Q&A #56 What cancelled series would you like to have back?

In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.

In light of S.W.O.R.D. being cancelled after 5 issues and Birds of Prey being relaunched, we want to know: What cancelled series would you like to have back?


Brian Reed’s Ms. Marvel is set to end with an “over-sized final issue” at the end of February. If you pay any attention to my posts, my blog or my Twitter, you already know what I think about that. Ms. Marvel is my favorite super hero and Ms. Marvel is my favorite super hero comic. I know Carol Danvers’ story won’t end with that over-sized issue. I don’t believe her solo series career will end with that over-sized issue. But whatever happens to Carol post Reed’s Ms. Marvel, I will still miss it as it is.

The series is hardly perfect, but in my own little contrary way, that’s almost why I love it. It’s very Carol Danvers to be a bumpy road of a series. And in those not-so-perfect, not-quite-50 issues, Reed has given me a bumpy road and a Carol who rides it. Starting just after The House of M, Ms. Marvel‘s Carol goes through Civil War, The Initiative, Secret Invasion, and Dark Reign, and into Siege (I’m kinda tired just reading that, Marvel). She fights, she flirts, she dates, she dies, she drinks, she gains a cat, she gains a sidekick, she gains a boyfriend, she loses her boyfriend, she loses her sidekick, she loses her cat, she loses her home, she loses her friends, she loses herself, she finds herself, she finds her cat, she dates some more, she fights some more, and every time she’s knocked down she stands up ready to start all over. And that’s barely half of all that happened.

I started reading Ms. Marvel because I was already a Carol Danvers fan. But as Ms. Marvel winds down, I already miss it, because now I am a Carol Danvers fanatic.


If you ask me what single comic book title is most responsible for my falling in love with the Marvel Universe, I could tell you lots of lies, or I could name Fabian Nicieza’s Cable & Deadpool. This series about a supersoldier with Messianic delusions and the brain damaged mercenary to whom, for incomprehensible reasons, he is deeply emotionally attached, was my first (and, in many ways, still best) exposure to the full depth, breadth, and deep-rooted insanity of the Marvel U.* The Civil War tie-in issues (with a “registered” Deadpool signing up for an officially sanctioned team, while Cable explained the disadvantages of registration, via the use of pie charts), were just about the only ones to do for that ‘event’ what it sorely needed: sending it up and taking its implications seriously at the same time.

I miss this series badly. I miss this series every damn day, especially when I look over in the X-Men books and see Cyclops trying to create a Utopia on a floating metal island. I think, “Cable already did that, man. And it was awesome.”

*If they ever publish a C&D omnibus, I would like for this quotation to appear on the cover.


Most cancelled books at least have time to tell a couple of stories before they’re unceremoniously placed on the chopping block. Sometimes, though, as in the case of the newest casualty, S.W.O.R.D., the books only last a handful of issues, a single story arc at most, before cancellation, leaving miles of untapped potential behind. That’s why my most-missed book is Jeff Parker’s 5-issue Exiles.

Caroline already wrote eloquently about that book’s cancellation, but for me the absence still stings. The book took an old concept — different versions of popular characters from various universes become a team to save alternate realities — and made it sparkle by showcasing his abundant skill at characterization and dialogue. I fell in love with the book’s versions of Beast, the (Scarlet) Witch, Polaris, Forge, Blink, and Black Panther, and I loved seeing them interact with other characters as they skipped through realities. I long to read more about these characters’ adventures (particularly the girls, by far the most powerful and competent members of the team), and while the final issue of the series did tie up some loose ends and give context to the characters’ actions and histories, I wish Parker had had more time to spread out, and flesh out, that information.


Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson’s The Order.

Kitson and Fraction took the concept of the Fifty States Initiative — a superhero team for every state, regulated and supported by your state government — and built a team of new characters that fit seamlessly into the Marvel U. Beautifully rendered by Kitson, The Order remarked on the nature of celebrity, on the nature of heroism, and on the purpose of government in an age of hyper-scrutiny. It had one of my favorite new characters, publicist Kate Kildare. Kate’s job was to make sure that The Order was perceived to be doing good — actual do-gooding was not her problem.

