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She Has No Head! – DC Dream Comics

blackbat

Cassandra Cain by Ross Campbell

A couple weeks ago, Girls Gone Geek was running a hashtag on twitter called #DreamComics asking people to pitch their character and creative team that would make up their dream comics at DC and Marvel. There were some great suggestions. Because I was a bit busy I simply gave them a link to my Marvel “Dreamy Lady Team Ups” column from late 2013 instead of coming up with new ideas, but it got me thinking about DC books, which I never did a similar piece for. In truth, I never did a “Dreamy Lady Team Ups” piece (or similar) for DC because it’s just a rough place for me right now. There are so many characters I love there, but – as many of you are well aware – it’s just not a very welcoming place to me right now. I find the treatment of female characters to be pretty appalling and even beyond that the tone is incredibly dark and gritty throughout the universe, and honestly, I don’t understand the universe very well anymore – the ages of characters, what was retconned and what was kept, it’s kind of a mess in my head. However, as I was thinking about it, DC not being a great/welcoming places these days is the best possible reason to come up with a list of what I’d love to see. And so here we are.

For my list, as usual, I used whatever creator I wanted most to see on a book. I didn’t take into account whether they would be willing or interested, and I didn’t take into account whether they were so busy with other creator owned (or corporate) books that would make doing said book impossible anyway (see Keiron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie, and many many others). I also didn’t take into account the current status of the DCU. Most of the books you’ll find below do not track with the current dark universe – and of course they don’t – because that track has largely left me not reading their comics, so of course that’s not what I’m going to pick for my #dreamcomics.

Some of these books would be much brighter and lighter and more fun than what DC is currently doing, so I don’t submit them as “realistic options” for DC consider, I submit them as a fun exercise of what I’d like to see, characters I miss and would like to see more of, and creators that I respect and think would have something insightful to say. Obviously, given the poor state of the ladies at DC and my own personal interest and investment in female characters, these are all female-led books.

Okay, let’s go make some fictional comics!

blackbat

Just a taste of what a Cassandra Cain Ross Campbell joint might look like!

01 – BLACK BAT

Starring: Cass Cain

Guest starring: Lady Shiva, Stephanie Brown/Spoiler, General Bat-crew, Black Canary, and Sin

By: Greg Rucka (writer) Ross Campbell (artist) Rico Renzi (colorist) Ross Campbell (covers).

To be honest, I trust almost nobody with Cass Cain. I certainly wouldn’t sacrifice my beloved Lazarus or Stumptown, but Greg Rucka is about the only writer in the world I trust with a character I love as much as Cassandra Cain. He’s written some of the best Bat-related books we’ve ever gotten (Batwoman: Elegy and Gotham Central) and of course nobody does female led books better – from his new Lazarus, Veil, and Stumptown to his Whiteout and Queen & Country – he has the knowledge, breadth of experience, and talent to deliver the best possible return of Cass Cain. Equally important when launching new books, especially those with female leads he’s an A-list creator with a huge fan base that would bring in readers like crazy, something Cain both needs and deserves.

You know who else I trust implicitly? Ross Campbell. A Rucka/Campbell Cass Cain would quite simply blow my goddamn mind. Campbell has created and drawn some of the best non-superhero/indie comics around (Wet Moon, The Abandoned, Water Baby), and then he went ahead and created one of the best indie SUPERHERO books around – Shadoweyes. And it’s Shadoweyes that particularly makes me think Campbell would kill on a Cass Cain book. Campbell excels at dark trending YA work, especially featuring women. He kills when it comes to design and fashion, and his character work is second to none. Yet he’s perfectly at home in both dark and light superhero worlds as evidenced by his exceptional work on both Glory for Image and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for IDW. For colors, Rico Renzi has quickly established himself with strong work on everything from Oni’s Stumptown and Vertigo’s Collider/FBP to the underrated but gorgeous Loose Ends from 12 Gauge as a colorist to watch and gape in amazement at. Able to reign it in nicely for the “normal stuff” he cuts absolutely wild when the script calls for it and it is glorious.

BigBarda-1

A Samnee Big Barda drawing

02 – THE NEW GOD

Starring: Big Barda & Scott Free

Guest Starring: Everyone and everything. Everywhere and anywhere.

By Noelle Stevenson (writer) Chris Samnee (artist) Jordie Bellaire (colorist) Chris Samnee (covers)

This one’s a little outside the box, but I saw Stevenson tweeting about Big Barda the other day and it hit me like a bolt of lightning that Stevenson’s big bold superhero-style used for Nimona – a character absolutely full of life and violence and love and drama is not actually so far away from the big beautiful badass that is Barda. Stevenson has proven herself as a fan favorite both with her wildly successful Nimona and as co-writer to Boom’s new hit series Lumberjanes, so it’s not such a stretch to put her on a big bold superhero book with a character like Barda at its center. I frequently feel that what mainstream comics need more than anything are fresh new voices to re-invigorate things, and I can’t think of a writer with her finger more on the pulse and that might have more to offer in terms of creativity and innovation than Stevenson.

Chris Samnee is a hell of a illustrator and one that can easily toe the line needed for a book like this that should skew cartoonish, but not be too cartoon-y. Samenee straddles that line between realism and cartoon effortlessly, a good fit for what I expect a Stevenson written book would feel like. This image is Huntress, not Barda, but it has a graphic style and energy that feels like a Barda book maybe should feel…I love it. I’d like to see Jordie Bellaire coloring this. Pretty much everything Bellaire colors is magnificent (and for a while she was coloring EVERYTHING – seriously, Pretty Deadly, The Wake, Journey Into Mystery, All-New X-Men, Hawkeye, Mara, Young Avengers, The Massive, and tons more, and like, all at the same time). But it was her work with Sif and all the crazy violent otherworldly space-y-type awesomeness in Journey Into Mystery that made me think she’d be a particularly badass fit for a no holds barred Big Barda book.

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Absolute badass perfection when it comes to Dustin Nguyen’s Bluebird design.

 03 – BLUEBIRD

Starring: Harper Row

Guest Starring: All the Bat-related regulars

By: Scott Snyder (writer) Dustin Nguyen (artist/colorist/covers)

Scott Snyder’s Harper Row has a ton of potential. And especially in this current universe which is – especially when it comes to the immediate Bat characters – pretty devoid of great women getting a spotlight, a Harper Row book could make a real impact. And there’s no better writer to develop her and give her an nice indestructible base in the Bat-universe than the writer that created her – Scott Snyder. At the same time, you cannot possibly look at Nguyen’s design for her and think any other artist should be drawing her adventures. I’d love to see Nguyen use the slightly looser watercolor style that he has become so known for – not quite as extreme as Batman: Li’l Gotham, more like his work on the exceptional Batgirl Vol. 3 #18 issue, which was one of the best comics I read in 2011 and likely the most beautiful. With Nguyen’s watercolor style this book would instantly stand out from the pack, something that can be tough to do in a crowded Bat-field.

Nu BoP

These are Penny (Phonogram), Hope (Generation Hope) and Modesty Blaise but it’s not too hard to imagine Black Canary, Barbara Gordon, and Huntress.

04 – BIRDS OF PREY 2.0

(but really like 4.0 or whatever, but 2.0 since Nu52)

Starring: Black Canary and Barbara Gordon

Guest Starring: Poison Ivy, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Spoiler, Lady Shiva, Sin, Big Barda, Catwoman, Grace Choi, and so many more

By Kieron Gillen (writer) Jamie McKelvie (artist) Matt Wilson (colors) Jamie McKelvie (covers).

Bottom line, there should always be a Birds of Prey. Always. It should be as much a staple of a DC lineup as Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman. Let’s keep it simple this time around with a smaller cast, go back to the core with Black Canary, Barbara Gordon (no, I don’t know how, I haven’t been reading those books for a long time now and have no idea what place the characters are in, I don’t care, just make it happen — remember, these are not realistic options, these are tumblr_lg3j7gCPLx1qb0qmuo1_1280DREAM options), plus some Huntress for extra drama. Maybe flesh out the cast with  Spoiler, although Spoiler AND Huntress is a bit PURPLE for my tastes. I liked Poison Ivy on the team as a solid anti-hero so I’d bring her back as well, but I’d keep Black Canary and Barbara Gordon as the core.

Jesus Saiz was, quite frankly, the right artist for BoP with the New 52 relaunch and it’s a damn shame that DC couldn’t see that but in the interest of doing something different, I’d bring in a totally new vibe with the killer team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie with Matt Wilson on colors. That’s right, take the team that made Young Avengers such an innovative and crazy adventure and just TURN THEM LOOSE on these characters. With Gillen’s delight in telling extraordinarily bizarre stories he could find new heights of trouble for the birds to get into and with McKelvie’s gorgeous design sensibilities, style to spare, and innovative storytelling the birds would get the A+ design and visual treatment they are far too often denied. I mean, just look at the image at the top, I pulled these images from McKelvie image searches and so these are actually Hope from Generation Hope, Modesty Blaise, and Penny (from Phonogram) but with some thoughtful redesign we’re not so far away from Barbara, Helena, and Dinah. I’m swooning already. I mean…what if AN IMAGE LIKE THIS showed up in BoP??? MIND. OFFICIALLY. BLOWN. With the Young Avengers creative team in place I bet what we got would be absolute magic. And so different from anything we’ve seen at DC in…well…just about ever.

WolverineStormbySeanMurphy

Yeah, yeah, it’s Storm (and Wolverine) by Sean Murphy, not Hawkwoman, but squint your eyes and use your imagination and tell me you can’t see wings there…and an incredible potential redesign. Have some vision!

 05 – THE HAWK

Starring Hawkwoman (Shayera Hol version, organic wings, nth metal mace)

Guest Starring: Jon Stewart

Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer) Sean Murphy (artist) Matt Hollingsworth (colors) Sean Murphy (covers).

She’s a traitor, she’s an ally, she denies her destiny to fall in love with a different man, all of it. Do it all! This is a case where my love of the character is much more is rooted in the animated series character than any version I’ve read in comics (in fairness my reading of her doesn’t go that deep) but I’m a firm believer that if you put a solid creative team on a version of a character that television already audiences love and are familiar with, then you’re making smart moves. Television audiences absolutely dwarf comic reading audiences and if you make a smart well crafted comic, then comic audiences are likely to come (and stay) anyway, and if you also use a version of the character that TV audiences recognize, then all the better for your reach and eventual audience. Why Kelly Sue DeConnick? I just like how this lady writes comics, and especially, powerful heroines. I think she brings the violence and the humanity in equal measure, something a character like Shayera needs in spades. I think she’s not afraid to get weird (Pretty Deadly) but she has no problem delivering solid superhero work (Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble) and weird plus superhero seems like the sweet spot for a character like Shayera.

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Page from Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus

As for Sean Murphy, to be honest, I’m kind of sick of seeing characters with wings drawn like absolute shit. I’m sure it’s a tough gig (and a tiring one) but it’s something that really has to be done well constantly, or it starts to look lazy. In all my googling I found very few images for Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman/etc., that really felt worthy of her. Unfortunately, there were no Murphy Hawkwoman illustrations, but I did find this incredible page from Punk Rock Jesus (above) that shows he can more than handle wings. And while the first image is Storm and those aren’t wings…if you squint your eyes really hard you can almost make them be badass wings on a badass lady. Besides, anyone familiar with Murphy’s work on The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus, and Joe The Barbarian knows that he can more than manage Hawkwoman. He’s absolutely phenomenal with female characters as most of his work, especially The Wake has proven, but he’s such an incredible world builder and designer that I really think in addition to a great new design for Shayera – including wings that actually look like wings – I think he’d be able to do particularly innovative things with storytelling and design for a winged character. As for colors, Matt Hollingsworth colors so many wonderful things and his books have such distinctive looks – The Wake looking absolutely different than Hawkeye (and rightly so) – but I’d love to see him team up with Murphy to deliver some of the thoughtful color world building for Hawkwoman that he brought to The Wake.

Grace Choi-Molly Hayes

On the left is Stuart Immonen’s Future Molly Hayes, on the right is Grace Choi by Daniel Acuna.

06 – AMAZON

Starring: Grace Choi

Guest Starring: Thunder, Amanda Waller (original/real version) BoP, Wonder Woman, Amazons, Secret Six, etc.

By Kathryn Immonen (writer) Stuart Immonen (artist) Marte Gracia (colors) Stuart Immonen (colors)

I know very little about Grace Choi and yet every little bit I learn and every single time I see someone draw her, I want to know and see more. This would be a great book to rehab some of the damage done to the Amazons in the Wonder Woman book, and even if you never tackle that mess, why not elevate the cousin of Wonder Woman, a badass powerhouse, and an LGBT character all at the same time? Kathryn Immonen and husband Stuart Immonen have worked together on a few projects, the indie book Moving Pictures is great, but perhaps more to the point their Hellcat mini series was gorgeous fun. Immonen did great things with a giant violent badass with Sif in Journey Into Mystery and I’d love to see her take on Grace.

At the same time, Stuart Immonen’s take on a giant future Molly Hayes (formerly of The Runaways) has me jonsing for Immonen to draw a giant lady character and Grace Choi would be a great fit. It also helps that Immonen is easily one of the best superhero artists working in comics…that never hurts. Hopefully while he had Grace in his care he would also fix her hair which is (sometimes) the only non-awesome thing about her. Marte Gracia colors Immonen’s work on All-New X-Men and it is simply exceptional. Vibrant, superheroic but never garish, moody, and with an effortless flow to it as scenes and lighting changes. Just beautiful stuff.

Manhunter_KateSpencer

Kate Spencer as Manhunter by Jae Lee

 07 – MANHUNTER

Starring: Manhunter (Kate Spencer) and The Question (Renee Montoya)

Guest Starring: The BoP crew, and a whole slew of other DC characters, especially the Bat-related characters.

By Charles Soule (writer) Jae Lee (artist) June Chung (colors) Jae Lee (covers)

Again, I don’t care how we get there, but I’d love to see the team up on these two. Makes complete sense – even more than Renee and Huntress teaming up did as one is (or was, depending) a cop, the other is a prosecuting attorney, it makes total sense that they would know each other in their public lives and then figure out each other’s private “night work” and team up. Make it so! I know not everyone is fond of Renee Montoya as The Question, and I can understand why, but I miss the character deeply and in this climate I figure we’re more likely to get her back if she has a superhero-ish alter ego than if she’s “just a cop.”

The book should have a less traditional superhero-y vibe and more a blend between cops/procedurals and kind of dark more realistic vigilantism. Charles Soule is delivering fantastic work on She-Hulk right now and part of that is because the man knows his way around a courtroom. Obviously this would be a darker and more serious book than something like She-Hulk, but I still think Soule’s experience would be a huge benefit. I thought about going with a more realistic artist for this pick but time and again I kept coming back to Jae Lee’s image of Kate Spencer as Manhunter (above) and how perfect a fit that feels for a darker book that should still look stylized and beautiful. Lee’s work with Superman/Batman, especially his work with Catwoman in that title had me aching for him on a Catwoman book, but if we can’t have that then I’d love to see him tackle the contrasting sides of Kate and Renee’s day jobs and night jobs. I think the contrasts would be magnificent. Lee is almost always colored (and inked) by his wife, June Chung, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. She’s a huge part of what gives his work the evocative and haunting quality it has.

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This is Schiti’s Sif, but change the haircolor and or cut it off and you’re not far from Zealot.

 08 – ZEALOT

Starring: Zealot and Voodoo

Guest Starring: Grifter, other poor lost Wildstorm souls – so many to chose from!

By Warren Ellis (writer) Valerio Schiti (artist) Dave Stewart (colors) Valerio Schiti (cover)

Back in 2010 when the New 52 launched I read almost all of the first issues largely thanks to this project. In my research and stats for that project one of the comics people were most interested in and most frequently requested to read was Voodoo. This kind of blew my mind because I knew enough to be wary (which turned out to be right on the money) but it made me think that even though ultimately the book was hugely problematic, that there is a missed opportunity in sidelining that character – and a lot of the characters that DC inherited from Wildstorm. Voodoo & Zealot were pretty intriguing ladies back in the 90’s and into the early 2000’s even as Joe Casey and Sean Phillips really re-invented the WildC.A.T.’s. Zealot’s training of Voodoo and their developing friendship and respect for one another, despite extremely divergent personalities and goals, was good stuff. I’d love to see that explored again. Give them a mission, let them be complicated badasses with pasts and baggage, and plenty of flaws, and set them loose on the world. I’d buy THE HELL out of that book.

Warren Ellis has the skills to deal easily with darker stories, while still keeping things basically hilarious, which would make for a good balance with the Oscar and Felix type of vibe that you could get from Zealot and Voodoo. I’ve called the book Zealot cause it sounds better than Zealot & Voodoo, but I think this works better as team up book with each character bouncing off the other. For art, Valerio Schiti absolutely KILLED IT with Sif on Journey Into Mystery and Zealot has a similar badass warrior look (not to mention the red costume) so Schiti feels like a good fit. Schiti also really embraced the total weirdness of JiM and that could be a real advantage on the totally bizarre crap Zealot and Voodoo would be likely to encounter. Sue and I spent like ten minutes n 3 Chicks Review Comics one day raving about Dave Stewart’s ability to deliver perfect reds in an issue of B.P.R.D. He’s basically a comics coloring god, but when it comes to red, man, what’s one level above comics coloring god? So with the amount of red in both costume and blood spilled in this book, I feel like he’s the perfect man for the job.

So, those would be 8 of my #dreambooks at DC.  Anything catch your fancy? What about you – what would you like to see?

37 Comments

An interesting take for BoP would be to have Canary and Barbara select different team members for each mission based on the mission’s demands. That way, you could have a lot of rotating guest stars, but also some characters they keep going back to because they worked well together.

My dream comic was a team-up from the 90s…it would probably work best as a graphic novel…

Chase and Starman

Starring: Cameron Chase and Jack Knight

Guest starring: The Shade, Ted Knight, Mikal Tomas, various O’Dares, Mr. Bones, Kate Spencer

Story by: James Robinson and JH Williams

Art by JH Williams

Cover by Tony Harris

My dream is a complete reset button. Give every book a “What Ever Happened to the man of Tomorrow?” from a great creative team then shutter the universe and start again. For real this time. Relaunch everything to the point where Justice League goes on hiatus for at least a year because the characters don’t know each other yet. No ancillary characters who can’t exist without the main characters, because they haven’t been inspired yet. And use the most diverse options for each character version. So John Stewart is Green Lantern. Full stop. Hal, Guy, etc. probably exist somewhere but they don’t have rings yet. Renee Montoya is The Question, and her on again/off again girlfriend Kate is curious about this new vigilante with a cape that looks like bat wings. This would mean annihilating my beloved Golden Age heroes and their progeny, but that’s essentially already happened and it’s a price I’m willing to pay for sensible continuity.

–The Question (Renee Montoya) by Warren Ellis and Frasier Irving

Ellis reprises MOON KNIGHT but with Gotham’s greatest detective (Bruce who?) and Irving taking on the mantle of Depictor of Weird Shit. It’s really amazing that these people have never done anything together, as they seem like such a natural fit. Kate Kane, who was never as interesting to me as Renee is, gets second billing. Religion of crime factors heavily as do new twists on various C-list Bat-villains (Pyg, a female Anarky, Firefly).

–Manhattan Guardian and the Newsboy Legion by Fred Van Lente and Marcos Martin

Why aren’t there more books about kids? I’m not talking teen heroes, I’m talking /kids/. Nor, necessarily, do I need an all-ages book–just something with that manic faux-YA energy you get from the treehousepunk subgenre. Van Lente could tweak and explode the New York mythology from Seven Soldiers and make DC’s New York into something really special. Marcos Martin does what he does, and we all get down on our knees and thank God that he does it.

–Doom Patrol by David Hine and Ramon Villalobos

These are two talents who know how to take “weird” into the twenty-first century. Elasti-Girl, Rebis, Robotman, a slew of new characters. I want a Doom Patrol book that oscillates between uncomfortable and erotic and generally makes me run to an adult.

–Teen Titans by Al Ewing and Sarah Pichelli

“Mighty Avengers” shows that Al Ewing can pretty effortlessly juggle a superhero team even with terrible art. Sarah Pichelli makes /distinctly non-terrible art/. Use the cartoon team as a base (duh) and go from there.

–Batman by Rick Remender and Greg Capullo

Capullo can draw Batman for-fucking-ever, but Snyder? I don’t like that dude’s writing. He’s doing okay on Zero Year, but it’s really just a vehicle for the art. Rick Remender, though, has a knack for taking characters that seem kinda played-out macho fantasies to me–Punisher, Wolverine, Deadpool, Venom, Captain America–and making them feel real to me.

–Green Lantern Corps by Jonathan Hickman, Marco Rudy and JH Williams III

Hickman knows how to tell sprawling epics about big space empires. These two artists tend to get a little too fancy in their layouts for simple superhero-style storytelling, making them perfect for a mythology where people fight with frigging /wishing rings/. And between the two of them, they could make a schedule. Jon Stewart stars, needless to say.

–Flash by Grant Morrison and Jamie McKelvie

I know I’m breaking up both the Morrison/Burnham and Gillen/McKelvie superteams for this, but I know G-Mo wants to be allowed to cut loose on Flash, and I’d /love/ to see McKelvie grapple with the issues of making a speedster book look new and exciting.

–Wonder Woman by Louise (co-writer) and Walter (co-writer and artist) Simonson with John (letterer) Workman and Laura (colorist) Martin

Barely even fair, I know. But if any book should be making your entire line look bad, it should be Wonder Woman.

For me:

1. Spoiler and Black Bat- Stephanie Brown and Cassandra overseas working as interns/employees of Wayne Tech. Think of them as an extension of Batman Inc. Steph and Cass had such a good chemistry and while Steph would look like the outsider in Hong Kong, she would be more apt to know the pop culture than Cass would and could make for some fun situations.

2. John Jones: Martian Detective- I would love to see J’onn from the Justice League Animated series be adapted to comics. Just tweak down his powers a little and focus on the shape shifting and mental abilities. Make him an old style detective that is trying to solve cases in the here and now.

3. Delirium- Del is the youngest of The Endless and the very personification of insanity and all it’s aspects. She is the most likely of the Endless to wander about mortals and interact with them next to her older brother Destruction. Give Del a sudden urge to be really out into the world and be with the people. There could be fun moments and really sad tragic ones with her.

4. Destruction- Another of the Endless and a rogue. Wise and powerful, yet with a very tender soul. For over 3 centuries he has wandered the Earth and all of creation itself as a “private citizen”. He would be the one Endless character that could really be independant of all existing Gaiman created characters.

I know it will never happen, but I’d like to see Neil Gaiman return to write Death in an ongoing series, with art from Chris Bachalo (who did both of the miniseries). I admittedly have no real idea for a story, but I just love the character and want to see more of her.

Also, maybe this is nitpicky, but you said 2010 when you meant 2011 when you talked about reading books for the New 52.

“Katniss Everdeen (or Modesty Blaise?) but it’s not too hard to imagine Black Canary, Barbara Gordon, and Huntress.”

that is Modesty Blaise

http://fyeahmodestyblaise.tumblr.com/post/12944265389/by-jamie-mckelvie-mckelvie-a-piece-for-the

–The Question by Warren Ellis and Frasier Irving

Ellis reprises MOON KNIGHT but with Gotham’s greatest detective (Bruce who?) and Irving taking on the mantle of Depictor of Weird Crime Shit. It’s really amazing that these people have never done anything together, as they seem like such a natural fit. Kate Kane, who was never as interesting to me as Renee is, gets second billing. Religion of crime factors heavily as do new twists on various C-list Bat-villains (Pyg, a female Anarky, Firefly).

–Manhattan Guardian and the Newsboy Legion by Fred Van Lente and Marcos Martin

Why aren’t there more books about kids? I’m not talking teen heroes, I’m talking /kids/. Nor, necessarily, do I need an all-ages book–just something with that manic faux-YA energy you get from the treehousepunk subgenre. Van Lente could tweak and explode the New York mythology from Seven Soldiers and make DC’s New York into something really special. Marcos Martin does what he does, and we all get down on our knees and thank God that he does it.

–Doom Patrol by David Hine and Ramon Villalobos

These are two talents who know how to take “weird” into the twenty-first century. Elasti-Girl, Rebis, Robotman, a slew of new characters. I want a Doom Patrol book that oscillates between uncomfortable and erotic and generally makes me run to an adult.

–Teen Titans by Al Ewing and Sarah Pichelli

“Mighty Avengers” shows that Al Ewing can pretty effortlessly juggle a superhero team even with terrible art. Sarah Pichelli makes /distinctly non-terrible art/. Use the cartoon team as a base (duh) and go from there.

–Batman by Rick Remender and Greg Capullo

Capullo can draw Batman for-fucking-ever, but Snyder? I don’t like that dude’s writing. He’s doing okay on Zero Year, but it’s really just a vehicle for the art. Rick Remender, though, has a knack for taking characters that seem kinda played-out macho fantasies to me–Punisher, Wolverine, Deadpool, Venom, Captain America–and making them feel real to me.

–Green Lantern Corps by Jonathan Hickman, Marco Rudy and JH Williams III

Hickman knows how to tell sprawling epics about big space empires. These two artists tend to get a little too fancy in their layouts for simple superhero-style storytelling, making them perfect for a mythology where people fight with frigging /wishing rings/. And between the two of them, they could make a schedule. Jon Stewart stars, needless to say.

–Flash by Grant Morrison and Jamie McKelvie

I know I’m breaking up both the Morrison/Burnham and Gillen/McKelvie superteams for this, but I know G-Mo wants to be allowed to cut loose on Flash, and I’d /love/ to see McKelvie grapple with the issues of making a speedster book look new and exciting.

–Wonder Woman by Louise (co-writer) and Walter (co-writer and artist) Simonson with John (letterer) Workman and Laura (colorist) Martin

Barely even fair, I know. But if any book should be making your entire line look bad, it should be Wonder Woman.

Some cool ideas there Kelly, but by far the best one for me is BoP. I’ve not really taken to N52 much and my reading list shrinks by the month but BoP is one of the biggest of my N52 disappointments and I think your idea would be SOOO much better.
In fact I only have one disagreement and that’s in your Manhunter book. I’d welcome Renee like a shot as supporting cast but not in her hero ID. I loved the Denny O’Neill/Denys Cowan Question so for me the Question will always be Vic Sage

“Amanda Waller (original/real version)”

You know, few things in comics make me mad anymore, but what DC did to Amanda Waller is a crime.

Yes Yes Yes on the Cass book, Rucka + a Bat character= gold. I want a new Cass book so bad, she’s what brought me back into the DC universe years ago. For me though if I was going to have Gillen and McKelvie do a DC book it would be Teen Titans, only they can save that series and make it great again.

I’d have pitched a Bats of Prey book – Stephanie Brown/Batgirl, Cassandra Cain/Blackbat, and Misfit. Kelly Sue Deconnick and Amanda Conner. Could have been fun.

Terrific article. While I have never been a fan of Renee Montoya as The Question, the idea of doing Law & Order in a superhero universe is nifty one. Renee and Kate Spenser feel like natural focal characters.

My dream line up of DC books is basically un-doable in a nu52 context. I would want to bring the vibe of the very successful publisher from the fifties and early sixties into the 21st Century. Basically, look at what worked before Marvel got in their head, think about how the world has changed in the last half century, think very hard about how the audience has changed over that same span and re-invent things from scratch.

Now, that doesn’t mean throwing the baby out with the bath water. DC owns lots of great stuff. It has a rich history. It just means taking a step back and doing a genuine inventory before tossing a bunch of stuff against the wall.

To me, the cornerstone of the DC portfolio is the DCAU. BATMAN:TAS, SUPERMAN:TAS, JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, TEEN TITANS GO! and the rest. It gives DC as close to a coherent universe as it has ever had. Toss in BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD and you get a pretty good tour of DC’s superhero properties. That is not to say that Bruce Timm and company never missed a stitch. It is just that it is as close to a Lee-Kirby / Lee-Ditko style ur-text that DC has. If you are going to shuffle those status quos, then you need a pretty good reason.

From that stable base, you can start to do an inventory. Your strengths are that you have an impressive roster of A, B, C and D-list straight, white, male heroes. You have Batman, Superman, The Flash and Robin at the top. A half tier below, you have Aquaman, Plastic Man, Green Arrow, Beast Boy (technically green, but c’mon), Metamorpho (ibid), Etrigan (ibid) and a few others. A tier below that and you The Question, Captain Marvel and other deeper supporting cast members.

You also have a decent roster of white female characters. No one has been dubbed an ‘A-lister’ in the DCAU and allowed to carry their own series (neither have The Flash and Robin), but Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl and Black Canary all got A-list treatment within the context of the Justice League. Wonder Woman and Black Canary got treated like visiting A-listers on BRAVE AND THE BOLD. Four white male and three white female A-listers ain’t bad, if you actually follow through and give them roughly equal weight. The tier below is bit sparse with Starfire and Raven being the only women given equal footing with Aquaman and Green Arrow. Huntress, Supergirl, Fire and Ice are all kinda close though. That third tier is where things get sparse.

Having John Stewart is Green Lantern role helps male A-list from a racial diversity standpoint a lot. Having 20% of your male A-list be non-white may not be where we are as a country, but it is a heck of a lot closer than 0%. Even then, your B-list reads Cyborg and … Blue Beetle (maybe?!?). The non-white, female portion is Vixen, Amanda Waller and …. Bumblebee (?!?).

Clearly, this is an area of weakness that needs to be shored up.

Personally, I would start by dropping Aquaman and Martian Manhunter from the ‘Big 7′ and add Black Canary and Ryan Choi take on The Atom. It makes the JLA more representative racially, promotes a key legacy line and solidifies the Birds of Prey as a major ‘thing’. You could make the case that Hawkgirl (or -woman) deserves the Black Canary slot, but I like the contrast between WW and BC better.

Next, we move to the New Gods. There is a lot to love about the New Gods, but they have never found a lasting role within the DCU. They have always felt different than the Justice League family despite being DCU ‘natives’. I’d capitalize on that and recontextualize them outside the Kirby Kosmic world that they have almost exclusively inhabited. I’d focus pair the Shilo Norman version of Mister Miracle with a black Big Barda and Oberon. That makes her visually distinct from Wonder Woman and potentially gives her the space to jump a tier. I’d use that ‘slightly off’ feeling of the New Gods as a metaphor for the slightly parallel world of the black experience in America. We live in the same place, but we don’t experience it the same way. Blend them with the Milestone properties that DC owns (Static, Hardware, Icon & Rocket) and you might not have diversity, but at least you have the white-black duality of American culture covered. Also, I’d move Cyborg over into the ‘Hardware family’. There is no non-white superhero family and there should be.

