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Should X-23 Have Been Canceled?

Marvel places their only self-titled, female character driven title on hiatus; but is this the wrong move?

We all come here because of our shared love for comic books and comic book characters, right? And obviously, we all have our favorites. Now, while I can't speak for everyone, I can speak for myself when I say that I honestly don't discriminate between male and female characters when I pick up a title to read. There are a lot of male character driven titles that I absolutely love -- characters that I find dapper, interesting and compelling. To me, what usually piques my interest is whether a story is fun and entertaining. Usually.

X-23 #16
X-23 #16

Every once in a while though, I want to read a book where the story is being driven by a female character, and I don't think that's unreasonable. Being that I am a girl, sometimes I just want to read stories where the girls are kicking ass. That's not too much to ask, especially considering the number of male character driven titles out there. And yes, I know, the majority of comic book readers and fans are male, so the publishers will tend to target the male audience by printing majority male character driven stories. But does that mean boys don't like reading about powerful ladies?

Earlier today we reported on a certain Marvel lady who appeared to be missing from the February 2012 solicits -- and it's hard to overlook her, actually, considering hers is the only self titled female ongoing book at Marvel at the moment. After the release of issue #20 of X-23, say goodbye to Laura's ongoing series -- at least for now. According to many reports, that issue will be the final one in her series. What happened, though? Why the decision to cancel X-23 (if indeed that is what happened)?

== TEASER ==

Comic books generally get the axe when editorial (specifically Editors-in-Chief) notice that the sales for a particular series is either low, or has relatively low expectations from the get-go. This is what caught me off guard when I found out about X-23's low sales. Looking at the total sales numbers for October, 2011; the series didn't seem to be doing that poorly -- it certainly wasn't the lowest selling title at Marvel. In fact, it only grossed a fraction worse than Hawkeye, and surpassed various other Marvel titles like AVENGERS ACADEMY, CLOAK AND DAGGER and several SPIDER-ISLAND offshoots. So what's the deal? Sure, placing 104 and selling 24,043 units for October isn't the best; but the series did manage to go up that month by at least 316 units. So what's the deal? Obviously, people are enjoying the series enough to buy it, so why put the series on hold?

X-23 listed at #104 for the month of October
X-23 listed at #104 for the month of October

We contacted the series' writer Marjorie Liu to get her take on Marvel's decision to omit the book from their February 2012 X-title solicits, but have yet to get a response. And with her busy schedule, we don't really blame her. Liu splits her time between writing novels, being a practicing attorney and writing X-23 -- or at least she did. In her recent blog she stated that she was "writing the lettering for X-23 #19" just last week, and that she had two more projects (which she couldn't discuss) in the works. Could these be more projects with Marvel? With #19 (almost) in the bag, it's no question that issue #20 of X-23 due on January 4th 2012 will be her last.

Still, the book seemed to be doing okay -- at least faring better than many other Marvel titles, so why give it the axe now? Yes, X-23 will soon be appearing in AVENGERS ACADEMY starting with issue #24 and she will also make an appearance in the upcoming VENOM six-part weekly event, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't continue to have her own book, should it? The end of issue #20 (the series' final issue) X-23 will return to Utopia to decide whether or not she will take part in Regenesis, but why should she lose her title as a result of the new story arc?

No Caption Provided

It's not just that the series is ending (and the numbers seemed alright) it's that out of Marvel's total monthly releases, X-23 was their only self-titled, female character driven series. Yes, many other Marvel books have female characters that appear in them, but only ONE, X-23, had a woman at the core of the story. Liu was doing more than just writing an action packed, superhero book featuring a female character; she was also developing that female character. And to be honest, it's been a long time since many of the Marvel ladies have actually seen any character development. Are they afraid to publish books centered around the ladies? Unfortunately, this kind of news signals to many Marvel female readers that the publisher doesn't necessarily care, or is inclined to target them as an audience. Are female Marvel fans valuable to Marvel? If they were, wouldn't there be more female character driven stories?

To me, a good character and a good story will make me want to read the book, but there's also nothing wrong with a little bit of "girl power." I will definitely miss X-23's ongoing series, and I feel that the character has a long way to go and has a lot of room to develop further. Hopefully we will get that in other books. What does the cancelation of X-23 mean to you as a reader? Do you think Marvel needs more female driven stories? Check out the preview to X-23 #17 which is set to hit stores tomorrow, below.

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blur1528

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Edited By blur1528

BWA-haha! Adventures in Babysitting!

