Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Since King's been ruled out as a possible writer...

I really feel like the only thing that could possibly boost our sales sufficiently, in light of a big new third comics company who's starting up and will presumably take up some market real estate, at least initially, is a major freaking stunt. One of these is, as I've expressed a million times, way more appealing to me than the other.

One: Kill Spider-Man or Wolverine.

It'll sell books. It's a terrible idea but it'll sell books and we'll reach our target.

Two: Linewide crossover.

If we can't add a mini to the lineup, you can cancel She-Hulk and use its spot. I think it would really behoove us all to pitch some ideas and see what best works with the directions we've all taken our titles.

I've already suggested my Defenders pitch, which I've merged with Sean's Natural Disaster pitch. My original Defenders pitch has the X-Men in a pretty prominent role dealing with the addictive mutant drug but it doesn't jive at all with what you're doing in Uncanny. Question, my man Mike: outside of crossovers, do I have your permission to use Magneto in my FF Road to Defenders Arc?

Here's a different crossover idea:

By JMS and Brian Hitch

Thor returns to the Marvel Universe in an incredibly shocking way. The Post-Ragnarok Asgard is in shambles, and a reborn Loki and Thor are competing for rulership over it. Instead of general elections, however, the new monarch will be decided by who is worshipped by the greatest number of people. So Thor and Loki attempt to convert as many of Earth's population as they can to worship them. Things get violent. Things get rough. Again, Spider-Man and Wolverine are crushed by a whale and die.

Another idea:

By Jeph Loeb and Mark Silvestri or Ed McGuinness

Reed and Peter capture Mac Gargan from the Thunerbolts, removes the Venom Symbiote from him and genetically engineer it to be less aggressive but no less powerful and then give it to all the heroes of Earth because an army of Symbiote infected bad guys are making a beeline for Earth. Spider-Man and Wolverine are crushed by a whale that's been infected with the Venom Symbiote. They die.

By Bendis and Frank Cho

A mysterious woman claiming to be the Scarlet Queen takes over the Hellfire Club and does some seriously bad deeds, including (not joking this time) killing a fairly prominent character, perhaps even Dr. Strange. This Queen bears no resemblance to the Scarlet Witch, but her reality altering powers do. So the heroes who have managed to stay out of her spell (being She-Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Uncanny X-Men as well as Spider-Man and Wolverine who, because of the Scarlet Queen's reality altering powers, are both crushed by a whale and die) are led by Hawkeye to find the Scarlet Witch in her hiding place and try and convince her to take out this dangerous new threat, who is revealed to be an alternate reality daughter of hers or something weird. I don't know. Let Bendis figure it out.

By Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness

Everybody wakes up one morning and the Joker is Emperor of the universe.


It winds up that all the heroes of the Marvel Universe have been hanging out in Cancun on the beach and we've just been watching their clones for the past twenty years.

These will continue to degenerate, so you stop. The first three have elements that are useful.


Michael Heide said...

If we really go along with the Defenders pitch, you can definitely use Magneto. In fact, since we have a fill-in artist on issues 4 and 5 into our Uncanny X-Men run, those could be tie-ins to the Road to Defenders. Does that fit your timing?

But I really can't stress enough how much I want that name to change. How about a play on the "Axis of Evil" moniker? "Axis of Reason?"

Or, since we already have the natural desaster part integrated into the crossover, we could call this "Damage Control", possibly with a redemption of Damage Control (they came off pretty badly in Wolverine Civil War tie-ins). And remember, Damage Control was created by Dwayne McDuffie...

Philip Schaeffer said...

Please tie 4 and 5 in, pretty pretty please. Magneto's role in my pitch is to be, when all's said and done, the least redemptive member of the team-that-must-not-be-named. Therefore, I'd like him to appear more magnanimous near the beginning. My addictive mutant serum was one idea. I can abide by whatever reappearance will best fit him into your title (and if you want to portray Doom visiting him in your pages, so much the better).

Your objections to the Defenders name are understandable, but I think the title is basic to the story.

True, these four foreign characters gain a lot of repute by Defending the world from a major natural disaster, but their mandate is to Defend the world from American hegemony. The term Defenders implies that the thing that they're defending the world from is extremely evil. It's supposed to be a controversial title. And I know you're talking about the controversy that would come from former Defenders fans frustrated to see the name re-purposed, but I think more people will be interested in where Doom and company go from there.

Especially if we land Vaughn as the writer.

Michael Heide said...

It's Vaughan, not Vaughn. About Doom, is he back to his old science ways or are there still elements of the dark arts? If the latter, I could actually use him in Uncanny X-Men. He could be a surprise villain later in the run when the team battles Belasco.

Sean, what do you think?

Philip Schaeffer said...

