The Late List: Counting Comics No Shows

Thu, June 30th, 2011 at 2:24pm PDT | Updated: June 30th, 2011 at 5:08pm

Comic Books
Chris Arrant, Contributing Writer

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Every Wednesday a new batch of comic books make their way onto the shelves of comic stores and better bookstores. Most come monthly, while some are announced as bi-monthly and some just don’t come at all.

Late comics have been a part of comics for virtually as long as comic books have been printed, but they didn’t become that much of an issue until the comics reading public transitioned from being an immense amount of casual readers in the newsstand days to the more focused hardcore reader perpetuated by the rise of comic stores in the '70s. The serialized nature of comics keeps readers hooked into comics, but when that serialized schedule falls through it comes back to bite publishers, creators, retailers and readers where it hurts.

Looking at comic shelves today there are numerous titles solicited for release that are missing in action. While some anticipated comics that no-showed shelves have later been canceled by publishers, others hang out there giving hope to faithful comic fans looking for their fix. Before you ask, some comics you might be waiting on have been officially cancelled by the publisher leaving no hope for a return; sorry, fans of “Battle Chasers” #10, “All-Star Wonder Woman” #1 and “Big Numbers” #3.

Nevertheless, CBR News combed the forgotten corners of comic solicitations, convention announcements and tweetspeak to bring you the story on the stories that are MIA ranked from mere weeks to a year -- and much more.

Story continues below

Green Lantern #67

Solicited for release on June 15, 2011

Months Missing: 2 weeks

Status: Running Late

Two weeks may not seem like much, but given the fact that there’s a movie in theaters and this issue is the finale of the “War of Green Lanterns” arc it’s rather important. DC offered no comment when asked about this issue, but DCComics.com reveals a projected arrival date of July 13. That’s too late for some people though; this week’s “Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors” #11 is aftermath issue following the events of the arc, even though the final issue isn’t out. Spoilers!


Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Sinestro

Solicited for release on May 4, 2011

Months Missing: 1 Month

Status: Running Late

Originally promised as the first of five one-shots in the “Green Lantern Movie Prequel,” this “Sinestro” one-shot has fallen by the wayside. DC gave no comment on this, so let’s just hope it comes out in time for the DVD release; DCComics.com currently projects an August 3 release date.


Astonishing Captain America #1 (of 5)

Solicited for release in May 2011

Months Missing: 2 months

Status: On The Backburner

Announced late last year as part of Marvel’s growing line of continuity-light “Astonishing” titles, it has also proven hard to get a hold of. Granov’s work has proven worth the wait to fans in the past, but after delays on every series he did interiors for (“NecroWar”, “Iron Man” and the never-to-be-completed “Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas”), these delays might seem like more of the same for retailers and readers.

Last week in his CBR Talk To The Hat column, Marvel’s Tom Brevoort gave readers an update: “It’s still coming, it’s just taking us a bit longer than we’d anticipated, so we pulled it off the schedule until we can be certain we’ll have it all done and ready to release. Adi got suddenly busy with some work related to the 'Avengers' film at one point, and that knocked our schedule out of whack.”

Superior #5 (of 5)

Solicited for release on February 9, 2011

Months Missing: 4 Months

Status: Postponed

Though it was only partially solicited (an initial promise of the book in online solicits failed to materialize on official retailer order forms), the now second-to-last issue of Mark Millar and Lenil Francis Yu's "kid turned superhero" fantasy warrant mention for being one of the few items on our list whose lateness has a simple explanation and hopefully an even more simple solution.

While Millar is no stranger to late-shipping titles from "The Ultimates" to "The Authority," according to a tweet from the writer earlier this month "Superior's" delay is less him and more Marvel. "'Superior' #5 is only late because Leinil was taken back to do [a] Marvel gig,” Millar tweeted. “That isn't happening again. We're double-shipping 5&6 in October.” Between that and his other Millarworld titles like "Kick-Ass 2" sharing time with talent from the House of Ideas, the going rate may be "better late than never." Marvel gave no comment on the matter.

