Johns Saultes "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E." Fans, Series Ending Even Sooner

[Star]First loves are special, and Geoff Johns is having to say good-bye to his, at least for now.

Today, he's the new writer of DC Comics' "The Flash," co-writer of "JSA" and the man who brought DC fans their big crossover "event" of the fall, "Day of Judgment." But he first appeared on the comics scene a year ago writing a series reviving the Star Spangled Kid franchise, "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.."

This summer, it will be coming to an end.

"To all the readers out there I have two words to say. Thank you," Johns told fans of the series on the official DC Comics Web site "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E." message board on Friday. "Well, those two are the most important. Here's a couple hundred more!

"Thank you for your support, for your compliments and criticisms, for giving a book starring a new female heroine and her step-father a chance. This isn't an easy post to write. To be honest it's taken me a week to figure out what to say. 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.' has been very close to my heart and if I had the chance I'd be writing dozens of more issues, free of charge. Courtney and Pat are hands down my favorite characters to watch. I say watch because I don't put words into their mouths. They put them into mine.

"Unfortunately, as you've heard a dozen times over, in 'today's market' 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.' couldn't get the numbers to warrant it continuing. I know this has happened to dozens of great books - 'Chase' being the one that stands out most in my mind - but at the very least we did get over a year of solo adventures with our patriotic pair. How can we get new series like these to stay around longer than a year or two? The campaign with 'Hourman' is helping. My advice, as so many of you have done with 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.,' buy what you enjoy and suggest it to others."

DC Comics' "Hourman" has been loudly singled out by high-profile creators as their favorite superhero comic, and writer Mark Waid handed out stacks of copies at last summer's major comic book conventions.

"Another bit of bad news: Issue #14 will be the last. I wish we would've gotten #15 in (as I had to cram a lot of wrap up in #14) but that wasn't the case. This does mean the planned JSA x-over isn't happening. You will still see the full story in JSA #13-15: 'The Hunt For Extant.'"

Issue 14 won't be the last time fans see the new Star Spangled Kid in action, though.

"Courtney will continue her growth and adventures in the JSA. Some of the cast of 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.' will be showing up, as well as some of the plot lines I won't have the chance to tell. Pat will also be around (see 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.' #14 for more details) more often. I don't plan on leaving 'JSA' until they make me.

"I will be putting as much passion, love and energy into 'The Flash' as I have in 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.' My respect for the DCU should be more than obvious by now. The Flash has always been my favorite character (why do you think I set S&S in Blue Valley[, the home town of Wally West]?) and with an obvious connection with 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.,' you can bet they'll run into each other eventually.

"['Starman' writer] James Robinson and I have talked about a special of sorts - I can't say what it is because we won't have time to get to it for several months, but I will say it'll make a lot of 'Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.' fans very very happy.

"Most importantly, and I guess this isn't a promise but more of a request. Enjoy the last handful of issues, don't be jaded. DC really supported this book and subsidized it for much longer than they had to. Mike Carlin was instrumental in getting us this far and he should be thanked. He's been the biggest supporter of our book since day one.

"I'll be writing a letter column for the last issue getting into more of the above so please stick around and check it out. And if you did enjoy this series and these characters write a letter to DC and let 'em know.

"We could still get a pair of action figures!"

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