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There are two things that are perhaps among the chief concerns for the average comic buying audience. The sort of things that not only annoy, but can cause great worry and disdain. The first being an obvious point of contention – the age old story of changing creative teams. The second, and the one that will the focus from here on out is the common bane of the monthly consumer: delays. Deathly, despairing, and aggravating delays. They can come out of the blue and can last as long as a year, without any hint of rhyme or reason.
It is still the early days of 2014 but some of the comic reading public are still suffering, or about to suffer even more, from the onslaught of delays. One of the most recent poster children for this condition has to be none other than Mark Millar’s highly hyped and largely marketed Jupiter’s Legacy. A series that has gone on for almost a third of a year without the release of a new issue. This comes as no incredibly shocking surprise, however, as Millar is noted (and nigh on infamous) for the delays that his books suffer from. When coupled alongside artist Frank Quitely’s own noted nature for being late it made for quite the volatile combination. Before the Legacy incident, however, Millar was also at the epicenter of two other long waits, except these two have yet to resolve themselves at all.
Previously there was the miniseries War Heroes, a sort of super-heroic Dirty Dozen riff, that he collaborated on with Tony Harris. It has yet to be completed even with the major part of a decade under its belt with wait time. The second of which has been the long anticipated, for better or worse, sequel to his “cult hit” comic series: Nemesis 2. It has received multiple announcements but has been “upcoming” for the better amount of a year and a half – closed with even more finality given that Steve McNiven, who worked on the first Nemesis, had been pre-occupied with the Brian Michael Bendis relaunch of Guardians of the Galaxy, a title which itself has undergone several artist swaps . Now while the former may never see the light of day, the latter could still see a (very) belated release – especially with the new “Millarworld” push.
So this does not start coming off as a wholly “indie/third party”, which is a common problem for those titles, it is also stressfully common for normal Big Two ventures. To smooth out a transition here, Millar’s first volumes of The Ultimates were plagued by delays due to scripts and art waiting from both Mark and Bryan Hitch. Aside from that there has also been the months in-between issues of the current Hawkeye run from writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja – where it has been something of a non-starter. What went from something that made a giant splash and became an instant hit in some large circles has, due to the intervening time, has cooled off considerably. Fraction has focused more on character nuances and dynamics in this new run, but such an approach falls flat considerably when put on such a strain. It became deflated in its own new fresh sense, and it’s barely 20 issues in yet.
DC Comics itself is no stranger to this phenomena either. The biggest case to have finally been put out of its misery has to be the underground darling All-Star Batman and Robin, which is receiving an Absolute edition later this year. A white flag finally signaling that the wait for the second half of the series is over – in that it will never come. First delayed by the end of the “All-Star” brand then by the onset of the “New 52” it seemed like the project was dead once and for all, and it truly is. Digging into a place closer to the current DC Comics line-up is the Forever Evil event. Weeks have been shifted in rotation among some of the core tie-in books, and the main event mini itself has missed the odd month. It kills momentum and makes a drag out of a legitimately entertaining event.
Of course nothing beats out this next book in this competition of slowed down and redundant books. It has so far even gained the title of being the Duke Nukem Forever of comics, the comic they call Multiversity. Planned since the end of Final Crisis almost half a decade ago – it had since maintained a status of always being released “next year”. For a series that has been described as having 8 artists, one for each one-shot that will make up its story, there have only been two announced in as many years. One so happens to be the previously mentioned Quitely, adding on additional burdens. Not adding to any latent hope are the rumors that concerning the complex and intricate nature of the story, and how that may hamper prospective artists. It’s not only artists, as might have been implied before, but also writers themselves. If there are any delayed comics that you feel need to be revived, please voice your thoughts below.