Hypothetical situation: Due to diminished readership and rising paper costs, it has been decided only fifteen comic titles will be published from this day forward. You have been charged with the decisions of which titles shall be printed and what creative teams will be assigned to them…
What fifteen comic books will we find on the racks next month and who will be the creative teams behind them?
This is kind of tough since I still tend to favor characters over creators — except in the case of creator-owned series, which I’ve excluded from this wish list — but here’s what my mash-up publisher’s slate would look like:
Adam Strange, written by Andy Diggle, art by Pascual Ferry
–Their mini-series, before the ending was waylaid by Infinite Crisis, was one of the best superhero space operas I’d read in a long while. I’d love to see it return as an ongoing, full supporting cast intact.
Batman, written and art by Matt Wagner
—Batman and the Monster Men has been great, and I’d love to see Wagner on Batman on a regular basis.
Gotham Central, written by Lawrence Block, art by Michael Lark
–Lawrence Block is my favorite mystery/detective novelist, and paired with Lark, Gotham Central would be even better than it was.
Jonah Hex, written by Phil Hester, art by Nick Stakal
–Loved their team-up in Western Tales of Terror a while back, and Hex could use a little indie jolt.
Suicide Squad, written by Greg Rucka, art by Georges Jeanty
–I like Rucka’s novels more than most of his recent comics work, but I think Suicide Squad would be right in his wheelhouse. Jeanty’s clean pencils and ability to handle large casts will be a perfect complement.
Teen Titans, written by Scott Beatty, art by Keron Grant
–Beatty has a great handle on sidekicks, and Grant’s manga stylings grew on me over the course of their Son of Vulcan mini-series and would be perfect for attracting fans of the cartoon.
Astonishing X-Men, written by Fabian Nicieza, art by Steve McNiven
–You gotta have the mutants represented, and I love what Nicieza’s doing on the Thunderbolts. McNiven’s one of the few fan favorite artists I really dig, and did a good job with a large cast on his New Avengers stint.
Captain America, written by Ed Brubaker, art by Sean Phillips
–Brubaker has made me a fan of the only character I’ve ever been less interested in than Superman, and re-teaming him with Phillips would give this series the perfect visual tone.
Heroes for Hire, written by Reginald Hudlin, art by Jamal Igle
–Hudlin does the fun stuff well, so I’d love to see his take on Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon, holding it down in NYC. Igle knows how to draw black people in more than two variations, so he’d be a perfect match.
Moon Knight, written by Doug Moench and Charlie Huston, art by Bill Sienkiewicz
–Old school meets new school, as drawn by Moon Knight’s definitive artist.
Power Pack, written by Marc Sumerak, art by Gurihiru
–Something for the kids, and Nickelodeon, but fun enough for all ages. Must include the Franklin Richards backup stories.
X-Factor, written by Peter David, art by Kano
–You need the darker side of the mutant world to balance out the more fun Astonishing, and PAD’s Madrox is too good a character to let go.
Conan, written by Kurt Busiek, art by Cary Nord
–Licenses are a must, especially when they’re good, and this is a good series.
G.I. Joe: America’s Elite!, written by Joe Casey, art by Stefano Caselli
Micronauts, written by Rick Remender, art by Tony Moore
—Fear Agent has been a lot of fun, so I’d love to see these two let loose on the Microverse.