12
Jun
2012
The Watchtower
Before Watchtower
Chris
The Watchtower is a weekly column, commenting on the biggest and strangest comic news and rumors of the week. Each column will include noteworthy books scheduled for release that same week. As always comments and discussion are welcome. Until I think of something better, news items will be titled by HORRIBLE puns and word play.

Turns Out, They Came Undone

Marvel is canceling the popular Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series which currently airs as part of Disney XD's Marvel animation block. The decision seemed to hinge on a desire to replace the show with a new Avengers cartoon titled: Avengers Assemble which will more closely resemble the roster and continuity of the team featured in a small indie flick playing in select art house theaters in your bigger metropolitan areas. Apparently the show will occupy a shared universe with the polarizing Ultimate Spider-Man and the soon to be launching Hulk: Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

While I'm excited about the prospect for shared universe stories, I really liked EMH and the more epic story lines it was seeding. The show hit just the right blend of action and humor that a good all ages program needs to achieve in order to thrive. It took the most classic characters and elements of Avengers lore and threw them into adaptations of some of the most exciting Marvel story lines of the past decades.

The cancellation of EMH suggests a short sighted-ness uncharacteristic of Marvel. Though EMH predated The Avengers most of the players were already introduced in their own films by the time the show got rolling. At the very least, Marvel could have introduced Ultimate Spider-Man into the EMH continuity rather than launching a new show within the continuity of the younger show.

It just seems like a real shame to cancel something a lot of people were already enjoying in favor of appealing to a quantity of unknowns.




Oh Captain, My Captain...and those other guys...

Captain Atom, Justice League International, Resurrection Man, and Voodoo are getting the axe from DC to make way for the newly announced Phantom Stranger, Sword of Sorcery, Talon, and the cleverly titled Team 7 (I know it's a callback, it doesn't make it better).

Justice League International struggled to find it's footing from day one, coming off the heels of a surprisingly successful maxi-series by Judd Winick, the series floundered when comics veteran Dan Jurgens took the reigns, largely because the book lacked identity when set beside it's sister titles Justice League and Justice League Dark. The JLI did not have a clear mission statement to justify its existence beside the other DCU teams and failed to differentiate itself in tone, missing a golden opportunity to find its niche among the New 52 by embracing the legacy of it's namesake that taught us superheroes could be funny.

Voodoo was a consistently low seller as well and aside from the art the book did not receive much critical attention. It's cancellation underscores the notion that DC is struggling to integrate the Wildstorm characters as evidenced by numerous creative team switches on the two remaining Wildstorm titles.

Resurrection Man was one of the biggest surprises of the New 52. A cult hit from the 90s that almost no one was demanding a return of, fans of the title were ecstatic to see it get such a high profile second lease on life but the series never really found traction, especially with so many critical darlings already occupying the Dark Line: Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and to name a few.

Captain Atom is the one I'm most sad to see go, as it truly carved out a unique role among the New 52 and was one of the best takes on the character in recent memory , even if that take was just lining him up much more closely to Dr. Manhattan, which is fair because Dr. Manhattan was originally based on Captain Atom. However with the Before Watchmen titles launching DC has a much better place to drive fans that were interested by that character and unfortunately Captain Atom never sold very well to begin with.

I'm not terribly excited about any of the new books launching. Talon is co-plotted by Scott Snyder, and Team 7 (which just makes me think of S Club 7, why do I remember that?) is written by Justin Jordan whose The Strange Talent of Luther Strode was one of the most buzzed about books of the past year (I just can't get past that title though). Looking to the future, I would have to say fans of Legion Lost should be wary of the next round of cancellations, which appear to be happening with increased frequency.

That's all for this week, be sure to check out these titles in stores tomorrow:
Batman #10
Batman and Robin #10
Demon Knights #10
Green Lantern #10
Saucer Country #4
Frankenstein Agent of Shade #10 (Matt Kindt's first issue)
Fantastic Four #607
X-Men #30 (Brian Wood takes over.)
Ultimate X-Men #13 (Your X-Men, give them to Brian Wood)
Spider-Men #1 (Peter Parker meets Miles Morales, finally a culmination to the Marvel U/Ultimate U rivalry).
Uncanny X-Forrce #26
Incorruptible #30 (Last issue of Waid's dark Irredeemable/Incorruptible saga for Boom!)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #10
Massive #1 (New book from Dark Horse and BRIAN WOOD?!?!?! He's out of control!!!)
The Sixth Gun #23
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