Great Unresolved Comic Stories?

Are there any great unresolved comic stories? From when a book was cancelled, perhaps, and loose ends weren’t resolved, or when a creative team changed and a book went in a different direction?

44 Responses to “Great Unresolved Comic Stories?”

  1. Caroline Says:

    Huh, you know, I feel like that kind of thing happens all the time, but I can’t actually think of specific examples. I’ll be interested in what people come up with!

  2. A. David Lewis Says:

    Two come to mind, though they may have been dealt with in some obscure mini-series or somesuch that I never saw:

    1. How/when/why did Ricochet Rita become Spiral in Longshot’s Mojoverse? I was very invested in the Art Adams series and even in the character when he joined the X-Men, but this only ever seemed alluded or reported, not narrated, you know?

    2. Hypertime. Jonathan Kent. Where’d he/it go? Just…poof?

  3. buzz Says:

    D’ARC TANGENT was an indie b+w by Phil Foglio and Freff (aka Connor Cochran) that had one of the greatest first issues ever, setting the stage for a massive, sprawling space opera with a dozen vivid, compelling characters — and the project fell apart over creative differences before any work was done on issue #2. Somewhere, in some alternate universe, the hard bound gns of D’ARC TANGENT sit on a shelf next to AT LAST, DANGEROUS VISIONS…

  4. Ray Radlein Says:

    Bill Willingham, Coventry. Since it lasted only three issues, the whole damn thing was unresolved.

  5. Jane Says:

    I am still holding a lighter aloft and hollering for the end of Replacement God.

  6. Jamie Coville Says:

    Alan Moore’s Big Numbers comes to mind.

  7. Tommy Raiko Says:

    I don’t think it counts as “great” but another famously unresolved comics story is DC Comics’ late 1980s series SONIC DISRUPTORS, which was supposed to be a 12-issue maxi-series but only saw 7 issues published.

  8. sairuh Says:

    [Long time reader, first time poster here! I’ve enjoyed reading your column for a while, and now you touch upon something that’s been pecking at the back of my mind for years.] Strange Attractors comes to mind, as does Private Beach and Amy Unbounded. Of course, there’s also the obvious: Moore and Gaiman’s Miracleman and The Tick.

  9. ADD Says:

    I’m still waiting for Alan Moore’s 1963 Annual, with art by Jim Lee, to wrap up the events of the six-issue miniseries.

    I also wish Moore’s Youngblood, and Glory, had continued.

  10. Reeve Says:

    Two manga examples spring to mind: X (aka X/1999) by CLAMP and Descendants of Darkness by Yoko Matsushita. Both have been on hiatus for years now.

  11. Johanna Says:

    Wow, such memories y’all are bringing back! Thanks for the help. Especially Sairuh’s list — so many indy favorites there.

  12. Johnny Bacardi Says:

    The Helfer/Baker Shadow series. We were all set for a big showdown between mecha-Shiwan Khan and mecha-Shadow, and suddenly we were back in the 30’s and playing it straight and dull with a brand new series.

  13. Greg McElhatton Says:

    So many ones already mentioned! I would’ve said Galaxion but Tara Tallan actually brought it back… well, there was Teri S. Wood’s Darklight, for which she completed three issues and then (if I remember correctly) had a falling out with her publisher and stopped working on it.

  14. RAB Says:

    A little something called Omega the Unknown by Steve Gerber, Mary Skrenes, and Jim Mooney?

    Or maybe the Fourth World saga by an obscure creator named Jack Kirby? (Yes, a decade later Kirby did The Hunger Dogs but any careful reader knows that was not remotely the conclusion Kirby originally had in mind.)

  15. Andre Says:

    In Amy Unbounded’s case, I know Rachel Hartman returned to comics with Mad Bun, which finished awhile ago on Girlamatic

    Also, hasn’t the Tick continued publishing? I think Strange Attractors is also a webcomic now… though I’m not sure if any plotlines have been resolved since I haven’t read it all yet.

    I’d love to see more Battle Chasers if only to have a new edition of the older material, or a continuation of doomed manga Alchino, which Tokyopop supposedly commissioned a new volume of a few years ago, had the artist do covers for their Labryinth manga, and sort of forgot about. [for that matter, I think their Dark Crystal comic is also now in limbo since boom studios picked up the license]

  16. Dwight Williams Says:

    Shall I make up a list re: Alpha Flight?

