Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Based on the notes I got from Sean, if he doesn't get to approve this later tonight, I plan on posting the following 250 words about my plan for She-Hulk subject to comments from the peanut gallery (and that includes Mike and Patrick):

To be retitled: Fantastic Four L.A.
(alt. Fantastic Four West, alt. She-Hulk and the Fantastic Four West, alt. Fantastic Four: Hollywood.)
Written by Dan Slott (alt. Dwayne McDuffie, longshot alt. Allan Heinberg or Gail Simone)
Pencils by Amanda Conner (alt. Steven Cummings, longshot alt. Frank Cho)

After all of the chaos (literal and emotional) in her life of late, Jen is relieved to team up with the FF on a wild, dimension-hopping adventure. The experience leads She-Hulk to decide that what's been missing from her life is a familial atmosphere, like with the Fantastic Four, and she opts to start her life (and practice) over back in California! And Johnny Storm, who himself is ready for a change and hopes for a career in the movies, heads out to LALA land with her.

Rather than working for S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Champions, Jen and Johnny decide that in order to exercise their superheroic duties, they should start their own chapter of the Fantastic Four Family out in L.A. And who better to join them than former members Crystal (looking to move past the drama of being an Inhuman) and Sharon Ventura (whose transformation has altered considerably since her last appearance, and I could really use an artist's help to demonstrate what I mean), who's now restarting her wrestling career under the moniker Lady Marvelous.

This is a radical overhaul of the book, but it's necessary, because the book's sales don't justify its continued publication. However, this is still She-Hulk's book, and we'll maintain the same level of wackiness that's been present in Dan Slott's run, as well as reinstating the legal aspects that have been missing. We'll also see Johnny Storm cast as an extra, Sharon Ventura having to wrestle vicious ninja cheerleaders and Crystal learning the horrors of working as a barista. Goals for this book include attracting a female audience; hopefully the vibe of this title will become a maudlin-free version of Grey's Anatomy, except with more punching. The name change will occur after a two-part crossover with the FF, which should boost sales and interest, and I propose an add campaign mimicking the stereotypical Cosmo Quizzes, asking "Just How Fantastic Are You" with a series of stupid personality questions that will lead you to be described as a West or an Original.


Patrick Cook said...

Can't say the Sharon Ventura inclusion gets my motor running. Never liked what they did with the character - She-Thing and She-Hulk together on the same team?!?! - so I'd rather see another West Coaster on the roster somewhere.

And Johnny and three ladies? Seems like he'd end up stealing the spotlight from Shulkie.

How about the Shroud? Do we know what happened to him after his capture via the SHRA? He's had West Coast roots. How does a guy who makes his living in the darkness do in the get by in the Fun and Sun of Cali?

Of course, Simon Williams would be my first choice, but he's too busy being Mighty these days.

Philip Schaeffer said...

Yeah, Wonder Man was pretty high on my list of possible characters, though actually I was thinking of having him replace Johnny as the resident goofball of the Original Team.

And, while you are right that Johnny being alone with the girls will steal some spotlight, as much as I hate to say it, that could theoretically sell more books in the long run. She-Hulk will still be the leader/main character, but Johnny will certainly be a major draw. AND THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF INCLUDING HIM.

I chose Sharon Ventura because she'd been on the team before, and that's kind of a short list. So can you think of any female, Fantastic Four appropriate ladies who would be right for the title? Can't do Lyja cause she's also green.

Besides, Sharon's no longer the She-Hulk; she's returned to her human form. As Lady Marvelous her fighting style will be more akin to Black Widow or some other fleet-footed female martial artist, since she's been training. She'll fills a whole in this group; she's a little bit of a manhater, she has no tolerance for Johnny Storm's nonsense, and even less for Crystal's.

But I'm open to further suggestions. Keep 'em coming.

Michael Heide said...

Okay. I see that you want to go through with the She-Hulk makeover.

I think with Slott you might be able to keep a fairly large percentage of the old readership. By tying it to the Fantastic Four, you might get a few new readers. But still, this has "New Exiles" written all over it. On the other hand, under real circumstances, "New Exiles" could have worked. Back then, Tom admitted that he was basically looking for an excuse to have Hugh and Steve swap one book. Will he play the same trick twice? Who knows?

With Allan Heinberg, you might lose more original readers, but gain a lot more new ones. Especially if you play up the "She-Hulk's Anatomy" angle. I think when all is said and done, you'd have more readers than with the Slott scenario. But that's only my guess. Dwayne McDuffie? I'm not sure how that's going to work out. And I'm sure that Gail Simone is DC exclusive.
Then again, so might Amanda Conner. Steven Cummings is a huge change from Rick Burchett. And while Frank Cho won't leave Mighty Avengers, I can see him doing the covers for Fantastic Four LA.
As an alternative: Have you thought about Terry Moore? Strangers in Paradise is over, and he has worked for Marvel before (Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #14). You might be able to pull a few SiP readers that way, and I think Moore really fits the book.

As for the cast: Crystal, huh? Will Quicksilver appear in the book? Will she get closer to Johnny Storm again?
Could you describe Lady Marvelous' outter appearance a bit, since we don't have art yet?

And I looove the Cosmo quiz. That's thinking outside the box. How about we actually place an ad inside an issue of Cosmopolitan? Is that in the budget?

Philip Schaeffer said...

Posting the fake Cosmo quiz as an ad in Cosmo... that might be crazy enough to work!

Crystal's presence will necessitate some Quicksilver/Inhuman presence, but I think the idea is that she's trying to leave some of that behind her.
And Lady Marvelous's physical appearance is basically human. However, she keeps her legs completely covered at all times. At some point, this is revealed to be because her legs, while no longer bulky, are still completely rocky: she's rock from the waist down. Consequently, she's immune to leg injuries etc., can walk through fire or lava provided it's doesn't go above her waist and can jump inhumanly high.

Now, onto the creators. I view Heinberg as a big longshot anyway because he's expensive and really busy. He's also slow, which I'd prefer to avoid. I'd love him to write a couple issues now and again if he wanted to, but I'd rather keep Dan or even have Dwayne pull double duty, cause I know they can deliver.

As for the creators, yeah, what I suggested are major departures, but I think the book could use it. Hell, I'd love if Greg Land could draw it, if we're going for respectful cheesecake (actually, I guess he's the opposite of that, but nevermind). And Terry Moore would be interesting, but I'm not sure that he could handle it all. We'll see.

debbie said...

Terry Moore doesn't like to do superheroes. (Straight from his mouth.)

Almost sounds like a writing job for Peter David X-factory.

Play up the whole "Practice" meets "Heroes" angle as well.

Anonymous said...

I'd be very hesitant about the changes to this book, though keeping Slott on would probably be enough to have me at least give it a look. I understand you need/want to pump up She-Hulk's numbers, but remember that not everyone is coming at her as a member of the FF. I collect Shulkie as an extension of the Avengers and her current supporting cast (whereas I'm buying FF for the first time ever now with McDuffie and Gravity, but even then I doubt I'll stick with it long term).

As for alternate writers, I'd love someone to pitch Rob ("Veronica Mars") Thomas and/or JJ Abrams, both of whom have made enough comic references in their work that I'd suspect they'd be interested.

-- motteditor