Comics Alliance Presents The Question: Which Series Should DC Launch Next?
The comics world is full of questions, from, "Who would win in a fight?" to, "Who came up with that weird idea?" to, "Why is Aquaman?" Here at ComicsAlliance, we spend a lot of time thinking about everything from the big questions that matter a whole lot to the small ones that probably don't matter at all, but are kinda fascinating. With this new recurring feature, The Question, we're going to give our writers the opportunity to answer some of these brain-ticklers, because if we're thinking about this stuff anyway, we might as well write it down.
For today's question, we asked our writers; Which comics should DC Comics launch after Convergence? DC's latest mega-event is finally behind us, and the publisher has already unveiled a more diverse slate of new titles, but there are still some obvious holes in the line. Given the way the audience is changing, our writers had plenty of ideas for books not currently being published that DC could and should introduce.
Here are our answers. Feel free to leave yours in the comments, and to vote on your favorite answers in the poll below.
I’d love to see a revamped Gotham City Sirens title out on the shelves. There’s a lot of love for these characters — honestly, I often feel like I see more Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and especially Harley cosplay at the average con than I do Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and all the rest. Stacey Lee comes to mind immediately as the ideal artist. Her work on Silk has exactly the kind of energy a book like this could use.
A Raven title could also be great, especially given how much good will the character’s presence on the Teen Titans Go cartoon continues to generate. This would necessitate a total erasure of the New 52 Sexy Condor take, which could only be a good thing. I’d want to see a creative team with a really distinctive voice on this title — Marjorie Liu is my pick for writer. I love the introspection she brought to Black Widow’s "The Name of the Rose" arc.
My absolute, pie-in-the-sky DC dream would be for a slice-of-life Lois And Clark series. Something sweet and charming and character-based. Lois learning to deal with Clark’s midwesten love of tater tot casseroles. Clark discovering Lois’s secret passion for discounted TJ Maxx candles and realizing, wow, ending with the day with a glass of chocolate milk, a mystery novel, and Yankee Candle's Midnight Oasis ScentSation is his new favorite thing. Lois forbidding Clark from ever using Petfinder.com again because he just can't handle the Olde English Sheepdog section. I'd love to see an artist with a more cartoony style take this one on — Takeshi Miyazawa is my preferred choice, especially given his experience on Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane.
Joëlle Jones, of Lady Killer and Helheim, should write and draw a Lois Lane title that's a crime caper book with a sense of fun, as Lois shows just how she came to be the top investigative reporter of her age. Can we have it be Elseworlds too, to avoid all the Superman-of-today stuff that does not appeal to Lois fans? Think Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, but with more bite, and Lois in her deserved spotlight.
Next: Ms Tree, updated for the 21st century, but with a retro setting (1920s perhaps?) for Michael Tree who is, yes, a female private investigator, solving murders and working to bring down the resident crime family (not in Gotham). Perhaps combined with some of the powers of early Black Orchid, before she became an actual half plant person. Because, no. In her previous iteration, Michael’s deceased husband (named Michael Tree) leaves her a teenage stepson named Mike (obviously) to take care of, who falls in love with a girl in the crime family. Oh and she also fought off the mob while heavily pregnant at one point because she is boss. The artist can only be the superb Vanesa R Del Rey of Hit 1955/57 and Sinatoro, while writing goes to Denise Mina (Hellblazer).
Finally, okay, I know we’ve tried Amethyst only recently, but if Conan and Red Sonja are still earning a readership, the infinitely more fun Amethyst certainly can. Bring in the No Mercy team of Alex de Campi (Grindhouse) and Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) on this for some serious fantasy comic writing with a large cast, a clash of fantasy world and modern day Earth, and an Amethyst with attitude.
NB. None of the characters in any of these books need to be white. Or straight. Or cis. Or... you get what I’m saying.
The first and most blatant choice, for me, is a Vixen series. The character is a well-known, liked part of the DC Universe, but her New 52 profile has been particularly quiet. I’ve barely seen her anywhere, in fact, and that seems strange when she’s got a TV series around the corner. Now would be the perfect time for her to step up into the big leagues with her own solo series. If I were DC, I’d be racing over with contracts to beg Afua Richardson if she’d like to be artist for the book, and I think I’d also ask Mikki Kendall to write it. She’s only just made the jump to comics, but her interviews for Swords of Sorrow have been smart, funny, and excited, and I’d love to see more.
The current Justice League series has run on and off for me, but I did like the addition of a jumbled, over-excited Element Woman to the cast. Manic bouncy personalities are the best kind of personalities, and I’ll take any excuse to hurl more fun into the centre of the DC Universe. Element Woman is friendly and kind, and the sort of character who seems like she’d be a total inspiration in her own solo series. Her costume could use an upgrade, though, which is why I’d turn to Kate Brown for the artist, and add Mairghread Scott as the writer. There’s nobody more suited for a character like Emily Sung than those two.
