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5 Unfinished Comic Series We Want to Come Back


Cliffhangers are possibly the most annoying thing for fans of serialized fiction. For comic book fans, they’re an almost everyday occurrence. Most comics come out monthly, so you have at least 30 days to wait until you see how Super Hero Jose gets out of the scrape set up by Bad Guy Perez. It’s even more irritating the more erratic a title’s release schedule is; you might be waiting several months at a time. Often, guys – brace yourselves for this – these cliffhangers never get resolved. The story arc just never finishes, for one reason or another. And, often, they won’t ever get resolved. This is not a new thing for comic books, but it’s becoming even more frustrating. Here are some of our favorite comic series that have never given us closure.


BATTLE CHASERS
By Joe Madureira
April 1998 – Sept. 2001
Issues: 9 out of 10

Battle Chasers was a series about a group of mismatched warriors who have to work together to capture four incredibly powerful villains who have escaped from a massive prison. It took place in a world where magic and science co-existed and sword-and-gunplay was not uncommon. We really took to the deep, and deeply flawed, characters, especially the former great swordsman, Garrison, and the nine-year-old girl, Gully, who was given magical gloves by her missing father. The story had a very well-defined quest format and it seemed like it knew where it was going.

Why we want more

Issue 9 ended with an enormous cliffhanger that we would really enjoy seeing wrapped up. The series had about 6 months between issues, and, before it could be completed, creator Madureira left comics to begin a video game company (which produced Darksiders, among other things). He eventually returned to comics, and in 2011, the existing issues were released in an anthology, but Battle Chasers has yet to see a finale. Hopefully, some day….

What the creators say

When we caught up with Joe last month, he filled us in on his desire to get back to Battle Chasers someday: ” I still love Battle Chasers — that world and the characters, and I have to be honest, when I’m working on comics that aren’t BC, even something as awesome as my childhood dream like Spider-Man, I occasionally feel like… ‘WTF am I doing, why am I not drawing Battle Chasers right now?!’ Let’s just say I’ve thought about it a great deal over the years. I do have some projects I need to do before I get back to it, but it’s on the bucket list….”

 

 


BLUE MONDAY: THIEVES LIKE US
By Chynna Clugston
January 2009
Issues: 1 of however many

On the complete other end of the publication-problems spectrum is Thieves Like Us, the miniseries-turned-theoretical-graphic-novel within the Blue Monday title published by Oni Press. The book is the story of several hip and mod characters going to high school in the early ‘90s, the lead character being the blue-haired Bleu Finnegan. There is also an element of the fantastic in the character of Seamus, a creature from Irish folklore, who takes the form of an otter, but whom no one can see but Bleu.

Why we want more

We just miss those characters. After four miniseries between 2000 and 2005, writer/artist Chynna Clugston announced that a fifth miniseries, Thieves Like Us, was to begin, with the first issue dropping in January 2009. When no further issues materialized, it was announced that the series would instead be a graphic novel, but still nothing has come out. At WonderCon 2012, Clugston revealed that she is in the stages of “finishing it up.” Here’s hoping it happens.

What the creators say

We got a hold of Chynna to see when we might see more of Bleu and her crazy gang: “The good news is that Blue Monday is my current top priority. The rest of Thieves Like Us is completely scripted, and I’m drawing it as we speak, and I have so many more stories with the gang from Jefferson High waiting to be put down on paper that your head might spin if I told you just how much I have hanging out under the bleachers. I’m glad that there’s still people out there that are into the book and, hopefully, with the return of Thieves, it might get some new readers in the process!”

 


WILDSIDERZ
By J. Scott Campbell & Andy Hartnell
October 2005 – November 2005
Issues: 2 of 5

Hot on the heels of their first series, Danger Girl, Campbell and Hartnell created a superhero team book about young people who get the abilities of animals via an advanced holographic technology called Wildsiderz. Dragonfly, eagle, gorilla, panther, and velociraptor were the animals of choice for these heroes, and we were excited to see how they’d go about dolling out justice against the evil (and awesomely named) Tiberious Spyder, but unfortunately only three issues (including #0) were produced.

