web stats

CSBG Archive

She Has No Head! – Dreamy Lady Team Ups

1 2
Next »

I was thinking a lot this past week about Young Avengers forthcoming end with issue #15, and how, as disappointed as I am to not be getting that book as a continued ongoing, there’s something wonderful about how Gillen and McKelvie’s Young Avengers will now exist as a nearly perfect 15 issue run, with limited guest artists, no phone-it-in-issues (which just happens over a long run, it’s only natural), one clear and concise vision, and most importantly, no damn crossover issues or messy event tie-ins. Young Avengers will be able to be collected into a few awesome trades, and if we’re lucky someday maybe a sweet little omnibus. It will be a great book to put on your shelf and go back to time and time again. Kind of like the wonder that is Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E. – which I re-read at least once every year – and which stands out in the way that only the “brilliant but cancelled” can.

Magik-Emma Team Up2

But maybe these things don’t have to be “cancelled,” maybe, instead, like Young Avengers they can just choose to be one smaller and more defined moment.

There’s been a lot of chatter over the last few years about the idea of comics adopting a more “season” approach to their books. Eschewing long continuities for shorter self-contained runs. I understand why some fans are anxious about this idea — continuity and the ability to know it backward and forward despite all its inane complexities — is part of what gives geeks our cred. However, I’m forced to admit as someone that wants better stories, and as a creator myself, that there are a lot of advantages to the shorter self-contained run, not the least of which is the fact that you’re less likely to be cancelled.

As any creator will tell you, trying to imagine a story as open-ended is not something that works well, and it’s of course the reasons that even ongoing comics have story arcs. Things have to follow a structure in which you can have “acts” that open and close a story. Where there’s an element of building stakes (among many other things) and then an eventual payoff, and even “closure.” But knowing you have to go directly from one arc into another can be kind of daunting, not to mention unnatural.

It’s one of the reasons that when I think of many of my favorite books – Stumptown, Alias, Astonishing X-Men (Whedon), New X-Men (Morrison), Batwoman/Detective Comics (Elegy), Black Widow (The Name of the Rose), DV8: Gods & Monsters, and of course the aforementioned Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E. – either they were always intended to be stand alone works, or they eventually got cancelled in such a way that they ended up standing on their own anyway. I sometimes think they’re better for that fact. And now Young Avengers can join the ranks of those other great books.

Additionally, while none of us want to see our creators leave something we love, I confess that I certainly prefer seeing Gillen and McKelvie opting to move on and tell other stories after ending this story the way they wanted because they feel like they’ve done what they’ve come to do than either being forced to do a new story they’re not as energized about, or readers being handed a new (and frequently substandard) creative team in the hopes of keeping the book going. I’ll miss these characters – and the creators – but all in all it feels like a positive way to go. A way that makes way for other interesting books that creators are excited about and readers can subsequently become excited about.

1384468934

Another added bonus of the “season” idea, or a maxi-series, whatever you want to call it for it to make sense to you, is that it would free up publishers like Marvel/DC to take bigger risks. Committing to between 6 and 12 issues of something is a lot less daunting than pretending it’s going to be an ongoing and then cancelling it at issue #9 if it’s not working out. Instead you’ve got a “successful 12-issue season of something” rather than “9 issues of a failed ongoing” – the PR writes itself here.

But mostly I like the idea that it theoretically frees them up to make bolder choices. I have a hard time picturing anyone able to pitch any of my team ups below for an ongoing, but with the right creative team it seems like you could get people pretty excited about some outside the box stories and character pairings for at least a short run. Sometimes a mini-series seems inconsequential, but there’s nothing inconsequential about a year of comics. And we see so much repeated over and over in comics — because so many of these characters have been through so many years together — that I’d love to see some new emotional beats (not to mention adventures) shared between less obvious team-ups. That’s of course a lot of what Marvel’s A+X has been about. Unfortunately, those stories are extremely short (half an issue for each story) and while some of them have been really successful (The Black Widow/Rogue story by Chris Bachalo in A+X #3 was freaking incredible) a lot of them are failures, if only because it’s hard to tell a truly engaging compelling story in so few pages.

tumblr_mrdk47bVoo1sfnrr6o1_500

So, with all that in mind, here are ten lady team-ups I’d love to see as limited run “seasons” as well as some creative team suggestions (I can’t help it, it’s the inner editor, or, control freak in me, your pick). Now, for the haters out there, I’m not suggesting we actually flood the market with ten all-lady team up books, don’t be absurd, these are just some fun suggestions of the kind of stuff I’d love to see in this brave new world we seem headed towards.

