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CSBG Archive

The I’ds of March 2010

The concept is this – I tell you things that I’d have done in certain comics!!

But don’t worry, I’m not talking about simple 20/20 hindsight things like pick a famous bad storyline and just say, “I wouldn’t have done that.”

No, I mean more like tweaks and nudges, stuff like that.

You can check out past years’ I’ds to see what I’m talking about, or just read on (I’ve decided to consolidate them all into one big post this year to better center the discussion)!

I’d Have Silver Surfer Be Out on His Own Again

To put it simply, if Jack Kirby and Stan Lee think a character set-up is a good one, it’s probably worth following their general lead.

They thought it was a great idea to have Silver Surfer be spurned by his former master, Galactus, and travel the world experiencing new things every day. You can expand that from the Earth to the universe and still get the same basic feel of their plans for the character, but making him go back to being Galactus’ herald?

I don’t think it works – he’s too interesting of a character to have him stuck as Galactus’ herald again.

Free the Surfer!

I’d Have Kept a Certain Character Killed in Cry For Justice Alive.

Spoilers for Cry For Justice!!!!

Okay, like Cry for Justice or hate it, the death of Lian Harper is pretty necessary to the plot of Cry for Justice. It doesn’t mean that it was well-told or a GOOD plot or anything like that, but Green Arrow’s granddaughter pretty much HAD to die (or someone of equivalent importance to him, like Speedy or Dinah or Hal) to get the reaction from Green Arrow that James Robinson wanted in the series. So I don’t think it is fair for me (or anyone else) to say “I’d have kept Lian Harper alive,” because that’s not a tweak or a nudge – it would drastically change the story.

However, having one of the very few gay superheroes (and one of the coolest ones, at that) killed off IN A FLASHBACK did not seem to be a particularly important plot point, and the same gag (showing the big bad guy using the hero’s hide as a rug) could have been achieved through any number of truly unremarkable characters (or even a new character), so I’d have kept Tasmanian Devil alive.

I’d Make the Red Hulk be Thunderbolt Ross

I know that Ross was sort of the “obvious” choice for the alter-ego of the Red Hulk, but just because it’s the obvious choice doesn’t mean that it is a BAD choice!

Having Ross turn into the very thing that he’s been trying to chase down for years, and then finding out that he LIKED it?

That’s a great twist on the old Ross/Banner dynamic, particularly for a character like Ross who wasn’t exactly getting a lot of screen time anyways.

I find it hard to believe that the Red Hulk’s actual identity will be cooler than Ross (maybe somehow it IS Ross! But it’s most likely going to be Clay Quartermain).

I’d Have the Lead of Haunt Have a Different Job When the Series Began.

The main character of Haunt (about a guy who merges with the ghost of his dead brother to form a super powered being) was a priest when the series began. For, like, no reason that I can see so far (and he no longer IS a priest anymore). It’s a distracting plot point in that it really doesn’t seem to have a purpose, we never really get to see any sort of guilt (or hell, even any real response from other characters) over his role as a priest mixing with his several vices of his, and now he’s no longer a priest – so what was the point? It was basically worth one fairly cheap gag in #1 (look, he went to a hooker but he’s a priest!!) then never really used again – I’d have just dropped that aspect of the character period.

I’d Bring the X-Men Down to a Consistent, Moderately-sized Team.

I really think that, while the whole “Every mutant in the same area” concept is an interesting one in general, when it comes to a regular title it is better to have a consistent main cast of characters. There were a lot of characters in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, but he had a main cast, and it was relatively small.

Joss Whedon continued in this vein, and Warren Ellis after him.

But I think based on a good idea (at the time) of “Why shouldn’t Uncanny X-Men get to use cool characters like Cyclops and Emma Frost TOO?,” we got this gigantic cast of X-Men, and I think the book works best with a small, consistent, moderately-sized team.

It can even use the same characters who are in Astonishing if you’d like to keep using Cyclops and Emma Frost and Wolverine, just get a regular team!

I’d Have Brian K. Vaughan Write Another Comic!

Come on, Brian, we’re dying here! You’re too awesome not to write any new comics!

I’d Make the Masters of Evil a Major Avengers Foe Again

So it’s been, what, twenty years since the Avengers fought the Masters of Evil in the pages of the Avengers?

Doesn’t that just sound WRONG to you? They used to fight the Masters of Evil a lot! Like, a dozen times in the first twenty years of the Avengers, but just the one time in the twenty years since, and that time wasn’t even in their own title, but rather in the early issues of the Thunderbolts when the Masters were passing themselves off as heroes.

I guess The Hood’s league of super-villains is BASICALLY the Masters of Evil, but I’d prefer the “real” thing.

I’d Have Kept One Couple Apart at the End of Y the Last Man

Spoilers for the end of Y the Last Man!

I really didn’t like that Hero and Beth got together at the end of Y the Last Man. It seemed way too “cutesy” in a sort of “hey, guess what, everyone you knew ended up with everyone else you knew!” way. I’m glad Yorick didn’t end up with Beth, and I guess Vaughan figured it would save space in the final issue by having the two characters together (so he wouldn’t have to do two separate “wrap up” visits), but it really took me out of the moment to see how two basically random characters (who both happened to be major cast members of the title) end up together at the end.

