President Kennedy's Mission, the original comic book series currently being produced by Hermes Press, is being dramatically shortened.
When Hermes introduced the new story in March 2017, it was announced as an "all-new Phantastic adventure [written by] veteran Phantom script writer Ron Goulart [together with] with artist Sean Joyce", and specifically, a "five book story arc".
Unfortunately, these plans have changed - there will now only be three books in the story.
This week, as he concluded his YouTube video promoting Sundays Volume 4, publisher Dan Herman dropped the news, saying "Phantom #2 the [President Kennedy's Mission] comic book has been printed and will be in stores. Phantom #3 is being coloured and will be out shortly. Then the whole story will be collected into a graphic novel."
ChronicleChamber has since confirmed with Managing Editor at Hermes Press Eileen Sabrina Herman, who told us that "we had to cut the comic to three issues. Our sales for the comic are as such that doing a 5 story arc would not work for us financially, unfortunately."
This will be disappointing for phans, but speaks simply to the realities that if we do not buy Phantom products, new ones will not get made.
Looking optimistically at the situation, Dan did say in the video that instead of the standard 20 page comics they have been producing, #3 will be almost 30 pages long. Also, we will now not have to wait as long for the trade paperback collection of the story, and Hermes is well known for the quality of their TPBs.
However, the simple fact is that what was probably going to be around a 100 page story will now only be approximately a 70 page story.
On the bright side Hermes' reprints of the Avon Phantom novels, the continuation of which which also seemed under threat late last year, look to be in the full swing of production. In the video, Dan says that #5 and #6 have just been printed, with #7 and #8 going to the printer next week.
However, the shortening of the President Kennedy's Mission series is clear proof that phans cannot just expect that these Avon reprints will continue without some effort on our part. "Remember you have to buy them or we can't print them, because we have to have adequate sales to justify printing them," Dan reminds us.
Hermes Press are aiming to have between two and four more Avon volumes out before then end of 2018, which may well mean that a run from 1-12 may be available for your Christmas advent calendar this year. There are 15 books in the complete series though so maybe pre-order them, just to be sure the last three get made!