I tweeted some comics pitches for big-name DC books and wanted to delve into each one a little more.
Martian Manhunter: A shape-shifting bad-ass delving into current events around the world. A truly global super-hero
Bill White made the wise suggestion that issues begin and we don’t know who the Martian Manhunter is. Because this is a character who isn’t tied to any particular geographical region, we can send him right to current events, the Gaza Strip, the Gulf of Mexico, etc.
This martian isn’t hunting one man, he’s looking for humanity, trying to find it every day.
Detective Comics: One case per issue, self contained. Batman Family + CSI + Fell. Different crime writer for each arc.
This comic should be kept simple. No arcs made for trade paperbacks but single issue crimes that are finished at the end of the issue. The problem is that very few comic book writers do single issue stories really well. Grab some crime writers to have a go at Batman and let’s see him earn his keep as DC’s World’s Greatest Detective. There are plenty of detective characters (there’s a chimp whose name I can’t recall and Elongated Man…shit, maybe the Riddler) who don’t get a whole lot of play in the DC universe and would be great candidates for a short story in the back of the comic.
The single issues make it easy for people to pick up the comic outta nowhere when a new movie comes out. Batman can be CSI but rather than cutting edge, he’s a step or two beyond the bleeding edge of criminology and crime forensics with plenty of Gotham PD around.
Wonder Woman: In which she gathers powerful women from the world’s myths in order to change the world.
A little girl raised by tengu in the forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, a Norwegian woman adopted by the valkyrie due to her valor in a time of war, etc. Let’s dig into mythologies from around the world and find these powerful women who are at the periphery just like Wonder Woman.
Green Lantern: Cosmic cop procedural. The Wire + Old Trek. Taking a hard look at why they are entitled to police the galaxy
What the hell gives these little blue men the right to delegate each sector of space with a super-powered space cop armed with a will-powered weapon? We’d figure that out as we watched Green Lanterns deal with galactic crimes, sector-wide civil wars and left-over Manhunter robots.
When I say Old Trek, I mean that show’s great surreal fucking planets that make no sense but are still gloriously fun.
“Hal Jordan, that man is natural-born lantern, good police.”
How about you? What would you do if you were in charge of a few comic books?
The detective chimp’s name … is Detective Chimp.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a lawyer, but I always like the Daredevil courtroom scenes. I’d love to see a L&O style run of Ol’ Hornhead.
It occurs to me: You were probably being tongue-in-cheek about the Detective Chimp reference. Damn you, Internet!
I would never be tongue in cheek about a talking chimp!
Seriously, I couldn’t remember the name. Thanks!
The Question would probably fall somewhere between your Martian Manhunter concept and your Detective Comics concept.
I’m not up to speed on current DC, but there might be Question comic currently, I know that DC has used crime writers for Batman titles in the past, and I believe they’ve been flexing Detective Comics to be a Batman Family title rather than just focusing on the Dark Knight. FWIW.
All those pitches are made of win, especially the Martian Manhunter one.
I’d like to get some top Japanese manga writers and artists to do X-Men in the style of the manga “Mai, the Psychic Girl” and (to a lesser degree) “Project Arms”.
No costumes. Mutant powers are scary, powerful, barely controllable, and get innocent people killed. Guys in black helicopters are chasing you. You’re not sure who to trust. Run!
Those all sound great, although I’m partial to the Martian Manhunter. I’ve always had love for the guy.
Green Lantern, right now, by the way, is awesome.
I can’t honestly think of how I’d do DC better, as I think the line is actually pretty strong.
Marvel? Well, I’d love to do two separate Spider-Man titles…
Peter gives up being Spider-Man. He gets tired of all the secrets and tells the world who he was. He’s going to keep trying to make things better, but now with science and rational problem-solving. If villains want to come at him now, well they have to deal with him as a person. Of course, we’ll keep the theme of great power and all that, AND this is sure to ramp up the soap opera aspects with Peter himself being a celebrity of sorts, and more danger coming to those he loves. The theme of the series will be Peter closing himself off to those who are close, all the while revealing everything to the rest of the world. I’m not sure there is something like this out there.
The Wretched Web of the Spider-Man
Eddie Brock finally becomes the new Spider-Man, and this is a superhero that, fitting Spider-Man, everyone is afraid of and hates. More than the mutants even. The catch is, he’s actually out there doing good. Madame Webb will figure prominently into the series, trying to steer Spider-Man in the right direction, and acting as an Alfred in a way. This Spider-Man will be funny, but this time more in a situational way. Brock isn’t exactly witty, but seeing him clash with all the old villains should be good fun as long as the characterizations are spot-on. And if you’re writing a Spider-Man title without humor, you’re doing it wrong. Think of Dexter as an inspiration for this.
Dazzler: a precocious 16-year-old club girl in NYC, already throwing her own illegal parties, comes down with a bad case of the mutant: powers like some amalgam of Dagger and the old, (supposedly) dead Dazzler, but stronger and less controllable. She is desperate to hide this and save her social life, but superheroes and criminals alike are desperate to use her. Everyone calls her Dazzler and she fucking hates that.
The Scarlet Witch: more powerful than anyone and completely fucking crazy, Wanda becomes convinced that the problem is she’s been trying to intervene in what is actually just a huge pageant for her benefit. She grabs a couple of “friends” off the street and goes looking for the interesting bits of it. Imagine if the Doctor was even more pathological.
X-Statix: no changes, I just want it back.
Also I’d love to write something called The Many Trials of Beta Ray Bill. The title is all I’ve got, though.
I always wanted Dazzler to be about mutants in the 70’s…Luke Cage in a tiara and a yellow silk shirt, David Bowie and lots of cocaine and super-powers.
But updating her to the modern day is nifty stuff.
Have you checked out Gotham Central? It’s about the cops in a city where madmen dress up in costumes and the general population arguably trusts a vigalante who dresses up like a bat more than they do their own police.
It makes some of the more silly batman villians come off as really nasty.
I read the first graphic novel in the library and really loved it. Thanks for reminding me, I need to check out the remaining volumes.
Captain Britain, directed by Christopher Nolan.
All about The Fury and Megan, the abuse of power that inevitably comes with herohood, and drunken self-pity. Based on the story where Captain Britain destroys a city block fighting with The Fury, only to face the fawningly grateful, but now homeless, residents of the block.
Man, I’d love to see the Technet onscreen, though.
Each nation has its superhero. Captain Britain is appointed by the Queen, Captain Japan is chosen by standardized test, and Captain America … is elected.
A short arc, maybe one issue per year of time. Start with the election of a new Captain America, and run through one term of office (which I guess is six years, like a senator). Regular supervillains intersecting with geopolitics and electoral politics (should I go bust up this criminal ring? But it might make a bad press conference!)