I’d Have Roger Stern and John Byrne do Their Red Skull Three-Parter as a Prestige Format Series

Whether an extra-long one-shot (or hell, a three-issue mini-series), I’d bring Roger Stern and John Byrne back to finish the story that they were prepared to do before they left Captain America almost thirty years ago.

They were willing to do it in the past, so it’s up to Marvel (well, okay, I guess it’s also up to Byrne to work for Marvel again, which might not be a possibility)! This needs to happen!

I’d Give Kieron Gillen SOME Major Book to Write

I get that the thought of having Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker handling the ongoing titles of the Big Three (two for Fraction one for Brubaker) is too cool of an option to pass up, so I don’t blame Marvel for not letting Gillen write Thor regularly, but he’s surely shown that he’s not just capable of writing a major character, but that he would THRIVE on such a title – so someone really ought to find a major book he could write! If not at Marvel, maybe DC?

I’d Have Not Killed Stealth

I really don’t understand the concept behind killing off Stealth in REBELS, especially off-panel!! Her relationship with Vril Dox was fascinating – there had to be a better way to set up an adversarial position between Vril and Querl than to kill off Stealth (NOTE: If she returns to life due to Blackest Night, then, well, my apologies for even bringing this up as a complaint).

I’d Reveal That the Time Displaced Alpha Flight Died in The New Avengers’ Collective Storyline

Or that the Time Displaced Alpha Flight (from Scott Lobdell’s Alpha Flight run) are still alive – either or.

In either event, I’d use the gaping loophole Lobdell left for everyone at the end of that series and bring back Alpha Flight.

You don’t even have to use them right away – just establish that they’re alive out there and if someone EVENTUALLY wants to use them, have the option be there.

Open the door, basically.

I’d Bring Wesley Back Into the Pages of Angel

Angel spoilers ahead!

While Wesley did, indeed, die in the last episode of Angel, Joss Whedon made a point of saying that, had the show been renewed for Season 6, Wesley would be back, so now that Angel continues as a comic book, I don’t see the point in keeping Wesley out of the comic. He was a strong part of the After the Fall storyline, and he’d be a great addition to the current cast (which, otherwise, IS a pretty interesting cast, a nice mix of established characters and characters introduced in the comic).

I’d Have Wally West’s Parents Show Up Once in Awhile

While I can understand why people would not be interested in using some of Bill Loebs’ Flash supporting cast like Chunk (although I like him a lot), I really don’t understand why the fact that Wally’s parents are both alive is not more of a plot point in any Flash comic. I mean, Wally’s dad hasn’t appeared in a comic in over ten years! Basically, since Bill Loebs last wrote a Flash (or Flash-related) comic, Wally’s parents have been no-shows.

I think that’s a shame – Bill Loebs did strong work with Wally’s mother, Mary, and his father, Rudolph, and I’d like to see them show up once in awhile.

I’d Give Nick Fury and His Old SHIELD Allies Their Own Book

I LOVE the parts of Secret Warriors spotlighting Nick Fury, Ex-Agent of SHIELD.

I don’t MIND the third-generation superhero characters, but I don’t like them as much in a book that would be near-perfect if it was just Nick Fury, Ex-Agent of SHIELD.

So, well, I suppose I’d like a Nick Fury, Ex-Agent of SHIELD comic, basically.

Those are MY I’ds for this year – now share yours, too!

76 Comments

Get ready for a crap load of OMD comments.
SPOILERS!
Anyway, I’d have kept Ares alive and used him as a backup in the Thor title. Kieron Gillen and… shoot who else? Opena? Or maybe Frank Cho? Cho could handle eight pages a month right? Although, it might be “beneath” Cho to give him a back up.

Do you mean Stealth returning as a Black Lantern, like she did in REBELS #10? Or, like, returning to actual life?

First off, I must disagree with the following statement:

I know that Ross was sort of the “obvious” choice for the alter-ego of the Red Hulk, but just because it’s the obvious choice doesn’t mean that it is a BAD choice!

First off: EVERY choice for a Jeph Loeb mystery, from the obvious choice to the left-field choice is by default a BAD choice because it’s a Jeph Loeb mystery. Theorizing “good” endings to Jeph Loeb mysteries is like theorizing “good” racial genocides: they are by definition bad things. So yes, Thunderbolt Ross is a bad choice for the alter-ego but only because Loeb crafts mysteries in such a way that by the end, no matter who you reveal it will make no sense and be a bad choice. The sentence should read “just because it’s the obvious choice doesn’t mean that it is the WORST choice!”

That being said, I haven’t read the Red Hulk mystery but I will say this:

If General Thunderbolt Ross is the most obvious suspect in the story, and I’ll have to take your word on this since I haven’t read it, than Ross will most likely be the culprit.

