As we wind down the simulation, do you guys feel that we should outline the general paths we see ahead of us, what we would do if the simulation were no simulation, but we were really in the employ of Marvel Entertainment?
For my part, I would probably describe how, after the momentous conclusion of Balance of Power 5, She-Hulk 27 and Fantastic Four 558, those two titles would have three issue wrap-up decompression arcs in which the characters would adjust to the new shape of the Universe. FF 559-561 would focus on the reconciliation of the original Fantastic Four, not only with one another but also with T'Challa and Storm. She-Hulk 28-30 would serve as an epilogue for the She-Hulk series (unless number had gotten so high that She-Hulk warranted 2 ongoing series... you all know where I'm going with this), an epilogue that would not only tie-up all the loose ends but start unravelling some new threads, threads that would lead directly into:
Fantastic Four: Los Angeles 1, with a roster of She-Hulk, Human Torch, Tigra and Crystal. Sean, I know you still hate the name, but I would have eight months to convince you it was a good idea. The series would be as I originally described it, a light-hearted girl power title with lots of fun action, but would carry extra weight after She-Hulk's pivotal role practically leading the FF through their difficult ordeal during the Balance of Power. She-Hulk will have really earned these good times.
Meanwhile, in FF 562, the FF would welcome a new member to their ranks, hopefully someone established, appropriate and unexpected. After so many issues of personal, inter-team squabbling, it would be time for the FF to take to the cosmos for another grand, exploratory adventure. Like She-Hulk, these guys would have earned the opportunity to engage in some whimsy.
Wolverine would continue its awesome epic novel-length noir story through issue 70. Who knows what Brubaker would come up with to follow that. Depending on how strongly people responded to the noir saga, perhaps with another one; or maybe we'd let Wolverine explore some other pulp genre, and we could spend a few years retracing the roots of genre fiction through the eyes of Wolverine.
And after the record-shattering sales and critical success that was Balance of Power, I'd follow up by trying to bring the weekly comic to the offices of Simulated Marvel. Except, rather than focus on a few C and D list characters as DC has done for both of its year long books, I'd try and encourage an already existing, established, popular title to step up production for a year or two (Avengers Weekly? X-Men Weekly? Maybe even Fantastic Four weekly, if Balance really raised their stock among Marvel readers. Avengers Weekly? Are you kidding? How sweet would that be?).
Or all these plans would crash and burn, making way for new plans, new collaborations, ideas we can't even imagine. Sometimes I become so moved by all the possibilities that await us, even when they're only simulated possibilities in a simulated career.
It's certainly better than nothing.