Mysterious Ways

Last week Peter David signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Comics. The contract has exceptions for stuff he’s already working on, like the Spike mini-series and Fallen Angel (both at IDW). The comments on that post linked to an interview at CBR, which had this interesting remark:

DC has been great and I’m very pleased and relieved, bizarrely enough, that they cancelled “Fallen Angel.” Had they not, I’d be in a very tough position because if they were still publishing it and Marvel wanted me to go exclusive, well they certainly wouldn’t have let me keep writing “Fallen Angel” for DC. So, I would have had to make a really tough choice—weigh a comic book I love against my family’s security and health. Fortunately enough I was spared having to make that decision.

It reminded me of the time I realized that VR.5‘s cancellation freed up Anthony Stewart Head to join the cast of Buffy. Or that the Sci Fi Channel turned down the B5 spinoff Crusade in part because they’d just launched Farscape.

I do wonder, though. JMS also had several books grandfathered in when he signed an exclusive with Marvel. Those included Rising Stars and Dream Police at Top Cow… and a Babylon 5 graphic novel for DC/Wildstorm (which has yet to be finished). I suspect the facts that it was a media license and a one-shot probably helped.

It’s also interesting to read Peter David’s comments about Fallen Angel and Icon. You’d think Marvel’s Icon label would be perfect—bigger circulation, lower price, still creator-owned—but IDW put so much effort into relaunching the book that he felt it would be wrong to just pack it in and take it to another publisher as long as they still wanted to publish it.

It would have been odd, though. I wonder how many books have, at different times, been published by both Marvel and DC? The only one that comes to mind right now is Elfquest. Marvel reprinted the original series through Epic in the 1980s, and DC is now handling the manga-sized reprints, the Archive editions, and new stories (still from Wendy and Richard Pini).

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