Since this column was inspired by Young Avengers and sort of A+X and more generally the approach Marvel seems to be taking to comics, I stuck with only Marvel ladies, though there are certainly plenty of DC ladies I’d love to see share the page (foremost: Wonder Woman and Catwoman…so many possibilities…for starters…just imagine the fact that Diana can actually talk to Selina’s cats! Amazing. A close second? Big Barda and Batwoman. Man what I wouldn’t pay to see those two, not just fight together, but have some coffee – practical/precision/perfection meets pure unrefined power. Incredible potential. Plus of course, Cass Cain/Batgirl and just about anyone).

But I digress. This list, even just for Marvel ladies, started out as a very reasonable 5 pairings, but as I got more and more excited about it and started thinking about all the characters out there I wanted to use, I expanded the list. Maybe in the future I’ll do a DC one as well.  For now, here we go, and enjoy!

Magik-Emma

01. EMMA FROST & MAGIK

As if there was any doubt that this team up would be anything other than, well, magic, Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo have been showing us all what fun it would actually be as Emma and Magik continue to interact in Uncanny X-Men (see the post header image). Powerful and gorgeous, with a dry sense of humor and dark streaks a mile wide I cannot even pretend that Emma and Magik on an adventure – likely living in the legal grey areas (let’s face it – VERY grey areas) – would be unbearable amounts of fun. Off the top of my head (or rather ripped from the pages of Uncanny X-Men #14) some kind of heist book that would allow Emma and Magik to fully embrace the anti-heroes they are. To be honest, Bendis and Bachalo are halfway to doing this book already, it just happens to be called Uncanny X-Men and have a bunch of other people in it:

Emma-Magik

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis. Since Bendis and Bachalo are the ones that showed me the light here, I can only suggest they keep it going.

Artist: Chris Bachalo

Covers: Bachalo

Kate Bishop=Jubilee

02. KATE BISHOP/HAWKEYE & JUBILEE

When it comes to Kate Bishop, she’s such an incredible badass, but she’s also this kind of rich, privileged level of snotty that makes her both worldly and also small-minded in a way. She’s absolutely amazing but then she’s also young with a lot to learn, so I wanted her paired up with someone that would challenge all of that in the best of ways. So here’s Jubilee with an almost absolutely polar opposite* life from Kate – originally growing up wealthy but being a thief and “mall rat” despite coming from wealth, when her parents are murdered and she’s handed off to a neighboring family she runs away and basically becomes homeless before hooking up with the X-Men at a very young age. Jubilee has lived pretty big (and strange) since she was young thanks to hanging with X-Men heavy hitters, and now with a whole new scary and very intense power set. I feel like maybe they’re the Oscar and Felix of the “no longer teenaged superhero set.” Course Jubes has a baby now, so we’re gonna need a sitter…or something, I guess.

*thanks to commenter Eric for the correction and I’ve modified this section slightly as a result!

Writer: Matt Fraction. His Kate in Hawkeye simply deserves as much page time as possible. A “season” of comics is just what the doctor ordered.

Artist: Stuart Immonen. I don’t know why, other than Immonen being an art god, and the fact that I just want to see his version of Kate Bishop REAL DAMN BAD.

Covers: Immonen

Nextwave Part Deux

03. MONICA RAMBEAU & ELSA BLOODSTONE & TABITHA SMITH/BOOM BOOM

Why mess with perfection? These ladies were brilliant together in Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E., and two of them (Elsa and Tabitha) were hilarious together in Faith Erin Hicks Girl Comics short, so why not let them make more magic together? Maybe we can riff off of Elsa’s “monster hunter” gig and have her call in her old Agents of H.A.T.E. pals for some help in corralling some off the wall B-List Horror Movie rejects? Even better if Fing Fang Foom can guest star.

