Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which we’re totally cool with if that’s your thing), then you know we here at One Of Us love comics. Like many lads and lasses, I spent a good portion of my days dreaming of what it would be like to work on the books of all these great characters. In my head, I had the heroes interacting with my own characters to go on grand adventures.
Well, since I don’t see Marvel or DC knocking on my door anytime soon, I thought I might as well go over the six books from the “Big Two” that I would most want to work on. Letting the creative juices flow now and again is a good thing, and who knows, I might just come up with clever idea or two!
6. Iron Man
Why:Tony Stark is one of the most intelligent and complex characters in the entire Marvel Comics Universe. He makes morally questionable choices for what he considers the greater good on a global and even sometimes galactic scale. He may be from a wealthy family (although, he was adopted) Tony really is the image of the self made man. It’s cool and all what Marvel is doing with Riri Williams, but I want a shot at the original Iron Willed Avenger.
The Pitch: Stark is a futurist and a businessman out there making choices that impact millions of lives even before he gets in his fancy metal suit and goes to hang out with his superhero buddies. He sells tech to SHIELD, he dumps plenty of his own personal funds into outfitting the Avengers, and the average citizen of the civilized world owns at least one Stark device. That is a ridiculous amount of power for a single man to have and that’s exactly want I want to explore.
I want to do stories full of corporate espionage and takeovers, and backroom deals and politics. We can still have plenty of bad guys for Tony to punch and feature a bunch of crooked behind the scenes players from various governments and the private sector hiring villains to further their agendas. Meanwhile, Tony, in and out of the armor, is trying to find new ways to grow and expand his interest and goals. The business of business is a messy one, and I want readers to feel the elation Tony feels when he can have everything go right, and the punch to the gut when things break down and Tony has to step in and salvage what he can. I never want to lose sight of the fact that Tony’s failures cost people jobs, but I want readers to see how hard he fights not to fail and get behind Tony and his dream to build a better world.
Back in the 1960’s, when Iron Man was created, the idea was to create a character that was all the things that the readership said they hated and then make him relatable and endearing. In our modern climate, the so called “1%” is looked down upon, and Tony Stark is the poster boy for those people. So lets embrace that full on, and see what it takes to be Tony Stark, the Iron Man.
Tony Stark runs your world. Get used to it.
Why: While Tony Stark is one of the most complex Marvel characters, the all time complexity winner at the House of Ideas is our good buddy Matt Murdock. No matter which way you come at the character, there is so much to mine. Recent years have seen many of Marvel’s top talent telling some of the best stories in Daredevil. It’s a book and a character too good to not want to write.
The Pitch: Daredevil and Hell’s Kitchen are bound together, but both have grown and changed over the years, and its about time we start seeing this reflect in the comics. The Kitchen of the Marvel universe hasn’t evolved since the days of Frank Miller, meanwhile, the real Kitchen has undergone major changes and developments. This is where we have a cool chance to do some great stuff with our dear Mr. Murdock. Matt is in the unique position of having old school Kitchen running through his veins, but his job as a lawyer puts him more in tune with the artists and professionals who’ve come into Hell’s Kitchen in more recent years.
Basically, we use these changes to the Kitchen and their social implications, both good and bad, to explore Matt Murdock as a lawyer, superhero, and as a man. Both in and out of the mask, Matt acts as a liaison between the old and new Kitchen. Mark Waid did so much to change the way we understand Daredevil, and I want to build on that, but still be able to go gritty and dark at the drop of a hat when it is needed.
Long live Hell’s Kitchen, and long live the Man Without Fear!
4. Detective Comics/Batman
Why: Because it’s Batman, okay?! I could go on about how much I love the character, I mean, I did write a whole three part series of articles on the character (which you can find here, here, and here), but at the end of the day, I want to write Batman because its Batman. Don’t ask me why I want to write for Batman, ask yourself who is it that wouldn’t want to write for Batman?
The Pitch: Let all the other bat books do the crazy big and flashy Batman stories, I want to do a deep and intimate grounded street level Batman comic. I want the comic to be Batman’s odyssey through Gotham, a city of of triumph and tragedy around every street corner. The city is old and hard just like her people, but as bad as Gotham can be at times, they haven’t given up hope which makes Batman want to fight even harder. I want the reader to know and feel from the high offices of power to the dingy sub-basement bars what makes Gotham tick.
I want Batman to haunt the streets of Gotham. I want him to think tactically instead of always rushing right in. I want him to make mistakes and have to deal with the consequences. I want him to hurt and bleed in back alleys. I want to re-instill the fear that all it would take is one lucky punk at the right moment and Bruce is dead.
I also want to take some time to reinvent the Penguin. He’s the perfect villain for this kind of book and can be used as an underlying main antagonist to the series. Just give me Cobblepot and watch me work magic.
I want to write a socially relevant Batman comic that makes you think without descending into preachy nonsense.
3. The Flash (Wally or Barry)
Why: The Flash was the book that made me fall in love with the greater DC Universe. For years, I’d picked up some Batman, JLA, and occasionally some Superman comics, but I didn’t care about the rest of DC until I became a Flash fan, and then I wanted to explore more to see what else I was missing. Wally West is probably my favorite DC character ever (yes, even over my beloved Batman) and I’ve grown pretty fond of Barry as well. The Flash’s powers allow for writer’s to go all out and have some crazy sc-fi tales with some greatly fleshed out characters with a lot of heart.
The Pitch: The cool thing about the Flash and the other speedsters is that they get to interact with the people they protect in a way very different from anyone else in the DC Universe. Unlike the other powerhouse characters, they don’t fly above those they protect, and unlike the other grounded heroes, they don’t need to hide in the shadows or have anything that would deter folks from walking right up to them. This gives the Flash a down to earth/relatable quality all his own. He isn’t some god watching over them or secret dark avenger, he’s one of the people, you could easily see him on the street zipping along to fight crime or stopping to enjoy a quick burrito at a food truck with some of the locals.
Even the super-villains in the Flash’s world operate differently than other villains. The Rouges, usually led by Captain Cold, have strict rules in the crimes they commit, no killing (unless absolutely necessary) and no illegal drug usage is allowed. They see this as a mark of professionalism, and a way to keep things from escalating out of control.
What you have here is a fascinating social contract between the people of Central City, the Rouges, and the Flash. I would still want to do all the crazy sci-fi weirdness that makes the Flash “the Flash,” but I want to truly explore this relationship and what it means for all the parties involved.
One major change I would make is to have the Flash and the Rouges operating in both Keystone and Central City. They are sister cities each with their own flavor and style to enjoy, and given the Flash’s power set, I see no reason he can’t operate in both.
Now, in my heart of hearts, I will always choose to write Wally over Barry. He’s my Flash, plain and simple, and I don’t care if he’s the one in the costume or not. That said, I’ve grown to have a great deal of affection for Barry, and would have a grand time with him as well.
Give me the book, and watch me run!
2. The Fantastic Four
Why: The Imaginauts, Marvel’s First Family, and my favorite superhero team of all time (and in fact, the only team to make this list), how could this foursome not make the list? The Fantastic Four are great characters that can go on any type of adventure your can think of. Here lies the keys to Marvel’s biggest playground in terms of characters, history, and possibility and I would be a fool to not have this book on the list.
The Pitch: I want to start things off with a big crossover event. There is some major disaster running through New York, and the heroes are scattered and things are getting dire. For one month we have have all the heroes directly or indirectly dealing with this crisis. Nobody is quite sure all of whats going on other than the Big Apple is being invaded by creatures. Also, in each book we see heroes see, react, and if possible, interact with a member of the Fantastic Four and possibly some of the other heroes. This all leads to an new oversized Fantastic Four comic in which the overall story is revealed, and the FF take down the alien threat.
You see, the problem here isn’t that the Fantastic Four aren’t great, it is that in promoting other groups and heroes, we pushed aside Marvel’s First Family. No more, I say. I want to put the Fantastic Four back at the heart of all things going on in the Marvel Universe like they used to be. I want to show them working with the Avengers, SHIELD and the X-Men on a regular basis.
I want everything on a grand scale from issue to issue, but I want to keep the characterization very grounded and real between the characters. They are a family, and like any family, they bicker and fight, but love each other, and will rush to aid the others when needed. These guys can travel to a brand new plane of reality all the while Sue and Johnny bicker, Reed lectures to himself, and Ben grumbles that they should pipe down or he’ll turn the inter-dimensional flying car around right now and go back home.
For years, Fantastic Four displayed on its cover the words, “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine.” Isn’t it time to make those words true again?
1. The Amazing Spider-Man
Why: Spider-Man is the very reason I picked up superhero comics in the first place. I would drool over the covers of The Amazing Spider-Man at the local Kum & Go until my parents finally decided to let me pick up a few. Thus was a love affair born with the Web-Head and his world. Peter Parker is the most important character to me in the entirety of comics. Nuff said!
The Pitch: I plan to return Peter to his hard luck roots, but keep around some of the elements the new fans have grown up with so that they don’t feel abandoned. Basically, Mephisto cheated a little by putting Mary Jane in a very suggestive state during the events of “One More Day,” all but assuring the outcome he desired. Because of this deception, reality has started to break down, and Spidey must fix this rift to save himself, Mary Jane, Aunt May, all the Marvel heroes who have ties to Peter, and the countless lives Spider-Man has saved over the years. With great power comes great responsibility as we have Peter walk into the abyss of time, uncertain of his fate. We have a big white fade out and we cut to Peter slowly waking-up in his bed. Subconsciously, still aware of the choice he just made and trying to get his bearings, he turns in his bed to reveal his wife (or at least long time girlfriend) Mary Jane. Peter smiles and says that he hit the jackpot before snuggling in close to Mary Jane and going back to sleep.
This allows us the right to shuffle the deck as we see fit. We can keep the new characters while still getting back to basics. Peter did have a company for a hot minute, but Roxxon bought out all his backers and publicly give Peter the boot when he tries to stand up for himself and his people. This dumping gains steam on social media, and Peter gains a rep for being in the tech circle for being a bit of a chump so Peter was hard up for a job. Enter good old J. Jonah Jameson, who is back in the saddle of the Bugle full time, and is ready to take it into the “digital age.” Jonah throws Peter a bone to do background work for his science and tech writers, along with a full time photography gig. This allows for the reintroduction of the Bugle in a way that makes sense.
If you are wondering why I’m focusing so hard on the fixes rather than the kind of stories we could then tell, that’s because once we’ve fixed things its nothing but getting back to telling the best classic style Spidey stories possible with a modern twist. You need me to give you an arc for the first year just to whet the appetite? Okay, Spidey’s most dangerous foes (Doc Ock, Electro, Vulture, Sandman, Scorpion etc.) come after him one after the other, leading to the formation of a new Sinister Six at the end of the year. Year two, we reintroduce Norman Osborn, and begin the slow burn to the next Spidey and Goblin fight.
I want to give The Amazing Spider-Man its sense of history and legacy back.
Go ahead, tell me you don’t want to read that.
Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below, and if you feel like making a pitch of your own, then go for it. This is all out of love for the medium and the characters, so if you do see a comment on here and you want to respond, please keep it respectful. This site is supposed to be fun. Let’s keep it that way.