Why we want more

We were just getting excited to see what would happen next when the series stopped after two proper issues. There was word that #3 would drop in April of 2006, but that never materialized, and Campbell and Hartnell moved on to different projects. DC has taken it off of the Wildstorm list of titles, which definitely does not bode well for further touches with our wild sidez.

What the creators say

J. Scott Campbell and Wildstorm have never come out and officially cancelled Wildsiderz. The rest of the series isn’t really high on the priority list for all the people involved though. Campbell is getting plenty of work from his other art, and Marvel is keeping him pretty busy on covers.

 

 


MAGE
By Matt Wagner
Vol. 1 1984 – 1986, Vol. 2 1997 – 1999, Vol. 3 ?????
Issues: 30 of 45

Talk about waiting with bated breath; Creator Matt Wagner’s Mage has been around for nearly 30 years and doesn’t seem to be close to finishing. Telling the story of Kevin Matchstick, who gets wrapped up with the wizard Mirth and has a magic and powerful baseball bat, Mage was designed as a set of three, 15-issue volumes. The first, The Hero Discovered, was published in the mid-‘80s; the second, The Hero Defined, didn’t come out until the late-‘90s, but at least it was released. The proposed third volume, The Hero Denied, which would round out the saga, has not been published and, it seems, does not even have a definite release planned.

Why we want more

Because we long for closure!! How would you feel if they only ever made Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back? Or if Nolan had called it a day after The Dark Knight? We want to see what Matchstick’s ultimate fate is, what new ancient myth he’ll learn he’s part of next, and what Shakespeare play all the chapter titles will be named for this time.

What the creators say

At San Diego Comic-Con International this year, Matt responded to a fan’s question of when we’ll get more Mage: “Eventually. Mage decides when I’m going to work on Mage.” He also confirmed in that same panel we’ll probably not be getting to see The Aerialist completed.

 


BATMAN: THE WIDENING GYRE
By Kevin Smith
October 2009 – July 2012 (thus far)
Issues: 6 of 12

Filmmaker/podcaster/comic writer Kevin Smith teamed up with his childhood friend, Walt Flanagan, in 2008 for the three-issue miniseries, Cacophony, which saw the return of Onomatopoeia, the villain Smith had introduced during his Green Arrow run. By the end of the year, Smith and Flanagan were back with the Caped Crusader for the more ambitious miniseries, The Widening Gyre, where Bruce Wayne begins seeing Silver St. Cloud again and Batman takes on a mysterious new partner, Baphomet. After only half of its proposed run, it went on hiatus.

Why we want more

The Widening Gyre was not very well received, with critics and fans pointing at Smith’s approach to the main character. We want to see it finished, though, because we think Smith can turn it around. The art is solid, and Smith has redeemed some bad storylines in the past.

What the creators say

According to Bleeding Cool, at New York Comic Con, Smith gave an update that the entirety of the book should be in stores by the end of 2013. Apparently Dan DiDio is letting him take his time, since it is set in pre-New 52 continuity.

Quemment below with your favorite comic that never finished its run. 

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39 comments

  • I gotta add to this list: I would personally pay Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo good cash money to finish “Steampunk”. Serious money. Like, I’m talking two, two and half dollars here. (In all seriousness, GOD, I MISS THAT COMIC.)

  • Man, Runaways, one of Marvel’s best titles that used its established universe really well to tell its own story, went on hiatus with a really weird cliffhanger a few years back. I would love to read more of that. Maybe if the movie ever gets made… (or, preferably in my mind, a TV show).

  • I know it’s not the most popular series w/Batman fans but I loved All-Star Batman & Robin & want very much for that to be finished. It has what could be the most evil Joker we’ve seen to date & that’s saying something. Jim Lee posted on Twitter recently he’d like to see it finished so hopefully that’s a good sign.

  • Battle Chasers Joe Mad was part of the CliffHanger Line he wasn’t able to keep on a bi monthly schedule. Heck it took about 3 years for 8 issues to come out. As far as Kevin Smith being years late not surprised. Example: Spider Man Black Cat(6 issues at least 3 years to complete) Daredevil 8 issues and about a year and a half to complete.

  • I look forward to whenever Warren Ellis gets back to Doktor Sleepless, i could have sworn I saw somewhere that he wants to finish it. I’m sure I have some others laying around but that one comes to mind first.

