Comics That Should Be, But Shan’t Be

October 20th, 2008 by | Tags: , , , ,

1.Significant Others Of Superheroes Society. It would be a great cross between an emergency response team (considering how often they get attacked), a support group (dealing with the Flash Force, Kleenex/Steel, and how a ‘charged relationship’ is only romantic as a metaphor), and Army Wives. They could have a SOSS message board, and use the teleporters for a Sig Others Night Out when the heroes were forced to rush off at the last minute to save the day. It would be a gossipy, action packed, salacious geek dream.

2. Lois Lane: Investigative Reporter. This series would be kind of like Gotham Central (Yeah. That did so very well.) only Lois would go out looking for trouble instead of letting it come to her. It would let us see the day-to-day Metropolis, as well as letting us get to know Lois as more than just someone who loves Superman and has moxie. Plus it could take a variety of tones. The first arc could be a dark look at the kinds of Metropolis crime that Superman can’t deal with. The second might be a day-to-day look at the city and how it adapts to the presence of a nearly all-powerful hero. The third could be a fun homage to the old Superman’s Girlfriend days, with Lois getting bonked on the head so that she forgets that she’s Superman’s wife, and trying to win Superman over, ward off Clark Kent, and insisting, upon hearing that she’s wife to both of them, “I’m a polygamist? Never. It must be an imaginary tale!”

3. Jason Todd and Cassandra Cain: On Their Own. I’m talking about pre-Infinite Crisis batkids. Imagine them roaming around the country with superheroes on their tails and the mobs scattering in front of them. They could bond over stories of how Batman might be the crappiest father-figure that ever there was. Cass could bring the muscle and Jason, in what must be a refreshing change for him, would provide the know-how. Think about Jason trying to teach Cass how to go undercover. Think about her doing it by imitating him – a five-foot-not-very-much slender girl acting like a six-foot-something muscle-bound man. Think of him having to teach her how to go undercover by trying to imitate the body language of a small girl. Also, they would kill people and feel good about it, which would be a change in the Superhero world. . . . I sense you’re not convinced. They’d never set foot in Gotham again. Deal? Deal.

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16 comments to “Comics That Should Be, But Shan’t Be”

  1. Significant Others Of Superheroes Society was published as Identity Crisis. It didn’t work out so well.

  2. @Aaron Poehler: Maybe I should have added that those comics would be happy and death-free.

  3. 2. Lois Lane: Investigative Reporter.

    hell yeah!

  4. I could see potential in a SOSS series. Particularly if it was approached in a similar manner to the lighter Astro City stories, with the “this is what a superhero universe looks like to the non-super people in it.” Ideally it would give the significant others room to be characters in their own right and not merely appendages to the heroes, i.e., the story wouldn’t be “The Flash is fighting Gorilla Grodd and Linda is worried about him” but “as a tv personality turned pediatric doctor, Linda gets invited to do a special on superhuman health issues and has to decide if she wants to do it.”

    Also, DC has had a serious Lois Lane problem for many years. I knew someone who pitched a Lois Lane miniseries that would have been all about her as a reporter, much like you suggest here, and was told by an editor “No, Lois isn’t all that interested in being a reporter, it isn’t significant to her character.” Not we’d have trouble selling a reporter book without a superhero lead or there’s no market for a journalism comic book. I believe that editor is long gone, but the lack of any idea how to make her work still remains.

  5. @Pat!: I know, right?

    @RAB: I believe that editor is long gone, but the lack of any idea how to make her work still remains.


  6. @Aaron Poehler

    Thanks for ruining Identity Crisis even more, because I just realized something even more disturbing. All of the members of the Justice League, due to circumstances, took a day off of fighting crime to spend more time with their loved ones. The married/divorced ones got some pudding, the parents took care of their children, and Batman was depicted hugging a half-naked Robin (with both characters squatting on the ground). Fredrick Wertham was right all along.

    Anyway, I like ideas 1 and 3.

