Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hey, Marvel! Where the heck is "The Twelve #9"?

Solicited in late 2007, J. Michael Straczynski & Chris Weston's popular Marvel Comics series, The Twelve, took a dozen mystery men from Marvel's WWII-era (when the company was known as Timely Comics) and revived them from suspended animation after 60 years, thrusting them into a world they no longer recognized, and where friends & family members had passed away during their absence.

Starting with issue #1 (Jan. 9, 2008), the title maintained a steady publication schedule for most of the first eight issues, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside. Last year two consecutive issues, #7 & #8, each skipped a month, and since then .... nothing. Nada. Zilch. There isn't even so much as a release date listed through March 2009 for The Twelve #9 (cover; pictured at right).

Adding insult to injury, British artist Chris Weston stopped updating his online blog in October 2008 and it has been widely reported that writer J. Michael Straczynski has moved over to the "Distinguished Competition" to pen The Brave and The Bold (where among other duties he is set to re-introduce the golden age versions of the old Archie Comics heroes), plus the lure of so many Hollywood scripting assignments has likely drawn Straczynski further away from his formerly "hot' project. [I guess he doesn't give a crap about the fans who bought The Twelve.]

What gives? Does anyone have a clue about this series? Is it bad form on the part of Marvel Comics, or should we suppose that this is yet another example of editor-in-chief Joe Quesada's "growing roses" mentality?


Yedna said...

No Twelve #9 in Marvel's April '09soclicitations either. What gives?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see SOMEONE is as frustrated about this as I am. Since Weston's art is so detailed, I could see that holding up the process. As for Straczynski, wouldn't he have had this whole series in the can already? I believe I had read that he works far in advance?

Anonymous said...

I too have become distressed that this comic has become MIA. It was scheduled for late December, now it's listed no where?

Just 4 more issues left! Come on Marvel! Get your Shizz together! >:(


I'm pretty pissed too! that was one of the few new marvel series from last year i was really enjoying this past year

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly certain something has gone down between JMS, Marvel and DC.

No Twelve since November. Thor has faced multiple delays, and there is nothing beyond #601 (next month's) even though the release schedules are out until at least april. Also if you look, JMS was supposed to have started Brave and the Bold and others at DC by now, yet there is no indication of that in DC's upcoming releases.

I also emailed Marvel to complain about the lack of my favorite comic (the twelve) and I got a terse, "there will be an announcement regarding this product soon". As a reply.

Chuck Wells said...

I think that it is highly likely that whatever went down between JMS, DC & Marvel "probably" amounts to Mr. Straczynski simply being an unprofessional shmuck.

Movie studios have suddenly remembered that he is still hanging around, and when that kind of prestige and cash is being offered, well it seems that comics apparently can go take a hike - funny book contracts, or obligations, or verbal commitments to the four-color world be damned.

JMS bailed out on the "big two", Mr. Quesada and/or Mr. DiDio can spin it however they choose, but I know when somebody basically says cram it, fanboys.

Anonymous said...

Information has appeared on Marvel's site that says that The Twelve #9 will be released Dec 31, 2013. (?!)

Chuck Wells said...

Who knows if that was just an unfortunate typographical error or not. I DO have it on good authority that Mr. Weston is back at the drawing board, but again, who knows when "The Twelve #9" will ACTUALLY appear on the stands.

This has to be one of the most egregious wrongs that Marvel has perpetrated on their lyal readers in quite some time.

Disheartening to say the least!

Tyson said...

I met JMS in Seattle last year, I am missing The Twelve but the guy was for SURE an unprofessional A$$HOLE!

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering what the hell's going on with this series too. I hope they don't just drop it 8 issues in because I eally enjoyed it.. though now I'd have to go back and refresh my memory of what exactly happened last issue.

Anonymous said...

The most recent Previews cancellation list shows Twelve #9 as "canceled by publisher" so it looks like that's it for the series.

JMS has been on my Prima Donna list along with Kevin Smith (Spidey/Black Cat & Daredevil: The Target) and Frank Miller and Jim Lee (All Star Batman and Robin)for quite some time. Dates back to Rising Stars. Didn't really care about the Brave and the Bold because I mean really, The Fly?, but I would have liked to have seen the rest of the Twelve.

Pulstar said...

JMS...Is he even going to continue writing comics any more? Much less put anything out on a schedule? The break with Rising Stars was moderatel acceptable because he was tied up with legal stuff regarding the movie but got the last 3 issues of the comic out as soon as that was over. Then there was Squadron Supreme. Great cliff-hanger! Hyperion, Nighthawk and the Blur vs. be continued...never. Now The Twelve has been shelved and from previous posts any other plans for other companies or characters seem to be coming to nothing. Give the man his due he has great talent, but if it's carried around by a huge ego then who cares.

rsesslerii said...