Jeph Loeb mysteries usually work like this: set up a mystery, have a really obvious suspect, take said obvious suspect out of the running somehow, then pile on red herring, after red herring after red herring, only to reveal that the original obvious suspect *GASP!* actually was the killer after all and all the subsequent red herrings were nothing but misdirection. He did it for Long Halloween (Alberto falls overboard and seemingly dies, but lo and behold he turns out to be the killer later) and he did it for Hush (Tommy Eliot is “dead” for most of the story but comes back in time at the end to turn out to be the killer.

so someone really ought to find a major book he could write! If not at Marvel, maybe DC?

If he writes at DC under Didio, he’s not enough of a name to get the interference-free treatment from editorial the way Morrison and Johns are, so he’d end up becoming like Dini, McDuffie, Robinson, Bedard, McKeever or any of the other normally good writers who suddenly start doing uneven or flat-out bad writing once they start working for DC under Didio.

If you just want to see him write a major book regardless of quality, sure he could do DC maybe. If you want to see him do GOOD writing on a major book, it’s Marvel or nothing.

If General Thunderbolt Ross is the most obvious suspect in the story, and I’ll have to take your word on this since I haven’t read it, than Ross will most likely be the culprit.

Jeph Loeb mysteries usually work like this: set up a mystery, have a really obvious suspect, take said obvious suspect out of the running somehow, then pile on red herring, after red herring after red herring, only to reveal that the original obvious suspect *GASP!* actually was the killer after all and all the subsequent red herrings were nothing but misdirection. He did it for Long Halloween (Alberto falls overboard and seemingly dies, but lo and behold he turns out to be the killer later) and he did it for Hush (Tommy Eliot is “dead” for most of the story but comes back in time at the end to turn out to be the killer.

Ah, but the person who I think most likely WILL be the Red Hulk HAS been “taken out of the running,” as Clay Quatrermain was killed off in the second issue of Loeb’s Hulk run, but I’m pretty sure that he will still be the guy (as the odds are that the Clay killed in #2 was really a Life Model Decoy).

Do you mean Stealth returning as a Black Lantern, like she did in REBELS #10? Or, like, returning to actual life?

The latter.

M. Cronin,

thank you for sharing my opinion that Clay Quatermain will be revealed to be the Red Hulk. I’ve defended this theory for months and nobody seem to agree with me about it.

I’m absolutely with you on the Nick Fury Agent of Nothing concept. Those are my favorite parts of Secret Warriors, and I’m always wishing for more screen time for the Howling Commandos setup they’ve got going. I like Daisy, but feel that super heroics tend to pull away from how cool Fury and his crew are.

I think part of the appeal of Secret Warriors is that there’s just SO much going on. There are so many moving parts and it’s a little dizzying and there’s something novel and enjoyable about that, because you get the feeling that Hickman has it all thought out and it’s not haphazard. He’s giving you pieces of a puzzle and there’s no telling what it’s going to look like in the end. I think cutting off part of the book would hurt that.

What are the odds of Colonel Glenn Talbot being the Red Hulk? I haven’t been following Red Hulk, but from what little I gather he is probably the best candidate. His hatred of the Hulk (and Banner) was even more irrational than General Ross’.

Another possibility, probably out of the left field, is the honorable Colonel Armbruster, believe to have died in Incredible Hulk #185.

Ah, Brian K. Vaughan, get to work! Just because you can live off your Runaways, Pride of Baghdad, Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina trade doesn’t mean you can’t work again!

I’ve heard he has a project in the works so he is getting back to comics… it’s just a matter of time, right?

*Puts all his BKV trades in his reading pile*

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 15, 2010 at 5:34 am

I’d chain Warren Ellis to his computer to make sure he gets new issues of DESOLATION JONES/FELL/newuniversal out this year.

I’d chain Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz together to finish the remaining issues of BIG NUMBERS.

I’d chain Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham together to finish book 5 and 6 of Marvelman (or Miracleman).

I’m a bit obsessed that way. ;-)

Ah, but the person who I think most likely WILL be the Red Hulk HAS been “taken out of the running,” as Clay Quatrermain was killed off in the second issue of Loeb’s Hulk run, but I’m pretty sure that he will still be the guy (as the odds are that the Clay killed in #2 was really a Life Model Decoy).

AH, in that case I stand corrected and you are totally right.

Consider this another vote for BKV. I just started re-reading Runaways Vol. 1, and realized how far that book had fallen after he left (Whedon’s arc wasn’t terrible, but it definitely wasn’t as good as the early stuff).

I was actually going to suggest Runaways Vol. 1 as an entry for a Year of Cool Comics, but I see they’re already on Brian’s radar… :)

You do know the only reason Wesley was killed off was because the show was ending, right? If it had continued to a sixth season, he wouldn’t have died in the Season Five finale.

I thought the Red Hulk was Talbot after it was clear he wasn’t Ross.

I agree that Tasmanian Devil should not have been killed, but I disagree strongly that Lian should not have been killed. A child’s death is something no one can ever completely recover from. It’s the worst kind of emotional pain a parent could go through. I do not want to read about a character going through that, especially in the shallow way a super-hero comic would present it. I’m not going near a Green Arrow comic for awhile, despite how much I like the character. The whole thing is depressing.

