Well-reviewed, chart-topping, but irregularly shipping, the J. Michael Straczynski/Olivier Coipel run on THOR was one of the better selling recent character relaunches. However, it had been rumored widely that JMS was leaving the book, and an interview at CBR confirms. The reason given isn’t any big blow-out, but rather that JMS didn’t want to get involved in a big company-wide Thor event:
The one concern at the back of my head was that of being pulled into a Big Event that could affect the forward momentum of the book and alter its direction. I’ve said elsewhere that in many cases — and this isn’t just Marvel, the trend is pandemic — such an event can sometimes result in the individual books serving the event, rather than the other way around, and you have to spend months and issues afterward stitching everything back together. I’m the kind of writer who likes to write in a straight line and know for certain the terrain he’s standing upon. Some writers can handle all that and never break a sweat. For me, it’s just not something I can do competently. That’s a shortcoming on my part and I recognize it as such.
Prior to the reboot, when “Thor” was selling in the mid-50s, a Big Event wouldn’t have been much of a concern, but now it was selling in the top ten month after month, and that increased visibility meant it could precipitate an event. And, again without saying much because this has to come from Marvel, such an event appeared on the horizon.
This is worth noting as perhaps yet another nail in the coffin of the Pamphlet That Sells Well Just Because It’s Good Phenomena. That idea is gone with the wind. In fairness to Marvel, a big THOR movie is coming out next year, so they probably wanted to strike while while the Mjolnir was hot. OTOH, it’s been pretty much proven that movies don’t sell that many random similarly-titled comics, and getting potential new readers hooked with a giant, complicated event seems counter-intuitive. But…so it goes. In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, the future of the Big Two is events, events, events, and Odin help us if it ever stops working.
Speaking of something else, JMS (thank God his name has an acronym so we don’t have to type Straczynski with a mutilated thumb over and over and over) also teases his next DC project:
All four Red Circle scripts are in and drawn, and I’m working on a secret project for DC that I hope we can discuss at San Diego Comic-Con. Suffice to say: anyone who knows me knows that there’s something I’ve wanted to do for my entire creative life, something that I’d give my right arm to write…something I’ve been actively chasing for over ten years. There’s one character, one property, that if George Lucas said “Here’s a million dollars, go write whatever you want and I’ll shoot it, but you’ll have to drop that book,” I would say no and never, ever look back.
Can it be…Streaky!?!