In case you haven't heard, Marvel Comics has just cancelled X-23, their only title with a female lead character (you could technically count Villains for Hire, but the book is an ensemble and isn't entitled Misty Knight), forcing writier Marjorie Liu, perhaps their highest-profile female writer, onto other projects within the House of Ideas.
Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso has noted that there are "new budgetary mandates" in place at Marvel, which led to the reversal of their decision to make the current Alpha Flight maxiseries into an ongoing. Ostensibly, it could also be blamed for the removal of the Victor Von Doom miniseries and the Destroyers book they announced back at San Diego Comic-Con. Then there's All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes, a miniseries which was cancelled at issue #5 last month and left unfinished, and Iron Man 2.0 is gone, too.
What does this all mean? Well, for X-23 fans, she will start showing up in Avengers Academy – a book that is great, but was also selling less than X-23 was. For those of us concerned with the bigger picture, is Marvel's new owner Disney laying the smack down now that they've got the rights to most of the characters and they don't need actual comics? Or is it just a sign of the down times for the comic book industry as a whole that streamlining is necessary? Will we have to start sacrificing books starring niche characters in exchange for more and more of the big-names? Why can't Marvel get their female characters to support their own books?
Comic fans are a nervous bunch, and we are quick to rash judgment and doomsday scenarios. So let's get all this out of our systems now. Freak out about it now if you'd like, or at least tell us what you think.