The Question: Which Series Should Marvel 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 Marvel Comics launch after Secret Wars? Marvel has been unveiling its new line-up over the past few days, with the full reveal coming on Wednesday 1 July, and what the publisher has announced thus far has shown plenty of promise, including a more diverse Avengers team and a new central role for Miles Morales in the Marvel Universe. But there's always room for more. More diversity, more originality, more weirdness.
Our writers had plenty of ideas for books not currently being published that Marvel could introduce on Wednesday. We've included our suggestions below. Feel free to leave yours in the comments --- and don't forget to check out our suggestions for DC as well!
Maybe it took Avengers: Age of Ultron for the public to see her potential, but I’ve always been a fan of Scarlet Witch. Reality disruption aside, Wanda has proven multiple times that she’s not only a formidable ally, but also a catalyst for change, while remaining deeply human. Need I repeat the three words that forever changed the history of Marvel? She’s absolutely owning her role in Uncanny Avengers, and who better than the Thor creative team, Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman to helm her solo book, as they’ve mastered a strong female hero of their own.
Marvel 1602 is my personal gold star stand-alone series in the Marvel lineup. There’s so much rich historical context and so many great characters to be explored; and since we’ve seen a spike of wonderfully diverse heroes, not only in race, but in age as well, it’s about time to do something truly fun with them! The 1602 Witch Hunter Angela book provides the perfect segue to the 1602 universe, as it took the history of 17th century Elizabethan Europe and America and merged it with the mythos of superheroes. I’d love to see Adi Granov on pencils while keeping on the original fantasy guru, Neil Gaiman. How wondrous would it be see a 17th century Miles Morales or Kamala Khan drawn by Granov in a new 1602? Nothing short of mind-blowing!
Lastly, the Young Avengers are in dire need of a return. Kieron Gillen has an innate talent for pop culture and young characters. (The social media references alone make that series top-notch.) But the line-up could use some sprucing, considering a chunk of these characters were introduced as younger reflections of the Avengers roster. Adding in a star player like Nova could give the team the jolt it needs, but rounding it out with a pragmatic addition like Valeria Richards could only make it stronger. Who doesn’t like a group of teen supes kickin' butt and taking selfies?
It seems ridiculous to mention this, but Marvel, you don’t have a Black Panther ongoing series right now? Seems like this is something you should be getting on with, if you ask me. There are innumerable directions such a series could head into, but I get the impression Marvel’s comics division are currently holding out until they find out what approach the movie is going to take, so they can follow their lead. In terms of a creative team, it feels like the world is slowly pushing David F. Walker towards this one. As for artist, well, it’s clear that Oliver Coipel is a fan of Black Panther – as one of Marvel’s starriest artists, he’d give the book a huge boost. (Panther fans should check out our gallery of the Best Black Panther Art Ever.)
Let’s follow that up with something altogether less expected: I’d like a Sunfire series, starring Mariko Yashida in the title role. She was killed off by the series in which she debuted, Exiles, but I always thought she seemed like a character ahead of her time. She’s a fascinating, charismatic hero in her own right, and in the right hands – Marjorie Liu and Stacey Lee, duh – it seems like she could really command a comic.
Finally: Marvel, we know you want to publish this, and you know we want to read it – a Pixie and Dazzler team-up book would be bang tidy, thanks. Your refusal to do this has led DC to undercut you by basically taking the concept and publishing it into two different solo series – Batgirl and Black Canary – and we’re all confused and disappointed in your lack of foresight. Pixie is wonderfully, ridiculously fun, but she works best as part of a team – giving her the confident, brash, but romantically hopeless Alison Blaire as teammate would be perfect. Kathryn Immonen should obviously write it, and can we have Irene Koh for artist? A million sales, every issue.
Reader interest in seeing a diverse range of young female heroes is not a flash-in-the-pan; it’s the new state of superhero comics. These are the heroes who best represent superhero fiction's interest in justice and fantastic escape. Marvel has the perfect next candidate to follow on from heroes like Silk and Ms Marvel in America Chavez, and a powerful queer woman of color is most definitely the next big thing. I think a team of Taneka Stotts and Ronald Wimberly would ace the combination of reality-warping adventure and villain-womping action that the character demands.
Namor doesn't get the appreciation he deserves, at least not from Marvel. Tumblr knows what makes Namor great; he’s haughty, smoldering beefcake. If you want to give him dimension, and play up his slippery-when-wet sex appeal, give him a new hard-to-get love interest (to replace the truly unattainable Susan Storm-Richards), and you have the makings of a steamy and seductive hit for a team like Marjorie Liu and Joanna Estep. Pre-Secret Wars, Marvel made Namor a villainous pariah. Post-Secret Wars, let's just say a Skrull did it and agree to move on, so we can appreciate Namor's true potential as a romantic lead.
Finally; stylish, ass-kicking detectives who can tackle everything from occult forces to secret societies, Daughters of the Dragon are overdue an ongoing series of their own. One is a samurai; one is a cyborg. It’s a Netflix show just waiting to happen, which means Marvel should make it first. Having seen what Gurihiru are doing with Misty Knight in their Secret Love short story, I want to let them loose in Marvel’s weird corners. Maybe Alex De Campi could give the series the edge it needs? In the right hands, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight could conquer the world.