Given Loeb, I’d be half surprised if Red Hulk wasn’t Betty Ross at this point.

i have to concur about Tasmanian devil being killed was wrong in at least the way he was. as for John Bryne going back to marvel and at least doing his never finished cap story with Roger Stern that would be cool but John will never work for Marvel he has no desire to.again. as for Lian being killed. true it was totaly creepy and a little wrong for Dc to okay it but the idea was that the death would cause both Ollie and Roy to wind up having to step up their games as heroes and Ollie wind up doing what Hal did as Paralax. and then the spectre rebirth. me i would make it that Dc is no longer able to kill any character younger then the orignal teen titans. like young kids of some of the heroes. plus would also have Wally parents show up to baby sit the twins.

“So I don’t think it is fair for me (or anyone else) to say “I’d have kept Lian Harper alive,” because that’s not a tweak or a nudge – it would drastically change the story.”

You’re working under the assumption that the new direction given to Green Arrow is a GOOD Idea, which a lot of people, including me, don’t believe. Will all the stuff he’s gone thru the years, he still needs to be made MORE tragic to be appealing!? That’s the kind of thinking that keeps me away from DC comics these days, and which makes me completely distrust “Brightest Day” as another false new start like INFINITE CRISIS was.

I agree with you on Silver Surfer, Masters of Evil, and Nick Fury.

For the X-Men,,, Move the school to Muir Island(Maybe even shift to another dimension) and make it more like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Let’s have five years worth of stories in which the school isn’t destroyed.

I would take many of Bendis’ favorite characters Luke Cage, Spider-Women, etc.. and put them in a Defenders title.

The new Thunderbolts are, Deadpool, Red Hulk, Draken, Mystique, Doctor Faustus, and Sin.

The New Teen Titans Robin(Damian Wayne), Kid Flash, Star-Girl, Braniac-5, and Supergirl.

Seriously, I can’t believe Wally’s parents haven’t shown up at the very least to interact with their grandkids.

I’ve been reading the back issues of Flash and Impluse (I’m up to 2000) and it’s sad how many of Bil’s characters got left by the wayside. I loved Chunk. Man he is a great charatcer plus his relationship with a supermodel was just begging for a little one shot or something to showcase his life. As for Wally’s parent, I mean come on. His Mom is married to a spy and his Dad was in a relationship with a hellspawn. Right there is some amazing story ideas plus his overbearing mom, his loser dad and how they would deal with the grandkids. BTW lets get Bill back on the Flash. I would love to see at least a mini or have him as part of a rotating set of writers on a Flash title.

Great point about Beth in Y last man…that just seemed really forced.

Ex Machina started off great but seemed to lose steam about halfway through….maybe its better for BKV to take his time recharging the old batteries.

Hear, hear on Gillen. Maybe something with Hank McCoy and…nah, never work.

Wally’s parents are alive!?!? I kid (a little). As someone with a soft spot in his nerd heart for the post-Legends Messner-Loebs and Mike Baron Wally, I wholeheartedly endorse the completely logical return to prominence for these characters. I thought Chunk showed up early in Johns’ initial run on the book, though, no?

My personal one for the last few years is – I’d have kept Steve Rogers dead, thus inverting the old chestnut of “no one stays dead in comics, except for Bucky”. I’m a fan of Brubaker’s resurrection of James Barnes, and just think it would be funny if the response to fanboys upset by it was, “but we killed Steve for good!”

because that’s not a tweak or a nudge – it would drastically change the story.

I’d argue that changing that death doesn’t really change Cry For Justice (what happened to Star City plus what happened to Roy are enough to fuel Green Arrow’s actions in that story).

It may change what happens in the follow up to Cry For Justice. (For example, it affects Cheshire.)
——–

As for some I’d's

I’d have pushed some of the revelation of Cupid’s origins to much earlier in Kreisberg’s run on GA/BC. (Remember, I’m only allowed to tweak, whichmeans I can’t ditch Cupid or Kreisberg altogether.) That would have answered the question of “how does a clearly insane woman take out multiple supervillains on her own?” when it needed to be answered.

I’d let Jubilee get her mutant powers back. (I’m not sure how.)

I’d have spent more of World Of New Krypton exploring the culture, and less on the murder mystery and the cameos by various aliens.

I’d have put Mon-El in Action and Flamebird/Nightwing in Superman, rather than vice versa (while keping everything else the same). That way the people who read Superman at least got a regular dose of Lois Lane.

I’d put Cass Cain somewhere.

I’d arrange for the comic book publishers to make baseball style trades. First up, DC sends the Marvel Family to Marvel for the Incredible Hercules.

Why DC does it: the Superman Family makes the Marvel Family pretty redundant. However, the Lee-Kirby version of Hercules is the perfect contrast-rival for Wonder Woman.

Why Marvel does it: the wholesome, ultra-powerful hero type something that they’ve struggled to launch over the years. The Big Red Cheese fills that role perfectly. Plus, all the poverty and physical disabilities of the Marvel family bring some fresh pathos to the Marvel U. The Incredible Hercules is a lot to give up, but they are getting a ton of value in return.

