This is pretty close to my previous post, with some alterations. I'm going to leave the call on marketing/in store posters and their descriptions to you, O Sean of Seans. And I'm sorry I have to duck out like this. If there's any major thing missing from this that Sean wanted done and should of fallen on me, I probably didn't miss it but just thought it was up to somebody else (which is a stupid thing to do); regardless do me a favor for the good of the team and drop it into your move later on (I'm talking mainly about Sean's big picture thoughts on Rise/Balance from his Week 2 gameplan post). I've also got some solits written up for the Rise of the Defenders issue but I'll hold them till tomorrow when Mike and I can put eyes on them/Uncanny together.
Apologize to Dan about the re-write; the EIC gave me the go-ahead to pay him for the new material (but I'll hang onto the softball stuff for possible use at a later date so it's not money burned). Ask Dan if he'd like to take off the Rise of the Defenders FF issues for breathing room; if so, offer them to Reggie. Inform Reggie that T'Challa is an integral part of Defenders/Balance, and that his input is equally integral. Ask Paul Ryan if he'd do a retro She-Hulk cover to fill-in for Amanda, and see if anybody else thinks they’ll need a fill-in or breather in the coming months.
Put together Defenders/Balance meeting (conference call depending on schedules) with Reggie, Dan, Dwayne, Robert and JMS (after we've put the ideas to the room and they’ve tossed them around, maybe he’ll take the job, but let him politely know we need an answer).
If Cheung jumps for BigMoney, I'm still inclined to move Deodato over from FF (replaced by Jimenez, Pelletier or McGuinness), so Balance is a natural extension of Rise of the Defenders, alternately ask Finch or Jimenez.
A few thoughts to bounce around with the writers (which, for the record, is all I ever intended to do with suggested story-points anyway):
1. Doom and Reed both observed seismic data indicating the massive tectonic shift was imminent--Reed misinterpreted it but Doom didn’t and planned accordingly.
2. She-Hulk officially joins the FF midway through Balance and its tie-ins, replacing Sue. Work closely with Dan and Dwayne to make sure that they have freedom to tell whatever Balance stories with whatever characters they want, as long as everything fits into the big picture.
3. Sue feels Reed is no longer the man she married, too emotionally distant and certain of his abilities, and that their undying love is not enough. She’s worried about Reed as a role model for the kids and their safety in perilous NYC, so she accepts Namor's invitation and re-locates with the kids to Atlantis. Namor’s recent conduct leads Sue to consider marrying him (though she doesn’t love him), believing her children will have a better life out of NYC, and that she can do the most good as a Defender.
3. Black Panther as Defenders’ voice of reason and source of credibility, but he’s busy battling the exposed-to-still-be-a-bad-guy Magneto later in the series, when things reach a crisis.
4. Final act: a Defenders aid patrol to Cuba enters American waters and is destroyed by an Initiative hero. Doom convinces Namor Reed’s to blame; Namor invades America to kill Reed, but he is stopped by Sue, who realizes that her love for Reed actually is all that matters. Namor, heartbroken, disappears into the rubble of Manhattan, and Doom and T'Challa move into a dual leadership position of the now not-quite-so beloved Defenders.