Tuesday, May 15, 2007

EIC Responses

Gonna try responding to a boatload of stuff in one post here for the sake of speed...

First, thanks again to everyone for all convening on the blog here and shooting out lots of great ideas already! We're rockin and rollin and we're not even 24 hours into the sim!

First, let's assume that, generally speaking, all other existing books will be carrying on more or less as they are in their current state. That's going to more directly affect Pat and

Pat -- Welcome aboard! Glad you didn't get shut out there! First, your creative team ideas are fine, but I'd strongly suggest having backups at the ready. King seems a long shot and I don't know Byrne's current opinion of Marvel. Also, JRSr might well just want to rest in retirement, I don't know. So backup plans on these guys I think are a must.

Also, start thinking of general story directions/themes to work with. Obviously, we're not going to be writing the stories here, but I think we'll at least need to set the pace for the books.

Phil -- She-Hulk's shaping up -- I like the creative team ideas -- but I'm still not sold on reason for the "team" forming around Jen. She's got no real relationship with Sharon and only tangental relations with Crystal. I don't know that we want to directly ape the "FF" name/idea too much, either. The family/friends thing on the West Coast is cool, but directly renaming it "FF LA" and specifically having four members is a bit much. Why not 3 members? Or 5? Or 2? I think we should be looking at this as more of a "She-Hulk and Friends" type of thing than "FF LA". Who's in Jen's circle of friends, and who would be willing to head across country with her?

On the FF, I think it's important to keep Johnny with the team for at least the short term. Remember that we've got a big movie coming out soon and I think it's important to keep the team members fairly recognizable for any possible spillover we get from it. (That's not to say Johnny can't visit over in She-Hulk's book, BTW!) Creative team ideas are good.

With your Defenders crossover idea, it's a good, well-thought out spin on a classic team. But (you knew that was coming!) I'd like to propose something a little more radical story-wise. More on that in a bit...

Mike -- Creative teams are good for both books. (My bad for the art confusion earlier!) I like where you're going with Wolverine story wise. Uncanny, I think, is a good idea, but that's going to be really tricky. First, you're going to have to account for mutants in other X-books. Second, why does Fitzroy leave those mutants? Does he simply have trouble locating them? If so, why? Lots of story issues to deal with there.

All -- I'll post something to Tom's blog shortly about current assignments. I think you can all post your thoughts on creative teams, and maybe a few short notes about general directions that I've okayed so far. (If I haven't okayed part yet, see what you can do to write your post around those points!) We'll hold off on noting anything about crossover stuff until we've something a little more solid on that.


Philip Schaeffer said...

This is from the FF post I'm working on:

First 2 issues, part of a 4 (or 6 if I can dictate sim Black Panther) part crossover with She-Hulk (and Black Panther): Due to two ridiculous teleportation devices, the Original Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, Black Panther, Storm and Gravity face off against the newly returned Doctor Doom, who leads them on a chase through alternate dimensions, across the galaxy and the streets of Manhattan. Unfortunately, when they finally catch up with Doctor Doom they find out that his suspicious trek across space and time was in fact, magnanimous, resulting in his providing free, life-saving technology to several third world countries. T’Challa is frustrated by Reed’s almost compulsive distrust of Doom, to the point that he and Storm leave on not the best of terms. Johnny and She-Hulk depart for L.A., and Ben, Reed and Sue welcome Gravity to the team.

Sean Kleefeld said...

Other than the bit about adding Gravity to the team (see my note above), that's fine.

Patrick Cook said...

Sean, if you're good to go on the creators, I'd like to put them out there as my pitch, and yes, I absolutely will have back-ups ready if Tom B. drops the hammer on them.

I've gottan sign off for the night folks, so if someone could post my pitch on my behalf sometime in the early part of Wednesday, I can catch up to folks on the tail end and keep this moving forward.

Thanks for the dialogue, fun stuff all around....

Philip Schaeffer said...

Johnny on the team for the short term... is the duration of that crossover short enough for you, maybepossiblykindaokay?

I'd like to try and sell you on the idea of really rebranding She-Hulk as a second FF book in order to boost sales for both titles, and why I think Johnny Storm (arguably the most popular members of the FF) is basic to the success of the new title. And I'm open to having a different number of members, but I'd really like these books to have a strong connection in their title, as a way of really upping the relevance of the FF in the Marvel U and thereby, hopefully, increasing sales.

