Crisis of Comics: Taking One For The Team

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

There was a time, a time when there were books that didn’t star Batman, a time when there were team books that were not necessarily focused on saving all of reality. Well-written team books can produce some of the most memorable moments of characterization. Both companies could use some levity and more character-focused stories.

  • Defenders- many times there have been attempts to recapture the magic of the original non-team, they need to try again.
  • Outsiders- highlight some characters not getting much love elsewhere.
  • God Squad- revert Amadeus Cho to non-Hulk status and reunite him with Herc, and the other misfot gods.
  • JSA- this one gets teased, but can they recapture some of the optimism and magic?
  • Champions- I enjoy the current incarnation, but a team that captured all the craziness of the 70s team would be better!
  • Legion- I’m not necessarily a fan, but they don’t deserve this exile.
  • F-4- see Legion above, with the caveat that I enjoy them some of the time.
  • Metal Men- give them a non-mini-series book.
  • Daughters of the Dragon/ Heroes for Hire- some levity and Z-list villains, and stories of regular people. Yes!
  • Global Guardians- give this team of international heroes their due!
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Crisis of Comics: The Oldies

If you have read the first issue of the Metal series, the last page had quite a reveal. It seems like DC is really going for it, mainstreaming, and making part of canon many of their ideas that have ben popular in the past, from Watchmen to Gaiman’s Sandman. I can almost hear Didio, chomping a cigar, bellowing out “If the kids love Watchmen, give them more Watchmen” and his editors chiming in “Yes, chief!”

Why stop there. Marvel’s Generations/ Legacy seems to be all about bringing back past ideas and characters, continuity be damned, and DC is just going for it.

  • Miller’s Dark Knight. Follow the Marvel route, have there be two Batmen, one the normal batman, and one the Miller Batman.
  • AoA Generation Next. Marvel can’t seem to let drop the Kitty+Colossus pairing, throw caution to the wind!
  • Superman Red Son. They seem to not know what to do with Superman, this could be DC’s Secret Empire!
  • Space Punisher!
  • Justice League: The New Frontier
  • Howard the Duck
  • Super Friends
  • Shanna the She-Devil
  • Kingdom Come
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

 

Crisis of Comics: A non-Crisis Crisis, How Very Metal…

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

“The truth of the matter is this: a Crisis-level event is the next logical step for Rebirth. Though each individual book has been doing a considerable amount of leg work as far as covering the ground lost, deleted or simply ignored during the New 52 shake up, there are still major connecting threads that remain glaringly absent.”

I didn’t write that, click through to read the whole article.

As someone who is not that invested in post-Rebirth DC, or whatever it is now, I have so many questions, but just one I will pose here:

What about the Button?

Looking at this analytically, this seems like DC is just over the moon because their books are selling decently, and is doing way too much, and they might, I predict, implode again, from the weight of trying to do too much.

Is anyone going to explain, in a way that makes sense, why Babs is no longer Oracle, or are DC fans so busy stroking off to the 15 Bat-titles every month to care?

“I’ve been planning METAL for as long as I’ve been writing Batman, but I want METAL to be built upon the stories happening now in Rebirth. Most of all we want to create new material that feels really modern and different. And above all, it’s going to be fun. Even with terror and nightmares, it won’t be grim. DARK NIGHTS: METAL will be celebratory, huge and crazy.” — SCOTT SNYDER

DC is doing well, as much as I might poke fun. Do they really need another Crisis-level event? I say no.

 

 

Crisis of Comics: Secret Convergence Wars: Oh, the Places We’ll Go

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

Of course there is a larger discussion to be had, about the quality and repercussions of Secret wars and Convergence, but that is neither here nor there.

I would imagine that the writers of the tie-in books had a great deal of fun playing in ridiculous playgrounds even if just for 1-2 issues.

But why not let those writers continue to play, and let us, the comics readers, reap the benefits.

Imagine a team, one for each of the big two, who travel from pocket reality to pocket reality, both companies have had teams like this, eXiles as one example.

Look at all the fun we could be having slash look at all the cool stuff they teased us with and then forgot:

(It is Elseworlds, but not…)

  • 1602, with Angela or without
  • Supergirl: Matrix
  • Master of Kung-Fu
  • Plastic Man & The Freedom Fighters
  • Siege
  • Infinity Inc.
  • 1872
  • Swamp Thing
  • Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps
  • Hawkman

 

Crisis of Comics: Wonderful World of Comics

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

There is a comic based on a ride at Disney World (Big Thunder Mountain).

I have not read it, but odd.