  17. Chris G. Says:

    There were a few more issues of Alan Moore’s Supreme planned when whichever Liefeld company was publishing at the time collapsed.

    We’ve never learned the story of the Legion’s first battle with Mordru, except in a flashback.

    Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers were reportedly planning a follow-up to Dark Detective, but since Rogers’ death DC is uninterested.

  18. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    I would claim that the Third World books are still unresolved. Yes, Kirby came back and did the Hunger Dogs, but it was NOT what he envisioned and was limited to what, 64 pages to resolve such a grand epic. Plus, the Forever People never were brought back in any of Kirby’s stories that I’m aware of.

    I don’t know if one-shots fit, but Dolphin had that one great Showcase issue and then nothing. eventually other creators came in and filled in some blanks, but that was nowhere near what the original most likely would have been.

    and the ultimate was the original Secret Six. again, there was an answer to the origin of Mockingbird that was proposed in Action Comics Weekly, but I’ve never, ever heard from any of the original creative team that it was what they intended.

  19. vid Says:

    For me personally it would be Leave It To Chance. It ended with issue 12 with the supposed death of Chance Falconer’s father. Years later issue 13 came out which I haven’t read but supposedly was the first part of a longer story that hinted that Chance’s father was alive. James Robinson has said that there is no possibility of him and Paul Smith continuing the comic, not even to resolve the plot of Chance’s father.

    David Lapham’s Stray Bullets apparently has only one concluding issue left to finish the series and although he hopes to get back to it some day, financial reasons have prevented him from doing so as he has taken more mainstream work to support his family.

  20. SKFK Says:

    The Eye Of Mongombo by Doug Gray.

    Xenozoic Tales by Mark Schultz.

    The Big Prize/Timedrifter by Gerard Jones.

  21. William Burns Says:

    Messner-Loebs’s Bliss Alley

  22. gary Says:

    they may not be the great stories other mentioned but as anxious 14 yr old they were the greatest stories in the world

    original freedom fighters by bob rozakis

    the odd man by ditko

    and i never felt that primal force was adequately finished

  23. Caroline Says:

    Chris G’s comment about ‘Supreme’ reminds me of Straczynski’s ‘Supreme Power’ reboot, which did some amazing world and character building as a Marvel MAX book, including a flashforward story indicating what the next however many years of the world would be like — and since then has been relaunched twice with completely different characters, not to mention crossing over with the Ultimate Universe.

    I’d really like to know what would have happened with the original story JMS was telling, though that’s probably true of a lot of things he’s written.

  24. Tommy Raiko Says:

    And Caroline’s comment about Straczynski reminds me that his Marvel series “The Twelve” is as yet unfinished, though I think he & Marvel intend to finish it up at some point.

  25. Matthew J. Brady Says:

    Kirby’s OMAC is another example.

    As for current unfinished series, I’m still waiting for the rest of Simon Spurrier and Frazier Irving’s Gutsville.

  26. Stephen Geigen-Miller Says:

    With the completion or return of Beanworld, Galaxion and Ragmop, my list has gotten shorter of late.

    But Stig’s Inferno is still on it.

    And although I’m not sure Zot! qualifies, because it actually concluded at a fine point, I would have liked to see how the forever-1965 plot point was resolved.

  27. Johanna Says:

    Ah, yes, the Twelve. I miss that.

    And nothing wrong with fond nostalgia, Gary.

    I didn’t get the impression that Zot was going to explain that, Stephen. It was just part of its charm, that it was always a good year there.

  28. Ray Radlein Says:

    Is Castle Waiting still pining for the fjords, or is it publishing again? I’m afraid I can never keep track. If the former, it definitely belongs on the list.

    Glad someone reminded me of Private Beach. That’s definitely a disappointment.

    Is Colonia still publishing?

    Crossing the Pacific Ocean, how about Appleseed? And am I ever going to be able to see any more of No. 5 by Taiyo Matsumoto?

  29. Johanna Says:

    Castle Waiting released issue 14 in February and 15 in May, so I’d hope for at least one more yet this year. I think Colonia is dead and gone, though. The old website for Colonia Press has been domain-squatted.

