One person who I have been in frequent discussion with cites a vague Marvel press release from some time ago which explained that the series was being demoted to a mini but with the express possibility that it would become an ongoing if it sold well enough. He cites that as it didnt become an ongoing therefore it couldnt have sold enough. I'm not willing to accept that explanation basically because all my research reveals simply that Omega Flight probably couldnt have sold any more.
The first weakness in arguments that the book didnt sell enough is the fact that Omega Flight #1 sold out every last copy. That being the case then it surely met with an exceeded Marvels expectations. It also had a reprint that in turn sold out.
Issues 2 through to five sold margainly less than the initial print of #1 although this would be expected for any comic. What I can say for sure however is that the rest of the series after #1 suffered only minor 'drop-offs' in readership that were better than most series achieve.
Not taking into account the reprint, #1 sold 58,000 whilst #5 sold 49,000. to put that into perspective recently released books like Thor suffered a 35% drop-off between #1 and #2 alone, Moonkinght a 28% drop-off, New Exiles a 28% drop-off, Captain America 21%, Iron Man 23%, The Initiative 19% and so on.
Another interesting fact that I discovered was that Omega Flight was the top selling mini-series of its five month release period with the exception of World War Hulk, Fallen Son, Marvel Zombies and the Illuminati - all high end concepts or big crossovers.
Omega flight also consistantly outsold many established Marvel ongoing titles such as Daredevil, Punisher MAX, War Journel, Exiles, X-Factor, New X-Men and a good number of others.
All of this leads me to believe that whatever the reason the franchise wasnt given another opportunity it wasnt because the mini-series didnt perform well enough.
Now objectively as a fan I have to admit that Omega Flight is not the story it could have been. That said Oeming was forced to slash and burn a story that was two arcs long and intended for an ongoing title in order to dump them into five issues and he's already explained to the fans quite clearly that this wasnt the best he could do and that this wasnt the story he intended to give us.
In terms of quality alone I'm sure that someone - if not Oeming himself - could do better with the franchise, and this is one of the only explanations for why Marvel abondoned plans for an ongoing that make sense as far as I can see.
Marvel have displayed an amazing recent ability to completely revitalise ailing concepts and turn them into top selling titles with Captain America and Avengers probably being the best examples. In light of this I can only imagine that somewhere down the line Marvel has plans to give the Alpha/Omega Flight franchise similar treatment with a bigger push, more publicity and a more high profile creative team. As much as I like Oeming as a writer he is still best known as the artist on someone elses book, and Kollins work for Marvel has been steady and infrequent at best.
In any case the only thing that gives me any solice for the lack of an ongoing title is this strong belief that something better than what we would have got is somewhere round the corner.
Certainly the fact that Omega Flight appeared to buck all sales trends for a series of its type yet apparantly didnt deserve an ongoing title whilst apparantly less deserving concepts such as She-Hulk struggle to get the 25K sales needed each month to stave off cancellation continues to confuse me.
In the meantime I guess that I'll have to console myself with USAgent kicking the crap out of Michael Pointer over in Marvel Comics Presents!
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