You might need to expand the trade to get the Marvel Family’s traditional antagonists into the deal, but you get the concept.

Baseball-style trades are fun!

I’d have Rorschach’s last line in Watchmen no. 12 be “Rosebud…”

No, I wouldn’t. I got nothin’.

The only thing that was keeping Wally’s parents alive is the fact they haven’t shown up in comics for ten years. Now that you’ve reminded DC that they are out there and are alive, expect to see them die in some horrible attack which will cause Wally to become “proactive” in his fight against crime.

For fun, the following are Cronin’s I’d from 2009 that actually came to pass.

Find a regular role for Amanda Waller: sort of kind of, she has connections to Secret Six now. This is only a partial one.

Bring the Original Human Torch back: Look, there’s a mini about this

Rogue rejoined the X-men

Let Hawkman and Hawkgirl die. (OK, Cronin wanted that to happen in FC 7 and it actually happened in BN 1. :P)

I’d have an entire year where every comic from Marvel and DC has to feature single-issue stories. No exceptions.

because that’s not a tweak or a nudge – it would drastically change the story.

I’d argue that changing that death doesn’t really change Cry For Justice (what happened to Star City plus what happened to Roy are enough to fuel Green Arrow’s actions in that story).

It may change what happens in the follow up to Cry For Justice. (For example, it affects Cheshire.)

I totally agree, if anything Li’an was overkill. Hal Jordan has Coast City’s destruction alone and it was considered enough to make him genocidal in the 90s. Green Arrow has Star City’s destruction plus the maiming of Roy and we’re supposed to believe Li’an’s death was still absolutely necessary to cause him to snap?

The only thing that was keeping Wally’s parents alive is the fact they haven’t shown up in comics for ten years. Now that you’ve reminded DC that they are out there and are alive, expect to see them die in some horrible attack which will cause Wally to become “proactive” in his fight against crime.

True, Didio probably already thought they were dead or else he would have killed them a long time ago.

I’d have spent more of World Of New Krypton exploring the culture, and less on the murder mystery and the cameos by various aliens.

Word! Exploring the guild structure, etc was what drew me in…multi-book crossovers and Jemm Son of Saturn pushed me out.

The only thing that was keeping Wally’s parents alive is the fact they haven’t shown up in comics for ten years. Now that you’ve reminded DC that they are out there and are alive, expect to see them die in some horrible attack which will cause Wally to become “proactive” in his fight against crime.

Ha! Funny because it’s true.

TASMANIAN DEVIL WAS NOT GAY!!!!! (For Justice or any other way)

Brian, I think even you agreed with me on a thread some time back about this. This is one of those things that just won’t die.

TD was not gay. The JLI Australian Embassy legate consul, attache, whatever) was. That;s what was spelled out in Justice League way back when.

Or was Taz later revealed to be gay too? If so, PLEASE quote chapter and verse, so to speak.

Don’t know why this little tidbit always drives me bonkers….i know in the great scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. And if I’m wrong about it, please ignore me altogether.

I checked the 2004 DC Comics Encyclopedia and it says he’s gay. I’d check the 2008, but someone has it checked out at the moment.

Byrne/Stern finally doing their Cap vs. Skull story would be a dream come true. One caveat, however; Byrne would have to draw the series with the same level of skill that he had in the 1980s.

I agree that there´s no point in the lead of Haunt being a priest. Hasn´t been used.

I agree with the ending of Y change and I agree that BKV should write more comics, I remember him mentioning he wasworking on a graphic novel about 18 months ago. Maybe it is taking the penciller longer than anticipated.

In terms of Id´s:

I would have Apollo do more travelling in the human world before he has to fight gods in God Complex. I think making a good case for not being immortal should be provided.

Can´t think of more.

I’d have cancelled Blue Beetle an arc earlier. End Game is the perfect way to end the series, that last trade is a complete tease.

I’d have made Blackest Night an arc in Green Lantern, also would have cut the recruiting.

I’d have put Tony Bedard on an Aquaman book rather than another Green Lantern book.

I’d have come up with a better title than “Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way”

“One caveat, however; Byrne would have to draw the series with the same level of skill that he had in the 1980s.”

Indeed. His current sequentials are kinda “meh”. But if you look at the commission pieces on his website there’s a hint of that old school Byrne there.

1. I’d have made Bart Allen into Impulse (which I said last year), and make Wally West’s kin the new Kids Flash.

2. I’d have had Black Lantern Parademon fight Ragdoll. Okay, I’m guessing that no Fourth World characters could have been brought back, but it was just the one Parademon. Not like I’d ask to resurrect Knockout to torment Scandal.

3. I’d have at least looked into getting Gail Simone on a Catman series. Or maybe a Catman/Deadshot bromance monthly.

4. I’d have tested James Robinson first before letting him drive DC’s company cars. Really, it sucks that a once-great writer has now become Public Enemy No. 1.

5. I’d have kept Ragdoll’s father alive. With Junior dead, the odds of any of Merkel having dysfunctional family crawl from the woodwork are down dramatically.

That’s all I got.

