Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moon Knight: Back to the Shadows With Ye!

Last week I put out the call to arms for anybody and everybody who loves comics at a reasonable price to buy Vengeance of Moon Knight # 10. Hurwitz and company had been pulling out all the marketing stops trying to build an audience before attempting the unthinkable - they went from $3.99 to $2.99!

Friend of the show Nick emailed me today wondering where the rest of the series had gone. There's a "Shadowland" one-shot (for $3.99) coming out next month and then...nothing. Very perplexing.

I took a trip over to CBR and found this from Marvel about the future of the series:

When "Shadowland: Moon Knight" begins in August, Hurwitz's "Vengeance of the Moon Knight" series will go on hiatus, and where the character goes afterwards will be determined by this big and very important story.

Well, folks, "hiatus" is just code for "cancelled." Sorry. Ask Iron Fist how his hiatus is going. Basically you've got a $4 one-shot clumsily tied into an event book, and then curtains. Sad.

Incidentally, as disappointing as this might be for fans of the book, I don't regret last week's call to arms even a little. The principle and strategy remain - if sales go up when the price goes down, that's the message. That's how we let them know that price matters.

When you look at it, the theory was as sound as it gets. If sales go up, Marvel can't attribute it to the "Heroic Age" banner, because that started in issue # 8. They can't credit the addition of Juan Jose Ryp for it, because he debuted in # 9. If sales go up on Vengeance # 10, they will almost have to assign the cause as price related. Nothing else makes sense.

Did the push work? I don't know. Diamond will release the numbers in a couple of weeks. My suspicion is that the book's sales will stay flat, but you never know. Sometimes events begin with the flapping butterfly wings of one blogger. We'll see.

Tales of the Dragon Guard is coming back!

The mighty Moon Knight might scurrying back to the shadows, but obscure little Tales from the Dragon Guard is coming back to the racks very soon in a new mini-series called "Into the Veil!"

Readers of this blog will remember the heaps of praise I've been dumping on this series from the Soleil imprint over at Marvel. Somehow the French actually did something right, because these comics are sixteen megatons of sexy action with a dollop of social commentary.

Sales were never extraordinary, to put it mildly. But I just looked through this month's Previews and there it is. These books are $5.99, but don't let that scare you. Page counts offer a little more than twice an average comic, and they don't suffer from the same level of decompression that American comics do. You won't be getting through a Dragon Guard book in three minutes, I can assure you!

I love this series, and it's a good mix of stand-alone combined with continuity. The book doesn't follow any one particular character, it's about the history of this order of virgin women who slay dragons, because only they are immune to the corrupting effects of these bastard lizards.

As you continue to read the series, you will often meet people you've seen before. There's a sort of "torch passing" phenomenon that runs through the book. Often a young girl who plays a bit part in one story will be adopted by the guard and become an ass-kicking superstar of the next story. Sticking with the title will add depth to your experience, but you never need those back issues in order to enjoy the story in front of you.

It's brilliant, it's fun, and it's a nice change of pace. I'm pleasantly surprised to see this survive.

- Ryan


Aleksandre said...

Tales of the dragon guard is 3 trade series wich marvel will be releasing in 3 3 issue miniseries so I am pretty sure we will get all of it maybe the last one in trade but marvel already bought the rights

Chronic Insomnia said...

That's awesome news, Aleksandre. I guess nothing is ever for sure, I mean just ask "Great 10" over at DC about that. But at least there's a very good chance that we've got plenty more Dragon Guard coming...