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Del Rey Manga Pulls Plug on X-Men Misfits Vol. 2?

By April 12, 2010

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X-Men Misfits Vol. 1This weekend at the Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art Festival in New York City, a fan approached comics creator Raina Telgemeier's table. After congratulating her on her current projects (Smile and her husband/collaborator Dave Roman's upcoming Avatar Movie Prequel manga), the fan asked a simple question: When will we see the next volume of X-Men Misfits, Telgemeier, Roman and Anzu's shojo manga remix of Marvel's super-mutant team? The answer? Not anytime soon, and maybe not ever.

So @Ahavah22 sent me a tweet on Sunday afternoon:

Save X-Men Misfits! Del Rey canceled the second (and final) installment b4 it was written!

This was news to me. As far as I knew, Del Rey Manga's first volume of X-Men Misfits sold fairly well -- well enough to make the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller List for several weeks when it was published in mid-2009. So I sent a note to Roman and Telgemeier:

Dave and Raina by Anzu@goraina @yaytime hrm. got a tweet from a reader that Del Rey has opted to not publish X-Men Misfits Vol. 2. true? not true?

Roman replied, and confirmed the news via Twitter:

Wow! News travels fast! @goraina and I super disappointed since it was written as a 2-part story and it will be unfair to readers.

We only found out last week. We still don't have a lot of the details beyond it being a cost of licensing vs. profits issue. :/

I only saw about 20 pages of Book 2 pencils a few months back so I assumed Anzu was far along, but still deep into it.

Those are the emotions that I keep going through regarding Misfits. Confusion then disappointment. Most successful non-success.

Telgemeier added her thoughts, also via Twitter:

Yes. It's true. Dave and I will have more to say, later.

UPDATE: Telgemeier and Roman posted a longer commentary about the premature end of the X-Men Misfits series at their LiveJournal site. Besides thanking Anzu and their editors at Del Rey Manga, Telgemeier and Roman also had this to add:

And of course, a final word of thanks to all the people who have vocally supported X-Men: Misfits. We knew there would be a lot of skepticism about the project from the beginning, so hearing from so many people who "got it" really made us happy. The cancellation is still sinking in and we certainly appreciate the people who have already shared their feelings with us. That's publishing, though. Series are NOT sure things. The best way to support a series you love is to buy the books, and spread the word. In the meantime, we imagine we'll continue to get tons of Google Alerts, letting us know about all the torrents and rapidshare files of X-Men: Misfits there are out there...

Seriously, can anyone justify "scanlating" and pirating a series that never needed to be "translated" into English? Now thanks to sales that were less than required to make publishing X-Men Misfits Volume 2 financially feasible, there will be no Volume 2, period. Chew on that for a few, folks.

A quick check on Amazon.com and Random House's website confirmed this information -- X-Men Misfits Volume 2 is currently listed as "unavailable," without a release date or option to pre-order.

The same fate seems to have befallen the second volume of the other Del Rey Manga / Marvel X-Men manga title, Wolverine: Prodigal Son by Antony Johnson and Wilson Tortosa, as it too has seen its Amazon listing changed to "unavailable".

Wolverine: Prodigal Son Vol. 1UPDATE: Antony Johnson confirmed that plans for publishing Wolverine: Prodigal Son Vol. 2 have been canceled. He writes on his blog:

Alas, I can confirm that the same fate awaits WOLVERINE: PRODIGAL SON.

It's a great shame. I was very pleased with the second volume, and Wilson's work for it was even better than for the first. And I really hoped we could take it still further; although the initial story came to a close in Volume 2, I wrote it in such a way that it left open the possibility of many more adventures for young Logan.

Unfortunately, the simple truth is that not enough people bought them. Despite WOLVERINE being praised by readers and selected for two library YA lists, despite MISFITS making it onto the New York Times bestseller list, and not least despite all the efforts of Del Rey themselves and our editors there, there just weren't enough readers to justify the costs. This is, sadly, more common than you might think in comics.

Hopefully, Del Rey Manga and/or Marvel Comics will be able to share updates or official comments later this week. More on this to come.

Image credit: Marvel Entertainment, Anzu

Comments

April 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm
(1) Ahavah22 says:

Thanks for reporting “my” scoop (I always wanted to be a journalist, so stumbling upon this info and being the first to break the news on Twitter actually gives me a feeling pride whilst still inspiring frustration for Raina, David, Anzu and the fans, myself included, of X-Men: Misfits).

I actually had a lot of fun at the festival. The panels (including the all female “YA? Why not? Panel Raina took part in) were fantastic, and the exhibition hall was filled with interesting artists and wonderful small publishers. I even purchased some manga, courtesy of Fanfare/Ponet Mon.

I wish I had broken a more fun story, like the name of Vertical’s “Secret Project R” (no dice there!)

So, is there anything we can do now? We don’t have any solid details as to *why* the roject was scrapped, and I’m loath to speculate on a reason such as “Marvel may be demanding more money from Del Rey for the use of their character because they are now owned by Disney”…(*oops, I just did!* :D )
You mentioned via Twitter last night that you would try to contact Del Rey directly. I think that’s a great idea. Did they get back to you?