Agree strongly about the X-Men. I’m waiting for the day that Marvel editorial realizes that the X-Men aren’t the company’s cash cow any more, and decides to scale the team down drastically. A series about an emotionally damaged wannabe revolutionary, his not-really-reformed super-villain girlfriend, and 196 of their subordinates on an island doesn’t work.

Just because there’s other cattle in the herd, doesn’t mean the X-men isn’t still a cash cow.

(I like the X-Men lineup as is – if you want to follow just one team, there’s Astonishing; Uncanny does more uber-plotting/societal issues; and…er…Mike Carey’s book does some other thing.)

I’d evenly divide the duties of the Flash family – Wally remains the “spotlight Flash” of Justice League (thereby making sure Wally doesn’t disappear into the DC ether); Barry can stay as headliner of his Flash book; Jay in JSA and Bart in Titans. (Same with the GLs, but I don’t know what their deal is, currently.)

I’d use Paul Cornell to expand Captain Britain/MI:13 into a more Marvel-inclusive book, some kind of Global-Guardians-esque international book that also involves Panther/Wakanda, Silver Sable/Symkeria, and Alpha Flight/Canada. Basically, giving the whole Marvel Earth play that a regular Avengers book (or four) might not utilize.

In the same vein as the Stern/Byrne Red Skull story (great idea),

I’d hire Rick Veitch to tell his Swamp Thing vs. Jesus story (not the actual title I don’t think) that got denied him and cut short his run in the 80′s. Whatever the controversy was, I’m sure Vertigo has published much more daring stuff since then (unless it, too, features an inbred Christ descendant crushed under a fat man dropped from a helicopter).

“Byrne/Stern finally doing their Cap vs. Skull story would be a dream come true. One caveat, however; Byrne would have to draw the series with the same level of skill that he had in the 1980s.”

I think having Joe Rubenstein ink the book would be a must, as well.

And BTW, Chunk is not technically a Bill Loebs character. He was created during Mike Baron’s run on The Flash.

I don’t get the gripes on Uncanny. I think this is the most exciting the book (being Uncanny X-Men and not x-Men or New X-Men or anything else) has been in ages. It actually has a vision and purpose. I love the big scope and the huge stakes.

A series about an emotionally damaged wannabe revolutionary, his not-really-reformed super-villain girlfriend, and 196 of their subordinates on an island doesn’t work.

Agreed. And here’s what I really don’t get. Joe Quesada does House of M with it’s “no more mutants” ending, then gives interviews saying how there was a problem of there being too many mutants out in the world and how the mutant brand was getting diluted as a result.

So let me get this straight, you reduce mutant population down to like 198 mutants worldwide…then increase the X-Men roster to like 75+ mutants…so basically maybe 2/3 of earth’s mutant population is now either an X-Man or an X-villain? What’s the sense in that? There’s less mutants in the world supposedly but now we’re reading about more mutants than ever thanks to this huge, huge roster? How does THAT not dilute the mutant brand?

@ T.

Agreed.

It is, like, Story-Telling 101. First and foremost, mutants are supposed to be an isolated minority. What reinforces a feeling of isolation more: a small cast or a large cast?

Look a movie like ALIENS. In the first act, you are supposed to feel confident in the Marines. There 16 of them. After the first assault, that number is quickly cut to 8. Entering the third act, there are only 4 characters left alive. Would the film have been nearly as effective if the cast were constantly doubling, instead of shrinking?

Willie Everstop

March 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Heh, Quesada gave the Sentinel funding speech as a reason for House of M.

“Sir, there are just far too many Mutants in the world today and it is beginning to compromise the effectiveness of our own operatives. The Mutant Problem must be dealt with immediately.”

John Trumbull, you are quite correct. Rubenstein did a fabulous job inking Byrne’s Cap. Perhaps an inker of Rubenstein’s calibre might bring back some of Byrne’s mojo. After all, Tom Palmer’s inks on X-MEN:THE HIDDEN YEARS actually made Byrne almost look professional again.

I didn’t know the Surfer was working for Galactus again. When did that happen? You’re right, it is a bad idea.

I agree that whittling down the X-Men to a normal size team would be good. I also think they should be restricted to only two series, but only if the two fit together without any contradictions. If they can’t manage that then there should be only one. Also, put them back on the US mainland and avoid major destruction and death for at least a few more years.

I say restrict the Avengers to just two teams, with one on the West Coast as before, or in Europe. And remove Spider-Man from the roster; he doesn’t belong on a team. (He can still drop by and help out fairly often.) And put Wolverine in either the X-Men or the Avengers, but not both. Or if they prefer, he can switch back and forth between the teams every couple of adventures or so.

I had no idea Ross, Quatermain, or Glenn Talbot were suspects for the identity of the Red Hulk. They all sound like bad choices to me. (Why can’t it be just some guy we never heard of?) I didn’t even know Talbot was alive. He’d been dead for years the last time I read a Hulk book.

I think Roger Stern and Peter David should be the main writers of Spider-Man, and possibly Tom DeFalco as well, provided the editor will shoot down any of his bad ideas. Gerry Conway, if he’s still around, would be an acceptable choice, too, again with the caveat that the edtior stops his bad ideas.

