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.
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.