Writer: Warren Ellis. Surely Ellis wouldn’t mind getting part of the band back together for this, right?  I’d happily put Immonen on it as well, but I’ve already assigned him elsewhere. You know who’s got an amazing crazy style that would fit things like “killer koalas” perfectly? Filipe Andrade. YES. DONE.

Artist: Filipe Andrade

Cover Artist: Daniel Acuna

Jessica Jones - Black Widow

04. BLACK WIDOW & JESSICA JONES

Just in time for Jessica Jones to have her own TV show it’s time for a Jessica team up book and who better to team her up with than the other woman already with a foothold in other media – Black Widow.  But that’s not the only reason to pair up these ladies. More importantly, while I enjoy Jessica as a superhero just fine, in truth I definitely prefer her P.I. roots (at least “roots” as defined by her definitive books – i.e. Alias). So I’d love to see her paired up with a hero that would compliment and enhance that aspect of her character strengths, and since Natasha herself is not your typical superhero, with her roots in spying and the more covert side of things, these ladies could be a under cover case solving dream team. All the better if Natasha can rant some about how much she hates time travel (I feel like Jessica would agree with her on this – at the end of the day they are very practical ladies).

Writer: Greg Rucka. I’ve always wanted Rucka to have another crack at Natasha and nobody writes detective and spy stories like Rucka. Talk about a perfect fit.

Artist: Alex Maleev. He’s got a detailed and realistic style that  works well for both Jessica and Natasha, proved quite literally recently with Natasha when he illustrated a hell of a stand alone story starring Black Widow in Warren Ellis’s Secret Avengers #20 (Run The Mission! Don’t Get Seen! Save the World!).

Covers by: Maleev

Troll-Sif

05. TROLL & SIF

Ah, the limitless untapped potential that is TROLL! Why is Troll not in everything? Sometimes the only thing better than a fish out of water story is TWO FISH OUT OF WATER. I can’t even imagine the hi-jinx and misunderstandings these two could get into. Each knowing JUST enough about our world and customs to get into about as much trouble as humanly possible. How do we get these two together? I’ll leave that to better minds, but surely there’s some way in which they can be railroaded into to joining brutal epic battling forces.

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick. I loved DeConnick’s take on Sif in her one shot back in 2010 and I’d love to see her get another crack at the character. I also think with DeConnick’s sharp sense of humor she’d be great with Troll and the two characters together…well, could be magic!

Artist: Ross Campbell. Campbell could draw the CRAP out of Troll. I also think he’d enjoy it. Plus, his GLORY was magnificent, so handling an Asgardian warrior like Sif would be a cakewalk.

Covers: Campbell

Go to the next page for #06-10…

1 2
Next »

35 Comments

Valeria Richards & Darla Deering.

Also, how is there not already an FF cartoon on the air?

Monica Rambeau and Amanda Waller

The obvious choice for Future Molly Hayes would be any other female member of the Runaways.

Less obvious choice would be another adult child of a super villain who herself has a villainous past. Scarlet Witch?

I could also see her teaming up with someone else from an alternate future. Rachel Grey / Summers or Hope Summers.

The mostly random choice would be Lady Deadpool, since Molly was teamed up with Future Deadpool.

i’ve never heard of Troll until now but she looks pretty awesome! sign me up. thanks for the shout-out, Kelly!!

Future Molly Hayes needs the help of SHIELD Agent Maria Hill to rescue young, current Molly Hayes from some terrible traumatizing predicament. If they succeed, Molly might not grow up to become the hardcase “villain” and possibly averting the future she came from.

One more: Abigail Brand, Captain Marvel, & Spider-Woman.

Um, isn’t Jubilee a rich kid from Beverly Hills?

Love this list I would probably buy all of them if they were made, especially #1, you can’t go wrong with Bachalo drawing Emma. For #10 I would do the obvious and pair Future Molly with present Molly, the present Molly could try to turn her future self back into a superhero, I would have Dan Slott write it and Michael Ryan draw it

@Eric: You are right! Her parents were wealthy – though she engaged in petty theft and was generally considered a “mall rat” (which is I suppose why I skipped over the wealthy part). They were of course murdered when she was a teen and she was handed over to a neighborhood family that she then ran away from and of course hooked up with the X-Men at a very young age, but technically you are right. In some ways I like this even more now and will modify the post to reflect it! Thanks for the correction!

