8 times good comic book creators have gone wrong!

“You were so concerned about whether or not you could, you didn’t stop to think if you had to,” to paraphrase the great Ian Malcolm is one of life’s great truisms.

In the comics, fans look forward to the day Artist X works on Book Y or Writer Z announces a “bold new project” – only to feel disappointed with the final product.

The blame in such situations is usually 50/50, with fans placing impossible expectations on these creators and, in turn, those creators over-promising and under-delivering.

However, there are talents that have been proven to turn anything they touch into gold; names and faces that are unmistakably vying for Mount Rushmore from the comics. The announcement of these visionaries working on a title or a project that seems tailor-made to them makes readers around the world salivate; only, in some rare cases, for those readers to end up crushed when the end product isn’t just disappointing, it’s downright awful.

Whether the cause is an illusion of grandeur, too much or too little editorial interference, biting more than they could chew or just not understanding what made this property work, even the greatest writers and artists of comics stumble and fall.

The X-Men were Marvel’s flagship title in the late ’80s and into the’ 90s. A constantly rotating creative team, increasingly ridiculous stories resembling soap operas, and endless plot threads had almost saw readers abandon it at the turn of the century. When he took over at Marvel, one of Joe Quesada’s top priorities was fixing the X Line, and to that end he hired Grant Morrison and Joe Casey.

Casey had just come out of a critically acclaimed race on Wildcats; a title where he took the X-Men clones and turned them into a review of the superhero as a corporate body. Instead of fighting mutants, aliens, or killer robots, these heroes would focus on solving real-world problems like the energy crisis or the exploitation of child labor in the Far East.

Sadly, Casey’s X-Men book ran into trouble almost as soon as it hit the stands, from the editorial-commissioned “Gypsy switch” cover featuring Wolverine and Jean Gray’s long-awaited kiss, to Iain Churchill leaving the book after four issues. The title would limp for more than a year with Casey’s “dangerous” new leadership floundering under editorial infantilization and having to live in the shadow of Morrison’s defining race.

Another recommendation: Wild cats V3.0

Lisa M. Horner