Kieron Gillen could write a new Defenders series, with the Beast, Valkyrie, and Hellcat. But under no circumstances can the team include the Hulk (any of them), Namor, or the Silver Surfer, and Doctor Strange should only appear occasionally.
Or maybe Gillen could do a Doctor Strange series. No matter what, Marvel has to publish some kind of ongoing Strange series.

No more epic, world-changing crossovers for an absolute minimum of six or seven years.

Deaths of significant characters should be very rare, and resurrections should be even rarer.

Tone down the gory violence to no worse than it was in the ’80s. Sex and nudity are perfectly fine, though.

I really, really don’t think keeping Lian alive would have changed the story that much. You don’t think the destruction of his city, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, would have got Ollie a bit ticked off? Refrigerating the baby was just a bad idea. Something like that is always going to loom so large in the reader’s perceptions that it eclipses everything else.

What I’d have done to Cry For Justice is not hype it up or make it the centerpiece for a new direction – take that weight off its shoulders for a start – and ask Robinson for a few more drafts, because in reality, it wasn’t that bad, except that it felt like a first draft.

I’d take over Marvel as EIC and create a “Crisis of Infinite Earths”-like crossover to make up for the lame linewide crossovers since 2005, excluding World War Hulk and Necrosha.

beta ray steve

March 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’d institute the “ten year reboot rule.” Every character reboot must last at least ten years. Hawkman/girl/woman, Supergirl, Aquaman..who the heck are these characters anymore? They were mid to low sellers at best, and their various reboots did what? Move the books up the sales charts for a few months before the original team left and the series tanked? Now the character is tagged as ‘unpopular’ and writers and fans have no idea what the character is about anymore.

I’d have moved Thor, Asgard and Asgardians away from Earth. Oh, and ditched the Don Blake identity, too.

I’d have brought back Mrs Arbogast to the pages of Iron Man. She’s been gone for too long.

I’d like to see some regular use for Cassandra Caine. Birds of Prey, maybe.

I’d tone down Bruce Banner a bit. You can still be smart even if you’re not in same class as Reed or Doom.

I’d have Guy Gardner be bit more like he was in JLI. He could be very effective but not very nice.

Willie Everstop

March 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I’d have the real Alpha Flight be trapped inside Shaman’s magical bag. The magic sack sucked in Alpha Flight and spat out temporal clones. Bizarro Sasquatch was the only one who lived and he doesn’t want anyone to know. Even if they are really dead Shaman’s sack is a dangerous object to leave laying around.

I’d have the next generation of mutants go through a few semesters without half the class dying. No more exploding buses.

I’d have had more A-Listers turn out to be Skrulls (Stark, Cage, Sentry, Black Panther, Barton). Pym and Spiderwoman were good, but this whole clusterf*** of Skrull domination turned out to be Elektra, Pym, and Spiderwoman. Insufficient.

I’d have included Scarlet Witch in the New Heroic Age relaunch. Not too late to have her take down Sentry and regain everyone’s trust. Can’t turn the page on the Bendis years until Wanda is back in the fold . . . or dead.

I’d have had Tim Drake find Bruce Wayne. Red Robin is the only DC book I’m currently reading (I’ve had to cut back) because I love the concept. Looks like I’ll have blue balls on that after all.

I’d have toned down the X-Treme X-Men vibe on X-Men: The End. It was a classic story that’s a little too tied to dated storylines.

Agree on the Y thing. That just rang false. And on the Xmen thing, too many.

” (I like the X-Men lineup as is – if you want to follow just one team, there’s Astonishing; Uncanny does more uber-plotting/societal issues; and…er…Mike Carey’s book does some other thing.) ”

In theory, that’s a good idea. In practice, I don’t think that’s what the current line-up of X-Books is doing. Astonishing is Ellis playing in a continuity-light space where nothing of consequence can happen to the characters, Uncanny’s uber-plotting hasn’t actually gone anywhere ( and I’m not holding my breath for Second Coming to change anything ), and X-Men Legacy only works depending on your interest in Rogue, the star of the book.

The closest the line comes to a working team book formula is either with X-Force or New Mutants, the black ops hit squad and the 80′s reunion. That’s generally not a good sign.

If I were DC I’d get Garth Ennis on board and then put out all of Hitman in a series of omnibus’ much like Starman.

“You do know the only reason Wesley was killed off was because the show was ending, right? If it had continued to a sixth season, he wouldn’t have died in the Season Five finale.”

Yeah, but if After the Fall was season six, then he might have been gone permanently at the end of it (assuming a season 7).

I loved Wesley’s character (and arguably, Angel became about him from late season 2 through season 5; at least, he got the most development and growth of the cast). However, he had reached a logical end: leader, outcast, back in the fold, found happiness, lost everything and sought to make a final amends. I don’t think bringing him back would have added anything.

I hope it’s not Thunderbolt Ross, since that’s a really cool idea. I’d prefer to not have to read Loeb painfully try to use a cool idea and have it ruined by associated. Remember Wolverine: Evolution? I’m loving Loeb’s Hulk in trades, but that’s because it has no ideas. It’s smashing and nothing but and I have no problem with that.

