Some interesting bits of history of teen characters:
One of Jack Kirby’s least recognized creations, Kamandi existed in a post-apocalyptic world where a “great disaster” had all but eliminated humanity and evolved other species to the point of sentience, leaving various animal factions vying for supremacy. Kamandi debuted in 1972 under his own title, but his series ended in the aptly-named “DC Implosion,” which saw DC cancel several of their comics in 1978. Unlike most of its fellow canceled lines, Kamandi had been a consistent seller.
The reason for its cancelation was explained in Infinite Crisis. During the storied comic series, it is revealed that Kamandi’s world is one of the alternate versions of the DC Universe and is actually one of several dreamed up by the Atomic Knight Garnder Grayle, because comics. Though this folded Kamandi into the DC Universe proper, he didn’t regain his own title until 2017.
Anyone remembers why the implosion happened? I think I’ve read once about it but cannot remember.
The late ’90s Teen Titans series was a strange take on the iconic team. Instead of group of sidekicks to more famous heroes striking out on their own, this version of the team consisted of the children of an invading alien force who bred with humans. They were led by a de-aged Atom and Arsenal. Though it introduced comic readers to the likes of Risk and Argent, the title was canceled after only two years.
A major factor in its cancellation concerned a poll that writer Dan Jurgens had released which asked readers who they’d like to see join the team. Tim Drake’s Robin won the vote by an overwhelming margin, but Jurgens was stonewalled by Batman editors and had to use Captain Marvel Jr. as a last-minute replacement. Fans felt betrayed and when sales refused to rise, DC pulled the trigger on this series.
Thanks, Bat-editorial -.-
After inexplicably returning from their deaths at the hands of the Beyonders, Starbrand and Nightmask go on fantastic space adventures until the latter realizes they are both slowly losing their connection to humanity. In response, both of them return to Earth to attend college while maintaining their superhero identities. Though the characters were created by Jonathan Hickman for The Avengers, they were given their own series during the 2015 Marvel relaunch written by Greg Weisman.
And therein lies the problem. Greg Weisman, for the uninitiated, is the creative mind behind beloved but short-lived projects like Young Justice and Spectacular Spider-Man. He seems to suffer from an industry curse where none of his work lasts more than two years. Unfortunately, Starbrand and Nightmask got caught up in the curse and was canceled in 2016 after just six issues.
It cannot be stressed enough just how unfortunate the curse of Weisman is. The Young Justice television show was stellar and critically acclaimed and the Young Justice tie-in comics took what should have been a generic exercise in corporate management and turned it into a universe-growing outlet of expansive creativity. When the show was canceled, the comics didn’t last past another issue, meaning both were shot down due to the same reason.
So why were these great projects ended? Money, of course. The show was a risk for Cartoon Network and was primarily funded through a toy deal with Mattel. But the show was so good that it attracted an older, more diverse audience and toy sales failed, costing the cartoon and the comics their budgets.
Hey, you know what else cannot be stressed enough? That Greg Weisman asked people to not go talking around that he is cursed because it will actively make it harder for him to get new projects greenlighted! What the hell, CBR?!
As part of DC’s New 52, Static Shock was among the mass title relaunch. One of the major draws of the production was writer John Rozum, a key writer of Milestone Comics who responded enthusiastically when DC asked him to write for the series. However, editor Harvey Richards and co-writer Scott McDaniel actively shut Rozum out of the creative process and the series visibly suffered as a result. Poor critical and audience reception was largely blamed on Rozum and he resigned from the company in fury after four issues.
With him gone, Static Shock lasted only four more issues before being canceled, essentially killed because of a writer’s squabble. Apparently the basis of the creative differences lay in Rozum’s desire to make Static, the hero of the series, look like a powerful hero deserving of his own series. Go figure.
I haven’t read Static’s New 52 series, so I need to ask what exactly they wanted him to be if not a hero. But considering it was New 52, total chaos on every front and creators leaving all the time due to editorial fuckery, I dread the answer.
Caught up in the recent explosion of Marvel cancelations, Black Panther and the Crew is one of the more shocking picks for the chopping block. Focusing on heroes of color trying to keep the peace in a restless Harlem following the death of a civil rights activist, the title was arguably more important than most comic fare because it concerned itself with the realistic depiction of issues which typically would take a backseat to colorful and symbolic villains.
The comic was canceled in six issues due to bad sales, which is indicative of numerous problems, none of which have to do with the title’s quality. Marvel didn’t give this series a chance to tell its full story and connect with audiences. And even if they did, canceling one of the most socially important comics to come out in quite some time over a low profit margin was terrible PR for the company.
And this one both so nobody says the article only shits on DC’s fuckery and to maybe show that Marvel is expressing behavior not too-different from that of DC back when they canceled those books.
I'm gonna summarize the whole DC Multiverse AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME
The default universe where the New 52 takes place and stuff
You know those graphic novels written by J. Michael Straczynski, Geoff Johns, and Jeff Lemire that made new young versions of Superman, Batman, and the Teen Titans? That's where this is
The fact they all have "Earth One" in their titles also might've been a clue
It's where Earth 2 took place (hence the name)
It got destroyed by Darkseid, but now the Justice Society heroes have a NEW Earth 2
It's a whole thing
Good is evil, evil is good, and everyone's an asshole
Home to Grant Morrison's Watchmen homage starring the Charleton Comics characters. I like it more than the actual Watchmen because it doesn't have the Comedian.
Home to Captain Marvel. It's essentially a redone version of the Pre-Crisis Earth-S. Also everything is drawn by Cameron Stewart, and that's always a plus.
Home to Stan Lee's "Just Imagine" versions of the DC heroes. Also this Wonder Woman's design is awesome.
A reference to the Marvel Ultimate Universe. The Gentry destroyed it at the start of Multiversity, leaving only Thunderer alive. He's basically Aborigines Thor.
A reference to the normal Marvel Universe. The Hulk equivalent, Behemoth, is blue and wears a diaper.
I don't get it either.
Home to the Tangent Universe created by Dan Jurgens. The character's names are familiar, but their powers and appearances are different. For example, Harvey Dent is the Superman, a being of unmatched mental power. Green Lantern raises the dead. That kind of stuff.
Kal-L is raised by Hitler and helps conquer the world. Uncle Sam reemerges years later to kick his ass.
The gender swapped universe, with Superwoman, Batwoman, and Wonderous Man, who has a very spiffy cape.
Remember Batman The Animated Series, Justice League, and Batman Beyond? This is where all of that took place.
A universe where magic is the dominant power. The Superman equivalent here is Superdemon, who is basically Etrigan with Superman's powers. Which is awesome.
It USED to be the perfect Earth until Superboy-Prime had a temper tantrum back in Countdown and blew it the f*ck up. Now all that's left is a Green Lantern battery called the Cosmic Grail.
Superman basically ended all crime right before he died and left his robot army to guard the planet, so the current generation of heroes are kinda bored.
Some dumbass pressed the big red button in 1963, and the world got nuked. Now the Atomic Knights of Justice have to ride their giant dogs around and try not to get killed by Darkseid.
A slightly different version of the Justice Riders universe. They have a telegraph Internet.
Home to the stories Batman: Gotham by Gaslight and Wonder Woman: Amazonia.
Home to Doc Fate and the Secret Society of Superheroes. Also I want to cosplay as Doc Fate or the Mighty Atom. Because they both look cool.
Home to the characters from A New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke.
Home of the characters from Mark Waid and Alex Ross' Kingdom Come. You should read it, by the way.
Where all the heroes are black and Batman's the token white guy. Also Superman is president.
Earths 24 and 25 are unknown.
Home of Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew. It operates on cartoon physics.
Earth-27 and Earth-28 are unknown.
The Bizarroverse. It am not opposite of normal universe at all. It am completely normal.
Home of the characters from Superman: Red Son. Which I also recommend.
Everyone's a pirate.
Home of Aquaflash, Bat-Lantern, Wonderhawk, Black Arrow, and Supermartian.
The real world.
A reference to Astro City. Also Bruce Wayne was inspired by a stingray in this universe.
A reference to Image Comics' Supreme. Also Bruce was inspired by an owl this time.
Home to Justice 9, who are homages to Big Bang Comics. This Bruce was inspired by a suit of armor.
It starts as Batman: Thrillkiller, but then it gets really weird. I'm not sure what it becomes.
Where Superman and Batman: Generations takes place. The characters there age in real time.
A reference to T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.
The evil version of Earth-20. Also Sinestro wears a very nice suit.
A reference to early Image Comics, although thankfully Liefeld isn't involved. Also I really like their Wonder Woman's design.
Full of adorable chibi version of the DC heroes and villains who are actually robot minions of the Empty Hand.
All the superheroes are vampires. Also this is the only other Earth besides Earth-3 to have an Ultraman instead of Superman.
All the heroes are robots.
Home of Superdoomsday, who is what happens when a clearly evil corporations turns Superman into an antihero.
Earth-46 is unknown.
Home to the Love Syndicate of Dreamworld (Sunshine Superman, Magic Lantern, and Speed Freak) Grant Morrison made in Animal Man years ago. Also home to Brother Power the Geek, a Bruce Wayne who was inspired by a shooting star, and Prez.
This world is basically every comic book cliche multiplied by a million. They have super-FOOD here, for crying out loud.
Earth-49 is unknown.
Remember the Justice Lords from that one episode of Justice League? This is where they're from.
Where all of Jack Kirby's DC creations live. Kamandi, OMAC, and the New Gods all live here.
I think it must have been the fact that this was another Giant reprint comic that got me to pick up this issue of DC SUPER-STARS, as I wasn’t reading comics for science fiction at this point so much as I was for super heroes. On the other hand, the combination of an Adam Strange lead story and a reprint of an adventure of Captain Comet whom I had just encountered in SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER VILLAINS may have done the trick. Either way, I brought it home from the 7-11.
Adam Strange was always a feature that I enjoyed. I think the main reason for this was the artwork of Carmine Infantino, who also drew the classic years of my favorite, the Flash. This created a common visual language between the two strips that I think I found comfortable. There was also something appealing about the way that Adam would triumph over his opponents through ingenuity rather than brute force. My childhood playground experiences didn’t conform to this example, but it was a nice fantasy to indulge in.
The story involves an old foe of Adam’s who has escaped prison by turning himself into a wraith. But he’s reformed and wants to prove his bonafides to Adam. Unfortunately, when te wraith enters a discarded robot, a fluke effect causes him to do evil. Adam sorts the whole mess out over two chapters. He also finds a way to bring Alanna an Earth dress that won’t disappear when the Zeta-Beam radiation wears off, though he has to cheat in an extraordinary way to do so.
Next up came my new favorite Captain Comet, as illustrated in the pristine but slightly antiseptic style of Murphy Anderson. In the era in which the series was created, Comet was meant to be a hybrid between a super hero feature and a science fiction one, so the typical derring-do was downplayed in his adventures. Comet is a mutant with advanced mental powers, the sort that human beings may possess 100,000 years in the future. Here, he overcomes a quintet of synthetic men who gain self-awareness and threaten to take over the Earth. Comet doesn’t kill them, but he paralyzes them into rigidity so that they cannot move, a bit of a horrible fate if you think about it.
Next up was an adventure of the amusingly-named Tommy Tomorrow, one in which he finds himself marooned 1000 years in the dim past of 1960. Tommy’s struggle to capture a criminal that has gone back in time and return to his own era is aided by a young boy, who turns out to be his own great-grandfather. In later years, Marv Wolfman would reveal that Tommy Tomorrow and Kamandi were the same character in two different potential futures. (I had always figured that Tommy was distantly related to the Red Tornado’s creator, T.O. Morrow–don’t know if anybody else ever made that connection in the books.)
The issue wraps up with an entry in one of the oddest and most charming series of the early 1950s, Space Cabby. The series is exactly what the title advertises, with the unnamed lead character shuttling fares across the solar system and getting involved in interplanetary jams. This time, when a grateful fare buys him a luxury cab as a tip, Space Cabby is at first elated but them discovers that the new ship is more a hindrance than a help. He tries to get his old ship back, but criminals have already purchased it to use in their heists. Space Cabby can’t leave well enough alone, though, and by story’s end, he’s back behind the wheel of his old hack.