You know what's a completely blatant and ridiculously untouched project? A Lois Lane ongoing series. For flip’s sake! She’s one of the most loved characters in comics, and the New 52 has left her with an incredible amount of independence right now. She's as smart and capable as we’ve seen her in decades, despite the faint insistence some fans have that the only acceptable Lois Lane is one that's married to Clark. Let’s see... you’d want Alex De Campi writing it, to give Lois spark and danger, and then if we bring in Alison Sampson as artist, that would do nicely.
If I had a fourth choice, I’d ask for a Krypto series, obvs.
Superman has one of the all-time greatest supporting casts in comics, but they rarely get as big a chance to shine in the comics as they have in the various TV shows and other media adaptations over the years, particularly Lois Lane. So why not give the staff of The Daily Planet the Gotham Central treatment, via some of the creative team of Gotham Central, with The Planet, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark? Fortuitously enough, in the post-Flashpoint DC Universe, where Lois Lane is simply Superman’s bestie and doesn’t know his secret identity yet, it would probably be even easier to do a series based on the colorful personalities of Metropolis’ paper of record — including Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Ron Troupe, Cat Grant, and Steve Lombard — without constantly throwing them all under Superman’s shadow.
Ever since Grant Morrison and J.H. Williams III reintroduced The Club of Heroes in their 2007 "Black Glove" story arc, I’ve been calling for a Club of Heroes monthly, as the concept essentially amounts to a Justice League composed entirely of Batmans (and a few Robins). Morrison did something similar with his eventual Batman, Incorporated, and while the mega-story arc it was devoted to telling has run its course, there’s no reason that name can’t be repurposed for a new series about the ongoing adventures of the Club. Chris Burnham would be the ideal artist for this new Batman Inc., and while there are several good candidates for writers — like Chuck Dixon, who familiarity with Batman lore and tough-guy action movie plots would be ideal — Tom Peyer seems to have one of the better records for picking up on Morrison’s ideas and turning out something neat.
One of greatest comic book anthologies that DC ever produced was the way-too-short-lived series Solo. Each over-sized issue focused on a single artist, and within the allotted pages they could do seemingly anything they wanted, with whatever DC characters they wanted (if any), and with whichever co-collaborators they wanted. Mike Allred, Paul Pope, Darwyn Cooke, Tim Sale, Sergio Aragones, and Brendan McCarthy all got a shot. It's a damn shame that it went away before we got to see a Jill Thompson or Kelley Jones or Gilbert Hernandez issue. It seemed a nice way to reward artists who work with DC, and a good way to entice artists who might not otherwise get to draw that 10-page Enemy Ace or Claw The Unconquered story they’ve always wanted to do. Richard Sala, Tom Scioli, Brandon Graham, Sophie Campbell and Noelle Stevenson would all be good candidates for the spotlight.
Now that DC's multiverse is back in play post-Convergence, and we're already expecting to see the 1940s version of the DCU brought to life in the forthcoming Bombshells series, there's another Elseworld I'd like to see explored in more detail; the frankly homoerotic 'Drowned World' of Leatherwing, pirate captain of the Flying Fox. Created by Chuck Dixon and Enrique Alcatena for a 1994 Detective Comics Annual, the world has barely been explored, but with its brawny buccaneer Wonder Woman and tight-britched commodore Superman, doesn't it seem like the sexiest and most swashbuckly of all possible worlds? And, frankly, ripe for exploring a queer-inclusive version of the DCU that's just as driven by its aesthetics as Bombshells. Seeing a creative team like Becky Cloonan and Russell Dauterman have fun with the Drowned World concept feels to me like the whole reason for having a multiverse.
Next, Green Arrow. No, not that one; Connor Hawke. There is a version of Connor that exists primarily in the heads of his fans; a young queer Buddhist biracial superhero finding his place in the world. That's the hero I want to read about. Unfortunately his writers didn't write him as queer, his artists didn't always remember his heritage, and eventually his whole world got rebooted, and he got booted out of it. DC's current policy is to pretend its universe is fresh and new, which means oblivion for all the legacy heroes, so Connor can't exist as the son Ollie Queen. Some fans might say that relationship is crucial, but I don't care; make him Ollie's cousin. Just bring him back. I want a young queer Buddhist biracial superhero, presented with the style and heart that a writer/aritst like Annie Wu might bring. (She has experience with archers.)
For my third pick... everyone else has nominated some version of a Lois Lane book, and let's face it, it's the pick that's obvious to everyone except DC. But there's another hard-nosed civilian woman with a very different relationship to the supermen who I think is just as deserving. Amanda Waller, spymaster and security specialist, is one of DC's most fascinating characters thanks to her pragmatic and morally fuzzy approach to saving the world. Her exploits protecting humanity from extraordinary threats would make for a great comic, The Wall, especially from a team like Greg Rucka and Brian Stelfreeze. Of course, the series would have to start with the real Amanda Waller stepping out of the shadows to replace that skinny woman who has been using her name.
Those are our picks. You can leave your own suggestions in the comments. You can also let DC know which of our ideas are your favorites by voting in the poll below. You can choose up to three titles to vote for.