Thanks again for breaking the story more publicly than I could have and bringing this unfortunate news properly to Shojo manga fans!

April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm
(2) Xenos says:

With all respect to the creators, I don’t think this venture was going to work. I know the million dollar question is how to get all those shojo fans and anime con goers to even give Marvel or any US comic a look. Yet I don’t think this was it.

To me Marvel is just dressing up X-men as, say, Ouran High Host Club. Why would they read that when they can read the original? (And that’s assuming they even buy the Viz US release of it and not just read illegal copies online.)

To me Marvel should just trust their character and not try to conform / deform them to match the shojo flavor dejour. What’s wrong with just Kitty joining the X-men and not dressing them up and even gender bending some to match some Japanese book? To me stuff like Runaways or maybe a Cloak and Dagger book with good original concepts and characters not mimicking another book have a better chance at getting through to the shojo fans. Though should say the trade graphic novel format is a good idea. Plus the artwork itself wasn’t bad, nothing against the style.

As for the shonen Wolverine, why bother? It’s just another Wolverine book flooding the market. Hell, when Marvel got Tsutomu Nihei, a favorite manga artist of mine, to do that fantastic Wolverine Snikt!, even that didn’t do so great. It was lost among so many other Wolverine titles. Why would this book fare any better?

I do feel sorry this didn’t work for the artists who tried to make this work and give them credit for trying, but I don’t think it was going to work from the get go.

April 15, 2010 at 11:51 am
(3) Meep says:

Keep in mind that the New York Times bestseller list is only a measure of how many books are printed, not how many are sold.

Also, blaming scanlations is a pretty cheap go-to excuse these days. People, please be aware of what you look like when you use it.

April 19, 2010 at 12:54 am
(4) Iz says:

Would have been nice to see the ending. It was different, and I liked it. I thought it held potential. A lot of hardcore X-men fans that I talked to weren’t thrilled, but they hadn’t exactly read it, either. It was meant to be a shojo twist in the X-men world. You can’t make everyone happy, but if it was a two part series I think they should have been able to finish it somehow. XD Like maybe net comic or something. I wish it worked out somehow.

May 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm
(5) Kris says:

Wish I would have known this before I bought that yesterday… Wow… That sucks.

June 7, 2010 at 1:22 am
(6) Mary says:

I’m… sad that this got canceled. I just bought volume one today and this is about the most original thing done to the X-Men in a long time. How disappointing.

June 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(7) Michelle says:

Aw im really sad now i was really looking forward to volume two, i bought volume one months ago when it came out and have been waiting eagerly then read this. :[ Why did they have to cancel it, its a new take on Xmen its fun, I hope some how it comes back T_T i really wanted to see how the story developed.

September 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm
(8) Sean says:

I am very sad to hear this! I really loved the first volume of Misfits and hoped to see the next volume at the library after turning it back in for the millionth time. I loved the artwork and the story was cute. I really hope that it comes back at some point and that Del-Ray will realize the error of their mistake. I haven’t seen many manga make the New York Times lists at all so that must mean something to them right?

All in all, I liked the shojo-xmen twist. I really liked the character design for Kurt the best…he’s my favorite character and to see him rendered in such a (dare I say it) sexy style elicited quite the fangirlish squeal out of me.

November 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm
(9) Luna says:

Whoa… I am very… shocked to see this. I bought Misfits volume 1 almost as soon as it came out, and I was impatiently looking forward to the next volume. I can’t believe it won’t be continued. I mean, if there were only two volumes AND it was selling well, why couldn’t they just have finished it???

January 3, 2011 at 12:01 am
(10) Angel says:

That really sucks. I bought it when it first came out and was waiting for the second one. It’s an interesting twist on X-men I thought and I really hoped it would have done well. The way Gambit and Kurt (my two favorites!) were drawn made me excited, and I had hoped that this would draw more people to X-men and draw more people to manga.

February 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm
(11) Santana says:

The only reason this disappoints me was because I was hoping that if X-Men: Misfits was to continue, it would improve. If the series were to go on, perhaps it would become a stronger continuity.

As an X-Men fan, I was annoyed by the contrived plot, which consisted of Kitty attending the Xavier Academy, now an all boys’ school, in order to set a reverse harme situation.

Kitty was robbed of her backbone and loveable personality in order to create “romantic tension”, and Pyro is suddenly a borderline abusive boyfriend. Frankly, I feel that Kitty is the most overexposed X-Woman, with the most overexposed X-Man being Logan. (Wolverine. Who else?) If she’s going to be a central character in the manga, she doesn’t need a love interest, just a personality.

I would loved to have a stronger female character like Rogue in the book, or at least give Jean and Storm some character development, but instead got to see Kitty star in this manga. Kind of like replacing Johnny Storm with H.E.R.B.I.E. It just doesn’t work.

It also would’ve been nice to Gambit some character development. But Colossus’s manga portrayal desperately needs to be redesigned.