Instead of looking for the next Pirates, why not dig deep into the not-necessarily-animated Disney archives, and look for pre-existing properties, that might already have a fanbase. Marvel should (again), take a cue from DC:

  • Witch Mountain. The remake with the Rock could never live up to the creepy original films.
  • Condorman. Why not? No need to reinvent the wheel, a gritty reimagining integrated into the Marvel U.
  • Black Hole. Trippy Kirby-esque art.
  • Big Hero Six. A real shame they have done little with the property in terms of publishing. Opportunity missed.
  • Incredibles. One of the most beloved and well-reviewed superhero movies doesn’t have a comic?
  • Herbie. We could always use more Herbie. An anthology series perhaps.
  • The Cat From Outer Space.
  • Tron.
  • Medfield College. An mature, anthology style series.
  • Dragonslayer.

 

Crisis of Comics: More Hanna Barbera!

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

Scooby Apocalypse, FutureQuest, Flintstones, Wacky Raceland, reimagining classic cartoon properties with a more edgy spin. Snagglepuss as a gay, southern-gothic playwright.

Yes.

c160b5c08e1fea1ee84d0209fc90ade7I enjoyed Wacky Raceland quite a bit, the art was so very dense. FutureQuest was great fun, but keep these titles coming DC!

  • Captain Caveman. Make him less goofy looking, make him a hulking brute, keep the female sidekicks sexed up. Joe Jusko doing the art.
  • Hong Kong Phooey. David Aja art.
  • Space Ghost. He was great in FutureQuest, but really deserves his own title.
  • Yogi Bear. Draw him realistically, make him an eco-warrior.
  • Jabberjaw. Cybernetically enhanced shark designed for war, breaks free, and joins up with young twenty-somethings who have a band on a cruise ship.
  • Grape Ape. Godzilla/ Kong style shenanigans.
  • Speed Buggy. Fast and Furious meets Knight Rider style adventures.
  • Quick Draw McGraw. Gritty old west tale.
  • Scooby family. Genetically engineered dogs revolt, and are pursued by a group led by Scrappy.
  • Blue Falcon. This needs to happen.

Crisis of Comics: Tie-In Toys

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

608805IDW has cornered the market on toy-based property comics: MASK, GI Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, and even Rom. All properties that have previously had comics published by the Big Two.

Are you telling me that The Big Two couldn’t afford any/ all of these properties?

Granted, some aspects of these properties continue to remain the property of the original comics publishing their tales.

But, where are the toys? Here is a List of

  • Micronauts
  • Rom
  • GI Joe
  • Godzilla
  • MASK (which is complicated, because it was originally published by DC, but in recent years Matt Trakker’s place on the GI Joe team was confirmed…)

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Instead, we get toys that have little to do with the comics.

Marvel-Titan-Hero-Series-12-inch--pTRU1-25414128dt.jpegRemember this Black Widow?

Or Batman the ninja?

Or Batman with his cyber-animal companions and special armor?

Oddly, there are some Squadron Supreme Legos, because what 10 year old doesn’t love those characters.

And Red Sonja, can’t we get her back to Marvel?

Crisis of Comics: The Wu-Tang

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

Best_of_Spidey_Super_Stories_Vol_1_1“My daughter really liked the Wonder Woman film, can you suggest….”

“My son is really excited about the upcoming Thor movie, can you suggest…”

Comics (from the big two) have moved away from being for the kids. Gone are the single issue stories, gone are the kid-friendly (which doesn’t mean kiddie, although there is nothing wrong with Spidey’s Super Stories) tales.

There are plenty of comics being published for kids, some by the Big Two, but they often veer towards kiddie. If they want new (read: young) readers, they need to capitalize on successes, and have some comics be good entry points. There is nothing saying there cannot be mature story-telling. Mature, not always grimdark.

