[KISS KISS BANG BANG cover by Phil Noto.]
As first noted in the comics blogosphere by Graeme McMillan, Marvel’s proposed KISS KISS BANG BANG and ROUTE 666 Crossgen revivals have been shelved indefinitely. Word came via Tom Brevoort’s rolling press conference, i.e. Formspring. Graeme wrote:
The two titles, announced at last year’s Fan Expo Canada, had originally been due to launch in December 2011 and February 2012 respectively, but were said to be moved to later in 2012 last November. The “shelving” of the titles should come as little surprise; despite the high quality of books like Ruse and Mystic (The latter of which was possibly my favorite Marvel book of last year, next to Daredevil), the line didn’t fare well in the direct market with the final issue released, Mystic #4, only selling an estimated 6,000 copies in the US.
KISS KISS BANG BANG and ROUTE 666 were both written by Tony Bedard with art by Mike Perkins and Karl Moline respectively. They were readable, likable comics but genre-wise pretty far outside what succeeds at Marvel these days—spy and horror.
The thud of the Crossgen revival reaffirms my suspicion that this was something that came up in a Disney/Marvel meeting and maybe was just a pro forma attempt—despite the top-notch creative teams like Peter Milligan and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa—and not a full-bodied campaign. Disney overspent an insane amount of money for the Crossgen library, and this was the last attempt to get some return on that.
Now, if some OTHER comics company had the Crossgen library, you can bet they’d still be flogging the hell out of it. But at Marvel it didn’t make much sense.
Note that actual artwork was created for these issues. Maybe these could be released as digital-only?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.