The solicit for December's Marauders #27 seems to indicate the book will end, possibly to be relaunched under a new name or with a new status quo in the future. However, the solicit doesn't explicitly state this to be the case. So is it true?
For whatever reason, Marvel seems to be embarrassed whenever they cancel or otherwise end an ongoing series. Sometimes they state the series is ending, but more often than not, they just stop soliciting it. And so, we must rely on subtle clues that make a solicit say "this is the final issue" without outright saying "this is the final issue," like DC's solicits do. It's not clear what drives this secrecy, other than a desire not to see articles with headlines like "Marvel Cancels _____."
In fact, when Marvel announced that Hellions would end in December, we wrote that exact headline, and X-Men writer Gerry Duggan took to Twitter on Wednesday to post:
Those are semantics, of course. Hellions was an ongoing series, not a mini-series, and when an ongoing series ends, rather than continuing with a new creative team and possibly a new cast, it has been canceled. Yes, we understand that it's been Marvel's business model for the last decade to end books when the creative team leaves, for the most part, and sometimes to relaunch them with new number one issues when a new creative team comes on. But for many decades prior, that was not the case, and even still today, it doesn't have to be that way. Amazing Spider-Man, for example, will continue after Nick Spencer's departure, with a brand new creative team, new status quo, and the same numbering. Hellions could have also continued, if Marvel saw value in continuing the title with a new creative team. But it didn't.
The departure of writer Zeb Wells (to join the Amazing Spider-Man team) surely had something to do with the difference. But the placement of both titles on Diamond's monthly sales charts may have also played a role. In July, Amazing Spider-Man was in 10th place on the charts, while Hellions was in 54th place. Comichron estimates the sales numbers of Amazing Spider-Man as 40,000 copies higher. Neither title was ended early against the wishes of the creative team, and going by the estimate of around 35,000 copies sold, Hellions was not in sales-based cancellation territory for a modern Marvel comic, many of which sell less than 20,000 copies regularly. But perhaps it was also not high enough to reach the "find a new creative team to continue this title" threshold either. The bottom line is that one title continued when the writer left. The other did not. It ended. It was canceled. Semantics.
That brings us to Marauders #27, with the tagline "THE SUN SETS ON THE MARAUDERS," and the statement that "The Marauders' first tour comes to a close…" The book is also oversized and priced at $4.99.
GERRY DUGGAN (W) • MATTEO LOLLI (A)
Cover by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN
Variant Cover by Dike Ruan
THE SUN SETS ON THE MARAUDERS. The Marauders' first tour comes to a close as the shake-ups within the Hellfire Trading Company crystalize. Will any of the inner circle remain standing? And can the crew survive the changes happening around them?
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
Does that mean Marauders has been canceled, or is "ending," in the preferred nomenclature of those sensitive about such things? Gerry Duggan certainly is busy these days writing the main X-Men title and taking over as de facto Head of X with Jonathan Hickman's departure. And Marauders, for what its worth, came in 50th place in the July sales charts, with estimated sales nearly identical to Hellions.
We reached out to Marvel and will update if they choose to clarify.
And it's worth noting that, if Marauders is ending, it could be a major reworking of the X-Men line is underway, as solicits for SWORD and Excalibur also hint at a potential ending, though not as strongly as Marauders. And it has been noticed on Twitter.
AL EWING (W) • JACOPO CAMAGNI (A)
Cover by STEFANO CASELLI
Variant Cover by Paul Renaud
THE FINAL FRONTIER? Sword Station One is crashing to Earth. The Lethal Legion is poised to destroy the diplomatic zone. Abigail Brand is ready to make her move. But how far ahead did she plan? How many losses will she accept? And how many bodies will she leave in her wake?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
TINI HOWARD (W) • MARCUS TO (A)
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR
Variant Cover by BETSY COLA
OTHERWORLD FALLS! Merlyn and King Arthur have taken the Starlight Citadel. Saturnyne still lives – but not for long. Betsy Braddock must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie. It's all been building to this – the fantasy ends here and reality rushes in. There is no haven for the witchbreed. Can they hold on to their champion, here at the twilight of an age?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
And New Mutants promises a brand new status quo, while explicitly mentioning a new story arc.
NEW MUTANTS #24
VITA AYALA (W) • DANILO BEYRUTH (A)
Cover by MARTIN SIMMONDS
Variant Cover by PEACH MOMOKO
NEW STATUS QUO FOR THE NEW MUTANTS! The New Mutants regroup in the aftermath of the Shadow King's attack! What will become of Amahl Farouk? Why is Warpath…crying?! How many snikts can fit into one panel? What happens to the Lost when they find one another? All this and more in a single issue—plus the setup for the next big arc, a story too magical to be believed.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
It certainly seems like there could be changes underway for the X-Men line in the wake of Hickman's departure. We'll keep you posted.