“The crossover event of the century continues!”

§ November 15th, 2013 § Filed under all star batman, publishing § 21 Comments

So just the other day I was reminded of Image United, Image Comics’ big crossover event featuring the company’s founders and their characters all doin’ something or other. The most recent issue of the series, #3, was released August 18, 2010. As of right now, Image United‘s gap in publication exceeds even Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk‘s delay between its second and third issues by about three months.

According to our distributor, Image United #4 has a supposed release date of 12/25/13, which is, well, Christmas, but it does fall on a Wednesday this year, so I guess it’s theoretically possible it could be on sale that day, assuming your local comic dealer isn’t all sauced up on whatever else he’s put into the eggnog. Also, it’s the last on-sale date of the year, which means that’s likely just a placeholder date, sometimes used by Diamond on items with…indefinite arrival times.

A quick Googling shows a comment on the subject from our pal Rob Liefeld back in June, who gives us 2014 as The Year Image United Would Continue. …Anyway, show of hands from folks surprised by this publishing development? …Anyone?

In fairness, and spurred on by Employee Timmy who suggested this, I looked into the dates ‘n’ fates of the single greatest Batman series ever published, All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, by Arthur Miller and Jason Lee. I think. It’s been a while.

Anyhoo, the last issue published was #10, solicited February ’08 and released 9/24/08, well over five years ago, back when the sun shone more brightly, and I still had a good strong grip on my hopes and dreams. Orders for issue #11 were originally solicited April ’08, and then resolicited in September of that year. Issue #12 was solicited in June ’08, then again in October. Needless to say, #11 and #12 never came out, and both listings on the distributor site have a big fat red “CANCELLED” on them. They also both have FOC (“Final Order Cut-off”) dates of 12/31/19, so, you know, I have a long time to think about that. The series was supposed to wrap up in a separate mini-series, but nothin’ doin’ just yet. (Related: it’s a damned shame I’m not in that Wiki article as one of series’ defenders. I mean, who loved that comic more than me?)

I guess, kinda sorta, that makes All Star Batman a strong entry in the Longest Funnybook Publication Delay in The Middle of A Storyline That Still Possibly Will Get Completed Someday, since I’m not sure it’s entirely off the table. Another quick Googling shows comments from a 2012 interview with Jim Lee on a site not to be linked to or named here that he’s not given up on continuing the series. So who knows. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see it someday.

And then there’s that gap in Miracleman‘s publication, but let’s not get me started on that topic again.
 
 

image from Image United #2 (December 2009)

21 Responses to ““The crossover event of the century continues!””

  • caleb says:

    Could it perhaps be scheduled for 12/25 in the hopes that a Christmas miracle will help it arrive?

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Anyway, show of hands from folks surprised by this publishing development? …Anyone? ”

    nope! UTTERLY RIDICULOUS.

  • SKFK says:

    I’m still waiting for the last two issues of the eight-part miniseries The Pirates Of Coney Island. (#6 came out on December 12, 2007.)

  • Mr Lawless says:

    What about 1963? Still waiting on that one, even if it’s considered dead by everyone involved.

  • Kurt Onstad says:

    Someone seems to have corrected that indeed grievous error. To quote from Wikipedia, “The book also has its defenders. Comics journalist Mike Sterling referred to the series as ‘the single greatest Batman series ever published.’”

  • kid nicky says:

    I loved Image United, allthough at this point I’d have to reread 1-3 before 4 if it comes out. Like, it is my favorite comic of the 2000′s,and not in a snarky ironic way.

  • Tom W says:

    Warren Ellis’s Desolation Jones beats All-Star Bats: last issue, #8 and the second in a new storyline, published in February 2007. Last I heard Ellis still thought of it as a live project, though I suspect it’ll never be seen again. Shame, that first run was great stuff.

  • Evan Waters says:

    What I want to know is this.

    What kind of contracts are the comic companies drawing up if they have absolutely no way to actually make sure the top-drawer talent does the issues they are contracted to do?

    I have never seen this phenomenon in any other industry. Movies, music, books, the publishers have power to say “You are going to do this or be in breach of contract” or at least make the talent pay to get out of said contract.

    DC and Marvel are all “Well, okay, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Finish it whenever.”

  • Pal Cully says:

    This version of Savage Dragon will be dead before another issue comes out.

  • AR says:

    Evan, most of the “classic” delayed titles in question are creator owned (Image United, Miracleman, Big Numbers) or involved the managing executives in the publisher (Image United again, All-Star Batman and Robin). Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk is the real outlier and that probably had something to do with a combination of the writer coming into comics from Hollywood (which denied Marvel leverage) and the artist being reassigned to other stuff by the company.

  • Jim Linzer says:

    I keep looking at that panel, and looking at it, and I still cannot figure out what relation the characters are to each other in size.

  • Jack says:

    I’m trying to figure out where the fat guy is punching the woman in green myself, and none of the answers are fit for polite society.

    Comics have come a long way from the days of “we’re missing a deadline? Ah get something from the fill in file, who cares what it does to the story?” haven’t we?

  • Evan Waters says:

    Was Jim Lee already in editorial/wherever he is at DC when ASB&R started? I thought that was later.

  • Poftoffel says:

    Looking for love, Mike? :-) The title is misleading btw, the most interesting part is in the story itself.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/grown-man-who-owns-bane-action-figure-has-love-to,34571/

  • Chris T says:

    Jack, something tells me that the All Star Batman and Robin last minute fill in issue would be pretty special..

  • Mikester says:

    Tom W – According to this:

    http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=13594

    Desolation Jones is likely done. Hope is still held out for more Fell, however.

  • Tom W says:

    Shame, it was one of the best things Ellis did before pretty much leaving comics. BTW, mentioned you and your great Grendel reread on my blog last night, in a correcting but hopefully not “Er actually you’re wrong” way.

  • Kid Kyoto says:

    Still waiting for the next issue of Sonic Disruptors…

  • Employee Timmy says:

    Youre damn right its the greatest Batman story of all time.

  • Jeff R. says:

    Let’s see…other contenders could include D’arc Tangent, Hepcats, and Tyrant. The last of which is the only one I’d really put in the “could possibly happen” category. Oh, and Matt Wagner’s the Aerialist, also vaguely possible.

    (Did the place where Elf*Quest was left between the last and current revivals qualify as ‘in the middle of a story?’)

  • Daniel Latta says:

    As All Star Batman and Robin was a metafictional account of a comic book creator’s final inexorable dive into egomania, insanity, and irrelevancy, the series can be considered complete.

    ASBR #1-9 + Holy Terror + Frank Miller’s blog post from 11/07/2011 = One Completed Story arc.