The End of the LIne, an introduction

I have thought about this series of columns for years.

I have a bizarre obsession with lines of comics like, for example, the New Universe or Comics Greatest World or First Wave. I love imprints of interconnected superhero books that ultimately fail. I love tracking down every issue of the line and then reading all of them in the order in which they were released.

It's pathological.

Why do I love these defunct groups of comics so much?

First, the fact that they are no longer has a lot of appeal. They've ended, so I can read them as if they're a single story, even if they're not. And there's something satisfying about being able to read an entire line of comics.

It's also fascinating to watch a pattern unfold with each of these lines. It is always the same. There's enthusiasm to start, the line expands, sales diminish, the line cuts back, there's some big event meant to generate interest, the line is remade (not always relaunched) after said event, it still gets canceled. This happens every time. It's amazing to follow.

I also love what each line of comics says about the time when it was published. They are often a snapshot of what was popular in comics at that time, as a publisher tries to cash in on the latest trend.

So what can you expect from The End of the Line?

Here's what I have set aside to write about so far:

Acclaim
AD&D
Broadway Comics
Comics Greatest World
Continuity Comics
CrossGen
DC Focus
Defiant
First Wave (DC)
Impact
Marvel 2099
MC2
Milestone
New Universe
Project Black Sky
Razorline
Shadowline Saga
Tangent Comics
Ultraverse
Valiant (original)
Weirdoverse

That above list is a starter. You should also note that reviewing the Ultraverse may not happen, as I recently tried to reread those books and Gerard Jones' name is on so much of it that it was really, really hard for me to stomach (Chaos Comics has the same issue).

I'm also open for suggestions of other lines of comics, so let me know what you'd like to see.

As for HOW I'm going to write about these comics, right now I'm thinking I'll do it chronologically, covering each year that the line was alive in a different post. Most of these didn't last more than a few years at a time, so that shouldn't run on forever.

I have no idea what kind of appeal this will have. I can't imagine that, say, a review of the entire Razorline oeuvre will draw in many readers. But it should be something fun to write about after a glass of whiskey.

Next week: The New Universe!