While responding to a question about Marvel's recent cancellation of Captain Britain and MI13, Executive Editor Tom Brevoort ended up sparking some concerns about the fates of two other titles.
When asked Friday on his blog why the company couldn't continue publishing a low-selling yet high-quality comic like Captain Britain, Brevoort responded, in part: "... Any one book being unprofitable isn't enough to break Marvel, but the question is, where do you draw the line? If we keep Captain Britain going, then shouldn't we also keep Runaways going? Or Iron Fist? Or Spider-Girl? Or any of a number of other titles that have hit this level despite a dedicated and loyal core audience. At the end of the day, Marvel is a business -- if we don't make money, they come around and turn all the lights out. Every series in our publishing line needs to earn its keep in one way or another. If it's a property we really believe in, we may run a given series into the red for awhile to see if we can't find a way to turn it around, but we simply cannot do that on every title that garners critical acclaim."
The inclusion of Runaways and The Immortal Iron Fist among the newly canceled and the, let's call it, "recently repackaged" led some to wonder whether Brevoort had just dropped a bombshell.
"Runaways is canceled?" one commenter posted. "I think that's news." We received an email over the weekend wondering the same thing.
No, a Marvel spokesman tells Robot 6, they're not canceled: Runaways lives and Iron Fist is "officially on hiatus while Immortal Weapons runs through the end of 2009."
According to ICv2.com's estimates for April, The Immortal Iron Fist #25 sold about 22,300 copies, followed by Captain Britain with just less than 20,000 and Runaways with 19,850.
Talk of Iron Fist's cancellation began in March when a version of Marvel's June solicitations circulated referring to Issue 27 as the "landmark final issue." The text was quickly removed.
A short time later Marvel announced the title would go on hiatus beginning in July and temporarily be replaced by Immortal Weapons, a five-issue miniseries spotlighting the deadly champions introduced in "The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven" story arc.
Runaways, of course, has been canceled and relaunched a couple of times. The new creative team of Kathryn Immonen and Sarah Pichelli take over volume 3 of the series with June's Issue 11.