Kate Bishop has a tremendous amount of character potential --- I’d love to see where a creative team with strong vision could take her. My ultimate ideal, though, would have to be a teamup book about Kate and America Chavez, partners in crime with added romantic tension. I’d especially love to see a fresh face debut on this one, with a bold style: Asia Kendrick-Horton, better known as 'asieybarbie', is my pick.
I would absolutely adore an Emma Frost series, but on one condition: Marguerite Sauvage as artist. She could depict Emma as the sleek, charismatic, cunning powerhouse she is — and in an incredible wardrobe. After his wonderful work on She-Hulk, I nominate Charles Soule as writer. Together, the two of them could really plumb the depths of Emma’s complicated history in new ways.
This last one is completely ridiculous and will never, ever happen, but I love the idea of a digital-first, slice-of-life Mary Jane Watson story. MJ has been full of personality from day one, and her relationship with Peter has been one of the most consistently compelling things about the spider-corner of 616 for decades. A silly little series about her view of the superheroics that surround her could be charming and fun. Noelle Stevenson’s my pick for writer and artist, after she knocked her stint on Sensation Comics so completely out of the park a few months ago.
In a word? Woodgod. To save some of you having to visit Wikipedia, Woodgod was an artificial super-strong satyr who debuted in an issue of Marvel Premiere by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen...and then was pretty much forgotten, with only a handful of appearances since his 1976 debut. These days, he's remembered as a joke character if at all, but I like the idea of turning a mostly-forgotten, oft ridiculed character like Woodgod into a star. I'd pick Mark Waid to write a Woodgod series, and for artist, Waid's partner on Archie's The Fox revival, Dean Haspiel, would be perfect. Who better to draw a living, breathing, fighting satyr in the modern Marvel universe?
Marvel has definitely given writer Jeff Parker plenty of opportunities to make a go of Agents of Atlas, from his original 2006 miniseries with Leonard Kirk to a 2009 ongoing series cut short by cancellation, to guest appearances in just about every title Parker's written. But Marvel hasn't tried a series in these heady, post-Hawkeye years, where even the likes of Groot and Squirrel Girl have their own monthlies. I'd love to see Parker and Kirk take another shot at this high-concept group of oddball heroes; it' s not hard to imagine that if Marvel Studios would have zigged instead of zagged a few years ago, the Agents could be movie stars instead of the Guardians of The Galaxy.
Finally, I'd tap an all-new, all-different title starring The Invaders, Marvel's retconned answer to DC's Justice Society. Marvel recently attempted an All-New Invaders book set in the present day. I'd go back to the 1940s for a superhero period piece, and expand the roster beyond Namor, Captain America, Human Torch and their sidekicks to include all the Golden Age heroes. As for creators, no one writes war stories as well as Garth Ennis, and no one writes superheroes quite the same way. I'd team him with his old Punisher and Preacher collaborator Steve Dillon, in part because Dillon's a great artist whose work I never tire of seeing, and in larger part because I would love to see Dillon drawing Namor's arched eyebrows.
What do you mean, I can't nominate Kris Anka and Kevin Wada's sadly-cancelled Marvel Swimsuit Special three times?
In that case, the obvious answer is probably a Miss America Chavez solo series. A quick glance at Tumblr, or the cosplay line-up at conventions, is enough to tell you Chavez is a fan favourite, and any further doubt could be dispelled with a trademark boot to the face. Given the character's origins, you could do a dimension-hopping team-up series with a different creative team and reality every issue. But if I had to pin it down to a single pairing, it'd be She-Hulk's Ronald Wimberly, and Marguerite Bennett. Bennett is writing the character excellently in A-Force – plus, that first issue featured the natural choice for this series' strap line: “She's beauty. She's grace. She'll punch you in the face.”
Next up, a bit of that all-important Marvel brand synergy. As they're both getting their own Netflix shows, why not get the Heroes for Hire band back together with a series starring Danny Rand and Luke Cage? It's vitally important to me to see Luke Cage back in the tiara (which, admittedly, is a little less synergistic), so this would probably have to be a period piece. I'd love to see Al Ewing doing something similar to Mighty Avengers' '70s-set Original Sin tie-in (which, given that those issues starred Cage's dad, would require some timeline fudging). For pure vintage feel, Chris Samnee on art, with Francesco Francavilla blaxploitation-style covers.
Finally, I am bound by blood to demand a new Runaways series. Not the group of assorted Marvel teens currently wearing that title in a Secret Wars book, but Brian K Vaughan and Adrian Alphona's original band of misfits – at least, the ones who are still alive. Beyond seeing those kids again, I don't really care what the comic consists of, but would it be too much to ask for Alphona to return to the book, and maybe bring Ms Marvel collaborator G. Willow Wilson with him?
Those are our picks. You can leave your own suggestions in the comments. You can also let Marvel know which of our ideas are your favorites by voting in the poll below. You can choose up to three titles to vote for.