In addition to examining the sorts of problems a state-sponsored superhero team might have in the world of today’s paparazzi, Fraction also asked the age-old question of why the heck a person would ever sign up to be a hero. The Order’s powers were temporary, given to them for a year by science. People had to choose this life, and the reasons they bring are a microcosm of the origin stories from sixty years of comic books. The heroes of The Order are deeply flawed people whose heroism is most evident in the fact that they managed to get to where they are in life.

The Order was cancelled after ten issues, but the characters scattered to fit into the Marvel Universe. I would love to see them back in their own title. The lineup could be slightly altered as long as the premise stayed in place — that heroing is hard, but being seen to be heroing is harder. That your worst enemy is the press who can turn the voters against you. I’d also insist on Henry Hellrung and Kate Kildare to be part of the book, with guest appearances from Pepper Potts, Tony Stark, and Namor.

What cancelled series would you like to have back?

  • I would go with Captain Britain and MI13. Really solid writing. Really great idea. And the Black Knight!

  • Totally forgot about The Order, I really loved that series and the saddest part was that it never felt like it reached its full potential. There was so much more gold left in them there hills….

    Anyway, if I had to pick just one series, it would be Gotham Central. Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka & Michael Lark’s (and others) series about the Major Case Unit of the Gotham City Police force was packed with everything I love about comics and cop shows. Getting to see ordinary cops try to deal with the extrordinary threats that Gotham City houses, all while trying not to involve Batman, because this is their job, not his.

    Along with that, some tryly great characters, not just the amazing Renee Montoya and Cris Allen who went onto….different roles within the DCU, but Detectives Markus Drive, Romy Chandler, Dagmar Procjnow…I wonder what they’re all up to now?

    Also, in lieu of a Gotham central revival, I’ll also accept a Daily Planet series focusing on Lois Lane, etal breaking stories.

  • I love all of the titles listed here, so instead of just seconding everyone, I am going to list a DC Title.

    Blue Beetle. Seriously, how is that series canceled? Jaime was the greatest thing to be added to the DCU in a really long time. And now it’s been cancelled TWICE since it is losing its backup feature, and I just adore Jaime and his supporting cast.

  • Mudassir

    What Jason said.

  • Marshall

    Totally agree on The Order. I LOVED that book. i loved because it looked great, because it was well-written, because it featured new characters, because it was a great concept and because it was BASED IN LOS ANGELES.

    I know, I’m a psycho, but holy carp was that a great book.

  • BookGnome

    Pretty interesting that all four of you choose Marvel titles.

    I’m gonna jump on Michael’s & Jason’s bandwagons with Captain Britain & MI-13 for Marvel & Gotham Central for DC. But it still pains me no end that Manhunter was canceled. I am somewhat happy that the Manhunter back-up seems to be getting better reception than the main title, Streets of Gotham. But I can’t bear to pay for that title so I have to trade-wait to get my Kate Spencer fix. And this makes for an unhappy gnome.

  • sigrid

    @ Michael Szul You know, I never picked that one up. Perhaps in trade . . .

    @ Jason Oh, I do love Gotham Central. Excellent choice!

    @ Margot Another one I never read, but heard great things about!

    @ BookGnome If you would have asked me this last week? BIRDS OF PREY. But that one is coming back, soooo . . .

  • I’m with Jennifer all the way with the Exiles. I loved the Exiles first run. After the horrible New Exiles series was canceled, I was delighted to see Exiles get a second chance with writer Jeff Parker. The story was fun and I love quick stories set in alternate “what if” universes. Sadly the damage was done by the need of New Exiles and readers didn’t give the new book a chance.

    @Jason Never read GC but I really want to after reading Criminal and Incognito. I hope they release a HC omnibus.

    @Caroline I loved that issue of Cable & Deadpool. I know your not much on X-Force but there is a short lived reunion with Cable and future deadpool in the Messiah War X-Force and Cable issues.