  • Action_Comics_469Wonder Woman. the current title is not far removed from the cinematic portrayal, but there has to be a middle ground between Super Hero Girls and the current title, a monthly Tales of Wonder Woman title, with one-off stories?
  • Spider-man. He is going back to being Friendly and Neighborhood, but the fact that he is likely still a CEO, etc, all the while a new Spider-man, with teenage PParker dropped this summer. When the current crop of Marvel titles launched, I recall there was a Spidey title. Keep it going, tales of teenage Parker, etc.
  • Batman. Kids love The Dark Knight, and not necessarily the Frank Miller characterization. Batman Family, a monthly book, stand-alone stories featuring Batman, Robin(s), Batgirl, etc.
  • Avengers. The team from the films, who cares if it is one-issue stories from their past, they need to at least acknowledge the team.
  • Superman. Something close to the character from the films, perhaps, but also with the optimism of 1970s Curt Swan era-Supes.
  • SHIELD. There is this tv show, it has an audience, but is in discussions about cancellations every year.
  • Tales of the Teen Titans. A book bridging the gap between Teen Titans Go! and the current title, tales from their past, paying homage to the Wolfman/Perez era (sigh).
  • eric_chase_anderson_interview_03Legion (Marvel). Is it for the kids? Probably not, but neither were some of the comics of the 70s-80s. Kids don’t have to be spoon-fed garbage. See if Eric Chase Anderson can do the art.
  • Flash/ Arrowverse. Hear me out, I know they have books, but come up with a logo, and have these books take place in that corner of the Multiverse.
  • Runaways. Rekindle interest in this property.

Crisis of Comics: X Marks the Spot

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

Gold is a Kitty Pryde led team made up of some of the classic characters, Blue is the time-displaced original X-Men, Generation X is Jubilee leading some new and young Academy members, Weapon X is…. a bunch of grimdark characters with guns and claws.

And now, there are solo titles: Bobby exploring the world of dating unlike ever before; Jean Grey, not dying yet, I guess.

Moreso than any corner of either Big Two-niverse, the X-corner has a lot of characters, and lots of very complicated history.

I want to like this corner of the Marvel U, I think.

I think after Starcat, and various other combinations, Marvel is trying to get back to something.

Why not merge the old and the new? Characters well-known in different situations:

  • Storm, Kitty, and Jubilee and 3-5 young X-women. Call it X-Women.
  • Piotr and Magik. Please stop with Colossus still crushing on Kitty. Joss went there. It is done, can we move on? We are not all lusting after memories of 14 year old Kitty. Can we focus on these two characters and bring them some depth and personality?
  • A Cyclops/ Summers brothers book. Many people hate Cyclops, I have always had respect for him, and think he is too-quickly judged and hated. Part of his charm is his dedication and aloofness. I really liked some of the Scott moments (young and old) near the end of Bendis’ runs.
  • Angel and Beast and Iceman, a core three from the New Defenders days.
  • Rogue and Gambit getting into trouble.
  • Sam and Paige and Karma, Mirage, Wolfsbane, and Sunspot and Cypher. A New Mutants reunion book.
  • Morlocks- focus on these misunderstood mutants who finally decide to step-up and help those who are being ostracized.
  • Exiles- bring back the reality jumping team, maybe they can help explain all the head-shaking that will come from Generations and Legacy as we ignore everything…
  • Excalibur- a well respected off-shoot book set in Great Britain.
  • And something with Northstar.

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Crisis of Comics: A Storm Most Wild

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

Warren Ellis is writing some sort of Wildstorm series, and I’m sure I am just not smart or clever enough to understand.

And that is what is wrong.

The Wildstorm Universe, at the core, was not about clever, it was about style, it was about slightly edgy, it was about real characters with superpowers (Swift commenting on her implants!).

It was also a manifestation of the times, in many ways.

I would argue though, that they are the heroes we still need. I know Mr. Ellis has had a hand in the origin of many corners of the Wildstorm Universe I enjoy, but instead of going high, can’t we go low?

There is nothing wrong with comics designed to entertain.

  • The Authority- a global proactive task force made up entirely of bad-ass members, and sorry Martian Manhunter, no spot for you. Hawksmoor, The Doctor, Swift, Apollo, Midnighter, and the Engineer. How about a quest for the next incarnation of Jenny.
  • Rosetattoo.PNGGen13- embrace the immaturity and tomfoolery of hormone driven, angsty teen superheroes. dated? Yes. Worthy of a reboot? Yes. Caitlin, Grunge, Burnout, Freefall, and Rainmaker. They should absolutely be able to exist and serve as contrast for the current Teen Titans.
  • DV8- oh, how I loved some aspects of this series, from many of the characters, powersets, and personalities. They were the dark side of Gen13, the bad kids with superpowers. But, maybe not evil. Maybe. Write it like the early issues of Alpha Flight, focus on individual characters in small story arcs.
  • WildCATS- some awesome character concepts and designs here.
  • Wetworks- an alternative Suicide Squad.
  • Stormwatch- if only to do something with Rose Tattoo.
  • Monarchy or Establishment- one of these teams should exist somewhere.
  • A Coda title- tie it in to the Amazons?
  • Divine Right- have fun with meta aspects and poke some fun at all the constant reboots.
  • Danger Girl- that’s right.