In the early 2000s, Wildstorm’s Cliffhanger imprint was home to a number of exciting new comic book series, including Danger Girl, Battle Chasers, and Crimson. However, it was the release of Steampunk in spring 2000 that marked the high point for the imprint. Created by artist Chris Bachalo and writer Joe Kelly, Steampunk was a unique and imaginative series that followed the story of Cole Blaquesmith, a poor fisherman who falls in love with a teacher named Fiona in the mid-18th century.
Despite its creative storytelling and beautifully detailed art, Steampunk struggled to find a mainstream audience and was cancelled after just 12 issues, originally planned for 24. While the series did have its supporters, including Bachalo himself, it ultimately couldn’t compete with the other titles in the Cliffhanger line and was unable to sustain its publication.
The end of Steampunk also marked the beginning of the end for the Cliffhanger imprint as a whole. Despite the release of new miniseries in the following years, including High Roads, Arrowsmith, The Possessed, and Kamikaze, the imprint had lost much of its initial momentum and the departure of its original founders led to its eventual merger with Homage Comics in 2004 to form the Wildstorm Signature Series.
Looking back, Steampunk remains a memorable and beloved series for its dedicated fans, but its cancellation marked the end of an era for Wildstorm’s Cliffhanger imprint.