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dvorak

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Edited By dvorak

Where do these statistics come from?

On subject, I actually really enjoy this series, and will be sad to see it get the axe.

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DanialCarroll

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Edited By DanialCarroll

As I mentioned in the other thread, X-23 (blue) had the steepest decline of those lower-end titles over the last year. Marvel's cancellation line is around 20,000, and as you can see, X-23 was heading there pretty quickly:

No Caption Provided
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Duo_forbidden

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Edited By Duo_forbidden

I'm still upset about it. Laura is my Cassandra Cain when it comes to the Marvel universe. To be honest, I didn't know X-23's series was selling so low as well. Besides Ultimate Comics: X-Men, this was the only X-men series I was following. It feels like a slap to the face hearing this news.
As I wrote in a previous thread, I really can't see Laura sticking around with Avengers Academy for so long, nor can I see myself following that series. I hear good things about that series, but I just can't get into it. Honestly, I think she would do a lot better with Wolverine's group.
And after reading this article, I didn't realize that X-23 was the only Marvel comic featuring a female character 0_o

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Wattup

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Edited By Wattup

Even as a fan of X-23, I have to say that her last few story arcs were pretty meh (and I don't mind Marjorie Liu as a writer) and worthy of cancellation based on the figures. I don't think the fact that it's a female character warrants a stay of execution if the quality is poor.

That being said, Marvel does have a crappy record of supporting female character titles. For all the grief DC gets for Starfire and Catwoman in the New 52, at least they've given Birds of Prey (over 100 issue in one volume), Catwoman (80+ issues), Batgirl (Cassie Cain's title lasted 60+ issues) and Wonder Woman sustained runs. I can't think of one Marvel female character that's had such a chance. The only one I can think of was Jessica Jones' Alias but that was a MAX title.

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jsphsmth

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Edited By jsphsmth

Are sales more important than diversifying the product line? No.

Marvel is much worse off than DC regarding female centered titles and women creators, but DC have been getting eaten alive on the subject. Bad move Marvel, for bringing this fight right to your doorstep.

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haydenclaireheroes

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For some reason Marvel cancels a lot of their female lead series. They should have more female lead series not cancel them.

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blur1528

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Edited By blur1528

I think all of you are missing the big picture. Hulu has the full movie of Adventures in Babysitting!!!

http://www.hulu.com/watch/295476/adventures-in-babysitting

What?! Directed by Chris Columbus? Why have I not noticed this before?

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moywar700

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Edited By moywar700

Maybe they wanted talented writer to finish up other projects, who knows?

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PolarisJunkie

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Edited By PolarisJunkie

@Wattup said:

Even as a fan of X-23, I have to say that her last few story arcs were pretty meh (and I don't mind Marjorie Liu as a writer) and worthy of cancellation based on the figures. I don't think the fact that it's a female character warrants a stay of execution if the quality is poor.

That being said, Marvel does have a crappy record of supporting female character titles. For all the grief DC gets for Starfire and Catwoman in the New 52, at least they've given Birds of Prey (over 100 issue in one volume), Catwoman (80+ issues), Batgirl (Cassie Cain's title lasted 60+ issues) and Wonder Woman sustained runs. I can't think of one Marvel female character that's had such a chance. The only one I can think of was Jessica Jones' Alias but that was a MAX title.

You're forgetting Spider-Girl, the MC2 version, that had over 120+ issues dedicated to her.

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mrzero1982pt2

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Edited By mrzero1982pt2

MARVEL DOES NOT CARE ABOUT WOMEN!

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MSBoyd23

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Edited By MSBoyd23

This makes me mad. We've got tons of Spider-Man books and Wolverine books--do all of them sell consistently better than X-23? Because not one of them is on my pull list.

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Kallarkz

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Edited By Kallarkz

@blur1528 said:

fail troll attempt.

And no I don't think it should have. There are plenty of other titles that are doing horrible right now that they could have cut first.

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cosmo111687

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Edited By cosmo111687

At least let X-23 get to issue #23, Marvel.

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SecretKnight

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Edited By SecretKnight

It's sad that X-23 got cancelled and I think Marvel needs to drop their lowest series an get more female driven series.

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fodigg

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Edited By fodigg

I don't know about should but big, fat, frowny face.

