Monday, June 21, 2010

Monster Society Archive Cancelled

Monster Society Archive CancelledLast Firday, Bleeding Cool ran a story suggesting that DC had cancelled the Captain Marvel Vs The Monster Society Archive due to how some characters were portrayed in the comic:

...the original stories had quite a number of racially insensitive representations of minorities – the portrayals were of questionable taste at the time the stories were originally published, but when viewed with today’s mindset, they may be seen as outright inflamatory. ~Bleeding Cool

While no official word has come from DC on the matter, there was information in the following comments thread that confirmed this theory thanks to the guys at Marvel Masterworks, who had contacted DC on the story.

I don't think this should really come to a shock to anybody. When the archive was originally announced, I commented on several messageboards that I thought the choice of reprints was a little awkward for company like Time Warner who I know from personal experience spends quite a bit of time thinking of ways to best look progressive and culturally diverse.



This isn't the first time we've seen a big company flip-flop on a project like this as in 2003, the Fox Movie Channel discontinued a planned Charlie Chan Festival, soon after beginning restoration for special cablecasting, after a special interest group protested.

Many of the commenters at Bleeding Cool were of the opinion that DC should have gone ahead with the archive, but perhaps run a disclaimer either in the form of a blurb on the cover or as an essay in the opening pages. Both of those have their merits and sound like a good solution to me, but I don't know that given the adverse attention the archive might bring to Time Warner's doorstep that such a project would be worth the risk. The archive series aren't exactly tearing up the sales charts...

May 2010 - ATOMIC KNIGHTS HC - 1,339
DCCL JLA BY GEORGE PEREZ HC VOL 2 - 1,424
CREEPER BY STEVE DITKO HC - 1,627
DCCL BATMAN A DEATH IN THE FAMILY HC - 1,854
DCCL FLASH OF TWO WORLDS HC - 1,395
DCCL LIFE AND DEATH OF FERRO LAD - 990
DCCL ROOTS OF THE SWAMP THING HC - 1,476
DCCL BATMAN THE ANNUALS HC - 1,706
DCCL JLA BY GEORGE PEREZ HC VOL 1 - 2,163
DCCL SUPERMAN KRYPTONITE NEVERMORE - 2,107

Those numbers put the DCCL in the midrange of sales of graphic novels. Most likely, when the Captain Marvel archive was announced, DC was going by the initial sales of archives which we can see is higher (2100 for Kryptonite Nevermore and George Perez vol 1) but since then, the numbers have trended down. Not horribly bad, but not really worth going to bat for in a circumstance like this. (Thanks to ElectricPeterTork for tracking down the numbers here.)

Anyway, as a service to many of the posters on the Bleeding Cool message board who were asking about these comics, I present two issue from the series as todays Free Comics.



[ Captain Marvel Adventures 27 ]



[ Captain Marvel Adventures 33 ]

- Enjoy!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't say that I'm surprised when archives or reprints of material that is 60-70 years old are expurgated owing to sensitivities of today.
As one who believes in almost unlimited free speech, and abhors even symbolic book-burning, I am saddened by not having the material available. It could be made public as an historic document, with a page or two discussion of the insensitivities of the period...including comics, radio, movies, and the general attitudes prevalent, and all too widely held, back then.
A teaching moment lost!
John Hindsill-CAL.

Matt Celis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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