I just received an email from jms regarding what happened to the Twelve after #8. Here is what he had to say:

"What happened was first I fell down a hole with work, then I crawled out of the hole to find that Chris Weston had fallen down the hole with other work, then I got depressed that he wasn't available and I fell down a hole, and we kept backing and forthing and it got away from us."

"The good news is that Chris is now back and available, and the writing and the book is nearly done. I want all the scripts in hand before we go back to press to finish it off."

I've been wondering what happened to such a promising run, too. I haven't seen anything other than speculation since last November, so I decided to email him tonight. I respect the man for taking the time to respond so quickly to a complete stranger with a little update.


Chuck Wells said...

Kudos to you for making an effort to approach JMS. I would caution you to take his comments with a grain of salt.

Inadvertently, I found myself in a dialogue with another one of the creators of "The Twelve" series and I was given a very different perspective which can be summed up as - JMS may have fallen down a hole, but it was one that he merrily dug for himself. Weston on the other hand, was forcibly pushed down the very same hole that JMS dug, when the Babylon 5 diva failed to provide his artist with a script for months at a time. JMS was/and has been off following his Hollywood muse, and that is what has delayed the completion of "The Twelve."

the orbiter said...

I am still angry with "JMS" for leaving me hanging on the finale of the Squadron Supreme series.

When choosing comics to read I have been burned several times by smaller independent companies who cannot finish a series.

Small publishers come and go. No surprise there. I didn't expect to be burned by one of the "Big Two."

I need closure. I'll read even a terrible story to the end, just to see how it ends.

From now on, if I think I want to read something from "JMS," maybe I'll wait for the graphic novel, for a better chance at a complete story.

Or maybe I'll just stop buying anything with his name on it.

Here's an idea "JMS:" finish the story first and then start publishing it. Sloppy writing style, and a disappointment to your readers, to do otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I was just going through my comics and I saw my collection of The Twelve. It reminded me that it had yet to be completed (over a year already?), so I decided to see what was being said on the internet. That's how I came upon these post. The last one I see is from May 1st, 2009. Does anyone have any further information? I see that they are publishing The Twelve in 2 volumes (6 issues each). That seems strange since this has not been completed. If volume one comes out, the people who buy that will be just as pissed as we are that they bought only a half story that seems like it will never be completed.

So, does anyone have an update? (Hopefully a positive one.)

Chuck Wells said...

I directly spoke with artist Chris Weston some time ago via the internet, after my own posts on this book - which I was a big fan of. Chris was truly dealt a sorry hand of cards on "The Twelve".

Joe Straczynski failed repeatedly to hand over scripts in a timely manner to Weston, who was depending on the income from that assignment to support his family, when consecutive months then stretched out without pay, Chris accepted storyboard & design work on film and advertising projects. He genuinely did not want to make waves either at Marvel or within the industry, so he largely kept mum on this matter.

As you can see, with Hollywood calling and after his exclusive deal with Marvel fell through, JMS quickly hopped on over to DC. I do not know if "The Twelve" will ever be completed, but my fond regard for Babylon 5 notwithstanding, I wouldn't buy another Straczynski comic to save my life. He is the epitome of unprofessionalism. There isn't any acceptable excuse for his behavior.

Still, the lions share of the blame for this mess belongs squarely at Joe Quesada's doorstep. As editor-in-chief, he had all of the power to bring in other talent to complete this top-selling book, but HE doesn't want to offend his own Hollywood cohorts.

He just screws the fans who made "The Twelve" a hit in the first place!

Anonymous said...

Well it still hasn't officially been canceled but they still haven't given any exact release date. I bought the most recently printed issue and on the back page it said "Look for "The Twelve" #9 coming soon.". I think they have intentions but I'm not sure if it ever will hit the market =(

Anonymous said...

Marvel Comics,do not expect me to buy any other of your books until you have finish The Twelve.

David said...

Well, It hopefully looks as if the tweve, will finally see completion! Now, I know of few other comic efforts, that took so long.marvels "conan of the isles' from the 80's, comes to mind, as does the lost in space series from the 90s, that sat unfinished for many years.Im sure that the vast majority of the fans who bought the first 8 issues, will also pick up the last four, but JMS, standing before comic fandom, has been greatly damaged.maybe he just dont care anymore,if it has or not.

Chuck Wells said...

Chris Weston has completed all of the artwork on the series and #9 and #10 will both ship in February 2012, before the last two issues come out respectively in March & April.

"The Twelve" will have traveled a circuitous road, and who knows if the end result will have been worth the wait, but no matter how it all hashes out - JMS should not be hired to work on comics ever again. I still like Babylon 5, but Joe can kiss my ass.

John C. Baker said...

You can relax now. The final issue FINALLY came out today (April 25, 2012)~

Chuck Wells said...

Good to know that it's time to "relax", and thanks for offering your consent.

There were choices made in the penultimate issue that surprised me, but it is nice to see this long-gestating mini-series put to rest. However, I will continue to have contempt for JMS over his handling of this work, and for intentionally showing zero respect for his publisher, fellow creators and the fans of this project.