Chelsea Cain has had quite the experience writing for Marvel Comics. First, her critically acclaimed Mockingbird series was canceled after 8 issues, and Cain faced an avalanche of hateful, sexist harassment from trolls on social media. Now she has been hit with the cancellation of what was supposed to be the release of her miniseries, “The Vision”.
Entertainment Weekly reports that due to Marvel’s editorial plans regarding Vision and his teenage daughter Viv, “sources tell EW that this decision was not made lightly,” and “For her part, Cain tells EW she found out the news on Tuesday, and is still just as shocked as anyone else”. Chelsea Cain states that “I was offered the gig in July of 2016,” and “At that point, Mockingbird had been (stealth) canceled after issue #3, but I had been asked not to make that public until the eighth issue had been published.” Cain goes on to say that “I was asked to tell a Vision story that focused on Vision and his teenage daughter, Viv, who, at the time, had just been introduced into the Marvel Universe. I pitched the idea of my husband co-writing it with me. Marc is a writer, and we once co-wrote an illustrated book called Does This Cape Make Me Look Fat? Pop Psychology for Superheroes. Also, we have a teenage daughter. So Marc brings a unique authority to the subject matter.”
Bleeding Cool has reported that Cain and her husband, Marc Mohan, completed 4 issues of the miniseries and submitted one completed issue to Marvel. Cain openly wonders why Marvel would go through all the trouble to commission the miniseries, announce it in a huge way at Comic-Con, and add it to their solicitations just to cancel it. EW reports that Marvel did not provide a comment when contacted.
Cain states that she and her husband’s approach to the series would revolve around “‘a father-daughter story ‘about ‘the efforts of an emotionally-stunted man to reach out and connect with his ‘woke’ teenage daughter'” EW also received comments from Cain regarding a tweet she posted referencing the power dynamic between comic book artists/writers and comic book publishers after news of the cancellation went public: “The comic book industry is made up of freelancers. I think a lot of readers don’t understand the extent of that reality, certainly any comic book by Marvel or DC, those are the work of freelancers: Colorists, inkers, pencilers, letterers, cover artists, and writers. The editors work for the company. The freelancers don’t. Maybe some of them have exclusive contracts, which means that they get a little bit more money per page, and absolutely no benefits or protections, plus they don’t get to work for anyone else — but basically, every comic you pick up has been made by someone without health insurance. But these freelancers are still expected to behave like employees. They are told what to say and when to say it… I’ve said it before, but this whole industry is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. It’s astonishing.” Cain states she experienced this treatment directly following the cancellation of Mockingbird and the ensuing toxic harassment she faced, effectively saying she was left hanging out to dry by the publisher.
Cain tells EW that she’s never actually had a negative interaction with anyone at Marvel. Cain does feel that she is surprised that these same decent people haven’t tried to do a better job of representing the writers and artists that work for them. Hopefully Marvel, DC, and other publishers will heed Chelsea Cain’s words and do a better job of communicating with, protecting, and promoting the creators that work for them.