Squirrel Girl and Penance. A cuddly cute crusader and a moody mutant menace.

Kelly: Just one point about Gillen/McKelvie’s Young Avengers run: They did have one fill in artist on issue #6. the great Kate Brown drew it.

I love the idea of “seasons” to define reader expectations. On-goings with fresh concepts do not launch and run 60-odd issues with the same creative team anymore. Artists cannot keep up the pace, because art is more highly detailed. There is a natural readership attrition of 3-4% per month that almost forces periodic re-launches. Running for 9, or 12, or 15 issues makes a ton of sense.

I’d go a step further and borrow a page from X-MEN FOREVER and let creators pick up wherever they left off. The shared, progressing universe was a great idea when Marvel published eight titles and they were mostly scripted and entirely edited by the same guy. The Marvel U had one author, but that just isn’t possible anymore. If Grant Morrison and Frank Quitley wanted to do another ‘season’ of NEW X-MEN, then why should they be beholden to what came after?

Regarding pairings that I’d love to see:
1. Black Widow and Mockingbird: They are very similar characters with essentially no shared history. How does a one superspy react to another superspy? Are they colleagues, rivals or something else?
2. She-Hulk and Black Cat: Basically, it would be fun to watch Shulkie defend someone that is both guilty and fairly likable. That is a side to the anti-hero that we don’t see.
3. Storm and Monica Rambeau: These are another two characters who are superficially similar, but they have very different backgrounds. Seeing them contrasted with one anther might help define them.

Kelly, why would we want to change our medium to be more like another medium instead of focusing on trying to do better something that only comics can do? We should be celebrating the unique qualities of comics and try to do them abetter instead of making them more like television; let television do a seasonal approach since that’s what television has been doing, it’s worked for them for years. Doing something like this just leads to homogenization across mediums.

If it was a DC comic you like was cancelled (even though you only like a few of it), you would be throwing rants at the publisher and how they are ruining the comics industry. Oh well, you’re probably too giddy with what Marvel is doing to criticize them. Putting yourself as writer of your dream team-up comic? Talk about delusions of grandeur, especially when you still have to prove you can write anything good like the other writers you have and many others you haven’t listed.

Is it sad I find the whole “Make Your Team Ups” thing so fun? Maybe don’t answer that.

Ms. Thompson, your list would murder my wallet. But it would die a happy, empty lump of leather. I think my favorite is the Kitty/Dom/Mystique trio, and I’m glad I’m not the only person who enjoyed Jessica Jones, P.I. The one thing I question is the creative team for Emma and Magik. I like Bendis well enough; I just don’t think he has a feel for Emma. He’s very colloquial, very man-on-the-street with his characters, especially in dialogue. Now maybe I’m just way off here, but the second comic I read when I returned to the fold was Whedon’s Astonishing, and for me, he wrote the perfect Emma. Aloof, a little Above It All, always armed with some wry dagger of a quip, but still with a heart. Right behind him is Kieron Gillen’s take on her, along with his Yana (Although Bendis kills it with Magik). So for my tastes, I’d prefer him and his partner-in-creativity McKelvie on that book. (And hopefully I didn’t just commit a huge faux pas by offering up a different creative team to your pairing, because I mean no disrespect.)

I’m tempted to start off my list with Kitty/Emma (by Gillen) and Carol Danvers/Jessica Drew (by DeConnick), but that’s too predictable, so I’ll try to be at least a little more inventive in my pairings, with the personal challenge of no repeated creators. Otherwise I’d end up with Isaacs drawing everything.

1) Kitty Pryde and Jessica Jones by Brian Bendis and Michael Lark: It’s Noir, with just a hint of snark as Jones’ hard edge, street-wise smarts plays against Kitty’s highly opinionated self-righteousness. Also, they solve crimes. Guest starring Luke Cage and Danny Rand as: Babysitters for Hire.

2) Black Widow and Typhoid Mary by Greg Rucka and Phil Noto: Mary, wanting to finally gain control of her flaming psychosis, turns to SHIELD for help. In exchange a device/psychic therapy, SHIELD sends her on extremely dangerous, off-the-books missions, with the Widow along to teach her the finer arts of spying . . . and to press the kill switch should Mary go nutter butters at an inopportune moment.

