Marvel Universe Too: What If Indie Cartoonists Relaunched Marvel Comics [Art]
A big hit with ComicsAlliance readers, DC Fifty-Too is a website dedicated to showcasing DC Comics characters as interpreted by talents from the world of indie comics and the Web. Specifically, creators from the worlds of indie comics and the Web were asked to imagine their version of the #1 issue of any DC comic book. Managed by Jon Morris, the site was inspired of course by DC's New 52 initiative, but with that now settled down in its second month, Morris and his contributors have turned their attention to Marvel Comics and rebranded the site as Marvel Universe Too: What If. The mission is the same, just with a different company's equally legendary characters.
Marvel Universe Too has been updating every week all through the month of October, and you can see some of our favorites so far after the cut.
By Mike Norton
Mike says: I like the character of Wonder Man a lot. I really dug the hollywood stuntman era from when I was growing up in the 80's. I also like the Crosby and Hope type pairing that Marvel would do with him and Beast every so often. Why were they buddies? I don't know, but it was cool. I was talking over an idea with Tim Seeley at one point about a new Wonder Man/ Beast team up, but "BLOCKBUSTER SALES HIT" just wasn't written all over it. Besides Wonder Man is a bad guy now and Beast is a kitty cat, right? Here's a look at what could have been. Colors by Allen Passalaqua and lettering by Crank!
By Buster Moody
By Jon Morris
Jon says: I've always loved the offbeat superheroes, so I was bazonkers for Alpha Flight when it debuted as its own series in 1983 - Sasquatch and Puck were immediately my favorites (somewhere around here I have both of them drawn as the Captain America and Bucky of Canada), but Puck more than anyone because he had depth.
I like the direction that's been taken with Eugene Judd in the most recent Alpha Flight miniseries - trapped in Hell for the last several years and finally brought back to life, he's become deranged and exuberant. I picture any ongoing series as bar fights and scuffles with rogue demons from the underworld who - like he did himself - escaped into the living world. Any excuse for a fight!
I enjoyed Puck's original backstory in Alpha Flight up to the point where he once was a normal-sized dude who was magically shrunk to dwarf-size. Everything up to that is golden - Eugene Judd, the world traveler and adventurer and hunter of rare and often mystical artifacts. I see no reason not to go back to that. Marvel has their fair share of world-travelling guns-and-fists adventurers, but none of them would be half as much fun to see in action as Puck.
Puck was created by John Byrne.
By Ryan Browne
Steve says: I went with "X-Factor" out of sheer nostalgia. Most of what I read now is small press stuff, but I fondly remember my collections of Marvel titles stacked up in my long boxes.The first comic I really ever collected was "X-Factor." I was really attached to the idea of these gestapo hunters tracking down mutant kids to protect the public from their menace only to later find out that the hunters were, themselves, mutants seeking to teach these kids how to deal with their powers. It was definitely geek fantasy fulfillment, like Ender's Game. Of course, the comic later spun away from its initial theme and inevitably centered around that whole Jean Grey/Scott Summers thing - boring. The cover emphasizes the theme instead of the super hero costumes.
By Paul Salvi
Paul says: When I was an impressionable youngster my dad somehow acquired a few boxes of comics that included just about everything John Byrne had done up to that point, including his hilarious/brilliant/sexy run on She-Hulk. Since then, "Shulkie" has been one of my favorite Marvel characters.
Initially the plan here was to have her fighting actual real-world terrorists, but in the end I decided to go lighter, hence the staggeringly awesome original creations you see here. I call them the F.U.N. Squad (Fundamentalist Underground Network) and they are super cool and terrifying!
Anthony says: 1st Story-THE PURPLE REIGN SAGA (9 issues long):
- What if Nighthawk somehow held the key to a mysterious multi-dimensional power?
- What if The Purple Man wanted that power for himself?
- The Mandrill is caught up in a war with the Purple Man....and if he can't have the prize, then Nighthawk must die.
- Our first issue finds a mix of new and old Defenders all trying to capture or kill Nighthawk.
- Can Doc Samson save him from the Mandrill-enthralled women? Can he save himself?
- Even if he succeeds, The Purple Man is assembling his own team: THE PROSECUTORS (we'll see them is issue #2).
- Their continuing mission: Kill Mandrill and the Defenders and capture Nighthawk.
