Last week, Marvel announced they were cancelling Young Allies. Not only cancelling it, but stopping the publication of the book at issue 6 even though they had solicited sales for issue 7. (Not something that happens very often.)
I was not reading Young Allies, but it had its champions - chief among them being Chris Sims. And yet, I don't think the books cancellation comes as any surprise as it seems just another in a long list of comics that were launched with little to no buzz and then allowed to flounder (unless you count putting it under the umbrella of the Heroic Age as promotion.)
The reason I wasn't reading Young Allies was it sort of looked like exactly what it turned out to be - a fun comic with absolutely no chance of surviving in the marketplace. With no real idea of how long it would be published, who wants to put down money on what could end up being a rush or unfinished storyline? This is the same thing that's kept me away from Doom Patrol, Gorilla Man and Atlas.
I don't think the problem is new comics can't be successful. I think the problem is a new ongoing superhero comic has less appeal than a mini-series with a clearly defined beginning and end. Of the recent comics I've started following, one that stands out as an example of this is The Return of Bruce Wayne.
I don't normally follow the Batman titles, but the premise of this Grant Morrison mini-series sounded promising, so I picked up the first issue. Even though it had its roots firmly implanted in recent DC continuity (Final Crisis) the story turned out to be exceptionally accessible and incredibly fun. It's Morrison having fun with an assorted odd lot of old DC characters and time periods, and so far, it has lived up to my expectations with amazing gusto.
In all honesty, I sort of think the RoBW should become the template for all comics from now on. Instead of trying to foist another ongoing Flash or Green Arrow series on us, why not feature those heroes in mini-series built around high-concept ideas? Here's an example off the top of my head:
The Flash - A Million Miles to Run
The Flash finds himself transported to the other end of the galaxy by an unknown foe. Using his superspeed and knowledge of alien cultures acquired from his adventures with the JLA, The Flash trades out superspeed services in exchange for rides from one planet to the next on his long journey home. Guest starring Captain Comet, Adam Strange, Ultra the Multi-Alien, Space Cabbie and a host of other Silver Age space characters.
Now, doesn't that sound a little more enticing than the unsure promise yet another directionless Flash ongoing?
Anyway, enjoy two comics from a time when the idea of ongoing superhero comics was in its infancy. America's Best Comics!
[ America's Best Comics 01 ]
[ America's Best Comics 02 ]