Marvel Cancels S.W.O.R.D Series

The rumors of an untimely demise may have been untrue for Mark Twain, but the same can't be said for Marvel's struggling series S.W.O.R.D., a spin-off of the hit series Astonishing X-Men. S.W.O.R.D. stands for Sentient World Observation and Response Department, and while the group played an interesting role during the Secret Invasion storyline with its work against the Skrull threat, it appears that the perceived popularity of the characters and the series did not translate into enough sales power to justify a series of its own. The fifth and final issue will ship in March. On his blog, writer Kieron Gillen confirmed the news, saying that the news didn't come as a complete shock to him, based on the ordering numbers for the series and the way some viewed the art for the characters. This news comes on the heels of two other recent cancellations, the first being the end of Iron Man spin-off War Machine and another that was more recently announced; Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural will conclude its run at five issues. Does this mean that another Sorcerer Supreme will be chosen, or will Doctor Voodoo simply become a supporting player in a future book? Does the failure of S.W.O.R.D. and DV indicate some sort of rejection of these newer characters spun out of iconic ones? Perhaps not, but these are a couple of strikes for Marvel this early in the year!