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Confirmed DC Cancellations: Vibe, Katana, Green Team

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Herald

Not a Kardashian

Postby Herald » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:34 pm

Arion wrote:I knew Vibe would be a failure. Is anyone surprised it got cancelled?


The REAL Vibe would work. The DCnU pod person deserved to fail.
User avatar

Herald

Not a Kardashian

Postby Herald » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:40 pm

SporkBot wrote:
It was a bad idea to start with. Nothing was going to salvage it, and I doubt him walking away would've stopped DC from going forward with it. I'm not saying Beechen's chosen reasons for Cass were the best, but if you can only polish a turd so much.


"The only way to win the game is NOT TO PLAY."

I'm sure they'd have found someone else to write the story, but at least Beechen would have been blameless if he hadn't done it.

On the bright side, the poor rationale helped further agitate fans, and later made DC realize their mistake. Imagine if they'd wrangled a writer that almost made "Evil Cass" make sense...


It might have been a decent story, if they had. :smt102

While I am automatically averse to seeing Cass go bad, if the story had properly sold me and others on it, maybe it would have been acceptable.
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Draco x

PЦИKЧ ВЯЁ&#106

Postby Draco x » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:52 pm

Herald wrote:
Which further incriminates him; HE was the one who came up with the clumsy rationale for turning a reasonably complex character into a cheap, 2-dimensional stereotype.





Oh, you're preaching to the choir. I've been wanting Dan booted for this and many other things for YEARS now. He's the living epitome of the Pointy-Haired Boss.







:?

Well, I know what you were getting at. :wink:

My point is that they are separate subsidiaries of Time Warner, each operating independently.


The high irony is that Didio himself has no hair. :-D :-D :-D :-D
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Draco x

PЦИKЧ ВЯЁ&#106

Postby Draco x » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:01 am

I wasn't really surprised most of these titles got cancelled as I always felt that we should have gotten an Outsiders book with Katana in it rather than her own title. As for the Green Team, I liked the idea but the execution in the New 52 was meh.
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Zechs

Outhouse Editor

Postby Zechs » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:08 am

I know I posted this elsewhere. But, awhile ago posted on this website his interpretation of the whole Cassandra Cain incident (after someone posted an average review of Batgirl: Redemption). It's a fascinating read and until he shows up in Chicago for a comic con the closest we'll ever get to answers.

A few choice selections:

For what it's worth, _____ , I did my best to make the story come from character. In coming up with the justification for turning Cass "evil," my angle on it was that here was a girl who hadn't known parental love in the conventional sense. The closest she had to it (prior to meeting Bruce, Barbara, etc.) was her relationship with Cain. I figured he was a guy she had to feel incredibly, darkly conflicted about. On the one hand, he was terrible to her, denied her so many things, taught her so many other awful things. But on the other, he paid attention to her, and abused kids can confuse love with attention, even if they know better, feelings that can linger long after childhood. So in my mind, she had, for many years, based any sense of self-worth, however warped, on the fact that she was of importance to SOMEONE, even if that person was a turd like David Cain. She wasn't washed clean of that when she joined the Bat-Family -- no one's washed clean of stuff that happens in childhood, it gets properly healed, tamped down or continues to fester and cause problems, waiting for a trigger to set it off. For Cass, the trigger was learning Cain gave the same attention and training to other girls -- in her mind, that removed a big part of her identity, made her un-special, and made he feel like a tool (literally, a utensil) instead of a person...and made her see parallels to Robin, whom she tried to recruit to her side in a very warped way, and blah blah blah.

It's entirely possible I didn't articulate that well in the story I told. It's also entirely possible that my thought process didn't create a strong enough impetus for her character change. I take responsibility on both counts. But in my mind, it did come from a place of character.

The drugging of Cassandra was introduced in another book after her initial Robin storyline and before her reappearance later in the same book killing a shady pharmaceutical officer. As a bandage to explain the radical character change, revealing a character had been drugged is fine, but I wasn't very happy with the choice -- I wanted the change to have come from character. Unfortunately, the story with her murder of the pharm exec appeared after she was supposedly purged of the drug, so we had to do a LOT of tap-dancing in the Batgirl miniseries to explain it. Fudging the timeline WOULD have been an option, but it also would have felt like a cheat to me.

There were a lot of other mitigating circumstances that affected the storytelling as well (requiring us to dash over such items as how she learned to read and write -- there are ways to read the story that she didn't have to have learned those things to do the things she did, but that's immaterial. And in a side note, it always struck me as horribly irresponsible that the FIRST thing Bruce should have done on bringing Cass under his wing was to make sure she learned to read and write through whatever means possible BEFORE having her do anything else, and he didn't do it -- nor did he seem in any particular hurry to get it done. In any case, had I stayed on the book, we would have come back to an explanation of that, but I left of my own volition), but they're not interesting, and they don't change the fact that, as the writer, it's my job to get the story out, clearly and satisfactorily, regardless of the constraints. In this case, a lot of Cassandra's fans felt that didn't happen, and I totally understand and regret that.

But I did try to make the story come from character, just so you know!

Thanks for your comments,
Adam B.



I'm not sure we're so different in our opinions about the Cain/Cassandra relationship. What I was talking about was Cassandra's perception of that relationship, and the mini was from her point of view. I remember the issue you're talking about with Cain and the films -- it was indeed excellent. I was just trying to focus on Cass' perception of the whole thing (or what I perceived that to be). Cain absolutely is a complex character, but I think in the situation we showed him, he was desperate and would say anything to help him accomplish his goal, up to and including manipulating his daughter, whether he believed what he was saying or not. Especially if he had trained many other girls the same way as Cassandra (and maybe he feels just as strongly for them as he does Cass), because I think he's more mercenary than father, and mercenary concerns come first. But that's nuance, and sometimes that doesn't come across in comics (or maybe just in my writing of them :-)).

The reading/writing thing...It seemed to me that, in the year Bruce, Dick and Tim were away, Alfred (and Barbara, to some extent) would have the opportunity to pay much more attention to Cass (and being compassionate souls, I figured they'd wanted to for some time), and so would throw himself into making sure she learned how to read and write. I freely admit I didn't understand how big an aspect of her character that was to the fans...To me, it never rang true that, in all the time she'd been with the Bat-Family (and it had been awhile), they hadn't really made it a priority to see to her "education," as it were.

Maybe it goes to my view of Batman. I was fine with the dark Dark Knight until I started writing Robin and thinking about Tim's (and Dick's) relationship to Bruce, then my opinion really changed. I mean, here's a guy who (at the time I started on the book) had essentially adopted three children. Surely, he had some sense of love for them, some paternal feelings, in addition to just seeing them as crime fighting partners. That was something we never really got to see much in the books. So, in Robin, I tried to show more of that side of Bruce -- the loving, understanding, teaching Dad. Then I started thinking how that jibed with Batgirl-Why had he never adopted her? And would Cass have asked herself the same question? And with no viable answer, would she be hurt? I think so. And then, when presented with evidence that her relationship with her actual father had been, to some extent, a lie, could those things dovetail? Seemed reasonable (and still does) to me.

Anyway, good conversation, and you bring up some really good points. Thanks for making me think even harder about the characters. And I hope having some insight from the "horse's mouth" is helpful and interesting for readers like yourself.

Best,
Adam B.


Hi Anonymous:

To my knowledge, Bryan's excellent Batgirl series is not a response to the Cassandra Batgirl in tone or anything else...but my knowledge about the editorial decision-making process is pretty limited. I think they just thought there was an opportunity for some good tales to tell...and I think Bryan's doing a great job of it.

Glad you like the "insider baseball" thing. I would always love it when the Comics Journal (back when they covered mainstream comics) would occasionally really dig in with a writer about their thought process and how they regarded characters. Amazing Heroes rarely went that deep, and Comics Interview only did so a little more often. To me, those are the kinds of questions I'd want answered. Hmm...Maybe I should start a blog called "4-Color Baseball." :-)

___, I think maybe what we need is a new book called "Cassandra Cain," eh? :-) (Don't worry, I'm not hinting at anything, and certainly not dropping a rumor I'm writing anything to do with Cassandra -- just empathizing) BTW, I was as shocked as anyone at Cassandra's abrupt abandonment of the role -- I had no idea that was coming at all. Even the Batman RIP storyline was a complete surprise to me...I was told about it while in the middle of writing the last issue of the Batgirl mini... and it changed our ending from what I hoped was going to be a genuinely happy one to a much more melancholy and foreboding one (the gravestone shadow was Mike Marts' and my last-second idea-- concocted as I paced in the hallway outside the offices of The Pink Panther animated series I was working on at the time -- to acknowledge what was coming). Maybe more in keeping with the character, but in all honesty, I was hoping to give her a happy ending for once.

Best,
Adam B.
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bkthomson

Rain Partier

Postby bkthomson » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:59 am

:smt015
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CyclopsWasRight

underclassman

Postby CyclopsWasRight » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:32 am

It's always really obvious which titles will get cancelled. To be fair to DC and Marvel, we might have a go at them for playing it safe and never taking chances, but they do keep releasing these series that everyone else knows won't last.
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bkthomson

Rain Partier

Postby bkthomson » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:11 am

CyclopsWasRight wrote:It's always really obvious which titles will get cancelled. To be fair to DC and Marvel, we might have a go at them for playing it safe and never taking chances, but they do keep releasing these series that everyone else knows won't last.