Batman: Europa #1 (of 4)

Solicited for release in January 2011

Months Missing: 5 months

Status: Unknown

Originally announced seven years ago, the Brian Azzarello-written, four artist-drawn “Batman: Europa” miniseries was finally promised a release when it appeared in Diamond’s Previews catalog for January 2011. When January came and went, DC revised the release dates on its website back to a March 2011 debut but then pulled all mention of the title from its site days later. DC offered no comment as to when, or if, this title will ever see store shelves.


Image United #4

Solicited for release in April 2010

Months Missing: 14 months

Status: Unknown

While their promise that creators own and control everything makes Image Comics one of the most sought after publishers in the professional community, that level of control has always made for late books. Even in the modern era, critical hits like "Orc Stain" and "Infinite Vacation" have recently slipped on ship dates, moving along at a publishing pace somewhat less than monthly. All that considered, "Image United" remains a special case.

Originally promised to hit a monthly release date due to the art duties being shared by multiple artists, the crossover event quickly hit delays when the third issue saw an eighth month delay and #4 remains unreleased. Back in January, Erik Larsen told Newsarama #4 was 60% done but wouldn’t say who’s responsible for that final 40%. CBR approached Image about this issue, but was given no comment.


Pilot Season: Hardcore

Solicited for release in April 2010

Months Missing: 14 months

Status: Unknown

Part of the fated Robert Kirkman & Marc Silvestri volley of “Pilot Season” issues, the inclusion of artist Brian Stelfreeze made "Hardcore" a must-have for fans of slick, stylish art. Unfortunately, not even Top Cow can seem to get a copy. The delays on this issue have forced Top Cow to hold off the reader voting contest to see which title should be greenlit for a full series, and Top Cow has since released another year’s worth of “Pilot Season” issues. Both Image and Top Cow were contacted regarding this issue, but they offered no comment.


Captain America White: #1 (of 6)

Solicited for release in October 2008

Months Missing: 32 months

Status: Unknown, Presumed Dead

“Captain America: White” was one of the inaugural announcements when Jeph Loeb returned to Marvel after a long stint at DC Comics. Marvel released a #0 issue in September 2008, and solicited the first issue for release in October 2008. Since that time nothing has been seen or heard as regards the continuation of Loeb and artist Tim Sale’s color-themed series. CBR reached out to both Marvel and the creators, but they all declined to comment.


The Twelve #9

Solicited for release on September 2008

Months Missing: 33 months

Status: Back On Track

JMS & Chris Weston’s "The Twelve" maxi-series was plagued with delays since its debut in January 2008, and in early 2009 then-Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada said the project was “on hold” due to commitments by both Straczynski and Weston to movie projects. In February 2010, JMS said he had resumed writing the series and Weston has shown sample panels since. Series editor Tom Brevoort has said issues #9 and #10 are complete, but that Marvel was holding off resuming publication until #11 and #12 were all in the can. Both Marvel and Chris Weston gave no comment when asked, but JMS was very forthcoming to CBR when asked about when readers can expect a conclusion to “The Twelve.”

“I suspect (but don't know for a fact) that Marvel is going to do this as a trade paperback or GN. When that date is, I don't know,” Straczynski told CBR.” All I do know is that on my screen right now as I type this is the artwork for page 22 of issue #11, and that a bunch more pages of script were turned in the other day. Tom [Brevoort], Chris and I are all determined to get this done, and for all the nonsense, the book looks gorgeous.

“I won't sit here and say readers will feel it was worth the wait -- no book in history since the Book of Psalms is worth this sort of wait -- but I do believe, down to my socks, that this is a terrific book, maybe one of the best things he or I have done in the form.”

In addition, Brevoort recently confirmed via his FormSpring account that the books were "almost ready."

