Today is not a good day for Marvel comic book readers. The House of M released its March solicits to comic book retailers, and there were a number of regular series either missing or ending in 2018.
The most notable monthly books that are missing from the solicit list are Captain Marvel, Generation X, America, The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Luke Cage, and Defenders, confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter's Graeme McMillan. Gwenpool writer Christopher Hastings confirmed the book’s demise on Twitter Tuesday. “Sorry I couldn't confirm earlier, but the news is out,” Hastings confessed. “There are only 2 issues left of the Unbelievable Gwenpool. #24 is a fun send off to our version of Batroc the Leaper, and then 25, Gwen comes to terms with her vanishing future page count.”
The story around Defenders and Jessica Jones is a bit more muddled. It would make sense that legendary Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis’ books like Defenders might come to an end, since he jumped ship and decided to write for DC Comics early last month. The Jessica Jones #18 solicit text confirms Bendis’ farewell with the series' original team Michael Gaydos and cover artist David Mack. But Bendis has been recovering from extensive medical procedures that threatened his life in recent weeks, so those issues could simply be delayed and not actually canceled. No confirmation either way as of yet.
Margaret Stohl confirmed that Captain Marvel is not canceled and isn’t going anywhere, “Concerned Citizens: nope #CaptainMarvel has NOT been canceled & we are hard at work on all things Carol Danvers even now!”
The news was not as good for Hawkeye. Kelly Thompson confirmed fan suspicion that the series is wrapping soon: “Yeah, as some of you are guessing from that cover, #16 will be our last issue of #Hawkeye. Obviously I'm disappointed, but I'm really proud of our book & 16 issues is a solid number in modern times. And there's maybe something interesting coming next? We'll see,” Thompson tweeted with a winky face, purple heart and bow and arrow emojis.
The X-Men spinoff Generation X will also be ending with #87, which will be the final issue for the revived series.
The Iceman solo series has also been canceled, but not abruptly—the series writer Sina Grace confirmed on Instagram.
The majority of the titles were advertised to be a part of the Marvel Legacy rebranding that brought the core characters like Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man back to the character's original concepts while keeping the new characters in the Marvel Universe. This massive shake-up comes at an interesting time for the publisher. Aside from losing Bendis, the monthly sales figures haven’t been great for Marvel and across the industry. Diamond’s November sales show that Marvel had two out of the top 10 best-selling comics, and one was Star Wars #38 (the other was Captain America #695).
The March solicits could be the sign of a new era after letting go of longtime editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and hiring former Marvel editor and talent scout C.B. Cebulski.
There are a lot of unanswered questions and broken hearts hoping these characters will see new life in future comic series. Which book do you hope will come back sooner rather than later? Let's talk it out in the comments.