    Idea no. 1 works best as an Identity Crisis done right scenario. 4 issues, full of in-jokes and innuendoes between the SOs. Setting, same as before. Mystery person is threatening the loved ones of our heroes. Instead of hanging around and acting all aggro as more people are picked off, the heroes send their loved ones to one of the safest places on Earth: The Fortress of Solitude, surrounded by Superman robots, Krypto, and as many “bodyguards” as Aquaman is able to produce. Safe (relatively speaking), the assorted wives, girlfriends and (for some) male companions of the heroes are all tied up, with nothing to do but learn more about each other. So, they talk, make sandwiches, exchange secrets (gushy ones, like those old chestnuts about “fastest man alive”, “man of steel”, “So, how long is he able to hold his breath?”, “Yes, I _do_ have to wear earplugs!” type secrets)… There’s your salaciousness, neatly packaged and printed. You get to compare Lois Lane (army brat) to Slam Bradley (tough guy detective), for example. Or some scenes of Traya teaching Blue Beetle’s siblings to use a bow and arrow, with maybe a _little_ bit of expert guidance.
    (Yeah, I went there. No reason for Slam Bradley to be the only guy in a building full of wives and families.)
    And, in the last volume, we learn that history has repeated itself, and that the SOs were targeted by the one person with an… intimate relationship with one of the League members who _wasn’t_ taken to safe ground. And to make it a bit less like the original: The mastermind in question isn’t doing it to try to reconnect with “him”. She has the power, she has the training, she just wants to rule the world. And what better way to accomplish that than to engineer a scenario wherein the heroes will be too worried about their loved ones to concentrate?

    As far as 3 is concerned, I _liked_ the Skrull Kill Crew. Bring on the cleansing of “human scum”, “little insects” and other assorted tough guys and gangsters. Believe me, if my scenario for their adventures is anywhere near what the OP’s ideas, they’ll be running into a lot of people who’d look at the two of them and laugh. Royal Flush Gang charters, a “forceful syndicate” or two, barroom brawlers who don’t know when “enough is enough”, guys who don’t know that “No means ‘No!’ “, Daddy’s little Mafia princesses, etc. GL throws you in jail, Flash sends you there with a few punches added, Green Arrow uses his pointy arrows, and so on. Cassie and Jase, however, will burn down your house, shove bags of coke down your workers’ throats, take your money and kick the dog as they leave. Combine “Punisher”, “Preacher” and “Deadpool”, but with slightly less-cartoony violence and one of the characters seeing the other character as “more than a partner”.
    (No matter who’s chosen, the other person would _have_ to be shocked. Neither one of them has ever really been shown to have a love life. Jason’s a narcissistic sociopath and Cassandra’s borderline autistic. Look for a few scenes of romantic efforts being blatantly ignored on both ends. “What am I going to do with some dead flowers?”, or “You always carry a detonater with you? That’s weird.” Ultra-violence and a fan-shipping nightmare, wrapped up in a neat package. And just wait until the first annual. Batkids versus “them”, AKA Deathstroke and Deadshot. Guns and roses {white ones, bless})

  7. Throw in a Dr. Doom/Iron Man buddy series set in the seventies and you’re cooking.

  8. “Also, they would kill people and feel good about it, which would be a change in the Superhero world. . . .”

    What change of pace? The various incarnations of Suicide Squad killed off d-listers by the fistful. There were several deaths during the stupid Salvation Run book, with an even bigger body count depending on what happened to the characters Luthor used to build his teleport gate. And thats not even touching on the massive kill-off that was Death of the New Gods, Arena and Countdown

    As for Marvel you had the Scourge of the Underworld back in the 80s and the Matt Fraction Punisher during his first story arc…

    Thats not to say I wouldn’t like to see a Jason Todd/Casandra Caine team-up book. I’d just like a decent writer to nail down both their characters FIRST, then set ’em loose on a road trip across the DC America…

  9. They might as well bring back Azrael and complete the trifecta. Then replace Cass with Steph and solve every. single. problem. by faking someone’s death or stealing their costumed identity. Wait that got off track. My point is DC could finally have an anti-Batman with staying power. An anti-Bat-family, at that, with dark Batman, dark Nightwing, and dark girl Robin.

  10. The ideal Lois Lane: Investigative Reporter creative team would be Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

  11. *cheers at the third idea* So happy someone thought of putting them together too!

    I’m still waiting for Cass to be written correctly, but I’m all for the both of them to at least meet up and maybe not hate each other. What’s funny is that they’re actually the same age (jason even thought Lady Shiva was his mom). I’ve had a similar idea as yours actually. But mine would have them pick up Damian along the way, so you’d have a trio of Bat misfits (or like the above poster said, Dark Bat person, Dark Nightwing person and dark Robin person).

    At the least I think Cass and Jason’s characters would mesh well. Both had a dysfunctional violent upbringing and have had to survive on their own so I can see them having some respect for each other. Jason more for Cass since she’s had it rougher and is actually more skilled than him. But…Jason can read and in Under the Hood, he could plan for trouble, So… petite Cass would be the brawn and hulking Jason would be the brains and together they’d get into all types of delicious violent mischief, but all for the good of folks, naturally.

