Previously we reported that there were rumblings happening at Marvel where they planned on ending their Social Justice Warrior-themed comic runs for their major heroes and lesser characters. Throughout the year Marvel will supposedly be moving away from SJW topics and back toward good storytelling. Well, they seem to be putting the gears in motion because a number of comics are no longer being solicited, while others seem to be outright cancelled. For instance, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat is ending this upcoming May following an 81% dip in year-over-year sales.
According to Bleeding Cool, Marvel has opted not to solicit new issues for various comics, including Silk, Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Ghost Rider, Gamora and Thunderbolts.
A post on Kotaku in Action pointed to a series of tweets from comic writer Kate Leth, where she explained on Twitter that her and her team opted to cancel Hellcat on their “own terms” and that the series will end in May with issue 17…
“Hey friends! You may have noticed that Hellcat is absent from May’s Marvel solicitations. It’s true, we’re ending at issue 17! On our terms.
“We’ve known it was coming, and Marvel has been spectacular enough to give us space to wrap up the story exactly how we wanted in 3 volumes. I know it might come as a shock, and our whole team will miss the book too, but 17 issues with one team is pretty wild! We’ve been lucky!
“SO there are two more to come out (#16 and #17) and then the final collection a few months after. If you want to send a letter – do it! 🙂
“I think the story wraps up in a very real and satisfying way (I hope) with 16, and then 17 is like a fun BONUS EPISODE at THE MALL It, like our audience, is queer, fun, weird, delightful and almost purely made of joy. So, thank you! Thank you with all my heart <3”
Leth doesn’t bring up the sales, but according to Comics Beat there was a 82% drop-off in year-over-year sales.
When Hellcat debuted in December of 2015 it had a strong start, moving 46,198 units. However, by January there was a near 55% decline by January, 2016 where it dropped down to moving only 20,836 units. The declines just kept on going from there. By July, 2016 it was only moving 12,561 units a month.
Things took an even more abysmal dive by December, 2016, where Comichron reported that Hellcat only moved 8,675 units, down approximately 81% from the 46,198 units that were moved back in December, 2015.
Such a huge drop-off in year-over-year sales likely had Marvel reevaluating where they were invested time, resources and money in their comic book line, which has been getting trounced in the sales department by DC Comics.
I was unable to ask if perhaps the sales performance of the Hellcat comic had any role in its rather abrupt cancellation by the team – especially given how steep the drop-off was since its debut at the end of 2015 – but Leth has me blocked on Twitter.
(Main image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment)