Fifty-Two Redux!

Then again, colouring inside the lines is kinda boring…

So here’s my REAL New 52 Wish List!


1Tarzan Quarterly, by Chris Ware, Joe Kubert, Matt Wagner, and Various Guests (“various guests” always includes Kate Beaton)

2.  Me Am Bizarro!, by David Hine and Shaky Kane

3.  The New Adventures Of Wonder Woman, by Mike Mignola

4.  Batman & Robin, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

5.  Seaguy, by Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart

6.  Batman Inc. 80-Page Giant f. Grant Morrison & Various

7.  SHAZAM! by Jeff Smith

8.  SHAZAM! ANNUAL 80-Page Giant, by Jeff Smith, Kyle Baker, Jaime Hernandez, Darwyn Cooke, and Various Guests

9.  Action Comics Weekly, by Kurt Busiek and Adam Kubert

10.  Red Lanterns, by Peter Milligan and Ed Benes (and no, I’m not even joking, it’s clearly DC’s X-Statix)

11.  Stelliferous, by Doeg Moench and Rich Buckler (no, I’ve never heard of it either, but it’s PAID FOR and it’s damn well going ahead)

12.  Vimanarama, by Grant Morrison and Philip Bond

13.  Whatever Happened to FORAGER? by James Stokoe

14Supergirl, by Julie Doucet

15JLA, by Adam Warren

16.  Birds Of Prey, by Gail Simone and Marcos Martin

17.  The World According To Dr. Occult, by Paul Pope

18.  Batgirl:  Year One, by the Original Cast

19.  Challengers Of The Unknown, by Eric Powell

20.  Frankenstein & Klarion The Witch-Boy, by Ben Caldwell

21.  Bulleteer, by me

22.  S.H.A.D.E., by Justin

23.  Shining Knight, by Justin

24.  The Brave And The Bold, f. Hawkman and Aquaman, by Kyle Baker and Darwyn Cooke

25.  Strange Adventures, f. Adam Strange by William Messner-Loebs and J.H. Williams, Jr., and The Atom by William Messner-Loebs and Ulises Farinas

26.  Kamandi, by Eric Powell

27.  Suicide Squad, by Harvey Jerkwater

28.  Batman, by Grant and Breyfogle

29.  Dr. Fate, by Brendan McCarthy

30.  Starman, by Joe Casey and Tom Scioli

31.  Manhattan Guardian, by Cameron Stewart

32Green Arrow by William Messner-Loebs (he’s the only one who can turn it around at this point, I swear to God)

33.  Flash, by Kevin Huizenga and Gabriel Ba

34.  Green Lantern, by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred

35.  Legion Of Super-Heroes, by Kurt Busiek and Ryan Ottley

36.  Superman, by Steve Rude

37.  Northlanders, by the Original Cast

38.  Weird War, by a bunch of talented people — David Aja, Chris Weston, Sean Phillips, name your poison, just scoop ’em all up!

39.  A Man Called Kev, by You-Know-Who

40.  DC Universe Showcase, by Various.  This is what it sounds like it should be:  try-out space for new ideas.

41.  All-Star Western Quarterly

42.  All-Star Science Fiction & Fantasy Quarterly

43.  Army@Love, by Rick Veitch

44.  Adventure Comics, your Human Target and Manhunter and suchlike…more talented people, as Weird War.

45.  Batwoman, by JHW3

46.  The Question, by Greg Rucka and Cully Hamner

47.  Omega Men, by Milligan and Bachalo

48.  Wonder Woman Forever!, pretty much as previously outlined. Caldwell and Open-Source

49.  Vertigo Quarterly, by Various

50.  Sgt. Rock & The Losers, by the Kuberts and Darwyn Cooke

51.  The Metal Men, by Palmiotti and Conner

52.  Metamorpho, by Mike Allred


And as for editorial direction, well you’ve just seen all there is.

Now wouldn’t that be nicer?  Mark Waid says audiences don’t know what they want, which is…you know, not really a true statement unless you append the words “ahead of time” to it.  But most everybody does at least think about “what the audience wants” at some level — nobody operates in a vacuum, and I guess that even extends to the dubious art of making wish lists.  So this is not all just stuff that would please me, although I would read every one of those books…

(Imagine that, I’d read every one…!)

