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10 Comics That Have Been Dormant For Years (But Are Technically Still Active) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Because of a lack of official cancellation or communication otherwise, these titles are still considered “in publication.”
The unfortunate reality of the comics business is that any title, regardless of its success, can be canceled at any moment. Worse, some titles are as good as dead but are technically still ongoing because publishers won’t say anything about them.
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Because of a lack of official cancellation or communication otherwise, these titles are still considered “in publication.” This is the case, despite the fact that some of these comics haven’t released an issue or even teaser material in the past decade.
Back in its heyday in the 2000s, the Valve Corporation promoted Team Fortress 2 with webcomics. These started out as silly tie-ins for updates but then expanded into detailed worldbuilding and character development. This culminated with Ring Of Fired, a seven-issue arc where Red Team’s mercenaries fought for their jobs and survival.
After sporadically updating between 2013 to 2017, Ring Of Fired quietly stopped at Issue #6. Valve’s silence regarding the comic’s status and the game as a whole led to frustration among fans. Jokes about “Valve Time” have since given way to resignation, with many leaving the comic and once-vibrant Team Fortress 2 fandom in disappointment.
In 2015, the fan-favorite Mega Man comics from Archie Comics went on hiatus. This was announced in Mega Man #55, which wrapped up the recent arcs neatly and even promised to adapt Mega Man 4 when the title came back. Unfortunately, this hiatus turned out to be permanent due to circumstances beyond the creators’ control.
Mega Man’s hiatus started around the same time that Archie canceled Sonic The Hedgehog after barely surviving the legal debacle with Ken Penders and Sonic’s sell to IDW Publishing. Mega Man was acquired and relaunched by Boom! Studios in 2020, leaving the Archie canon effectively discontinued despite the lack of confirmation.
After surviving a dangerous car crash and while under the influence of heavy painkillers, actor Thomas Jane hallucinated intense nightmares about “horrible alien death spiders.” These fever-dreams formed the basis of his comic, Bad Planet, which he pitched to Image Comics and got a bunch of famous comics creators to help him out with.
Bad Planet started in 2005 but was hampered by the creative team’s busy schedules and other delays. By 2013, only eight issues were finished. Worse, Jane and his main collaborator Tim Bradstreet ran into budgetary problems. Until the two can find more collaborators and funding, their comic will stay in limbo for the time being.
Before Kevin Smith redefined his career by becoming a geek culture celebrity and Masters Of The Universe showrunner, he tried his hand at writing comics for DC Comics. The filmmaker behind Clerks penned solid hits like Batman: Cacophony and Green Arrow: Quiverbut also had major missteps like Batman: The Widening Gyre. 
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Originally planned for twelve issues, Batman’s encounter with a mysterious new vigilante stopped at Issue #6 in 2010 after being plagued by delays caused by Smith’s busy schedule. Rather than make Issue #7, Smith decided to continue the Widening Gyre through a sequel series titled Batman: Bellicosity which, currently, has yet to be published.
Thanks to its enduring infamy, something many people don’t realize about Frank Miller’s notorious The Dark Knight Returns prequel is that it was actually successful. Despite (or because of) its abysmal reception and scheduling delays, the comics sold really well and consistently topped DC Comics’ monthly sales charts.
However, these were not enough to stop publishers from abruptly stopping it in September of 2008. ASBAR stopped in its tenth issue, just when its writing improved significantly. DC Comics hasn’t released an official statement regarding the comic’s status, although many believe it was canceled after it turned Batman into an edgy and violent caricature.
Christian Gossett’s The Red Star first began in 2000 and is yet to be finished. That being said, this fantastical reimagining of the Soviet Union’s history is only still ongoing because it has a mere eighteen issues to its name, which were finished in the span of eight years. What’s more, these eighteen issues were spread across four volumes and two publishers.
The first two volumes (ten issues) were published by Image Comics, while the next two (eight issues) were made under Archangel Studios. Gossett continues to work in comics, but he hasn’t released anything new for The Red Star in almost two decades. At most, IDW reprinted the comics, and rumors of a yet unrealized film adaptation continue to circulate.
In 2005, writer Warren Ellis tried something different. Together with 30 Days Of Night‘s artist Ben Templesmith, Ellis wrote a procedural detective series for Image Comics where each issue contained a fully realized arc as opposed to dragging out one case over many issues. The experiment paid off, with Fell garnering nine critically acclaimed issues.
However, Fell suddenly stopped in 2008. Ellis, who’s already known for missing deadlines and long hiatuses, admitted that this was due, in part, to a hard drive crash that corrupted Fell’s scripts, among others. Furthermore, plans to revive the detective comic in 2021 were immediately scrapped in light of Ellis’ exposed sexual misconduct.
Between 1998 to 1999, Kevin Smith wrote the critically acclaimed Daredevil event Guardian Devil, where Matt Murdock wrestled with his Catholic faith and faced Mysterio at his deadliest. This earned goodwill from Marvel Comics, and Smith capitalized on this to write Bullseye’s reboot in the 2000s before Brian Michael Bendis could.
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Daredevil/Bullseye: The Target was a limited series where Daredevil had to stop Bullseye from assassinating a mysterious target, but only one issue made it to print. Smith admitted that he lost interest almost as soon The Target started, and he regrets rushing it just so he could get Marvel to hold true to their verbal agreement in the ’90s.
Image Comics founder and comics creator Rob Liefeld is infamous for many things, one of which is his inconsistent work ethic. Liefeld had a bad habit of excitedly starting up superhero comics before losing interest and abandoning them for his next big idea. Without a doubt, Youngblood is the most notorious example of this mindset in action.
Youngblood started in 1992, but only had fourteen issues by 1996. Part of the delays stemmed from Liefeld’s falling out with Image Comics, which ended with him leaving with the team’s rights. He published Issue #14 under his new company Maximum Press, but before properly ending the story, he gave up and hired Alan Moore to reboot the team.
The thing about The Tick is how he’s known more for his adaptations rather than his original source material. The eccentric superhero parody was first created by Ben Edlund in 1986, and he made his debut under New England Comics in 1988. After twelve issues, the comic stopped just when The Terror and his minions were about to ambush the hero.
This was because Edlund moved on to other creative ventures, namely The Tick on Fox Kids. Despite this, The Tick continued to cameo in other comics, keeping his popularity alive. His story kind of closed with The Pseudo-Tick #13 in 2000, although New England Comics emphasized that it was a placeholder for Edlund’s true (still unmade) conclusion.   
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CBR Staff Writer Angelo Delos Trinos’ professional writing career may have only started a few years ago, but he’s been writing and overthinking about anime, comics and movies for his whole life. He probably watched Neon Genesis Evangelion way too much, and he still misses video stores. Follow him at @AD3ofc on Twitter, or email him at delos3nos1992@gmail.com.

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