Then, I’d move on to the Marvel Family, the Charlton characters and the Quality characters. Again, they have all had a faint whiff of ‘otherness’ about them. None of them are native to the DCU. It is something that I would use to correct another persistent problem: the utter lameness of non-American superheroes. They are all event cannon fodder wrapped inside of cultural stereotypes. I’d start to correct that exporting these white characters that are not as popular as the JLA family of white characters to other parts of the Anglophone world. Make Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. into Canadians. Make Blue Beetle, The Question, Captain Atom and Nightshade into Brits. Make Black Condor, The Ray, Phantom Lady, the Human Bomb and Doll Man into Australians (or maybe more broadly expat citizens of the ASEAN countries).

Serial narratives in the 21st century need casts that go 8-9 deep, so the A-list franchises cannot afford to throw anyone away. I’d bring back Ralph and Sue Dibny to support The Flash PLUS the non-white Iris and Wally West from the upcoming TV show PLUS Linda Park PLUS the Allen family from the old TV show. I’d have Ryan Choi supported by Ray Palmer and Jean Loring PLUS I’d put Sheira Sanders, Carter Hall and Mavis Trent into the same cast. I’d toss Ryan/Sheira/Carter into a love triangle. I’d have Jean Loring be mentally ill AND a lawyer AND a decent person.

Taken as a whole, that is maybe a half-step toward making the DCU a better representation of the world as it exists.

Oh …

I’d turn Amanda Waller back into Amanda Waller and put Cass Cain on the Suicide Squad. While she is a proven A-lister, she has never done it outside the Bat Family and it really feels like she needs to get outside that context. Plus, Waller, Rick Flag, Bronze Tiger, Cass Cain, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang and Plastique just feel like a team to me.

my dream DC book is Black Bat written by Kelly Thompson and drawn by me.

“I’d have pitched a Bats of Prey book – Stephanie Brown/Batgirl, Cassandra Cain/Blackbat, and Misfit.”

That has “greastest one-shot” written all over it :)
Poor Misfit, many of us complain about the lack of Steph and Cass but even the most ardent Bat fans seem to forget Miss Radcliffe. Just a Misfit and Bluebird story would be a lot of fun I think. The very blue collar and down in the trenches Harper Row with the upbeat Charlotte would be a very story. Considering their power sets (mechanical vs metahuman), I bet a lot of writers could make something great from them.

And why can’t DC have their own “Line is Drawn” series? Once a month have a fan originated “DC Presents” where DC picks a fan suggested idea and apply it to a one-shot. I would probably get that.

“Unwelcoming” is a pretty perfect way to describe DC right now.

And it REALLY breaks my heart because, at the end of the day, in terms of which characters and which universe I love the most, I’m absolutely a DC partisan. But… DC has made it abundantly clear that they don’t really want me reading their books. Or, more realistically, that readers like me matter so little to them they don’t mind alienating us in droves so long as they can appeal to the ONE kind of reader they do care about.

And meanwhile, Marvel is offering me EXACTLY the kinds of superhero comics I want. Silver Surfer, Ghostrider, Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Hawkeye, Superior Foes of Spiderman, Daredevil… these are all great, AND they’re really stylistically diverse, appealing to all the many different things I love.

*sigh*

What I’d love from DC…

Rucka doing The Question and Batwoman again, with someone like Francavilla or Jock on The Question, and JH Williams III back on Batwoman.

I’d also LOVE to see JH Williams III drawing a Fourth World saga, with someone big and weird and wild like Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis onboard as writer. Though Kelly Sue DeConnick could also be great, if she went into her weird, mytho-poetic “Pretty Deadly” mode for it.

I’d love a return of Ryan Choi Atom… not sure who by, maybe just Gail Simone, but definitely someone with a good sense of humour and an honest love of science and the natural world, and drawn by someone who can infuse a lot of joy and fun into the page AND convey the incredible beauty and wonder of the natural world. Because who better than Ryan Choi to show how awesome the world around us is, y’know? You just gotta get right down there and LOOK.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and the Allreds.

A return of Paul Cornell to the Demon Knights, with Doug Mahnke on art.

I dunno. I think I’m not very good at this game. I’m way better at describing the kinds of tones I’d love to see than thinking up specific creative teams to match those tones, at least not without just wanting them to recreate the exact same chemistry from a pre-existing title, which isn’t as interesting as all the stuff that new pairings of creators MIGHT come up with when faced with cool opportunities. And there’s so many creators! And so many who are ridiculously talented but who just aren’t the big famous names that immediately pop into one’s head!

Oh and DAMN I’d love another truly innovative take on The Doom Patrol. Hire one of the weirdest, coolest, most daring and innovative creative teams out there, maybe farm them from indie comics or webcomics, creators who HAVEN’T been established in the mainstream yet or fallen into patterns yet, and just let them go nuts.

Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Woman, Dorothy Spinner, Coagula, Danny The Street and The Chief.

No Crazy Jane, cos let’s face it, she’s a wildly inaccurate and silly look at mental illness based on a “non-fiction” that turned out to be a fraud thing, that ppl who are really creative and talented but not so great at critical thinking, like Grant Morrison, took at face value just cos it SOUNDED cool. :P

@ Natalie:

In Hollywood, they segment their audience into four quadrants: Men 25 and Under, Women 25 and Under, Men over 25 and Women over 25. Before the nu52, DC was heavily focuses on Men over 25 with a considerable legacy appeal to the growing Women over 25 demo. The nu52 was an effort to blow up that situation and quadruple down on Men under 25.

The above should not be counted as an endorsement. I think that decision was a stupid one.

(old man rant) Call me old fashioned, but I really hate this trend of having a different artist do the main covers, or having a separate credit for the cover artist when it’s the same team as the inside art. (/old man rant)

New Shadow pact.

Led by Zatanna, starring Black Alice, Mary Marvel, Klarion the Witch Boy, and Detective Chimp. Like a mystical A-Team, they take the gigs no other team can even touch.

Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, art by Joelle Jones, colors and covers by Ted Naifeh.

Natalie, your Jimmy Olsen idea would be awesome. Put me down for one of that!

I’d like to see Lois Lane separated from Superman (er… done?) and globetrotting all over the world tackling real-world parallel stories. “Ripped-from-the-headline” type stuff with a suitably dumb and wild comic booky spin. Then her supporting cast would be a completely redeveloped Power Girl, and an unpaid intern. Power Girl would be recognizable, but no longer related to Superman (just another Kryptonian), and no longer rich. There are enough rich heroes. Make her Karen Starr and Lois’s camera operator, sometimes stealing her spotlight, always saving her ass. Kurt Busiek to write. Amanda Conner on pictures.