3) Miss America Chavez and Pixie by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie: Two young heroes meet while having a night on the town and despite not agreeing on styles of music or preferences of heated beverages, form a bond over one thing they do have in common: kicking the asses of villainous party crashers.

4) Dani Moonstar and Patsy Walker by Mike Carey and Valerio Schiti (I expect to be praised for resisting the urge to name this “Hel’s Angels): A conflict between Hell-lords (maybe the result of ‘Hell on Earth War’) has caused several dark souls/demons/spirity, magicy, monster things to escape to our world, so Hela summons her own Valkyrie and Mephisto calls in a marker with an old tenant, sending Dani and Patsy to clean up the mess.

5) Sabra and Black Cat by Marjorie Liu and David Aja: The Mossad needs something stolen from American soil, and as they don’t want to tweak their allies they decide to go with someone outside their ranks, someone they can easily disavow, so they send one of their top agents to recruit—and keep an eye on—one of the world’s top thieves.

6) Sif, Athena, Oya and Feng Po-Po by Kathryn Immonen and Cliff Chiang: With so many breaches of the ‘Don’t Mess with Earth’ policy, the Council of Gods has appointed a special team to ‘handle’ conflicts between pantheons that might spill over onto Earth. (And yes, I probably did much more research into MU gods than anyone ever should to find those last two names.)

7) Captain Marvel and Emma Frost by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Rebekah Isaacs: No solid plot ideas here, just a desire to see Carol and Emma butt heads and possibly become hesitant friends with the help of my dreamiest of creative team ups.

For Molly: I skipped BotA, so I don’t know much about adult Molly, but I’ve read Runaways, so I’ll pretend she just grew up, got hardened, and may still use the obfuscating stupidity thing. For a partner, she gets Songbird. Mel knows a little something about walking on the dark side and about the hardships of keeping on the straight and narrow after crossing over. To redeem our wayward scamp, I’m bringing back the originator Brian K. Vaughn with Becky Cloonan on art. (Didn’t Molly punch Logan through a car once? Maybe that’s why he doesn’t remember her.)

Lastly, I love the idea of comics running in Seasons. It just makes so much sense for serial media, especially with an eye toward accommodating new readers. It offers a much cleaner way to collect storylines, eliminates the current ‘Relaunch to #1 every 12 issues’ trend, provides more—and cleaner—entry points and makes continuity lockout less of an issue. Sure, in a sense it all boils down to mind games as it’s the same number of issues, just labeled and collected differently, but that being the case, why not lean toward ease of entry?

@Chris

“Lastly, I love the idea of comics running in Seasons. It just makes so much sense for serial media, especially with an eye toward accommodating new readers. It offers a much cleaner way to collect storylines, eliminates the current ‘Relaunch to #1 every 12 issues’ trend, provides more—and cleaner—entry points and makes continuity lockout less of an issue. Sure, in a sense it all boils down to mind games as it’s the same number of issues, just labeled and collected differently, but that being the case, why not lean toward ease of entry?”

Um, how does restarting at #1 at the beginning of every “season” eliminate the problem of restarting at #1 after 12 issues or so that we have now? And it doesn’t make sense for serial media, because comics are different than television. In television, you have to film episodes, get the actors together, build sets, organize shoots, write scripts, and fund support staff. This is why television has to run in seasons, to accommodate all of this stuff; they need some off time to catch up. You could say it’s necesary now because artists take a while, but the virtue of comics is that we have a history of fill-ins, and not all of them are bad.

Look at Uncanny X-Men in the 1980s – Paul Smith was actually a fill-in technically, plus you got Rick Leonardi, Barry WIndsor-Smith, and even Jim Lee started out as a fill-in. Comics aren’t beholden to having a constant “cast” of creators the way television is, and I think that’s a unique, positive trait of comics. Trying to make comics more seasonal to get rid of this is going to make it a lot harder for new artists to break in, since historically doing a fill-in was how you got a shot at a big break. That’s how Joe Madureira turned into a superstar, by filling in for John Romita Jr. on Uncanny X-Men, and even in the past few years, you had Ryan Stegman’s fill-in issue of Amazing Spider-man kickstarting his period as a Spider-family artist.