…But it’s also got to do with things I think would be fit, or meet, or wanted by others, or needed for a sense of balance across the whole line, or useful as a corrective to some things in the past which I think haven’t worked well.  There is also, I’m sure the astute reader will detect, a certain level of constraint in the exercise:  not just that I’m still stuck with fifty-two titles, but that I don’t get to really have my dream wish-list (and in a few cases I know I’m kinda pushing the limits of reason anyway!) because of availability, not to mention implausibility, and also I have to leave out some things that might even be easier to swing than that, that I’d like to see.  And some of it just doesn’t make sense anyway — I mean I imagine Rich Buckler wants to do a space-based DC comic that doesn’t even have anything more than a name behind it, that doesn’t actually exist! — and then other parts of it are more like “what comics bloggers would think is cool” and “what would pleasantly surprise my friends”, rather than anything that would truly knock doors down and blow walls out and maybe even succeed in the marketplace…where, it should be noted, your audience may not know what it wants, but it sure as hell knows what it likes!


So as to constraints, I’ve had a few, though maybe the worst of all is that I actually don’t know many of the great artists out there who are not currently getting a whole lot of work!  Or forget their names as I bash out lists and winnow possibilities.  Colleen Coover?  Eric Canete?  The whole Internet lies undiscovered around me, while I merely toy with a well-known pebble or shell that already has reputation to spare, and even the people I forget are in the public eye to some degree, though admittedly not as much as they probably should be.  So it’s a wish list, but it probably isn’t THE wish list…

…However I gotta admit, it was pretty fun to make!  Even though I absolutely suck at list-making.  Didja notice me cheating a bit by throwing something called “Vertigo Quarterly” in there?  I don’t know how you even fill something like this out, without cheating like that!

Makes me wish DC would cheat a little more, I’ve gotta say.  I mean, all kidding aside…do we really have to have a Teen Titans book?

Are marketing ideas, like Mickey Mouse, now eternal?

I can’t answer those questions, but a question I can answer is if I should go have myself a drink.  So…

I guess that’ll have to do for now!


14 responses to “Fifty-Two Redux!

  1. Hell, I don’t even draft as many of the old-time guys as I’d like to! Ageism in comics is a horrible blight, as terrible in its constant forward-pushing as the reast of the business is in its terrible constant balking at suggestions of change…

    But, I guess it’s just a list…

  2. You want a Teen Titans comic, just get bring back the Teen Titans Go! Title with the cartoon line-up and you’re good to go!

  3. But why do I want a Teen Titans comic? Just because Teen Titans Go! is fun?

    Also, shameful oversight of mine, it was Cully Hamner and not Jock who drew those Questions in the back of Detective…gonna change that selection to what it should be, now…

    • “Fun” is the best reason for existence a comic can have. It also ensures swift cancellation!

  4. Wait up, you didn’t give me a book to script while keeping Bulleteer for yourself…even though you had your telepathic spies steal one of the best ideas I ever had for a DC property and never told to anyone else? Fine, if that’s the way it’s going to be, I’ll make sure your telepaths never have a moment’s peace again! La la la la la I can’t hear you la la la la la!

  5. Was it Chris Ware on Tarzan, or Julie Doucet on Supergirl? They weren’t specific…

    How rude of me to leave you out! Tell you what, you can script for Buckler on his Mystery SF Project! I declare Moench unavailable!

    Presto we are now friends again. You see, ladies and gentlemen? See the hill; take the hill.

  6. You should know me better than that. Come on, you shouldn’t have to rummage too hard to find the one I was talking about…la la la la, tenser said the tensor, tension apprehension and dissension have begun!

    I don’t think I’d ever feel happy with Buckler. Besides, in my fantasies he and Moench would be concluding Deathlok.

  7. What, no Action Comics by Andrew Hickey and Jock (Lois Lane front section)/Kyle Baker (Jimmy Olsen backup)?

  8. Pingback: Linkblogging For 27/06/11 « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!·

  9. Casey/Scioli on Starman. THERE is an idea! Warren on JLA too!

    Here’s the thing about the “no editorial direction” policy, though: is even saying “Casey and Scioli will do a Starman book” too much? Not a critique; I’m genuinely curious. Again, it makes me think if DC wanted to make a really serious, effective effort at this, they’d have to shut down publishing for a year; send letters out to everyone on your list (well, except for me; they’re under no obligation to ask me) and say “Pitch us anything you like” and spend 12 months sorting through the results. What if Frank Tieri would secretly be an incredible Superman writer and you just never thought to ask him? I mean, probably not, but HAVE YOU CHECKED?

