Marvel's gay wedding storyline was originally going to appear in Alpha Flight – UPDATE: No it wasn't

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In a comment posted on CBR’s Robot 6’s article about the story, Dale Eaglesham has retracted his original statement about Alpha Flight. In the comment he says:

 I went back and checked the notes for upcoming issues and low and behold, the wedding was never slated for Alpha Flight. I would have really liked it to be but it was meant for the X-book all along.

Apologies for setting off what seems to have become an intriguingly vicious set of Chinese whispers online, to the point where typing ‘Dale Eaglesham’ into Twitter reveals that the internet has transformed the “sigh” I describe in the original article into “furious” “lashing out” from the artist. Whoops.

Original article —-

Here’s an interesting little addition to the discussion of the upcoming superhero wedding in Astonishing X-Men. Marvel have been saying that this was a storyline they’d had in the works for over a year, and had been planning for longer. But as writer Marjorie Liu only started work on Astonishing X-Men only a few months ago, how could that be true?

Well, it appears that the storyline was planned to be the second storyline for Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente/Dale Eaglesham’s Alpha Flight series, which concluded… hey, around a year ago, actually. That eight-issue maxiseries had a particularly strange behind-the-scenes history if you recall; it was first announced as a limited series, then officially upgraded to an ongoing…. then downgraded again as part of the ‘cull anything without Avengers or X-Men in the title’ massacre of 2011.

Ah, 2011.

Writing on his forum, Eaglesham states, simply, that

This wedding was in the works on AF

as part of a more general sigh he makes at Marvel’s decision to take the storyline – which would’ve played out last year, and brought attention to this low-selling book – and give it to an X-Men book instead instead.

Alpha Flight fans may have enjoyed the book (and especially Marrina!), but there’s always a lower readership when a book is known to be a limited series. Knowing there’s a clear ending which may or may not be worth the previous seven issues, readers will just wait for the trade instead, if they choose to read it at all. So instead, Marvel decided to buckle down on ancillary titles over the past year, and focus centrally on their two big franchises.

As Eaglesham notes, the addition of a gay marriage in a newly-ongoing Alpha Flight series would’ve certainly given the book more mainstream attention, and brought more readers to the series.

Also, gay marriage has been legal in Canada for YEARS.

But oh well, what could have been. This does also, interestingly, suggest that the central purpose of Marjorie Liu’s Astonishing X-Men series is to tie up dangling plot threads, rather than create new ones. We’re also dealing with some unresolved story ideas from Liu’s own cancelled X-23 series in Astonishing at the moment, along with hints that we’re soon going to see a resolution to Karma’s long-running sub-plot picked up from Zeb Wells’ run on New Mutants.

Shame the wedding won’t be happening in Canada, but at least this means Dazzler will be able to attend now.

Comments

  1. Suzene says:

    Even as an Alpha Flight fan, I really can’t blame Marvel for this one. Discounting the original series, Alpha Flight’s various incarnations have all failed to hold onto an audience, and the latest was down to around 18K by the time it wrapped. So why put Marvel’s FIRST! GAY! WEDDING! in Alpha Flight when odds were it would just wind up at cancellation level again by the end of the next arc despite the sales boost? Not to mention that pairing the wedding with the name recognition of the X-Books likely gets Marvel more positive hype and a lot more sales than AF could have possibly generated. It just makes more sense.

  2. What Zeb Wells/New Mutants subplot is that? Or, actually, what unresolved ideas from X-23? I haven’t noticed Astonishing being any more beholden to previous stories than any book in a long-running continuity.

  3. They’re picking up again on the Cecelia Reyes story which Liu has been writing on and off for the past few years.

    With the Karma subplot – I’m not completely sold on if it’s going to happen or not, but it looks like Liu might be heading into it. It also looks like New Mutants is wrapping up later on in the year, which would explain why there was no space for DnA to address the story in their own series.

  4. “It also looks like New Mutants is wrapping up later on in the year”

    YOU SHUT UP!

    Ahem. Sorry about that. Touchy subject.

    But Karma has been out of New Mutants since Regenesis (and since DnA started, really). Still don’t see any plots, only characters that have been in other books before Astonishing.

  5. Al™ says:

    Yes, gay marriage, or partnership union, (whatever) has been available in Canada for years. No biggie.

    So, speaking of controversial subjects, I recall several comic retailers are refusing to carry the Before Watchmen mini series due to them disagreeing with its being produced against Alan Moore’s wishes. This boycott appears to have significant fan support. If you don’t want to sell something, you just don’t carry it.

    Are some retailers likewise boycotting this gay marriage comic arc for their own personal reasons, or are they all okay with it?

  6. James says:

    Eaglesham and $3 for the ‘wedding issue’ would of been a must buy for me! – I would of brought the whole arc!

    Look at what we got instead! :(

  7. Shawn Kane says:

    Alpha Flight doesn’t work for me unless John Byrne is doing it.

  8. This was the first Alpha Flight I like since the Byrne version, mostly because it looked like Byrne’s designs and characters. Good book!

  9. Eaglesham just retracted his statement. he checked his notes and realized they had never actually planned the wedding, so it was always going to take place in an X book.

  10. Snikt Snakt says:

    Alpha Flight is like DC’s The Outsiders to me, two loser teams that can never sustain a book in this day & age, no matter who they get to work on it…

  11. snikt snakt said: alpha flight is like dc’s outsiders to me, two loser teams that can never sustain a book in this day & age……

    which will lead to the latest and greatest brain child ever from marvel & dc: the greatest cross-over event that everybody thought would never happen. preeeesenting the ALPHA FLIGHT/OUTSIDERS 12 issue maxi- series cross-over event!!!!!!!!!! coming soon!!!!!! :)

  12. Snikt Snakt says:

    abc,

    they’ll just cancel it at the midpoint anyway and say it was, “a maxi-series changed to a mini-series”! :-P

Trackbacks

  1. […] issue #51, the wedding issue. (The idea of the gay wedding, by the way, turned out not to have been Liu’s, but an editorial decision from long ago.) The action part of the […]

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