Marvel has canceled its Star Wars: Shadow of Vader miniseries following the firing of its writer, Chuck Wendig, seemingly over his social media presence.
The news was first discovered by comics retailers who noticed that Shadow of Vader #1 was not available for pre-order from Marvel’s solicits for January 2019, the book’s announced release month. Sources at Marvel have confirmed to Polygon that the series will not be moving forward.
At the time of his removal, Wendig had already completed work on three issues of the five-issue series. The author, comics writer and Lucasfilm expanded universe storyteller was unexpectedly removed from Shadow of Vader shortly after the book was announced at New York Comic Con’s Lucasfilm Publishing panel in October. At the time, Marvel did not offer comment as to why it removed Wendig, but the writer said his editor told him it was because of “too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity” in his Twitter presence.
“I mean, it’s a bummer,” Wendig told Polygon of the book’s official cancellation. “I wrote the hell out of a few scripts and outlined a few more, and the books had a few small to large touchstones to my [Star Wars] novel series, Aftermath. And there was tons of excitement over the book at NYCC. But Marvel has to do what Marvel has to do. Mostly I think they put themselves in a bad position by the way they knocked me from the book in the first place — and I’m sad that this was continued fallout from that. Onward, I suppose, to bigger and better things!”
Marvel has made headlines several times in the past two years over the political actions or speech of its creatives. Wendig’s firing happened three months after Marvel and Lucasfilm’s parent company, Disney, fired James Gunn after a far-right harassment campaign resurfaced offensive tweets from his account; and one month after Marvel unexpectedly fired Chelsea Cain, another left-leaning novelist/comics writer who is often outspoken on social media. Cain had been working on a six-issue Vision miniseries that would follow up on Marvel’s highly regarded 12-issue miniseries Vision, written by Tom King.
The artist on Marvel’s most recent Cable series, Jon Malin, made waves in January 2018 — after his book’s cancellation had already been announced — with tweets saying that Nazis were “SJWs.” In April 2017, Marvel fired Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf after he snuck anti-Semitic and anti-Christian references into the backgrounds of X-Men Gold #1.