November 3rd, 2003

Eye of the Dragon

Fantastic Four Writer Canned


In recent months, many people have heard me wax rhapsodic about Mark Waid's take on Fantastic Four. Waid has a better handle on the characters than anyone since Stan and Jack, surpassing even John Byrne's excellent run on the book back in the '80s. He captured the key, essential element of the characters, something that eluded not only most writers but most readers: the FF aren't crimefighters. They're explorers and adventurers.

I'd been saying that for years -- particularly when I tried to fire up player interest in a super-hero RPG. With Waid's FF work in hand (in tidy graphic novel format), I finally managed to spark not only interest but excitement in my current gaming group.

In short, over the last year, Mark Waid has been writing perhaps the most exciting, entertaining and fun superhero comics of the last decade -- if not the last three decades.

So what happens?

Bill Jemas, CEO of Marvel, wasn't happy with the sales on FF. Oh, sales had jumped, but not as high as Marvel had projected and hoped. So... he suggested transforming the series into a Wacky Sitcom.

Waid thought about it, and said that he just couldn't work with that concept.

So they canned him.

Back in JUNE, dagnabbit. I really have to keep closer tabs on the comic sites.

Waid's last issue is #508. That should give him just enough time to wrap up his current story arc, and to give Marvel a third nice, shiny TPB to go along with Imaginauts and Unthinkable.

I was hoping for more than that. A lot more.

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