War Heroes #4 (of 6)

Solicited for release on September 24, 2008

Months Missing: 33 months

Status: Signs Of Life

Launched in July 2008 as Mark Millar’s first Image Central title, this series with Tony Harris had a relatively short two month gap between its first and second issue, but “War Heroes” #3 took thirteen months to see print with nothing released since. Since then, Millar has gone on to do other series, both creator-owned and at Marvel, while Harris completed “Ex Machina” and moved on to another creator-owned project at DC. Neither Millar nor Image offered comment about the beleaguered, but Tony Harris spoke exclusively with CBR, promising a 2012 return.

“Mark will be finishing the scripts over Christmas, as I clear my schedule,” Harris told CBR. “I will resume work at the first of the year once he is finished and complete the series by summer’s end. We then plan on re-issuing the first 3 issues, as a Mini-Trade (to make to book fresh in readers’ minds), then publish #4, #5 and #6 monthly with a Trade/Hardcover right on its heels, and a European release.”

All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder #11

Solicited for release on April, 2008

Months Missing: 38 months

Status: Unknown

Sharing the spotlight for DC’s then new “All Star” imprint with “All Star Superman,” the title was beleaguered with delays since day one. At a convention in April 2010, DC said the series would be relaunched as a six issue series titled “Dark Knight: Boy Wonder” with a promised February 2011 release date that was never followed through with. Other titles Lee was associated with such as “Wildcats” and “Batman: Europa” also experienced delays (and later cancellation), and with news that he’s drawing DC’s upcoming “Justice League” it puts an even bigger question mark on “All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder.“ When asked for the publisher’s side of the story, DC gave no comment.


Fell #10

Solicited for release on October 2007

Months Missing: 44 months

Status: Back On Track

Part of an ambitious slimline comics format by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith that presaged "Casanova," “Fell” dropped behind schedule early on in its run with the last released issue, #9, coming nine months after #8. The current delay is reportedly due to a massive hard drive crash for Warren Ellis back in 2007, but he is quoted on his website in January 2011 saying he just finished “Fell” #10’s script. Templesmith has a number of other projects currently underway, but he will presumably pick up “Fell” #10 once his current projects are complete. Image Comics confirmed for CBR that the series would be back, but not until all six final scripts had been written.


Desolation Jones #9

Solicited for release in January 2007

Months Missing: 53 months

Status: Unknown, Presumed Dead

Another casualty of Ellis’ hard drive crash, Ellis gave an update in September 2007 saying that they were working ahead in order to resume monthly publication with issue #9, as well as holding back due to a then-forthcoming “media deal.” In January 2008 Ellis gave a more nebulous statement on his WHITECHAPEL forum, stating it was “on hiatus, returning eventually, at least to conclude the second story in some (possibly truncated) fashion.” But after 53 months, this retired spy might be left out in the cold.


Spawn/Batman: Inner Demons

Solicited For Release December 2006

Months Missing: 54 months

Status: Dead

Announced back at Comic-Con 2006 as a companion piece to 1994’s “Batman/Spawn,” the Todd McFarlane/Greg Capullo one-shot has seen nothing in terms of announcements, art or information for quite a long while. Image Comics confirmed that the project was cancelled, however Capullo fans can at least see his take on the Dark Knight when he takes over art duties on "Batman" with Scott Snyder this September.


Wildsiderz #3 (of 5)

Solicited for release on April 19, 2006

Months Missing: 62 months

Status: Unknown, Presumed Dead

Originally planned as a five-issue series following J. Scott Campbell’s creator-owned success with “Danger Girl,” Wildstorm released a #0 issue and two regular issues before the promised Wildsiderz #3 no-showed its April 2006 release date. The series’ inability to match up to the sales prowess of “Danger Girl” might be reason for DC and Campbell’s interest in this to wane, but Campbell just updated the bio on his website promising the final two issues later this year.

What Campbell says goes for not just his title, but every title on this list: “Stay tuned for further details as soon as they become available!”

TAGS:  late comics, all star batman and robin, dark knight boy wonder, fell, war heroes, astonishing captain america, captain america: white, pilot season, green lantern, sinestro, image united, the twelve, spawn, superior, batman europa

 
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