    As for what the above poster said, If you wanted to add Azrael, judging by how his book ended, he could have been alive all this time trying to live a normal life and honing his computer skills (until Cass and Jason crashed into his life!). He could be their “oracle”/Alfred. OR as they said above, their crazed Batman. You wouldn’t need to take Cass out of the equation and replace her with Steph actually, because you’d still need a Batgirl. 🙂

    Love reading these ideas! 🙂

  12. @LurkerWithout

    I guess I was a bit obtuse. My take on the scenario is this, “Two people who honestly, truthfully, desperately believe themselves to be heroes, yet they don’t seem to have any compunctions against wanton destruction and death.” The Suicide Squad was/is a bunch of semi-paroled villains, the Punisher is a grim and gritty hero who avoids shedding the blood of the innocent, the Scourge was a better financed Punisher, and Salvation Run is just a giant villain salad. With these two, when they’re finaaly brought to justice, a decent writer wouldn’t be able to make them appear any less than righteous, if not exactly innocent.

    I like the addition of Azrael. For a tech guy, however, you couldn’t do any better than neglected little Anarky. After all, _someone_ has to be able to hack into the JLA teleporters. Almost all of America’s major cities have at least one franchised superhero, and I doubt that Blue Beetle or Green Lantern’s going to stand around and let Batman’s Bat-bastards cause random property damage and violate dozens of laws in “their town”. Cassie and Jason cause the ruckus, then they disappear in a flash of light as soon as Green Arrow arrives to save the day, and Ollie goes home to a house full of electronic items that beep, shriek and in some cases spell out the words, “Sellout! Hypocrite!”, in Morse code. You know, I’m beginning to like this idea.

  13. They should bring back Azrael, except he’s now a gorilla. I mean they made him part monkey in his series, just go all out. Plus then you’d have Jason & Cass teamed with a gorilla anti-hero. And thats just awesome…

  14. I like your idea Evil Abraham Lincoln. It might even convince me to not totally hate the idea of Todd’s revival.

  15. And one more thing: “Jase and Cassie” would have to be a limited series. 12 issues, or the idea becomes “Why doesn’t the Flash or Superman _do_ something about them?”. Each issue set in a different city (one obligatory two issue story set in Gotham), and some heroes (think Hawkman and Aquaman) are far more accepting of their actions than others (GL, obviously, would be a bit more offended by the idea of rogue heroes than most). Add in an ongoing three-way battle of wits between Oracle, Anarky and Toyman (the one that likes boobies, not the crazy one), ending with a fight against Deathstroke and his ally… Batman? It’s Batman’s mess to clean up, after all. All of the fingers are pointing at his erstwhile allies and rivals, so this woulld have to end on Gotham. And I’m sure that the vengeful survivors of their rampage accross America would encourage the survivors to pay for the best that money can buy. All that’s left is the ending. One of them dies at Deathstroke’s hand? They allow themselves to be arrested to avoid a Bat-God/Titan Killer beatdown? They gain revenge against Deathstroke? They get away scot-free, with help from an unexpected source? (Yeah, I’m incredibly subtle.)

    Screw Deadshot, he doesn’t really work with my idea.

  16. I swear all of you have been reading my mind about the Cass and Jason book. My idea was to have Ryan Choi (sans the title of atom, acting as brains and straight man of the group) and Jason (de facto leader, but also hot head) form a “for hire” agency (jason cuz he doesn’t like straight heroism or straight villainy and Ryan because he can’t give up the excitment of the life, but he’d be teaching on the side) and would just run into Cass (sans costume and agile,stealth fighter of the group) who would subsequently join/move in with the group.

    They’d eventually find an amnesiac Jean Paul Valley who now has some of his Azrael abilities in his Jean Paul personality, but now has a Naruto/Nine Tailed fox think going on with the Azrael persona . He would ask the repressed Azrael personality (whose abilities and fighting prowess outweigh JP’s)to take over for him in times of dire emergency.

    And to round out the cast, Mercy Graves (getaway driver, exceptional fighter and marksman) would wander in to the group and act as a love interest to Jason, but her motivations would always be questionable because of her loyalites to Luthor.

    The book would explore the mercenary/criminal world/grey area of the DCU and try some new takes on unused characters (for example, wouldn’t it be cool if Flash villain/teleporter Peek-A-Boo were a courier for mercs? She never really was a “true villain” anyway). I’ve got more but i’m sure i’ve rambled enough….God I want to write this book….