next summer.

What I liked about the comic was that it addressed both sides of its title. It was about Thor, but the cameos by other heroes made it clear that the creators were interested in presenting their own version of the Avengers too. In fact, I wonder if Langridge and Samnee were forging their own Avengers origin story: I have a hunch that whatever problem Loki’s causing in Asgard might be a bit too much for Thor alone to handle…

I really enjoy(ed) the book and will be sad to see it go. I have let about 10 non-comic people read it and each one loved it and wants to know where they can get stories like this for themselves/thier kids to read. One mother told me, “See, this is what I would want my kids to read. Not the stuff with all the blood and boobs.” Once the editor left the writing was on the wall. It is becoming more obvious that, with the integration of Marvel into Disney, that they see the future of their audience/revenue stream with cartoons, movies and video games. Just look at how Disney markets Toy Story/Cars/Princesses/Tinker Bell. Thats the future for these characters.

Mark Evans:
It already WAS the future of the characters. Did you believe Marvel was making most of their money from PUBLISHING before the Disney merger? LoL on you if you did.

@Craig Fisher “The cancellation is a dumb decision. If Marvel would let Langridge and Samnee stay on their monthly schedule, they could have two high-quality all-ages THOR TPBs to sell through comic shops and mainstream book stores when the THOR movie opens next summer.”

Or they could have two more TPB’s that are just going to sit there and collect dust. Hate to be Mr. Negative (Wait, that’s Spider-Man [zing, I’ll be here all week]), but it’s just sales. You can’t expect a big publisher to continue putting out a book that sells that poorly. Only the smallest handful of books are able to pull that off. Let’s be thankful we got what we did and hope for more good Thor stories in the future.

While the sales numbers GP posted are low, they are great for a Marvel Ages title. Almost 150% more than MA Spider-Man has in the direct market.

I wager it was also cancelled because it was a $3 book. Marvel have shown they like cutting $3 books only to replace them with $4 mini series. Young Allies is essentially coming back as Onslaught Unleashed, but it’s now a $4 mini.

Non-continuity and open-readership books are a dead end in the DM. Which is a far more telling part of the story than people are talking about.

It was written for 12 year olds, who cares?

I for one definitely care. This book was fun. It wasn’t written for 12 year olds, it was written as fun. Period. And that’s what it was, month in month out the best comic for my money and one of the only ones I would go back and read over and over again because I love it so much.

I bought all of the issues so far, including the reprint of 1 and 2, will be buying the poster once it hits and the trades once they hit as well. It doesn’t hurt the book that the talent behind it, Langridge and Samnee, hit their monthly deadlines and are insanely nice people either.

What hurts it is stupid comments like that. That it was written for 12 year olds. Being that I’m 27 and enjoyed this on more levels than ANY of the major current books out there, that’s a really stupid comment.

Put this as another strike against Marvel. Captain Britain was cancelled too soon and so was this and so was Young Allies. But if they don’t have the sales, what can they do?

Just give Langridge and Samnee a huge mainstream book, or a mini, or a graphic novel, or ANYTHING, and I’m a guaranteed sale.

@Bryan H: Sure, the cancellation is about money, but I’d still argue Marvel is making a mistake. In the short term, THOR: TMA isn’t selling enough, but summer 2011, when all the kids see the movie and come to comic shops and bookstores looking for THOR material, what will we give them? TMA is perfect because (a.) it’s not tied to baroque continuity, (b.) it’s all ages; (c.) it’s got lots of other super-heroes as guest-stars; and (d.) it’s really well done. With promotion and a little patience on Marvel’s part, TMA would be a breakout hit next year.

@mvdc (and everybody else): The first (and last?) TMA collection is only going to include the first four issues (and reprints of early Lee-Kirby THOR material). Couldn’t Marvel at least collect all eight issues into a single book? And according to Langridge’s website, he and Samnee were building to a big conclusion in #12–which makes this cancellation all the more galling.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it did return when the movie comes out. It’s not like Marvel has canceled and restarted several series over the past ten years (I’m lookin’ and you, Agents of Atlas and Runaways). And it’s also not unlike Quesada to let fans THINK a title has been canceled, using the public outcry as PR to push the book back into the lineup (Hello, Spider-Girl).

Having said that, if he didn’t have any say in the cancellation, he just threw Dan Buckley under a Volstagg-sized bus.

@Trey: “It was written for 12 year olds, who cares?”

That has to be, perhaps, the most ASININE comment I’ve ever read on a comic book forum comments page (and that’s saying something).

@Craig Fischer: “Sure, the cancellation is about money, but I’d still argue Marvel is making a mistake. In the short term, THOR: TMA isn’t selling enough, but summer 2011, when all the kids see the movie and come to comic shops and bookstores looking for THOR material, what will we give them?

See, there’s the problem.
It’s not the fact that it was well written, well drawn or readable for all ages that doomed this title. And I have a hard time blaming the publishing company, Marvel, for canceling it due to poor sales, cause, well, they’re a business. Looking to make profits.

No the elephant in the room is, and will always be- COMIC SHOPS.
You want to get kids to read monthly comics?
You want a next generation of readers to continue to drive the monthly periodical format?

Simple.
Get them out of comic shops and everywhere that kids can buy and read them (and while you’re at it, slash the ridiculous high price per issue!)

It’s a simple answer that may be impossible to do.

@mvdc: As another 27 year old who was enjoying T:TMA more than any other Marvel book, I agree completely.

@Craig Fischer: What? They were actually building to something? Well WTF?! Come on, Marvel, at least complete the storyline! Will they have enough advance notice to even try to wrap things up? Man, that’s the worst part of all this. Cancel the book, okay, but at least give us a complete standalone epic.

I was planning to recommending this as the go-to new-reader-friendly THOR book to everyone I know. I cannot think of any other THOR comic to recommend to new readers who are unfamiliar with the characters. It was the ideal intro for readers of all ages, but now, there won’t even be trades of a complete story to point their way.

I was interested in this book because of the creative team, but decided to wait for the trade. So I guess I’m part of the problem.

I know comics are a business, but if I were in charge I would have at least waited to see the sales numbers on the first trade before making a decision about cancellation.

I know comics are a business, but if I were in charge I would have at least waited to see the sales numbers on the first trade before making a decision about cancellation.

Yes. I could care less about owning single issues and pre-ordered the trade paperback instead.

I mean, how many Image, Dark Horse, and Vertigo books squeak along at 6-10K sales per issue, but always sell well in the trade market? Several. I realize Marvel has less success in bookstores, but not following through with books like this is part of the reason. This book could have been a perennial seller even though the issues weren’t being pre-ordered by retailers in great numbers.

For what it’s worth, I’m told by the staff that this book outsells Fraction’s Thor book at my local, indie-minded shop. I understand that’s unusual, but it indicates the type of audience that is enthused about this material.

I agree with the last 2. Trades should have the final word. They should make enough money to cover costs if sales are good, instead of monthlies, arent them? That sistem is f*up. Thyy are not a small publisher that needs the initial income to survive, they are Marvel.

If you’re a fan of this book, get the word out. Go to Chris’ blog, go to Roger’s blog, or their twitters, and speak out. I know Chris fairly well and I know seeing him lose The Mighty and Thor: TMA is a big deal. It’s a huge deal for us fans of his work.

But I’ve been telling everyone I know about this book, and sadly, the sales just never jumped. I guess one measly human being can’t change that much or turn the tides, but a number of us could.

$3.00 book, marvel gets maybe $1.50 of that, half goes to marketing, half of whats left to administrative and you could be looking at 30 cents per book actually going to creators. if this book was selling 10,000 copies a month, thats like 3 grand to split up between the two of them.

you love this book so much, but if they kept doing it it’d be on a budget of around 36 thousand dollars a year for TWO people, give 12 to the writer, and he can write many books, but then you could be asking this artist you love to do this book for under the poverty level!

unless of course, marvels page rates are independent of sales, in which case marvel would be PAYING to publish this book, which makes NO sense at all!

think about it that way and marvel’s doing the guy a favor by putting him on a better book and hopefully giving him a MUCH nicer page rate

I’m still a little confused as tot he cancellation. This was an all ages title, and it’s selling considerably better than a number of All Ages titles that Marvel is still publishing.

Why?

I’m quite sad it’s over, but so long as the creative team goes on I’ll be fine. I’m not a huge Thor fan anyway.

I just hope to see these guys on some other character, doing this kind of work. Sounds like Quesada is aware of them, so that’s a good start, and DC has been looking to Marvel for buzz worthy talent lately (Paul Cornell) so maybe they’ll do something.

Frankly I thought Landridge was a new talent, but apparently he’s been doing work for years. Anyone have any insight as to why he hasn’t done more for the big 2? I know he’s doing Muppets over at Boom, but I feel like he should have been zeroed in on much sooner than this (barring lack of interest).

@Deniz

He did Ed the Happy Clown and Art Decco with his brother. They were published by Fantagraphics, so most people never heard of them. Then he did some oddball stuff for Disney, 2000AD, and a couple Marvel of one-shots with Scott Gray. In interviews, he’s repeatedly have said that he’d rather not do any of it and work on his own stuff, but that doesn’t pay the bills.

Gotcha, thanks Mr. Pants! So it’s mostly lack of interest on his part, which makes sense — Thor the Mighty Avenger certainly affords him a great deal of freedom, to the point that he can really make it his.

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