I was really planning on having him be science-based again, especially so that there'd be that friction between him and Reed again.

If you want to do something weird and have his soul have been split in two when he was in hell and there's a Devil Doom or Demon Doom running around dealing with Belasco I'll have no objection, and that might even explain why he's a little more noble now, but the Doom I'm planning on having in D*******s is scientific 100%. And he's sort of a good guy, too.

Philip Schaeffer said...


Philip Schaeffer said...

Oh, also, you guys are hurting my feelings not responding to any of my other pitches.

You don't want to see Clone Wars 2? Are you nuts?

Michael Heide said...

We probably are.

And I don't want to split Doctor Doom's soul. That's come off as "a real Doom and a fake Doom" to the fans. Remember Kristoff?

Philip Schaeffer said...

Fair enough...

Demonically-possessed Doombot, drawing its power from the image of one who had once been so involved in the Dark Arts?

I don't know man.

Michael Heide said...

Ugh. No. How about Diablo? Do you need him? He might work as the surprise villain as well.

Philip Schaeffer said...

Take him. Diablo can be a 198 Mutant and wear a Quitely-Morrison style yellow X-Jacket for all I care.

He's all yours.

Sean Kleefeld said...

I don't know -- I kind of like the Doom-split-in-2 thing. But it would have to be played carefully.

If Doom is all scientific, that could lead to an interesting spin in Defenders, while a more ranting/raving Doom in Uncanny. Take things a little more extreme than usual in both directions simultaneously. THEN, we could tie that up in the crossover with the two Dooms each failing because neither was whole.

Something to ponder...

Michael Heide said...

My Doom (or Diablo) appearance would be late in the Uncanny X-Men run, after the huge crossover. He will team up with Belasco to bring Hell to Earth, trying to get Mephisto's power. And he gets it, the X-Men have to fight them both, Nightcrawler then sacrifices himself (by going into Hell) to send them all back (including Belasco, Doom and Mephisto). I can already see the great Djurdjevic cover of a three-fingered skeleton in Nightcrawler's torn costume.

Michael Heide said...

Thinking about this, we had Doom in Hell not so long ago during Mark Waid's Fantastic Four run.
So I should really use Diablo instead.

Anonymous said...

The Doom split is actually pretty cool, but it would certainly get a bad reaction for many fans and Doom is supposedly to be very central to what you guys are doing so negative reaction might hurt the crossover.

Philip Schaeffer said...

I'm happy for Dan and Dwayne to work it in if necessary; it's at Mike's discretion. Whatever he needs to tell his story.

And it sounds like he'd rather do Diablo.

Anonymous said...

I think some of the ideas you guy are putting out may be reaching a bit, while a couple others sound interesting:

- The Defenders idea doesn't sound half-bad, but how realistic is it to expect the suicide of Namor (if I read that right)? Why not just keep him on, as the Anti-Initiative guy, and keep Doom working with him?

- Brubaker on Wolverine? Sure, I'd buy it, but instead of Wolverine sitting around the pub, use Bru's talents writing spy/conspiracy stories to delve into his past, Weapon X, or look into the death of Steve Rogers or the history of the Super Soldier program (which I think was linked to Weapon X during Grant's run). If Bru says no, Vaughan or Diggle could do the same, easily.

- McFarlane doing a years' worth of covers? Are you kidding? It took Quesada 5 years to get him to do ONE for Ultimate Spidey. You'll be lucky if he answers his e-mail to wish you luck.

- Byrne/Micheline on Spidey sounds interesting to the 40,000 customers who remember when they either of these guys worked on Top Ten books. Wouldn't you be better off finding someone more recent that Byrne could work with? McDuffie or Gail Simone would certainly raise more interest than David Micheline.

- Stephen King? Yeah. That was going to happen.

- Instead of the FF: West Coast idea, wouldn't putting She-Hulk in the Defenders, away from the FF, and keeping her on the east coast be easier to keep sales going up? Use her book in the cross-over (6 parts, instead of 5) to help push sales up, plus since the Banner Hulk was an original Defender, you've got a character-link between the two. Her working for an organization that is at odds with American interests, while still working as a lawyer on American soil, would be fodder for good stories.

I'm curious to see where you go from here.


Michael Heide said...

Thanks for the comments. I can only speak for "my" books, so:

> Brubaker on Wolverine? Sure,
> I'd buy it, but instead of
> Wolverine sitting around the
> pub, use Bru's talents writing
> spy/conspiracy stories to
> delve into his past, Weapon X,
> or look into the death of
> Steve Rogers or the history of
> the Super Soldier program
> (which I think was linked to
> Weapon X during Grant's run).
> If Bru says no, Vaughan or
> Diggle could do the same,
> easily.

I bet that could work. But I think there is Wolverine: Origins for those kinds of stories.