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ClawFist

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Edited By ClawFist

Honestly, as a male reader myself, this is highly upsetting. X-23 was and still is until cancellation on my main core monthly pull-list along with Wolverine, Daken, and X-Force. I can fluctuate my list, add comics, take away comics, but X-23 and my core list would always remain is what I told myself. I honestly feel this is where Marvel may be failing, we're getting too much extra titles with less exploration of other characters or other worlds etc. Such as now two Spider-Man titles, two Wolverine titles with one ending but this is just an example. We have several Avenger titles, which yes they are Avengers for different things but they borrow characters, even Defendors are taking characters from New Avengers. Don't misunderstand me, I enjoy all these books but we just don't need them, it seems like Marvel is sticking with what's good and taking so few chances. My favorite character of all time is Wolverine but we really don't need Wolverine and Wolverine The Best There Is, The Best There Is can easily be another story arc in his mainstream series.

And Marvel has so many great Female characters to use, X-23 only being one, we also have She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Red She-Hulk, Sepulcher I'd like to see her, Spider-Girl I'm already missing her, Snow Bird I'd like to see that, Hela could be an awesome mini, as well as Squirrel Girl, Black Cat, Satana, Valkyrie etc. This is one subject I think all of Marvel's competition is beating them on and I hope whatever is holding them back on this that Marvel can see the light and take several risks on their Astonishing Number of Amazing Female Characters. I'm a True Believer and I wanna believe it can happen

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RedheadedAtrocitus

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All this merely means to me as a reader is that until we have all the cold hard facts of everything surrounding X-23's cancellation as an ongoing series, we can only speculate on what might have been the cause for its downfall. Maybe Liu is swamped with the other projects in her life and responsibilities she has. Maybe it did really succumb to cancellation due to simple economics and saw declining sales that Marvel just couldn't abide by anymore. We just do not simply know for certain. As for more female driven ongoing series, well unfortunately this just makes me wish to reiterate my point I made in another article regarding black superhero eligibility for movies...it shouldn't MATTER which character gets an ongoing, whether they are male, female, Christian, Muslim, communist, conservative, white, black, yellow, red, homosexual or straight. If X-23 has been axed, it is for a reason other than the fact that she's a female superhero obviously. Wonder Woman is a female-centered story that is currently in its fourth volume and continues to be popular because she's iconic. X-23 is arguably iconic too...but must still obey the rules of the marketplace. And if sales decline, then she has to face the music as well.

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ImperiousRix

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Edited By ImperiousRix

Noooooooooooooo!

This was consistently my favorite Marvel series! I can't believe it's gotten cancelled.

Actually... I can believe that it's been cancelled and that's what makes this so sad. X-23 was one of the few Marvel books currently going where the character was allowed to grow and develop outside of the greater hulla-baloo of the never-ending barrage of Marvel event comics. In fact, this last story arc actually finished with *gasp* genuine character growth and with a tease for the character moving into an exciting new direction. Knowing we'll never know where Liu was going with that is absolutely heart-breaking.

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- I understand that there are many fans of X-23 that are disappointed by the cancellation, but as to if it should have been cancelled is hard to say until we see what other titles get the same treatment over the next month or two.

- The only thing more surprising that Disney forced a budget cut at Marvel Comics is that they would actually admit it was the reason for the cancellations. This action speaks volumes as to the health of the industry.

- I have not read X-23's series so I cannot really comment on the quality of the run, but solo series based on female characters is always a tough sell. Comics are still a male dominated genre and many will not even give one a look, much less buy in any regularity.

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moviegeek17

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Edited By moviegeek17

this series should have lasted longer, I'm a guy and i totally dug this book. I wish marvel would have given this series a better chance.

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blur1528

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Edited By blur1528

@Kallarkz: Troll attempt? Why because there's a link? And I say nay kind sir!

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Rixec

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Edited By Rixec

I can't believe it's being cancelled. I love the character and have always felt we've haven't seen enough of her. I picked this book up at issue 13 and now it's leaving at issue 20! Sure, she'll be in the Venom mini series (YOU BETTER NOT CANCEL VENOM MARVEL!) and Avengers Academy, which I'll have to pick up to see where she goes, but I'll miss her book. It better come back some day!

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EnSabahNurX

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Edited By EnSabahNurX

T___T Laura has so much potential and so many unanswered questions that i was dying to have answered. Honestly though I liked the FF arc but two FF arc is too much, she needed to go from FF back to her mission. The captain universe stuff was good for her character and wasn't a complete tangent(really enjoyed it) and could have easily transition back to the cloaked white haired woman.

