Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Dream Team: The Big Idea 

(Jeff's done his part in this, too. As has Kevin, much as he resisted it.)

Here's what you do.

First, you construct a time machine and go back in time. Not that far, let's just say... oh... to the gestation of the Ultimate universe at Marvel.

Then you let me go into the boardroom and kill everyone and take over, and here's what I do.

I don't let this new universe idea become just an area to rehash the Same Fucking Stories, but everyone's wearing leather this time. No.

I stage the British Invasion. (Okay, the UK Invasion, but "British Invasion" is sexier and has pre-existing connotations.)

I hire in just a few folks to kick off a new Marvel U, call it 617 because I'm fucking clever, and I hand it over to the lads from the UK.

Alan Moore gets named Chief Creative Officer of 617. He's the big cheese, the head honcho, who guides the general direction of all the titles under him and keeps things fresh and invigorating. The writers who handle the titles under him don't follow his orders, per se, but he keeps them all in line and makes sure things are going smoothly.

He also gets writing duties on The Fantastic Four. Why? Because 617 is going to be Moore's baby, and the FF kick it all off. Cassaday gets art duties. I don't care that Cassaday's not from the UK; shut up.

Warren Ellis gets control of the X-Men. Why? Because what they are by all rights embodies everything that Ellis is about: science fiction, specifically the evolution of man beyond his normal qualities, by will or by accident. Art goes to, of course, Darick Robertson.

Grant Morrison gets control of Dr. Strange and the various magical and magic-oriented characters in 617. This one's pretty obvious. Magic has lost its importance in the Marvel U to the point of nonexistence, and there's no one else I'd trust more to make it the vital, truly mind-bending sector of 617 that it needs to be. Magic should be transforming, baffling, frightening, and fascinating. Morrison does that better than just about anyone (okay, except maybe Moore, but he's already busy.) He gets Glenn Fabry, because I like that guy, dammit.

Garth Ennis gets control of Nick Fury, Black Widow, the Punisher, and other various military and military-related characters. So far, the Marvel U has treated the military presence to be either Hulk's punching bags, a collective of James Bonds, or G.I. Joe clones. Ennis is the man to correct this, and correct it properly. I can't decide if the artist should be Steve Dillon or Carlos Ezquerra. I'm leaning toward the former for sentimental reasons.

Who gets the Avengers, you might ask? Or Spider-Man?

Ah, fuck 'em. Who needs 'em?

RULE NUMBER ONE: for six issues, these guys more or less have to play ball. Set up the origins, define the team line-ups, keep the same basic powers and whatever personality traits they want (and throw out the rest), and get the ball rolling.

RULE NUMBER TWO: Keep it basic. We don't really need to see the 617 Owl... ever. No franchise (FF, mutant, military, magic) gets more than three titles per. Crossovers are restricted to three issues a year, and you better have a fucking good reason for it. Make it truly make sense and add to the story, not a ploy to drive up sales.

After that... FREE FOR ALL!

No holds barred. Nothing is sacred. Anyone can die. Anyone can turn. Think Cyclops would be much more interesting starting off as and remaining a villain, maybe as Magneto's trusted lieutenant? Go ahead. You want Mephisto claiming dominion over half the United States -- and succeed in keeping it? Go ahead. You want Jean Grey to die and stay fucking dead? Shit, I'll give you a bonus.

Anything at all. Go wild. Kill whoever you like, just make it worthy of a story. No holds barred, no need to adhere to the regular 616 storylines. Make up new characters. Fuck the status quo square in the pooper. I'm all for it.

Oh, but wouldn't that be wonderful?

(To any of you who might chime in with crap like "oh, why would these artists want to work on someone else's property? only when all of us are doing creator-owned projects will we all be free...", you get a pre-emptive "Shut the fuck up." This is the comic book world equivalent of Fantasy Football, and I'm going to revel in it for a couple days.)

That is all.

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