Also, we’ve tried this before – Mark Millar did is with the Ultimates, and while that kind of worked for him, it hasn’t taken off despite him doing it for years. I don’t see issue numbers as a continuity lock, especially since you have online resources like Wikipedia and fan sites that can fill you in on everything you need to know in 10 minutes in order to start a story. Just make it easy for a reader to tell when a new storyline is starting, and most people interested in starting to read comics will just jump on there and try to pick things up as they go. That’s what I did with the X-Men years ago (perhaps the hardest franchise to jump into) and I stuck around.

@Greg: Yes! I would read that!

@Mark Black: If you’re going to mix DC/Marvel that’s not a bad choice at all.

@Mike Eisner: You know, I think you’re right about pairing Molly with a Runaway…HOWEVER, since she’s already time displaced, what if we send her back a bit and pair her up with Gertie? OH MAN. I WANT TO READ THAT SO BAD NOW. WINNER!

@Matt: I think Future Molly and Present Molly is the best alternative to the above Future Molly/Gert pairing. :)

@Nick: Nice!

@Stephen: Thanks, totally forgot about that! I’ll correct the piece!

@Dean Hacker: Yeah. I’m not saying you have to take the “seasons” approach to everything, but I do think it makes a certain amount of sense. The only thing I can think of close to “infinite” ongoings the way comics are are soap operas, and even those are struggling in this day and age. Even massive book series tend to eventually end, and even if they don’t/haven’t yet, they still feel more like “seasons” since there’s such a long break between new books.

I don’t know, I see plenty of reasons against it as well, but I think it’s an interesting idea.

I have trouble getting on board with any argument that includes X-Men Forever as an example ;) – but I agree with you in theory.

Love your pairings, I’d read them all!

@Saul: Clearly we’re not going to agree here. Just for the record, I’m not suggesting changing the entire publishing model, I’m talking about being more flexible and forward thinking in some of our publishing choices. That said, I don’t think our current model works very well and I think some of the best books stand as testament to that – as they tend to have definitive endings. But your mileage may vary of course.

@Chris. I LOVE your pairings (and ideas) I wish Marvel would bring you on staff immediately – some of those ideas are wonderful. I would buy all of them, but I think Black Widow/Typhoid Mary would be my favorite, or perhaps Dani/Hellcat…and you are indeed to be praised for resisting the urge to name it Hel’s Angels. ;)

@ Kelly

I can see where it would work for some series, but the idea of it (and this is just me personally) bugs the hell out of me since even the argument that it’s the only option that allows a single creator to have their unique vision begin and end on their terms is a bit unfounded, since you can still get that with manga, and those runs will go on unbroken for decades sometimes and the main writer/artist is still in control of their vision (we get this in American comics through Indy labels or people like Bendis or Geoff Johns given the run of a franchise until they feel like quitting the franchise.

Look at Mike Carey’s run on X-Men Legacy, where he started on an existing book, made it his own, and then ended his run on his own terms before handing it off to another (admittedly weaker) writer. Jason Aaron is now wrapping up Wolverine and the X-Men on his own terms, and while the book is ending after he leaves, he made it a whole 42 issues instead of just doing a “season,” plus it’s another example of giving an artist a chance at super-stardom by letting them do fill-in work for the main artist (so much so that Bradshaw went on to became the main artist).

I don’t mean to argue and hope this isn’t being read in a mean-spirited tone, it’s just something about the idea of trying to take a unique medium and make it more like another medium while stripping away the altered medium’s unique elements strikes me as wrong; it seems like homogenization, which I’m very much against in comics since it takes away variety whimsy, the biggest assets they have and why I’m a proponent of other genres getting a push in comics over superheroes. It also smacks of attempting to replicate something that works for another very different medium on the grounds that maybe it will help save the medium from the downward spiral it’s in, which doesn’t make sense to me either.because we’ve tried that when it comes to trying to replicate comic-based movie success in comics, and those efforts are pretty transparent, weak and annoying to say the least.