If the series continues, I would love to see Rogue be brought to the school by Mystique. Only instead of immediately latching onto some loser guy and clinging to him, subsequqently losing all personality, like Kitty, Rogue would retain her strengths, character and spine, and just rock everyone’s world like the rebel she is.

February 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm
(12) shella says:

OMG…OMG…OMG! What! are you kidding me. seriously. I bought
the thing yesterday! and i read this crud on the net. to find the neXt one and i get this. seriously!
ya see the thing is i luv the X-men and I’m collector of manga so i take manga very serious(you don’t this but i’m typing with eXtreme anger) and i was so “X-sitede” (ha ha) about what happens neXt so much that I really had a dream about it when i fell asleep while reading it.
like, this is how it works 1. you write a awesome book that everyone will love. then you go and write the rest. not stop! and leave us hanging with a cliffhanger forever!

seriously! whats up with these poeple!
I hope someone with their head screwed on fiXs it. Please :)

April 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm
(13) Jazz says:

What!! My older sis brought me X men yesterday and I finished it today. Once I start a collection, I always read the next book. I go on the web and I find this! This is unbelievable. Rainia Telgemeir, if your reading this PLEASE MAKE MORE BOOKS. Think about all the fans of X men misfits. If your not gonna make more books than why would u write at the end of the book “To Be Continued”, and give a preview of volume 2!. I would’ve bought all the books u made.

April 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm
(14) shannon says:

OK! I’ve had enough! Pretty Please Raina. Please make more X men misfit books. I can’t stand it anymore!! If your reading this Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman, think about everybody whos read X men misfits! PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 27, 2011 at 12:33 am
(15) Maria says:

Still buying the first volume as a collectors’ item. Don’t know why they discontinued the series, although Del Ray never really seemed to have any big manga hits that I’m aware of so they may live to regret this one.

August 11, 2011 at 6:10 am
(16) Josh says:

WTH! WHY ARNT YOU WHY DID YOU MAKE A FIRST ONE AND NO SECOND OR THIRD IT SAYS TO BE CONTENUED (fail spelling) MAKE MORE FOR YOUR FANS! D=

September 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm
(17) Anna Nickole says:

This is by far my all time favorite manga. I love to day dream that I am in it. I couldn’t wait for the next one to come out so I’m very pissed off that u pulled the plug on it. I really hope u change your mind and finish it making the 2nd one and start making the next one. To me it seems unfair that u make the first one that alot of people love and can’t wait for the next one to come out. you start to work on the next one and then you decide to pull the plug on it. That’s Fucked up u made allot of people down. I hope you realize that and finish the manga that allot of people love including me. Thats all I have to say. and if u do make the next one just know that I will buy it.

November 27, 2011 at 3:45 am
(18) ALISON says:

Hi my name is Alison when i read the first vol i loved it when it said there was more i was happy because how the first one ended there was going to love between kitty and bobby i want to read to see what happends i was like i need to know what happends put today i find this out just now why i know some books do not all sale well at first but give it another try please this is the best manga for x-men ever please read this i hope one day soon you will make more i know the other manga fans would be happy if there was more for me if im trying hard at something like singing or studying for a test if im starting to feel down i would say never give up never surrender that alll ways makes me feel a little better im so sorry if im sounding rude i do not mean to be mean or rude im sorry

February 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm
(19) amvsoundwave says:

I bought the first volume when it first came out and truely enjoyed this adaptation of x-men, the problem is as mentioned in the article above, people were scanning the pages and putting them up online or for download i.e. pirating it which is the entire reason internet users are fighting the government bills like SOPA and PITA now. I took a curious look online after 2 months to see how easy it was to find scans of it online and was surprised that you could not actually find scans online of it, this has probably changed by now. I am really hoping some day soon they will change their minds and bring the final volume out for fans to enjoy.

February 7, 2012 at 10:45 am
(20) Moz says:

I’m very disapointed to hear this, especially hearing that the second volume was going to be the final one.

I read this from the library when it first came out and I just recently re-read it after looking for it again. I love this series because it puts an interesting twist on X-Men–don’t get me wrong, I love the original X-Men as well, but this one just has that twist on it that makes it lovable. I hope that maybe one day the second volume will be released, but it may not come anytime soon.

I think its going to hurt Del Rey if they continue with this pattern and if they realize that soon enough then we [the fans] may get the second volume of, not just this, but other series as well.

Oh well, I’ll buy the book just to read it over and over again and just live in prayer that another will come. I’m very curious to know where that ending was going.

April 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm
(21) Julianna says:

noo please do more i want the next one. i will buy it so dont scrap the book

June 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm
(22) AlexSlipknot says:

The least they could do is explain the hell why they can’t sell volume two, I mean if they’ve already made it, They should just sell it, Screw Del ray whatever the hell the name was. JUST PUT UP THE DAMN BOOK!

Life Sucks, T_T GET over IT

August 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm
(23) Sara says:

im sad to hear about this. Sure it was kinda like ouran highschool host club but this was still good! They should of made the second book before the first book came out.
well thanks for telling us

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