Writer David F. Walker claimss that Marvel Comics decided to cancel his 2016 Nighthawk ongoing title two days before the first issue hit stands. Launched in May 2016 with series artist Ramon Villalobos, Nighthawk debuted as the 50th highest-selling book of the month in the North American direct market.
"I got the call that the series was cancelled the week the first issue came out (the first issue came out on a Wednesday, and the series was cancelled on the Monday before it debuted)," Walker wrote on his website. "At the time, I had four issues of Nighthawk written, and was working on the fifth. Knowing the book was ending with issue #6, I was able to go back and rewrite #4, and then rework what had been planned for #5 and #6, giving the series a more complete ending (while having to dump a ton of story)."
Walker said that Nighthawk was the first series he had written for Marvel, but it "went on the back-burner" while he worked on his second project, Power Man & Iron Fist. The writer described Nighthawk as "the most creatively challenging and difficult of the projects I wrote for Marvel."
"The Nighthawk series that I pitched, and spent quite a bit of time developing was not the series that would eventually be published by Marvel in 2016. Ultimately, the series would undergo a ton of changes," Walker said. "Everything from the main story to the villain all changed from what had been originally pitched, making Nighthawk the most creatively challenging and difficult of the projects I wrote for Marvel. I will detail some of the original ideas and changes in a later post, but for now I’ll say that overall I’m happy with how it all turned out (though I’m not convinced the final version is better than what I had originally intended)."
Anecdotally, Walker said of all the work he has done for Marvel so far, Nighthawk is the one he hears most about from readers.
"One of the most interesting things about Nighthawk is that it was a commercial failure, and yet of all the Marvel books I’ve written, it is the series I hear about most from fans," he said. "It has garnered a cult following (for which I am truly thankful), despite the fact it was cancelled before the first issue was on the stands."