  • J Scott Campbell was another creator who worked on The “CliffHanger” line and couldn’t keep to a bimonthly schedule as well. I think it’s been over a decade since he drew 2 issues straight so odds if “WildSiderz” comes back he won’t be drawing or writing it(much like Danger Girl).

  • Neil & Buzz in Time & Space was a very weird cool comic from Fantagraphics in the 1989 but we never got to see a second issue. It was about two astronauts who decided to go to Terrific Park, Rummermaid, New Jersey. One of the astronauts has a great time, while the other is convinced is some sort of alien trap.

  • Kyle, has you ever read Pirates of Coney Island? If you haven’t, try to get your hand on the 6 issues (of eight) published. the series has been on a sort of limbo for quite awhile, and I fear it will never be finished. but the ones published were awesome.

  • I personally would love for Martin Wagner to resume work on Hepcats. He put out a phenomenal graphic novel of the first 12 issues of his comic in the “Snowblind, Part One” graphic novel. Due to a whole bunch of issues in this his life, professionally and personally, he left comics in ’94, but it was great work that deserves to be finished and introduced to a whole new crop of readers.

  • WOW — Void Indigo! What is that, like 30 years old now? I remember that series well since it was my first time seeing boobies in comics.

    Would love to see more Joe Mad doing Battle Chasers. Good story and brilliant artwork.

  • Would love:
    Captain America: White….Only issue 0 has been released by Loeb & Sale.
    War Heroes by Mark Millar and Tony Harris…so good through 3 isses, still waiting for 4-5.
    Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas….guess John Favreau got too big…

  • This is a oldie, but I’d love to see DC’s SONIC DISRUPTORS (1987) get the ending it never did. It was one of DC’s first 12-issue “Maxi-Series”, or would have been if it hadn’t been cut off at issue #7. Sonic Disruptors depicted a futuristic America ruled by a theocratic military dictatorship, where the only source of resistance is a pirate radio station broadcasting from orbit.

  • NOOOOO! The Widening Gyre needs to die. It was horrible on so many levels. You’d need a hardcore miracle to save it. The art was preposterous, none of the characters were acted like themselves and I’m sorry, the art was horrid. I’m all for different interpretations, but this was just bad…

  • I’ll second those of you who mentioned Captain America: White (a few years back, Jeph Loeb said the rest would come out in time for the Cap movie; clearly, that didn’t happen) and Ruse from Crossgen.

    I’ll add New Universal by Warren Ellis. The first mini-series was completed, though there was clearly much more story to tell. Only a couple issues of the follow-up series were ever published. Apparently, Ellis’s notes were lost or destroyed, and he’s never gotten back to it. Shame, because I absolutely loved the first series.

    On the subject of Widening Gyre: I am a fan of Kevin Smith’s films and most of his comic work (particularly Spider-Man/Black Cat). That said, WG just didn’t work. It had too much Kevin Smith humor (of which I am a fan in the right context) and was not true to the character of Batman at all. Nonetheless, I’m still morbidly curious about where he’ll take it, and, to my shame, I will almost certainly buy it if he releases the rest.

  • Ooh, I agree, Marty, New Universal was really cool! Very weird and a very cool, different kind of experience with superpowers. It would make a great TV show, too. Though I admit I may be saying that because the artwork was clearly based on actual actors’ likenesses.

  • Pirates of Coney Island! PIRATES OF CONEY ISLAND! Such an EPIC series that came to an abrupt halt a few years ago on the worst cliff-hanger imaginable (although its still listed as being on “hiatus”). The writer hasn’t said anything about it other than it will one day come back, but the original artist Vasilis Lolos mentioned someone else will be doing the artwork… and there were two new covers that were posted on his blog back in Oct 2012. Seriously- if anyone hasn’t read it, try to find the issues in second-hand shops (not many comic shops still have it) or torrent! The fan letters written for that series were a pretty great read- its widely loved by many (including myself).

  • I want to see Bug & Stump finished too!! Particularly seeing I’m one of the creators… Sigh. Still got a half finished issue #10 in an artist’s folio somewhere – not to mention 3 pencilled issues with glorious art by the incomparable Chris Wahl..!