So, aside from the eternal matter of @marvelentertainment refusing to use or acknowledge Polaris, it has been brought to my attention that the March 2017 solicits appear to reveal that the Scarlet Witch solo comic will end at issue #15.
This raises multiple questions and matters to discuss, but I want to reiterate something before I get into that.
Throughout this year, I have noted that Marvel kept the Scarlet Witch solo running despite dropping to the threshold for cancellation of any other title since issue #2. My intent was never to make Marvel cancel the solo, or to take an opportunity away from Wanda. It was to highlight how hypocritical Marvel is when they have an agenda for or against a character, how they will bend over backwards to support Scarlet Witch while bending over backwards to sabotage Polaris.
In other words, my intent was to try to if not force Marvel to do better for Polaris, then to at least spread awareness of how the company treats her poorly.
Having established that, let’s explore.
The Scarlet Witch solo is ending at SW #15. That is five issues sooner than All-New X-Factor #20. That might look like Marvel is trying to be fair, but there are some major caveats.
- Tons of promotion for the SW solo; almost none for ANXF
- SW sales at 25k or lower starting issue #2; ANXF, starting at #7
- ANXF cancellation announced well in advance; SW cancellation not announced at all, but implied
- ANXF regularly double shipped (put out two issues per month); SW solo rarely or never did
That last one may not seem relevant until I explain. By double shipping, All-New X-Factor technically lasted for 5 more issues, but time-wise it ended months sooner. Double shipping also negatively impacts sales unless it’s a book Marvel is heavily promoting. For one, people expect a comic book to only release monthly – meaning many readers missed the second issue of the month. For another, missing an issue can deter people from continuing to read in the same way that missing an episode of a TV show due to a changed time slot can put people off watching the show.
Both problems are why it was such a huge deal that All-New X-Factor #14, the first and only Marvel comic to date that really explored Lorna and Wanda’s 616 sister relationship, had a sales bump. Despite Marvel refusing to promote ANXF #14 (and even holding back its cover to keep it from spreading), and despite being the second issue of a double shipping month, ANXF #14 still sold 200 more issues than ANXF #13. Normally, the second issue’s sales drop by 500-1000.
So, despite the SW solo ending 5 issues sooner than ANXF, the SW solo still received a great deal of bias in support of it compared to bias against ANXF.
A further illustration of the bias in favor of the SW solo comes from Mockingbird, which I pointed out previously. Marvel canceled that comic at issue #7, citing low sales, even though it sold better than the Scarlet Witch solo. In canceling the Scarlet Witch solo at #15, Marvel effectively let its opportunity for SW last more than twice as long as for Mockingbird.
Which leads us to details of cancellation.
In all honesty, we don’t know why Marvel is being so quiet in canceling the Scarlet Witch solo. Maybe Marvel always intended for the solo to only last until issue #15 – though we would’ve expected them to say so from the start or at least months ago if that was the case. Maybe Marvel is trying to give the solo a chance to “bounce back” and if it does, they’ll figure they have a good enough excuse to keep it going. Maybe they don’t want to publicly acknowledge that the Scarlet Witch solo has finally reached a point where they can’t keep it going at a loss. Maybe they’re afraid of Scarlet Witch fans rallying to try to save the book, in much the same way All-New X-Factor fans became very active in trying to save the book after its cancellation was announced.
There are a lot of maybes here. No definites. We can’t even trust any statement made by Marvel because Marvel lies, or statements made by people who work for Marvel because Marvel might force them to lie to continue getting jobs.
This is a company run by people that have made many excuses for trying to undermine Polaris, from excuses for why she “can’t” be Magneto’s daughter, to excuses to exclude her from events like Avengers vs X-Men, to excuses for why a cover for a major character event wouldn’t come out until the Friday before the issue’s release. They’ll say and do anything in service to whatever agenda they have.
That’s my analysis. We’ll see what happens.