Instead of trying to try and make a format change to make comics sell better and hope it leads to better storytelling, we should just focus on telling good stories that don’t alienate new readers while also not ignoring the character’s back stories. If you want to make format changes, instead of going with a different medium for inspiration, look closer to home; for years I’ve said American comics could learn a lot from manga storytelling/plotting (especially the Shonen Forumla, which is just begging to be applied to the X-Men) instead of just taking surface elements like the art style and the same three or four outdated character archetypes. Also, putting a lot more effort into diversification (of characters, creators and their styles, and genre types) and giving it an honest chance (this is actually something the Big 2 have been getting better at in the past few years, but more would be even better).

I’m not saying the season approach shouldn’t be tried; in fact, for a few isolated books, it would help provide that diversity I was harping on, but making it a major publication model and initiative(although obviously not the main publication model) would be misguided IMHO.

@ Kelly Thompson:

Clearly, there is a gap between concept and execution on X-MEN FOREVER, but that doesn’t make it a bad idea.

Soap operas are a pretty good parallel. That is another case of a business model that was built around one demographic and technological reality that has struggled to adapt to a different reality. For them, it is not just that adult women no longer stay at home to raise kids, but also that the folks who are at home have a bunch of options.

With comics, the target demo has had a steady increasing set of options for years and the publishers have kept doubling down on the business model that Stan Lee came up with in the early sixties. It has reached the point where different arms of the same company (i.e. Marvel) are out-performing the publishing group in what they consider their core competencies (e.g. action-driven events, threaded narratives). It seems like a good moment to really what comics do well, what they do relatively poorly and devise a publishing strategy around that.

It seems to me that one of the things that comics can do that movies (or TV, or even animation) really can’t is present highly personal stories about these global icons.

To Ms. Thompson:

Thank you. I’m glad to know I’d hurt your wallet nearly as much as you’d hurt mine. If they offered, I probably wouldn’t say no. (Have to leave a little uncertainty there for negotiating purposes.) The Typhoid Mary/Widow idea was probably my favorite of mine as well. I really like Mary and feel she has more potential than just some small time villain rendered ineffectual due to a scrambled coconut. I’d rather see her striving to pull herself together and struggling mightily due to her scrambled coconut. Also, the face paint stays. I considered throwing Magic in with Dani and Patsy, for the sake of schadenfreude, but was afraid that might be overkill, especially as I already broke the ‘pairs’ guideline with the Gods series. Maybe she could Guest Appear. Ha! I gots my props. My day is officially made. :)

To Saul:

Because it clearly divides the various #1s in a sensible manner. Instead of the three or four Wolverine #1s floating about, with another one on the way, we’d have Wolverine: Season 1, Issue 1, Wolverine: Season 2, Issue 1 and so forth. It cleans up any questions or doubts of where to start, especially for anyone not accustomed to unseasoned relaunches, and it does so with minimal effort. Also it clearly delineates entry points for the reader. You no longer have to wonder about when a storyline is over, so if you don’t enjoy Storyline X for whatever reason—let’s say the character’s on a space mission and you just abhor space stuff—but you still want to give the character/creative team a try, you know Storyline Y—with the character back on Earth—begins with Season 2.

Look, I’ll readily admit it may not be the most perfect of all possible solutions, but it can’t be worse than the current trend of frequent relaunches or the daunting triple digit numbers of years not too long past. For me, it’s not a huge deal. I’ll take to the Net, search Wikipedia or CBR or wherever and figure out where the storyline starts. Or maybe, just like with ‘Angel,’ I’ll ‘tune in’ for an episode, find I’m drawn to something (characters/storyline/writing style/whathaveyou) and then fill in what backstory I deem necessary. From the sounds of things, you and I know that if we jumped into Uncanny X-Men on Issue 423, we don’t necessarily need to hunt down all 422 previous issues to make sense of things. But for a new reader coming in, they see that 423 and are liable to think, “No way I’m catching up on that much history. My wallet couldn’t take it.” So they pass. Or, as with the Wolverine example, there’re just so many #1s floating around the back bins (or on Comixology) that they may not know which 1 to start with. I just think the season system offers greater ease of entry and understanding, especially to nontraditional or uninitiated readers.

Mary jane and gwen

Set in the 60’s

Private investigators

The Allreds

’nuff said!!

PIXIE. The only teen character not encumbered by tired comic book tropes.