I want that Black Bat book . Barda is to me what Grace Choi is to you (and now to me since you brought her up—so many interesting characters, so little money). I’ve seen her. She’s got a stunning character design. And I want to read her. Somewhere—possibly an earlier SHNH—I saw a panel of her discussing Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh or some such with a little girl and commenting on it being a warrior’s game(?). It was a great scene. If anyone has any Barda reading recommendations, I’d love to hear them. (Otherwise I’ll have to do my own work and sniff around Wikipedia, and no one wants that.) Also, not going to lie, I saved the hell out of that Samnee Huntress pic. Is that from a series? My biggest Yes goes to Birds 2.0. Both writers of the Nu52 series just left me cold. And sad.

Speaking of sad, here are my blind stabs:

1) Huntress, by Greg Rucka and Mathew Southworth: By day Helena Bertinelli is a college professor, by night she prowls the streets, notching off mafia members as she works her way toward the ones responsible for the death of her family. As she closes in on her prey, her appetite for vengeance growing, Bertinelli must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get what she wants. Can she still be human—a caring friend, a concerned teacher, a committed teammate—if she’s willing to burn everything to settle the score? (And at no point in time do we find out Bertinelli is ‘dead’ and we’ve been following the alternate reality groin spawn of Bat and Cat.)

2) Cain, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (I bravely fought off the temptation to call this Citizen Cain. I expect a statue erected in my honor.): After a life of being an assassin’s daughter and an adopted member of the Bat-family, Cass Cain sets off on her own to discover who she is when she isn’t wearing someone else’s insignia. Her travels take her across the globe (with an extended stay in China), leading to conflicts with the League of Assassins, her mother and the Bat himself. Guest appearances by Barbara Gordon and Stephanie Brown.

3) Birds of Prey, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Rebekah Isaacs: The Birds—Black Canary, Barbara Gordon, Stephanie “Spoiler” Brown, Vixen, Zatanna and guest appearances by Huntress—trace a human-trafficking ring to its roots in a gritty, not-Gotham city, which they find is in desperate need of guardians. They agree to stay on as the city’s self-appointed protectors, fighting corruption in both the streets and within marble buildings. In a symbolic move, Barbara sheds the title of ‘Batgirl’ to become ‘Oracle,’ while remaining the team’s field leader. (It’s almost like there’s a theme going on here . . .)

4) Shades of Green, by Judd Winick and Greg Land: Pamela Ivy is a sexually eager co-ed who can’t seem to get laid. She attracts the attention of a mysterious, handsome stranger who follows her around campus and takes pictures of her sleeping. Learning about this mystery man’s interest via pics posted to the Internet, Pamela gladly accepts his advances, and then one day . . . you realize I’m joking. We’re not doing Poison Ivy Plant Porn. Nor would we ever consider calling it Bush Wacked.

4) . . . real this time: The Guardians, by Mike Carey and Elena Casagrande: A United Nations sanctioned answer to the Justice League, The Guardians—Kimiyo ‘Dr. Light’ Hoshi (field leader), Beatriz ‘Fire’ da Costa, Tora ‘Ice’ Olafsdotter, Shayera ‘Hawkgirl’ Hol and Tatsu ‘Katana’ Yamashiro—handle international superpowered incidents and the political headaches that come with them. Occasionally they assist or butt heads with the Justice League.

5) Question, by Peter David and Daniel Acuña: I finished rewatching JLU last week and fell in love with the quirky, pop-singing, conspiracy-busting Question. I’m not sure if that’s how he was in the comics, but if so, I’ve got some back bins to go raid. Here, however, we’re dealing with female characters, so I’m invoking Rule 63 to give us a detective series featuring the oddly correct insanity of Victoria ‘Vic’ Sage—all the same crazy, all new chromosomes.

6) Smash Sisters, by Kathryn Immonen and Cliff Chiang: It’s Wonder Woman and Big Bad Barda beating the stuffing out of gods both Old and New—and anyone else dumb enough to get in their way. You want more premise? Go tell Barda you want more premise. (Yes, it’s a terrible name. And you know whom you can take it up with.)

7) Redacted, by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark: A black ops team headed by Amanda Waller (appearance based on CCH Friggin’ Pounder), with a field team of Kate ‘Batwoman’ Kane (field leader), Renee Montoya, Sasha Bordeaux, Eva ‘Starling’ Crawford, non-loli-goth Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, doing the jobs no one needs to know about.

8) Catwoman, by Brian K. Vaughn and Sara Pichelli: Selena Kyle trips the grey line between crook and crusader in a globe-spanning book of cons, heists and personal causes.

9) Young Justice, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie: They’re young. They’re hip. They fight hard and party harder. Starring: Aqualad, Artemis, Kid Flash, Rocket, Blue Beetle, Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), Miss Martian, and Roy Harper (as either Red Arrow or Arsenal because . . . Speedy? Come on.)

10) The Red and the Green, by Becky Cloonan: A lighthearted romp featuring the romance and antics of DC’s premier couple: Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.

Oh my god, I’d read the hell out of Hawk, Amazon, and Zealot. Totally. I’d love to see Schiti do art for a broadsword-swinging badass woman again. The JiM was criminally short-lived and I’m still bitter about it.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and the Allreds.

A return of Paul Cornell to the Demon Knights, with Doug Mahnke on art.

Thirded and seconded!

Caanaan:

YES!!! A Lois Lane book featuring her just being an awesome, badass investigative reporter, in a world where journalism has to report on Giant Robots From Beyond The Stars, and Mutant Swamp Monsters, and Gotham City Murder Clowns, and stuff like that! It would be so so sooooo good.

For a long, long time now my personal, imaginary, if-I-ever-met-the-DC-editorial, “pitch” would be a comic called “Daily Planet”, similar to “Gotham Central”, and featuring Olsen and Chloe and a mostly-original cast of all the other journalists at the Planet who have to live under Lois’s shadow, reporting the less-interesting Non-Superhuman Crime stories, or Sports, or Party Gossip, or whatever. While, meanwhile, all the citizens of Metropolis live under Lex’s shadow. And all the citizens of EARTH live under Superman’s shadow. It’d be all about ambition and jealousy, and coming to terms with that, and learning to put people above your own ambitions. That kinda thing.