I've always felt in these cases go with a limited series first and then roll into an ongoing if it is a success or at least have a nice trade for a title.
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GHERU

Rain Partier

Postby GHERU » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:28 am

bkthomson wrote:
I've always felt in these cases go with a limited series first and then roll into an ongoing if it is a success or at least have a nice trade for a title.

like they used to back in the 80s and 90s
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CyclopsWasRight

underclassman

Postby CyclopsWasRight » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:32 am

Yeah, that's what they tend to do with anime, too. They'll do an OVA and if it's popular, a full series. It makes a lot of sense, since not only do you avoid the public sense of failure by having to cancel a series, you also put your strongest foot forward since an OVA/limited series will have (should have) higher production values and tighter plotting than an ongoing.
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Chessack

Great Scott!!!

Postby Chessack » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:19 pm

CyclopsWasRight wrote:It's always really obvious which titles will get cancelled. To be fair to DC and Marvel, we might have a go at them for playing it safe and never taking chances, but they do keep releasing these series that everyone else knows won't last.


But as others have pointed out, this is not fair to the characters. The characters are being blamed for lack of sales when the main cause of that is the mediocrity produced by the creative team. Did DC really give Katana, for example, a fair chance? I like the character a lot, and I bought the first 4 or 5 issues, but I gave up because the series was awful. That's not Katana's fault -- it's Ann Nocenti's and Alex Sanchez's. And let's not forget Brian Cunningham, the overall editor who let these awful stories out the door. It's not like DC put heavy-weights like Scott Snyder and Nicola Scott on the book, who are guaranteed to draw market share, and THEN the book didn't sell.

This is why I've always said that DC has never gotten serious about taking chances. They head-fake in that direction, but they invariably put obscure or off-beat characters in the hands of historically under-performing creative teams, and then they use the lack of sales as evidence that the character is not worthy of a series.

Now, maybe the top talent won't work with material like Katana, although I find that hard to swallow, given how often creators show the desire to experiment and try new things. But that's hardly Katana's fault, and the failure of her series is not a commentary on her viability as a character. It's just a commentary on the lack of quality of the series DC produced for her.
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Zechs

Outhouse Editor

Postby Zechs » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:26 pm

bkthomson wrote:
I've always felt in these cases go with a limited series first and then roll into an ongoing if it is a success or at least have a nice trade for a title.


Exactly. DC did this with Batman Beyond why not test do the same testing? Saves money and shows what is hit or miss.
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Chessack

Great Scott!!!

Postby Chessack » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:28 pm

bkthomson wrote:I've always felt in these cases go with a limited series first and then roll into an ongoing if it is a success or at least have a nice trade for a title.


Although you are right, historically this can bomb out too. Frequently the time between when a mini is produced and when the higher-ups, upon looking at sales numbers, decide a series is viable, is long enough that some or all of the original creative team has moved on.

The classic example of this is Hawk and Dove. The mini-series in 1988 was co-written by Barb and Karl Kesel, penciled by a young, newcomer Rob Leifeld (before his style started making characters looked deformed), and inked by Karl Kesel. It was highly popular and successful enough to warrant a series. By the time they were ready to produce the series, Leifeld has moved to Marvel and was no longer available (good thing, too, because he had already started drawing his people looking like they were deformed), and Karl was on other projects and only had time to co-write, not ink. Thus, the creative team that produced the actual series was Barb and Karl as writers, with Greg Guler and Scot Hannah as inkers. Now, Guler and Hannah produced solid, decent-looking artwork, but it was also unremarkable, and they did not have the cachet (at the time) of a Lee or a Leifeld, and without Kesel doing his amazing inks, the artwork didn't look so clean. I personally liked the Guler/Hannah team a lot, and I followed the series until it ended. But sales were lackluster for 2 years until it was canceled. Almost all because the art team was not "cool" enough for the 1989-1991 readers (the stories remained high in quality because it was the same writing team).

So yes, a mini can act as a proof-of-concept, but often the only thing that stays the same between a mini and a full series is the main character(s), and if the creative team changes a lot, then there's no way to predict whether success will follow or not.
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Arion

Twenty-Something

Postby Arion » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:29 pm

Herald wrote:
The REAL Vibe would work. The DCnU pod person deserved to fail.


The old Vibe was a bad latino stereotype, all Vibe versions should be eliminated. And forgotten.
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Herald

Not a Kardashian

Postby Herald » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:33 pm

Arion wrote:
The old Vibe was a bad latino stereotype, all Vibe versions should be eliminated. And forgotten.


He pretended to be a bad Latino stereotype at first, so people would underestimate him. He soon dropped that pretense.

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