    Since you mention translated manga, I’m surprised Ed hasn’t yet piped in with the second volume of Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga.

  30. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Ray, I don’t remember Appleseed having an unresolved ending. If you’re talking about the rumors of there being a volume 5, Shirow has denied any such plans.

    Johanna, I thought this thread was for unfinished story lines. If we’re allowed to include manga with incomplete translations, then oh boy, can I make a list. Actually, top of the list is Urusei Yatsura by Rumiko Takahashi. Viz only translated 9 of the available 34 volumes. Of course, Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga volume 2. There is Taimashin that ADV only did the first volume. You get the idea.

  31. Johanna Says:

    Well, from a US-centric perspective, it doesn’t matter if a story finished in its home country if we don’t get to see the end here in English.

    I am not at all surprised to hear that Lum ran 34 books. Sheesh!

  32. Ben Towle Says:

    Alas, Ditko’s SHADE THE CHANGING MAN was a victim of the “D.C. Implosion.” It managed at least to end with some closure, though…

  33. Chris G. Says:

    Another Legion one, from way back in v4: We never did learn why Devlin O’Ryan was wearing a Dark Circle mask in that one panel, did we?

  34. Keith Says:

    I thought the Jim Shooter helmed Defiant universe got off to a great start but we never even got to the big first crossover story that all the books were building towards…

    The other that comes to mind is the Barry Windsor-Smith Storyteller series (Freebooters in particular) that all never properly finished.

    For that matter, I would have loved to see where Shooter, Windsor-Smith, Lapham and the others would have taken the Valiant universe had Shooter not gotten fired…

  35. afdumin Says:

    Chester Brown’s Underwater

  36. Hsifeng Says:

    Ed Sidemore Says:

    “…If we’re allowed to include manga with incomplete translations, then oh boy, can I make a list…”

    …and if we’re allowed to include bédé with incomplete translations, me too.

    TokyoPop did translate the follow-up to Angel and Angel Nest, Angel Town, but only in German instead of English too.
    TokyoPop did translate The Aromatic Bitters vol. 2, but only in German instead of English too.
    TokyoPop hasn’t translated Suppli after vol. 3, but lists it up to vol. 9.
    NBM hasn’t translated Wake after vol. 7, but lists it up to vol. 11 and says “Editeur : Delcourt (1 octobre 2009)” for vol. 12.

  37. charles yoakum Says:

    Keith – the Schism books were ok, but not great from wha was done. I should know, i was there.

    there are too many to name, but i’d love to see the original ending to the Soulfather saga that iron man was building to in 1972, rather than how it actually ended…

    and yes, the Third World series. the last great unresolved storyline from the Kind. Howzabout the resolution to the Thor/Galactus series that the Jack kirby collector brought up the last issue? That would have been cool.

  38. Anthony Says:

    From a few years ago, I’d say the 2007 Zoo Crew miniseries still needs a full resolution. While “Final Crisis” undid that series’ awful (non-)ending, it still leaves unresolved, erm, the fact that Starro’s presumably (last I checked) ruling over a flooded Earth-C… meh…

  39. Johanna Says:

    Hsifeng: Oh, yeah, I’d forgotten about how the Erica Sakurazawa series from Tokyopop ended on a cliffhanger. And I’m still hoping (probably futilely) for more Kindaichi Case Files from them.

    Anthony: Does that mean that they’re not mute regular animals any more?

  40. Ray Radlein Says:

    There may not actually be an Appleseed Volume 5, but Shirow’s always been pretty clear that there should be, and maybe even that there would be, someday, maybe.


  41. kjchen Says:

    Many favorites of mine were listed already, so I vote for Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid, and Geigen-Miller/Beettam’s Xeno’s Arrow.

  42. Johanna Says:

    Awww… that’s the first one that really hurt my heart. Xeno’s Arrow was a fine comic I miss.

  43. Stephen Geigen-Miller Says:

    Johanna, kjchen, thank you — that’s very kind of you both.

  44. tenchimyo Says:

    I recall that Archie’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (TMNT) was canceled before their last story arc (The Forever War), which is allegedly going to be released this year is what I heard.

    Kinda geeky and stupid, but I loved that comic




Most Recent Posts: