10 Marvel comics that should have been successes but failed
Marvel has become the kingmaker of the comic book industry. As number one in sales most of the time, just about every book that Marvel publishes gets a good circulation. Some books even get long runs when sales are poor due to their success in the secondary market. That said, there are books that almost certainly should have been hits but just didn’t work. There are a lot of factors to that, but that doesn’t change the fact that they flopped.
Sometimes an idea looks good on paper. Other times the creative team doesn’t deliver. Sometimes everything is handled so badly that the book just isn’t successful.
ten The Uncanny X-Men 2018 reboot is dead on the vine
The X-Men are big money again, but it hasn’t always been that way. After years of enforced editorial stagnation, Marvel has announced a new Strange X-Men title, with writers Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson and Matthew Rosenberg and artists like RB Silva, Mahmud Asrar, Pepe Perez and Yildiray Cinar. The book began as a weekly, pitting the X-Men against X-Man in a story called “X-Men Disassembled.”
The story was not a huge success and led to the Age of X-Man, which was also a dud. Rosenberg and artist Salvador Larocca finished things off before Jonathan Hickman rebooted the X-Men, with fans even less happy with the book, if such a thing was possible.
9 Charles Soule’s Amazing X-Men Are The Twelve Worst Problems In Book History
Amazing X-Men is a name that fans equate to a certain quality. Writer Charles Soule relaunched the book in 2017, with each issue drawn by a different artist, like Jimmy Cheung, Mike Deodato Jr., ICO, Ron Garney, and more. Focusing on Shadow King, Proteus, and the Return of Professor X, Soule leaves Amazing X-Men was remarkably uneven and it’s nice.
The book never really took off as Marvel hoped it would and although it brought back Professor X, it is not viewed fondly by X-Men fans. Marvel was pushing Soule to the moon at the time and the row of murderous artists should have helped, but it was a complete failure.
8 The 2017 Gen X reboot had everything it needed to be successful
2017 saw Marvel try an X-Men reboot. One of the most interesting comics was Generation X, by writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna. Starring a diverse cast of young mutants with fan favorites Jubilee and Chamber training them, the book played on ’90s nostalgia but was decidedly modern. It was the best of the X-Men reboot but it never really caught on.
Generation X had it all, but it wasn’t enough. For some reason, fans never showed up and even the return to legacy numbering didn’t help. Generation X ended in just over a year, but foreshadowed the type of X-Men stories that would work in Krakoa’s time.
7 The saga of the clones could have been great
The Clone Saga is one of the most infamous Spider-Man stories of all time, but it didn’t have to be. Run through the four Spider Man books from the mid-90s, fans and critics were in the story early on, so Marvel decided to make use of them. Things got stretched, every plan was thrown out, and Marvel held the arc for too long.
The Clone Saga had so many assets: the premise was great, there were several mysteries to be solved, and fan interest was at its peak. Marvel shamelessly milking him for years killed the story and while it earned its reputation, the Close saga didn’t have to be that way.
6 Gambit Solo books never work
Gambit is a paradox. He’s known even to casual audiences, but for some reason comic book fans never really come to buy books solo. Gambit works best as a team.
5 Gerry Duggan’s Age of Avengers Run wasted all the goodwill Rick Remender built
Strange avengers was an interesting experience after Avengers vs. X-Men, combining the most powerful X-Men and Avengers into one team. Writer Rick Remender created some great stories about the book and are fondly remembered. After leaving Marvel, writer Gerry Duggan would take over afterSecret wars and Avengers vs. X-Men fell off a cliff.
Duggan’s run marked the end of the book. Although it had a decent run, a book that was once one of Marvel’s most important has gone its way to bedtime and hasn’t been brought back since. It’s a hell of a flop.
4 The Inhumans debacle killed the Dead concept
Marvel’s attempt to replace mutants with Inhumans has been a massive failure. Marvel has gone all out to make Inhumans work, putting writers like Matt Fraction and Charles Soule on multiple books, with artists like Olivier Coipel, Joe Madureira, Steve McNiven, and Ryan Stegman manipulating the art on. Inhumanity, Strange Inhumans, and Inhuman. They never caught the fans.
Marvel tried to make the Inhumans something they weren’t, ignoring all of the great things in the concept. The Inhumans are now damaged property, fans don’t look kindly on them at all. There’s always a chance they’ll come back, but not anytime soon.
3 Wolverine’s return brought back one of Marvel’s most popular characters, but all of the story was ignored
Marvel characters die and resurrect all the time, but only the most popular get great event books. This is how Wolverine was brought back to life, with a one-shot and four mini-series leading up to The return of Wolverine, by writer Charles Soule and artists Steve McNiven and Declan Shalvey. While the book sold well, it’s hard to find fans of the story.
McNiven was only able to make two numbers, the first and the last, due to delays. The villain of the book was also forgettable and sadly introduced hot claws. The only thing of Wolverine Returns which stuck was Wolverine’s return to life. Other than that, he was completely forgotten.
2 Morbius failed in the 90s obsessed with vampires
While zombies are the biggest monster of the 2000s, vampires were all the rage in the 90s. On top of that, horror comics were having a renaissance thanks to DC and Vertigo, so Marvel tried to create its own. horror line. Writer Len Kaminski and artist Ron Wagner brought readers in Morbius, featuring Spider-Man’s former villain as a vampiric hero.
All of Marvel’s horror line that wasn’t Ghost rider completely failed, with Morbius being the most surprising. Vampires were big, and the book had something to do with Spider-Man. The history and art were pretty good, but it should have landed better than it did.
1 Fallen Angels is one of the least loved books of the Krakoa era
The era of Krakoa X mewas very successful, but one book that fans didn’t like was Fallen angels. Written by Bryan J. Hill with Szymon Kudranski art, Fallen angels with Kwannon, X-23, and Cable facing off against a powerful AI meant to destroy mutants. The book set up a lot of stories for Kwannon going forward, but fans didn’t really like the six-issue miniseries.
There are many things to love Fallen angels but it just didn’t work for the fans. The book featured three popular characters, had a great plot, and wonderful art, but it just wasn’t enough for readers. Fallen angels is important for books like Hellions, but don’t share the same love as this book.
Marvel: Spider-Man’s 10 biggest failures, ranked
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