The sales even started picking up, knew i should have been buying double issues lol

Marvel needs to stop canceling its female titles, its sad how they put more effort into advertising avengers, spiderman, wolverine, and x-men titles but not their independent titles. Even the ghost rider chick, i keep forgetting ghost rider has a ongoing.

I really enjoyed where Liu was taking Laura's character and I'm just shocked they'ed cancel this title since x-23 was doing a bunch of crossovers and was even in the fear itself home front team

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iaconpoint

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Edited By iaconpoint

They canceled May "The REAL Spider-Girl" Parker's book numerous times and since the last time, have let her blow away into the winds of oblivion. Seems we all have to learn to live with some pain.

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wane88

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Edited By wane88

I was blown away after reading Innocence Lost and Targe X. But Marvel took X-23 in the wrong direction after that.

I was hoping she would stay outside the x-team books and focus more on adjusting to life outside the Facility. Target X set everything up for her to live with her aunt and go to school with her cousin. Marvel wasted the opportunity to have an architectural Spider-man type, female, mutant book.

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SC

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Edited By SC  Moderator

Its probably because they believe Marjorie Liu could be making them more money elsewhere.  So X-23 wasn't selling as poorly as other titles, but one might have to factor in how much money its stealing from potential titles. There have been many books with certain writers cancelled despite not doing too bad relatively, because those writers were a level of popularity that meant they viewed as being a better resource to utilize elsewhere. Even the creative decision to move X-23 to AA, might not be strictly creative and more financial - pool together two fan bases to def save one book.  
  
I don't like the decision either way I wish Marv promoted it more and fans weren't so hung up on having to be the same gender, etc etc to relate to a character or project character as a power fantasy (in lieu of quality or originality)

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CODYSF

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Edited By CODYSF

Wow epic fail Marvel why a good comic.

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DanialCarroll

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Edited By DanialCarroll

With Marvel's cancellation-line being around 20k, that unfortunately means there will be at least 20,000 people out there who will be sad that it's gone. Sure it sucks, but Marvel is a business first and foremost, so they have to do these things to stay in business.

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Wattup

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Edited By Wattup

@PolarisJunkie said:

@Wattup said:

Even as a fan of X-23, I have to say that her last few story arcs were pretty meh (and I don't mind Marjorie Liu as a writer) and worthy of cancellation based on the figures. I don't think the fact that it's a female character warrants a stay of execution if the quality is poor.

That being said, Marvel does have a crappy record of supporting female character titles. For all the grief DC gets for Starfire and Catwoman in the New 52, at least they've given Birds of Prey (over 100 issue in one volume), Catwoman (80+ issues), Batgirl (Cassie Cain's title lasted 60+ issues) and Wonder Woman sustained runs. I can't think of one Marvel female character that's had such a chance. The only one I can think of was Jessica Jones' Alias but that was a MAX title.

You're forgetting Spider-Girl, the MC2 version, that had over 120+ issues dedicated to her.

Ah, touche. And I was actually thinking of Spider-Girl earlier with the first X-23 cancellation post.

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DanialCarroll

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Edited By DanialCarroll

@SC said:

Even the creative decision to move X-23 to AA, might not be strictly creative and more financial - pool together two fan bases to def save one book.

You might be on to something there.

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Wattup

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Edited By Wattup

@Rixec said:

I can't believe it's being cancelled. I love the character and have always felt we've haven't seen enough of her. I picked this book up at issue 13 and now it's leaving at issue 20! Sure, she'll be in the Venom mini series (YOU BETTER NOT CANCEL VENOM MARVEL!) and Avengers Academy, which I'll have to pick up to see where she goes, but I'll miss her book. It better come back some day!

Oh man, if Venom is canceled, I will definitely be upset. It's grrrrrr-reat!

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VioletPhoenix

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Edited By VioletPhoenix

If this news causes Laura to start cutting again, someone's in big trouble..

(Joke..it's how I deal with this loss..sigh)

I'm a guy and I dug this series intensely, she's one of my favorite all time characters, strong writing/strong art, what went wrong?

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doordoor123

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Edited By doordoor123

I was part of that decline :D

And now there are no female solo books at Marvel.

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jordama

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Edited By jordama

@Danial79 said:

As I mentioned in the other thread, X-23 (blue) had the steepest decline of those lower-end titles over the last year. Marvel's cancellation line is around 20,000, and as you can see, X-23 was heading there pretty quickly:

No Caption Provided

That's cool. I am such a stats nut

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No_Name_

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Edited By No_Name_

@dvorak said:

Where do these statistics come from?

