The most surprising thing in today’s new Marvel solicitations? Probably the re-appearance of Powers: Bureau #1-2, now both scheduled for a February release. What’s so surprising, perhaps, is that there’s no text noting that these are re-solicitations and previous orders have been cancelled. After all, #1 was originally solicited as Powers: FBI (before someone at the FBI likely stepped in and told Bendis and Oeming that they weren’t allowed to use the Bureau’s name commercially) way back in April for a July 2012 release, with #2 appearing in the October solicits as Powers: The Bureau.
Of course, this shouldn’t really come as a surprise; Powers, like all of Bendis’ creator-owned work, has historically run amazingly late. The previous issue of the series, Powers #11 was released on August 29 this year, having been originally solicited for November 2011, for example, although that’s hardly the worst offender for lateness: the sixth issue of Scarlet, Bendis’ series with Alex Maleev, is currently scheduled for a December release despite its original solicitation for June 2011. And as for Brilliant, his series with Mark Bagley… Well, who knows what’s going on with that one; it’s been late since the first issue (Ironically, when announcing that initial delay, Bendis wrote “Subsequent issues of Brilliant will ship on time.” Not one issue of Brilliant has yet managed to ship on its originally scheduled release date).
It’d be nice to think that the resolicit of Powers: Bureau marks a do-over for the series – Well, a do-over for its scheduling, as well as a do-over for the content, I mean – and that the title will actually start to ship when promised in future. I hope so; considering that all of the creators involved with these books are busy elsewhere – Bendis is busy producing a ridiculous amount of work for Marvel on a regular basis, and Oeming, Bagley and Maleev have all had other work out during these delays, which, really, explains the delays – it feels unfair to blame them for not being able to produce even more work, but at the same time: Stop promising ship dates that you can’t hit, people.
Really, the problem lies with being overly optimistic when soliciting the material, and especially when soliciting the later issues of a series; if Brilliant #4 isn’t anywhere near completion until, let’s say, July (It was finally published in August this year, originally solicited for January), then do not solicit #7 for August. That’s just inviting upset and snarky blog posts like this one…