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Looking Back at the Cancelled New 52: 2014

Another year has passed, so it comes time for once more to go own the list of the titles that DC has cancelled in the last 12 or so months. Now I don’t mean cancelled and then relaunched, I mean outright cancelled. So no Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, or Grayson either. 2014 has been one heck of a year for the New 52 though, so let us head right into what shall or shan’t be missed.

  • All Star Western

 

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This is perhaps the most famous, or maybe infamous, cancellation of the entire New 52 in the year 2014. After almost a decade of nonstop storytelling, in one way or another, writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti finally put their run on the classic DC gunslinger to a rest. Jonah Hex as a character was not long for the world with the onset of the reboot. He is a classic, but he just didn’t fit in and people sure were not buying.

So, putting him to rest at last was something that was a no-brainer. Palmiotti and Gray did the best they could in trying to give this character the send off that he deserved. There are conflicting ideas of whether or not they went too far. Showed too much love and respect. Yet, in the end, they went on with the ending they felt would bring the most closure and not feel like a retread. All-Star Western will surely be missed, as will the man named Hex.

  • Animal Man

 

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Perhaps the most mainstream cancellation to occur within DC this year, due to Jeff Lemire’s superstar status, Animal Man left readers much like All-Star Western did. It was sorry to go, but it left with an ending that was as good as one could get. Closure would have to be in the eye of the beholder. Lemire’s Animal Man run had been a fan favorite for many – settling the collective fix for “weird fiction” within DC’s universe of series.

It was, without a doubt, a nice little series that wasn’t afraid to pull punches or go with the short thrift. It was full of heart, frights, and a smorgasbord of good art. The finale followed that trend to the very letter. It’s not “Morrison”, but really why would anyone want all Morrison all the time? How about just kicking it back a few notches and enjoying a nicely told story? That was the appeal of Lemire.

  • Larfleeze

 

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Larfleeze was a title that no one thought would last long. And it didn’t. But it was a joyous little run that full of fun. DeMatteis and Giffen took the character of Larfleeze and ran with him. There are those who enjoy the original, threatening Larfleeze, and I am one of them. Yet, this is the series that finally sold me on him as a comedic lead. The art by Scott Kolins was also the best art from him that I have seen in ages.

There’s not much of an in-depth plot to the series, as such. It’s got a main thrust and after that it’s mainly self-contained. There are as much thrills as any more well-known series, and while I would have preferred it gone on longer, it was apt that it be cut down while still young in the numbers. After a whil it would have been tough to justify this sort of ongoing.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Birds of Prey, JLA, Talon, The Dark Knight, The Phantom Stranger

 

Stranger sins

 

What is there to say about the first four? Other than they were books. They existed. They might have had some name recognition. Some had potential. The potential was squandered for some. Plot lines dropped. Characters misused. Underused. Overused. And now it is finally over. So, what did we learn? That, overall, Birds of Prey was an incredibly boring book. It did nothing to set itself apart. I’m surprised they didn’t relaunch it yet, either.

The Dark Knight was an awful book that turned into a bland book. Talon was a nice enough book, but that was it. It was like Larfleeze – doomed from the get-go. Justice League of America was a misused book that could have gone multiple places. Yet it was dragged into tie-in hell and died there. What of the last one though? Phantom Stranger ended, and it ended perfectly. No more and no less.

 

Justice League of America #9 Review: Worst Enemies

 

As always I probably did not cover every cancellation, but simply the ones that I felt I had something to say about. There are a few that I might not have gone into much detail with either. Any and all thoughts would be appreciated below. If you have a favorite or not-so-favorite cancellation this year, pipe up below, and see you again this time next year.

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