I’d set the X-books up like they were in 1992: blue team, gold team, some interaction but not much. I’d also have Gillen write 1 comic and Peter David, Brian Wood, or Brian Vaughan write the other.

I’d have let Morrison & Jones do Marvel Boy 2.

I’d have a Daily Bugle ongoing, written by whoever wrote the late-’90s Daily Bugle mini.

I’d keep Bruce Wayne dead for a few more years.

“My personal one for the last few years is – I’d have kept Steve Rogers dead, thus inverting the old chestnut of “no one stays dead in comics, except for Bucky”. I’m a fan of Brubaker’s resurrection of James Barnes, and just think it would be funny if the response to fanboys upset by it was, “but we killed Steve for good!”"

In a similar vein, I would have left Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, and Oliver Queen dead (IMHO, I’ve seen nothing that makes me think the DCU is somehow superbly better for having Jordan and Allen around other than to make the fanboy’s happy).

I would have left Bruce Wayne broken and made Knight’s End about Nightwing forcibly taking the mantle from Azrael.

Artemis would have not been killed, retaining the title of Wonder Woman.

Aquaman would have been replaced by Tempest (not killed; I see him staying below to rule and leaving surface concerns to Garth).

The end result is a permanent re-boot of the key DC heroes save Martian Manhunter and Superman. The end result today is an altered DCU where transition is a staple and it becomes harder to predict what happens in any storyline involving a death/transition.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I really didn’t like that Hero and Beth got together at the end of Y the Last Man.

Every now and again I get the urge to collect the rest of that series, after stopping halfway through.

Thanks to this, I think that urge has been killed for another couple of years.

Such a strong start, but after the first three arc that book just ran out of good ideas.

I hope it’s not Thunderbolt Ross, since that’s a really cool idea

Everything about Red Hulk is such an inherently shitty idea…he’s the Hulk, but RED. And sassy. AND EXTREME, HE PACKS A GUN!!!….

How could ANYTHING about such a shitty character’s existence end up being cool? No matter who he is revealed to be, he’s still the Red Hulk. No reveal about his identity will make the character cool or worth the wasted year we’ve spent reading stories about him. All it can do is make whichever character he is revealed to be now uncool too.

There is nothing capable of being cool about Red Hulk.

hmmm…I agree with the Cass Cain and Alpha Flight posters….also with the no “big events” for at least 5 years one….here are mine….

I’d co-ordinate my editors to get trades of old stories released connected to important current storylines….

I’d like to convince Bill Watterson to come back and do a special Shazam story with Billy Batson and Tawky Tawny

I’d like to get Chris Giarusso back to Marvel for a couple of months to do that dream MiniMarvels/TinyTitans crossover

I’d have the Original Thunderbolts concept back but tweak it a little…I hate what it has turned into now

I’d want a special Birds of Prey crossover with some of the female Marvel Heroines written by Simone and drawn by Scott

I’d finally get a hybrid comic shop / internet cafe be founded where I can forget about the world’s problems in peace without derision….

‘But I disagree strongly that Lian should not have been killed’.
Who did you want to take her place, Mike?

You’re working under the assumption that the new direction given to Green Arrow is a GOOD Idea, which a lot of people, including me, don’t believe.

How did you get “the new direction given to Green Arrow is a GOOD idea” from me saying “It doesn’t mean that it was well-told or a GOOD plot or anything like that”?

[blockquote]Bring the Original Human Torch back: Look, there’s a mini about this[/blockquote]

I see the Human Torch remains and think “Oh look, there’s a nice way of bringing back the proper Vision”. You know it makes sense Marvel.

I’d bring out decent trades of the entire Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle run on Detective and Batman.

I know they pissed off DC management a while ago but I can’t believe NONE of this run is available.

Enjoyed that, thanks.

Very nearly spoiled the end of Y The Last Man for myself though… phew!

It’s a little funny to have a plea for a return to the Lee/Kirby concept of the Silver Surfer end with “Free the Surfer!” (though I certainly know what you mean), because that particular long-lasting status quo meant the Surfer was trapped on Earth, bellyaching about how he was made to roam the stars.

The main character of Haunt (about a guy who merges with the ghost of his dead brother to form a super powered being)

Wait, Haunt is Captain Triumph? Or is he Brother Voodoo?

Oh, and I’m holding out for Fred Sloan as the Red Hulk. Because we demanded it!

david: No one. I don’t like it when supporting characters are killed in order to make super-heroes kill (or make a big speech about how they are not going to kill because they’d be no better than the villains). I especially don’t like super-hero stories in which children are killed. I find it distasteful, and it always makes the hero seem like a failure.

Having a 7 issue mini with no deaths is pretty dull IMHO.

I am pretty bummed that there wasn’t a 2011 edition from Brian.

I am pretty bummed that there wasn’t a 2011 edition from Brian.

It was up – just a bit late!

randypan the goatboy

August 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

three pointer about thunderbolt ross and the red hulk.

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