First of all, you're completely correct that Sharon and Crystal are not well-integrated with She-Hulk; I was thinking they'd sort of also come to L.A. for similar reasons and She-Hulk would be like "Oh, yeah, I sort of know who you guys are... uh, can I maybe crash at your place?" kind of vibe. I'm not proposing that you open an issue of She-Hulk and it's got a new title and a bunch of random characters living in a cool beach house in L.A. I'm proposing that you open an issue of She-Hulk and it's got a new title and She-Hulk MOVES to L.A. and is then living in a cool beach house with a bunch of random characters.

Kidding aside, I've been thinking that without a MAJOR change to the status quo to jumpstart this title, I don't think it's worth continuing. She's just not drawing that many readers, female or otherwise. Hell, if you want to be real L.A. tongue in cheek about it, she could meet Sharon and Crystal at a new-agey "Women with Powers" Group at some stupid trendy oxygen bar and they say "This and this city are ridiculous, let's go get some beers."

I'll continue the Veronica Mars analogy; if that show comes back next season, it will be re-branded as Veronica Mars at the FBI Academy, skip forward three years and feature an all new location and supporting cast. That's the only way The CW is even considering renewing it. It hasn't had the most beloved season this year (having drifted away from its original premise of high school P.I.) and its ratings aren't great. Quite similar to She-Hulk.

As the editor of this title, I believe that just putting She-Hulk in a new place with some new hero pals is not sufficient to regenerate interest. I will pledge under penalty of torture to all the She-Hulk fans that she will remain the focus of the book, and she'll retain her writer. This is different than Exiles, I promise you.

Of course, as I said earlier, I'm willing to do nothing to alter this title and let it bleed sales each month until it sinks away into nothingness cause it'll still be enjoyable for we few fans. If you think you can get your sales req's elsewhere and are willing to let this title serve as a pleaser for a few loyal Marvelheads, that's fine.

But please consider my bolder ideas for doubling the FF-verse.

Philip Schaeffer said...

I know your objection to Gravity is because you still want Johnny on the team, and I understand if you post a hard-line on that one. He'd really help me sell L.A. but I can shift things around.

If you okayed Johnny leaving the team, would there be someone else you'd like taking his place?

Sean Kleefeld said...

My only real objection to Johnny leaving at the moment is the movie tie-in. After the movie's been out, say, a month or two, pulling someone else in as a replacement member is ok... With the perennial caveat that it's got to flow organically! :) So if you want to use Gravity, make a point to keep him in the book until you can make a good transition.

I think I'm starting to see where you're coming from on SheHulk. Your point about Veronica Mars is well taken. For the record, I'm not opposed to a name change -- I'm just not keen on "FF LA".

I can see Jen running into Sharon, and I can buy into your general idea there. I can see the two of them hanging out with Johnny (after the movie!) but I'm not sold on Crystal. She doesn't seem to really fit into that grouping well, IMO. Jen, Sharon and Johnny are generally pretty fun-loving and I can see lots of story potential there. Crystal seems to me like she would be something of a wet blanket by comparison. But, again, I don't know at this point that it necessarily NEEDS four people.

Philip Schaeffer said...

Of course, of course. Here's a question. Can you propose a mores suitable title involving the words Fantastic or Four? Are you more OK with Fantastic Four West (the Teen Titans already did that). I'd really like to include the word Hollywood in there somewhere...

What if they were the Fabulous Four (well it can't be that, but something) so the fake Cosmo Quiz read are you Fabulous or Fantastic?

They can't be called the Fantastic Five cause that's that MC2 team. Fantastic Four: California? Fantastic Four: Pacific?

If you want I can leave that out of my post completely, but I feel like it would be best to have a new name in place if we're planning on renaming the book.

Moving on, I actually chose Crystal specifically because she'd be something of a Debbie Downer, a "wet blanket". With Quicksilver and Silent War she's got so much baggage, I was trying to first let her serve as a comedic sad sack and gradually lighten her up.

But I'm more than happy to bring in another gal or more (again, I understand your aversion to a quartet) if you, who actually possesses a website devoted to the time, might be so kind as to suggest some appropriate characters?

Thanks for putting up with my ridiculously long requests for self-aggrandizement.

Michael Heide said...

Whatever happened to Lockjaw? Is he still Ben Grimm's pet? I get the feeling that Lockjaw might fit FF LA or whatever it ends up being called.

As to the fourth member, how about Julie Power? Unless Loners gets expanded into an ongoing, that is. She is a superheroine from New York that wants to make it big in Hollywood. While she is part of a self-help group to hang up the cape, she just isn't ready yet to do this. I think this might go well with your plans.

Philip Schaeffer said...

Those work pretty well...

And it would be good to have some increased Inhuman presence.