    It makes me wonder what the process was for choosing the actual 52. I mean, why is Mr. Terrific there? Was that an editor saying “We should do a Mr. Terrific book” or did it start with a writer who wanted to pitch that? Because it is insane for me to think that “Mr. Terrific ongoing” could be an editorial mandate. Even working purely at the level of “We need more series with black leads” (which is a good enough starting point) THEY DID NOT COMMISSION A MANHATTAN GUARDIAN SERIES. Is that not a wrong decision? I mean, Manhattan Guardian is something you could pitch Hollywood. There’s a CONCEPT there…there’s even a HIGH concept there. Mr. Terrific is like, “Well, he’s like an inventor or something and he’s got these floating spheres that are kind of neat, and he’s got this jacket that says FAIR PLAY, which makes sense if you know about 1940s superheroes…”

  10. Justin: sadly, I think the Mr. Terrific book makes a certain venal/patronizing/incestuous sort of sense. The Iron Man slot in the JSA line-up, loaded with that “legacy” crap, I would call it classic “two-birds-ism” except I think it strains to hit at least four targets…of all the reboot titles that’s the one that looks the most like it’s trying to flatter Geoff Johns, don’t you think?

    And it definitely is almost too much editorial direction just to make the wish list in the first place…the match-ups certainly are a form of direction in themselves. Mignola on Wonder Woman? You know what you’re getting. Julie Doucet’s Supergirl? You know what you’re getting. Manhattan Guardian and Bulleteer at least are ready to have good movies made from them now (though give ’em enough time and I’m sure they’ll get debased enough that they can never hope to aim any higher than the Green Lantern audience), but I’m not sure it makes much sense for anyone to ever “pitch” Batman or Superman anyway…I mean how much do you really have to think about it? There’s any number of people who, if they as much as said “I think it’d be fun to write/draw that”, I’d say “thank God you asked, here go nuts”…hmm, so in a way my match-ups don’t represent editorial direction so much as editorial criticism, I’m mostly saying “you could have a perfectly good Wonder Woman comic, a perfectly good Superman comic, it’s really not that difficult”…”look, Starman has a real simple set-up, basically you can’t even screw the thing up, why not just open the door?” To me the Casey/Scioli team is doing Ted Knight Starman, you know? It doesn’t even need rehabilitation, it’s right there, it could be a great book today. And the Supergirl thing is sort of…I don’t know, a way of saying “who do you imagine even reads this book?” What is “the core idea” of the Supergirl character anyway, what is she really “about”, and isn’t this a rather involved kind of self-defeat to think of Supergirl as primarily part of a shared-universe tapestry of some kind…wouldn’t it be just as good to make Supergirl just a book about living in a fantastic world, and start and end right there? It’s so odd that DC’s books generally lack a tone that the super-stuff doesn’t pretty much directly interfere with…one senses a desire to write stories about characters that “just happen to be superheroes”, uneasily welded to the desire to write stories about how awesome it would be to have a secret identity, secret importance, secret friends, membership in a secret hierarchy or a secret, better family…just a slight mistranslation of the formula, I think! Because for some reason those elements seem to fight one another instead of reinforcing one another. It’s how you’d have to do it in a current-day grade-A television show, you know? But it’s actually a bit of a trick getting that TV structure to work in comics. Some people have a special facility for that sort of thing, but other people don’t, and the problem is that “that sort of thing” isn’t really regarded as a thing, as a particular skill-set…so there are no criteria in place for that. It’s as though all books are presumed to possess the same kind of intrinsic appeal, and the same conformability to the same bunch of different styles, and anyone should be able to do just whatever with any given book…but I’m sure it isn’t so, mostly because of all the yawn-inducing swipes at it I’ve seen. In a way Johns is both the best and the worst at this sort of thing, he can make things both stunningly punchy and obsequiously cozy, but at the same time there are places where it just! bogs! right! down!, and you want to scream a little as the appeal gets dissected right in front of your eyes…

    Ha, and Andrew, well a weekly Action Comics will be a sketchy business you know, lots of time pressure! There could be room for a back-up feature…

    And Richard, damn you, you’re stumping me! That little singsong keeps playing in my head over and over, whispering “you know me, you know me”…then when I go to grab it, it melts away!

    Must. Think. Harder…

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