  • @JesTr DC is currently re-releasing all of Gotham Central in 4 over-sized HC’s. I can’t recommend them enough. They have two out already. I fyou want a taste, you can probably find the trades out there, cheap, since a lot of people (me included) are upgrading. The trades only collected the “main” story arcs, but all were very good.

  • @Jason Thanks! I actually saw a HC vol 2 at the LCS the other day but no vol 1. I ended up buying The Punisher MAX HC vol 2 instead.

  • Menshevik

    Marvel and DC have cancelled quite a few of my favourite series, it seems so hard to choose – Hawk & Dove, Impulse, Young Justice, and Generation X come to mind. (Hmm, odd, way more DC titles than Marvel titles, even though I’ve always bought more Marvel than DC – could this be part of the reason WHY I bought more Marvel?) But the one I’ll be listing here is a book that as far as I’m concerned was cancelled in 2007 – Amazing Spider-Man (yes, I’m a bitter old fan).

  • Back in the day, it was DC’s The Suicide Squad by John Ostrander and The Question by Denny O’Neill. I was so bummed when those books were canceled (and so excited that I get them back for one issue this month as part of Blackest Night).

    I’m trying to think more recently, but it’s harder. Am I more jaded because I expect books to be canceled?

    I guess maybe I would have loved to see Iron Fist continue. I miss that one quite a bit.

    There are also books that I loved once upon a time, but by the time they’re canceled, it’s sort of a mercy killing. :) Actually, that’s probably most common with television, but anyone have any comics series like that?

  • I second, third, etc the mentions above of The Order (GREAT call Sigrid) and Gotham Central.

    Of recent titles dead before their time, I will miss The Mighty, SWORD, and others.

    But my real answer is nostalgia to a T–pure Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League. I have every issue and would gladly wish for 100 more if I were given wishes with which to wish for things.

  • Gah, I totally forgot Gotham Central! That one hurt to lose.

    @Matt — wasn’t The Mighty always meant to be 12 issues? Or, are you just saying you wish it had been longer?

  • Cash

    I’d also have to suggest Gotham Central over anything mentioned so far, but there are two other DC titles that NEVER should have been cancelled, and Kyle Baker was working on them both:

    One was Baker’s version of Plastic Man, which was as close as modern comics have ever come to recapturing the Jack Cole magic.

    The other was The Shadow, which was both a sharply written crime comic and a hysterically loopy take on pulp heroism. Andy Helfer and Baker got canned by the owners of the Shadow’s copyright because they weren’t taking the character seriously enough, but that was the whole flippin’ POINT. God, I’d love to see the two of them turned loose on Doc Savage.

  • @Dave If I had to be ENTIRELY honest, ‘Cable & Deadpool’ more or less ended with issue 35 (Cable made a few more appearances but from 36 on it was mostly a Deadpool book), though it made it to 50. That loopy buddy dramedy of the first 35 issues is what I really want back, though.

  • handyhunter

    Does the hardcover of Gotham Central have more stories than the trades?

  • @handyhunter The GC hardcovers include (or eventually will include) all of the issues of GC. The trades don’t do that. However, the second trade of GC does include some older Renee Montoya stories that give background on her history with Harvey Dent.

  • I am in total agreement, especially on The New Exiles and Ms. Marvel. I only heard about SWORD today, and am very sad to hear about it, as i had really been loving that book a lot :( Poor Agent Brand. She is gonna be pissed.

  • handyhunter

    @Caroline thank you! I may have to get those.

  • @handyhunter The Hardcovers are nice but if you have a shop with a decent back-issue selection, it might by easier (and cheaper) to pick them up that way.

    If it isn’t obvious, ‘Gotham Central’ was very nearly the book that I nominated for this category. I was really hoping the ‘Streets of Gotham’ book would basically be GC but not so much.

    In fact, all of the series listed here are awesome!

  • In addition to everyone else’s great choices, Warren Ellis’ Nextwave has my vote. I could use some wacked-out hilarious meta in my pull list.

  • Cash

    Was Nextwave cancelled? I had always assumed it was a limited series.

    But I sure as heck want more of it.

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  • Nextwave was definitely canceled due to low volume. Though I imagine that it might’ve been low volume in correlation with Ellis’ paycheck.