I’d want Steve Lieber and Jordie Bellaire as my art team. :P

WorldbreakerGrimm

June 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

OK, I’d love to add my Dream Books to this list…keep in mind though, I barely keep-up with Nu52 continuity, so these may be serious left-field ideas…

BLACK LANTERNS – John Layman (W), Tony Moore (A), Simon Bisley (Covers)…Yes, it’s another “Lantern” book, but this one’s a bit different; here we have a quartet of the zombie-like Black Lanterns that have gained sentience thru mysterious means, and after coming together and hashing things out, decide to become Freelance Detectives whom can communicate with the dead (and sometimes reanimate them) to solve their murders! I’m thinking undead versions of Dan Garrett (the first Blue Beetle), Ralph & Sue Dibney, and perhaps a recently-killed Killer Croc (what else is he doing?) to round things out. The Lanterns are supposed to be Cops, so the BL’s are their version of CSI, and these four in particular could eventually become a twisted Fantastic Four. Sounds hokey, I know…but I for one would rush to check-out these adventures, and I doubt I’m alone.

Some more later, perhaps…I have some pondering to do!

I’d love a Cassandra Cain book back. I do hope she’s not been gone for so long now that it becomes an impossibility, but as long as fans of her like Scott Snyder, Gail Simone and (I think) James Tynion IV are around on the Bat-books I think there’s some hope left. Especially seeing as a fair number of Z-list Batman characters are popping up in Batman Eternal right now. I’d put Snyder on it myself, but my absolute #1 choices to write it would be her original creators Kelley Puckett and/or Scott Peterson in all honesty. No one did it better than them, and I’m not sure anyone could. I’d like Yildiray Cinar for art on it, I really liked him on Supergirl and I think he’d fit this kind of book.

A Superman Family/Metropolis/Daily Planet type book would also be nice. The current Superman books have done an abysmal job at building up the mythology and world around Superman, it all feels like a jumble of disconnected bits. Something set a bit closer to ground level in that world or that connects all the characters together would be welcome. That’s probably where I would put Greg Rucka, but the Lois Lane 1-shot and Adventures of Superman #50 make me think Marguerite Bennett or Kelly Sue DeConnick would be good at this particularly if Lois Lane was either the lead or a major protagonist of it. Again I’m clearly thinking of the Lois Lane 1-shot because Emanuela Lupacchino and Meghan Hetrick keep coming to mind for art. Not that I’d want to lose Lupacchino from Supergirl of course…

WorldbreakerGrimm

June 10, 2014 at 4:04 pm

AH! I got another one..

JUSTICE OF BANE! – Gail Simone (W), Ed McGuinness (A)…Scandal Savage busts Bane out of Arkham, and the two travel the World (and beyond!) doing mercenary work, or whatever else crazy comes their way. I’m thinking a trip to Apokolips is in store for the first arc, where Scandal meets her girlfriend-to-be Knockout…if she survives against her in a Death Match, that is! Simone obviously knows these characters and writes them better than most, and McGuinness draws hulking badasses and beautiful women like no other, IMO. Sign me up!

I am dying for a new Manhunter book, but I’d like the original Andreyko/Saiz team back. Such a great book, back to front.

I would totally buy your pitch for The Hawk. Shayera Hol was one of my favorite aspects of the JL/JLU cartoon, and I dearly want to see that version explore more in a comic book.

I’m realizing most of the DC books I’ve read in earnest over the past few years have had female leads, so they’d be smart to greenlight some new ones if they want to get me to read more than one book a month.

And if DC did a Bat book as you describe, Scott Snyder would only co-write the first issue, and one of his many acolytes would take over and do a very mediocre job.

*Black Bat book, d’oh

All of these ideas are great.

I’d publish:

Angel & the Ape by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover. He’s an artist. She’s a detective. He’s a gorilla. She’s not, but still manages to be the one people don’t mess with. Together, they solve crimes and try to make it in the big city.

Hawkwoman by John Ostrander & Cameron Stewart: Katar’s lost in time and Shayera’s on her own. Sort of. She has the backing of Chicago’s finest as the city’s first officially sanctioned metahuman police officer. It’s a super-hero Law & Order, basically.

Vixen by G. Willow Wilson & Christine Norrie: Fashion model by day, super-heroine by night. A pure-fun comic with a dash of soap opera mixed in.

Sugar & Spike by Bill Watterson: As long as we’re dreaming, I’m dreaming big.

Travis Pelkie

June 12, 2014 at 2:46 am

I almost totally forgot the one I’d want to see:

Sexy Batman and Sexy Lobo, written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson and Kate Beaton, with an occasional issue by Colleen Coover. Oh yeah!

@Mike Loughlin: Watterson apparently guested/co-wrote and drew a couple of Pearls Before Swine strips recently.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/06/07/bill-wattersons-strips-for-pearls-before-swine/

So far, out of all the suggestions, I think I’d most like to read Elpie’s, and the sort of Lois Lane / Jimmy Olsen / Daily Planet thing we all seem to really really want.

On the Zealot idea
Unless there is another reboot (or I missed something) it should probably be Priscilla rather than Voodoo (though Voodoo would make sense as a recurring adversary).
For those who don’t know – Voodo was a heroine in the old Wildstorm setting but for the New 52 she was reinvented as a villainess/monster (presumably influenced by films like Species and The Hidden).
So in issue 1 she’s an alien spy working as a stripper being investigated by 2 FBI agents. the male FBI agent decides to spend some private time with her but she turned into a monster and murdered him. She then shapeshifts to adopt his identity to bed his partner in the following issue.

The problem with villain series is the villain has to be in some sense likeable or the creators need to focus on their more likeable enemies. It is hard to like someone who engages in cold blooded murder and the original opposition wasn’t good enough to carry the series.

So, in issue 6 we get Priscilla – the human woman Voodoo was cloned from. She is rescued from the captivity she has been in (since issue 0) and is shocked to learn an evil clone has stolen her identity and has been working as a stripper. The following 6 issues feature an inconclusive running battle between good Priscilla and Evil Voodoo. In the end (issue 0) Priscilla teams up with Grifter and is due to continue her adventures in his title (unless that gets cancelled too)
Maybe with a different title and a greater focus on her pursuers (in a more XFiles style) it might have lasted longer – or maybe if the good Priscilla had been around from the start..

On the other ideas, I would certainly have given Manhunter and the Hawk a try (and probably Amazon)

As for the Black Bat
..I want it
NOW!!!

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