- Clea (replacing Doc Strange) is now the Mistress of the Mystic Arts.
- Namora (replacing Subby), Doc Samson (replacing Hulk), and Ikon the Spaceknight (replacing Silver Surfer) have also joined the team.
- The Giant-Sized first issue guest stars the Savage She-Hulk (who may or may not join the team).
Warning: By the end of the first story arc, you might just be rooting for the Mandrill.
By Joel Priddy
Concept: Nothing but the original Human Torch and Sub-Mariner punching each other out in the skies over Thirties New York. For 64 pages. Bi-Weekly.
By Paul Maybury
By Sean Dove
By Michael Fiffe and George O'Connor
Michel says: Michel Fiffe creator & self-publisher of the comic Zegas and is the editor of Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies. George O'Connor draws comics in Brooklyn; his works include Journey into Mohawk Country, Ball-Peen Hammer and the Olympians Series. Together they made Bill the universe weary, monolithic horse faced warrior-of-the-people he was destined to be.
Beta Ray Bill created by Walt Simonson.
Bruce says: This one's a riff on the classic issue #100 of Amazing Spider-Man. It was a particularly bizarro issue for Spidey at the time, so I thought that bizarrity might lend itself well to Howard. Also, it gave me an excuse to draw all my favorite Howard characters on one cover!
By Evan Keeling
Evan says: I picked WolfPack because it just popped into my head like a flash of memory from my child hood and it is such a crazy concept. A bunch of urban teens are trained by Mr. Mack who was trained by a lady ninja to fight a team of ninjas dedicated to destroying the 10 honest men of hebrew legend. So many concepts crammed into one book/ mini series.
For my cover I played off of how the characters in the original comic were very dated to the 80s. So I tried to put together some more modern dated outfits. My design for Mr Mack was basically if Devastatin' Dave and Terminator X had a baby. With Mr Mack I was also playing with the idea that he is one of the original pack (Slag) grown up and has taken over the mantel of Mr. Mack.
I had other concepts swimming in my head but the ideas just got to big and I had to let them go.
By Katie Cook
By Dean Trippe
Dean says: If I could pick any Marvel property to build a new series around, it'd be a young new version of Marvel Boy, likely from another alternate dimension or something. He'd be optimistic, powerful, and driven to save the world with his super-liberal agenda. Kind of like The Authority meets Butterfly. And he'd have a hyperboard (think hoverboard plus.)
By Marc Palm
Marc says: As far as this concept goes... The radioactive spider that bit Peter ends up mutating him into this human sized spider. He tries his hardest to maintain a normal teenage human appearance by using his special make-up effects hobby to mold masks of his old face and hands. He's also learned to manipulate the 8 limbs in order to look like 4 within the limits of long sleeves and pants.
In this story, there's no choice whether or not he's Spider-man. Peter has to decide how much he wants to keep up a human facade. He's torn between his deep human connections with friends/family and then the freedom of fighting crime as a wild "mut-animal".
Faith says: I picked Marrow to draw because I very briefly read X-Men in the late 90s, then stopped reading when I realized the stories would never come to a proper conclusion (it's important to me that stories have a beginning/middle/end). Marrow was a new member of the X-Men, and I liked her defiance to the rest of the team, as well as her strange look: the jutting bones and short hair (I always thought her green/blue costume was kinda ugly) was very different looking from the typical female X-Men, and as an awkward teenager who didn't feel terribly attractive, I identified with her.
I'm passionate about doing comics for younger readers, and I think superhero comics have really dropped the ball on that. I do outreach to schools and libraries, and I always find kids/teens who are really interested in comics, wildly enthusiastic about Bone, Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach or Smile. I meet maybe one kid in 30 who reads a superhero comic. So my Marrow story would be for teens and maybe a little younger, with action and bravery, but also about a young mutant with alienation issues, someone who doesn't really fit into "normal" society. My Marrow story (one with a beginning/middle/end), would start with her Morlock origins: she'd be a kid growing up in the sewer with a surrogate mutant family, knowing that she was very different from the world above. She'd chafe at being forced to stay in the sewer, where it was safer and she could be protected from the scorn of "normal" humans. But she'd start to explore the world above and, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, would fight crime in the shadows. And then she'd probably run into some of the X-Men, and there'd be fun conflict between the groups.