On subject, I actually really enjoy this series, and will be sad to see it get the axe.

Diamond.

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DanialCarroll

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Edited By DanialCarroll

@jordama: Me too... obviously :)

It should be noted that the sales spike in the graph (#8 & #9) is due to Daken's appearance.

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_Zombie_

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Edited By _Zombie_

Marvel, you're driving me further and further to DC. I was planning on adding this to my monthly list, sad to see it's going to be gone before I can jump into it.

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RainEffect

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Edited By RainEffect

Takeda's artwork is breathtaking.

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Cafeterialoca

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Edited By Cafeterialoca

It's a shame, but it does look like Marvel is pressed for wiggle room.

I also doubt this is the only cancellation to come. (And why does everyone keep targeting Academy? Let's not suddenly turn fans against each other.)

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DanialCarroll

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Edited By DanialCarroll

@Cafeterialoca said:

And why does everyone keep targeting Academy? Let's not suddenly turn fans against each other.

Academy's sales are pretty low, but also quite stable, so I don't think it's going anywhere :)

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freeballer

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Edited By freeballer

Personally I liked x-23. The character and story.. No idea what prompted marvel to cancell it while there are definitely worse titles to be sure

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savri

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Edited By savri

I loved X-23...... key word is "Loved"

I started to collect the series and was loving every minute of it, but in #7 it seems to have lost my interest all together, singing like pirates to having a big fight with a half brother #8 - #9, to dealing with Vampirism #10 to swinging with Spider man in #13. Too much, too fast!!!! X-23: Innocence Lost is a wonderful starting block and I think she is a wonderful character to have. However, a character needs more "one on one time", and I personally, think she is faster bouncing from topic to topic then a starving cat trying to chase its tail in hopes for some food. If the book focuses to the X-23: Innocence Lost then start to "work her into heroes life's" and not "heroes working into her life" it can resume its appeal.

Also, she was a little girl, when she started, I mean little guys!, and now she is a double D in less than a year, yet almost all other heroes are the same from the 1980's till now, otherwise we would see Emma, Jubilee, Miss Sinister and others start to sag, guys

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the_stegman

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Edited By the_stegman  Moderator

well...to play devil's advocate, if the sales were that low, it is for the best to drop it, sacrifice the few to save the many if you ask me, and it's not like the character is gone for good

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jordama

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Edited By jordama

I am not to terribly surprised by this. I haven't heard the best about the series, and frankly I don't know if she was strong enough to carry the title, especially when you consider that marvel cannot support any female centered books.

@Danial79 said:

@jordama: Me too... obviously :)

Did you actually make the chart or did you find it?

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threeheadedmonkey

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I'd only just started reading up to the current issue. I quite like the books but really it isn't being cancelled because she's a woman so please don't play that card...

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acomicbooklook

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Edited By acomicbooklook

I was never a big fan of the X-23 title, I tried to pick it up but never got hook, so it doesn't bother me that it was cancelled. What bothers me is X-Factor and Thunderbolts were both out-sold by X-23, If those books get the axe, I will be pissed.

Also, Marvel could have left a few female character titles out there. So that's lame.

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saoakden

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Edited By saoakden

This sucks big time. Its practically a sausage feast with marvel titles. X-23 is one of my favorite characters in the marvel universe for a few reasons.

  1. She's not a typical clone, she's trying to figure out who she is a person.
  2. Has a unique history since she orignally appeared in X-Men Evolution then made an apperance in the comics. Plus her origin in the comics.
  3. I'm a huge fan of Wolverine, he's my favorite X-men for sure. It's interesting, for me at least, to see how someone, like X-23, uses their powers that are simliar to another hero or villain like how she uses her powers that are based on Wolverine.

This is a just as disappointing as finding out the Victor von Doom limited series being cancel or Thor being killed off to be replaced by Tanarus and finding out Ben Rilley is still dead & not coming back from the grave anytime soon.

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DanialCarroll

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Edited By DanialCarroll
@jordama

I am not to terribly surprised by this. I haven't heard the best about the series, and frankly I don't know if she was strong enough to carry the title, especially when you consider that marvel cannot support any female centered books.

@Danial79 said:

@jordama: Me too... obviously :)

Did you actually make the chart or did you find it?

@jordama I just made it in Excel using ICv2 sales figures.
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jordama

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Edited By jordama

@Danial79: Major respect.