“When it comes to Kate Bishop, she’s such an incredible badass, but she’s also this kind of rich, privileged level of snotty that makes her both worldly and also small-minded in a way. ”

…is this based solely on Fraction’s version in Hawkeye (I’ve only read a few issues of it), because that doesn’t sound like Kate AT ALL in any version of Young Avengers.

@Push You Down:
I myself have had the same problem the with characterization of Kate in YA and Hawkeye.

forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?475907-PREVIEW-Hawkeye-15&p=17874925

I will however warn you and say that I’ve found YA to be highly overrated and middling. This coming from a person who loved Gillen’s run on X-men.

@Push You Down

I agree that hasn’t shown up much in Gillen’s YA, but that might be because she hasn’t been as prominent a character as Loki or Wiccan. I think it’s a fair reading of Heinberg’s characterization, though. Rather, Fraction has developed her in a way that grows out of seeds Heinberg planted.

Wish there was more diversity…

Storm, Jubilee, Monica Rambeau, and Psylocke (debatable whether or not she counts…)

Emma Frost, Magik, Kate Bishop, Elsa Bloodstone, Boom Boom, Black Widow, Jessica Jones, Domino, Mystique, Shadowcat, Elektra, She-Hulk, Rogue, Captain Marvel, Molly Hayes

Ratio of 4:15. Not even a third of the characters are women of color.

I get that women want to diversify comics by having more female-driven books. I love and support that. But when I see people throwing out ideas for books and they don’t even include 1/3 women of color, it’s like… There’s a certain hypocrisy in that. Sure, you can say one battle at a time, but is that the right way to go about it? I mean both morally and strategically. Never mind in terms of being an accurate representation of the United States (where most of the characters live/most of the stories take place/most of the comics are made/sold), let alone the world.

So… Maybe next time don’t just think, “I need a few minorities” and be satisfied with just a few. That’s when something is token. Maybe next time think, “I want to make a truly diverse cast of characters” and then do it.

The Wasp, Dazzler and Mary Jane Watson! The Fashionista! The Pop Queen! And the Supermodel!

How ’bout FUTURE MOLLY HAYES with PRESENT MOLLY HAYES.

@Quinn

When it comes to women of color, Mystique, She-Hulk and Domino might not fit the bill as “white women”. << Just a joke!

But, in all seriousness, Emma Frost is English, also Black Widow and Magik is Russian, and Sif is not even from this world.

What is that Young Avengers image taken from? I DEFINITELY want to read a YA book starring Gravity, Julie Power, Karolina Dean, et al.!

@Geo

Emma Frost isn’t English, simply has an English accent based on events in her origin comic series if I remember correctly.

Adult Molly Hayes and Future Valeria Richards( and maybe her Future brother as a possible love interest for Molly?)

Jessica Jones and Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) Bendis did it once, before Drew became Spider-Woman again. Would be fun seeing two P.I.’s solving mysteries without powers being the main focus.

Squirrel Girl. ANYTHING Squirrel Girl. Hellcat is another. Squirrel Girl and Hellcat written by Kathryn Immonen would be a MUST buy for me. Both of these characters deserve better than comic limbo.

And, Valkyrie and Sif? That book writes itself.

It looks like you are wanting a lot of female writers on these. Is it just because they are about women? Because some you have mentioned are pretty bland at best. I do, however, like a lot of your artist choices.

I’d want Parker writing Sif and Troll. He did an amazing job with her on Thunderbolts.

A Moonstone team up would be good.

I love the idea of seasons – I think it also gets over the problems of filler, and of endless end-of-the-world crises. One reason I stopped reading X-Men in the late 90s (aargh, I feel old!) was the contrast between the huge, bombastic cross-over events and some of the writers that felt like they were just marking time before the next one. Having a book do a run of solo stories, eg, could be a mid-point solution (thinking of the way the Australian outback bit of X-Men was done – that rolled nicely, to me).

I think it also fits with graphic novels and such. I don’t buy any individual issues any more, I wait for the collection (no ads is one reason, and I prefer reading a story in arc-form. That said, I’m sorely tempted to look up the X-Men with Magik in, because damn, I love Illyana. Bring back the Chris Claremont/Bill Sienkiewicz partnership for that and I’d buy it for definite!

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives