Let's start this year in review with a downer, because I'm like that! Anyways, this year Marvel and DC made all kinds of cool comics and while DC almost cancelled one before it's time ("The Omega Men,") they allowed it to run its initially planned-for whole 12 issues so that was more of a really good mini-series. Two books from Marvel were clearly ended before their time however, and besides how depressing it is when a truly good book in axed, these books starred a successful and skilled man of color in one and a kick-ass and progressive woman in the other. Considering how often titles seem to be a bunch of white guys that makes the cancellations sting just that little bit more.
The Cancelled Books
Mockingbird (Ran 8 Issues)
"Mockingbird," took all the problems the character of Bobbi had experienced--a complicated relationship with Hawkeye, a weird back-story and generally strange continuity--and turned these problems into things that helped make the book even more odd and fun. The thing is, odd doesn't always sell, even if it is a great kind of odd (I'm amazed, "Unbeatable Squirrel Girl," has kept going). Therefore, this book got to eight issues and no ninth. Quite the shame.
Nighthawk (Ran 6 Issues)
This book already had a lot of cards stacked against it--Hell, basically the whole deck. It was a book that featured a character many people consider a Batman knock-off, but with this version being from an alternate Universe readers saw in, "Supreme Power," and who was brought to the normal Marvel Universe during Secret Invasion--and this character also is kicking-around in, "Squadron Supreme." So, a less-liked character, a different version of him with tons of back-matter baggage, and he's in another book barely anybody has been reading. And yet, despite all these things going against, "Nighthawk," it was really, really good because it remembered some key things: Nighthawk is maybe a Batman knock-off, but he's a really pissed-off Batman imitator who doesn't hesitate to kill and has a political agenda.
The best comics to feature this version of Nighthawk in the past when he was part of the old Supreme Power Universe kept this in mind and presented him as less of a hero than a dangerous force of justice that you better pray is on your side (Daniel Way had a great take on this). This Nighthawk is named Kyle Rayner like the one in the original Marvel Universe, but he is very different. He is a black man who's parents were murdered by racists, he is fueled less by a sense of right-and-wrong than he is making those guilty of hurting others pay, and as I mentioned, he is very skilled and very dangerous.
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