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FanExpo Canada | A rundown of news from this weekend’s convention

Brian Wood returns to Marvel

FanExpo Canada wraps up today in Toronto, and both Marvel and DC were there this weekend announcing various projects:

  • DC Comics will relaunch the Justice Society by writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Scott. The new adventures of the JSA will be set not on the “New 52″ Earth, but on Earth-2, as they were before Crisis on Infinite Earths combined DC’s multiple Earths into one big sandbox back in the 1980s. “Everyone’s saying, ‘How can there be superheroes before the five years?’ We’re actually bringing back Earth-2,” Robinson said.
  • Marvel announced Brian Wood will write for the publisher once again, in a teaser that seems to point a finger at a Wolverine project.
  • Marvel’s Alpha Flight has been upgraded from a limited series to an ongoing.”We’ve got Taskmaster showing up, we’ve got Wolverine and other characters journeying north to find out what’s going on with Alpha Flight,” said co-writer Fred Van Lente. “We learn that Alpha flight’s actually a member of a super, super team called The Commonwealth of Heroes. I’m very excited about writing those characters — I love them a lot and it’s going to be a good time.” The Commonwealth of Heroes? I am intrigued. CBR has more details in an interview with Van Lente and Greg Pak, where they mention that Captain Britain and MI-13 will play a role in the Commonwealth Heroes.
  • In addition to Jill Thompson, other artists working on the upcoming Shade miniseries written by James Robinson include Gene Ha and Darwyn Cooke.
  • Marvel will publish a five-issue miniseries called Destroyers, by writer Fred Van Lente and artist Kyle Hotz. The book will feature The Thing, the Beast, A-Bomb, She-Hulk, Karkas the Deviant and Devil Dinosaur. “A lot of this series is about how monsters feel about being monsters and how comfortable they are with it. Hank McCoy is probably the most comfortable in his furry blue skin. He’s got an analytical mind. In this story, a colleague from his past gets murdered. That sets him on a quest to solve a mystery and puts him on a collision course with the Destroyers,” Van Lente told CBR.
  • Marvel also announced the return of two more CrossGen properties — Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in December by writer Peter Milligan and artist Roman Rosanas, and Route 666 in February by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Peter Nguyen. Both are four-issue mini-series.

Captain Britain ends with issue #15

If you look at the Marvel solicitations for August, you’ll see there’s no listing for Captain Britain and MI-13 #16 … unfortunately, this doesn’t mean it’s a skip month. After thanking many of the people involved with the series, including its fans, writer Paul Cornell talks about the end of the series on his blog:

Captain Britain and MI:13 #9

Captain Britain and MI:13 #9

Thirdly, you know that time when the whole internet thought we were cancelled? We genuinely weren’t. The book coming to an end now isn’t a revelation that the rumours then were ‘true all along’. If it had been true then, I’d have told you then. I think that controversy, and the extremely welcome reaction from fans, ended up doing a lot of good.

Lastly, and this is really important, while we didn’t know this would be the last arc until comparatively recently, I had it in mind that it was possible it would be from the time I started plotting it. Indeed, the end of this arc marks the end of what I had planned for the book when I started. One of the images right at the finish is what I always felt I was heading towards, and I’m very pleased I got there. So: you will get a real, thorough, proper, ending, not just of ‘Vampire State’, but of the whole run. It hasn’t been rushed to fit the space, it hasn’t been compromised, it won’t just suddenly cut off: it’s what I intended. I think the Annual and the two remaining issues finish off one of my best stories in any media, and that story is actually the entirety of Captain Britain and MI-13. You’ll see what I mean a bit more next issue. This is a comic with a proper ending.

Quite frankly, this sucks.

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.

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