A Comics Wishlist

One of the things about reading comics regularly is that, after awhile, you start thinking about stories that you just want to read. You may not be able write them, or draw them, or ink them or have anything do with the story’s actually creation, you just want to sit there and read them.  Sometimes, you get to the point where you are having a hard time falling asleep because you are thinking about these stories so much (or, okay, are just thinking of an idea for an article that’s due in two days).

I usually stay with from such wishful thinking–many of the stories are just not going to be possible, which is one of the reasons we want them so much–but I thought I would just go for it today and discuss a few stories, team ups and concepts that I thought would be fun to read in real life. 

While I was reading Invincible Iron Man last week, I was again reminded just how much I like Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner.  Then, while reading Justice Society of America, I was reminded just how much I enjoyed Black Adam.  So, I think I would really, really enjoy a book where these two guys somehow team up! I mean,  they both have the same disdain for pretty much everyone else, so I can only imagine what would happen if these two egos found themselves working with (or, more likely, against) each other.  A Namor/Black Adam miniseries would just be both epic and, if done the way I am imagining it, hilarious.  I would assume the story would revolve around them having to work together to save their respective countries, but I would hope that we would get at least a few scenes where Namor is unimpressed with the desert city of  Khandaq and Black Adam feeling suffocated by Atlantis.  And, of course, you would have Doug Mahnke do the art, and we’re all set.

Speaking of royalty, those kinds of people need butlers, right?  I’ve always loved the idea of a one shot focusing on the “every day” life of the superhero business. Like, what does Alfred do when Batman and Robin leave for work?  Does Jarvis sit down and watch his soaps when The Avengers leave to save the day?  Could it be that they Alfred and Jarvis call each other up and discuss curtains?  Compare recipes? Fine tune their home protection systems?  I think a miniseries with Jarvis and Alfred working together in World War II or in some kind of early spy service could be a real treat.   Like, of course they are hardcore, hard edged masters of intelligence and combat, but they also know how to set a really nice table and get that perfect wine for that special occasion.  Part warrior, part chef and all man, both Alfred and Jarvis are truly 21st century heroes.  Even better (and this is going to anger the continuity folks like crazy, but hey), maybe Jarvis and Alfred were on a superhero team together way back in the day, a la Watchmen, and then left the teams to monitor new and emerging superheroes. 

Speaking of the every day, and maybe it’s just because I spend a lot of time at my regular job, but I always thought it would be fun to have at least one issue over year or so devoted to a hero’s “regular life”.  Like, I would totally read a miniseries about Bruce Wayne traveling the world and dealing with managing his business (we saw Darwyn Cooke touch on this when with the great Batman/Spirit oneshot, which I guess is included in The Spirit Vol 1). I would love a mini with Lois and Clark doing some actual investigative journalism without Clark being able to use his powers. How about an issue opening with Tony Stark in an AA meeting before he goes to work?  I mean, I get it, people read superhero comics to read stories of action and adventure and get away from real life, but I feel like having to main a secret identity is a challenge and adventure in and of itself (Spider-Man handles this the best, I think).  I seem to remember when Grant Morrison came on to Batman that we would see a lot more Bruce, but that never really panned out did it? Maybe a bit.  We rarely get to see the students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters actually in class, or studying for a test…I don’t know, maybe that’s boring to some, but still, it could be a great way to get closer to the characters.

Come to think of it, maybe we could get a series about a pair of construction workers who are always on the job rebuilding the buildings that get destroyed after a superhero fight?  I mean, I dunno about you, but yet another thing that I hate about Amazons Attack! (I promise that I will not mention it again, it just represents so much of what I loathe) is that the Amazons totally blasted away Washington DC and then, wham!–it was fine.  I mean, at least in The Ultimates there was some shots of ongoing construction in New York after The Hulk smashed it into pieces  Like, I guess we are all to assume that the heroes helped rebuild it?  Well, when did they have the time to do that? According to their books, they are are basically always busy adventuring around the world.  I think a miniseries (note that none of my ideas seems to be good enough to warrant their own ongoing series–I recognize this) on two construction guys who have to come in and clean up would be kind of interesting.  Actually, on a drastically more serious note, Whit and I were riding the New York subway in, gosh, it must have been in October of 2001, possibly late September, and we ended up talking to a guy who was working in (well, on, they were still digging through the rubble, which was so still so hot that it was singing the bottom of the workers’ boots) the World Trade Center site and apparently he really was that kind of guy–he had been working to clean up the airplane crash in Queens before the WTC attack–and how he talked about it…well, it’s definitely the kind of story that I would have liked to read, the story of recovery. Perhaps it’s not as interesting to imagine at first, but the struggle to rebuild, especially when the cameras and reporters leave…there is a story there.

Finally, as a I work desperately to lighten this thing up, one of the comics I remember way to well from being a kid, was Superman Family #200. I read that thing into oblivion!  It was a big, nay titanic issue (that’s why I got it, it was the thickest comic on the rack and my mom was feeling generous, I guess, spending a whole dollar on a comic, the cover of which you cna see if you click the image to the left), the conceit being that they were pulling the curtain to give a glance into a possible future–in this case it was the year 2000, with electric cars and all kinds of “golly gee” inventions (the book was published in 1980) It was so quaint and so…earnest!  There were Batman Family comics as well, and I think it would be great (as a oneshot this time) to see these characters of a bygone era back in action, possibly in our time, or just still back in the past, just to celebrate that kind of comic book glee that you really don’t see all that often anymore.  I mean, these books were just so different, the characters echoing the essence of the characters we read about today, it would be great to see the current heroes deal with these ghosts of a seemingly more innocent and optimistic past.

There are lots of other ideas (Ultimate Nick Fury fighting, then working with, regular Nick Fury! Sgt. Rock getting called into the present day by Superman to help solve a Nazi mystery! Nightwing working with Deadman in some way that features lots of acrobatic tricks! (Okay, I kinda gave up on the last one, but I really like Deadman) but I will spare ya until you forget all about this article so I can write about this kind of thing again.

While I was driving home, I was thinking about this article and how great it is that we can even discuss these kinds of ideas. I mean, no matter how crazy they are…the could happen, you know?  In comics, literally anything is possible. Yeah, I know, the odds of a DC/Marvel crossover are low, but still, it’s happened in the past.  Like, we’ll never see a Star Trek meets Star Wars story (I read a fake script for that and it was both hilarious and awesome)–it just would never, ever happen (and, quite honestly, I would never want to see it in the first place). But with comics, there’s this wonderful give and take between the readers and creators, there’s this collaboration, mostly quiet but oftentimes very overt, that just does not exist in other media. We talk about these kinds of stories because we have grown to love these characters and just want to see them in new adventures, meeting each other to see what can happen. Comics celebrate imagination and what’s possible every time we open an issue, all the while cementing our relationship to these wonderful characters. Ideas like the ones above come not from a frustration with the status quo, but are, again, a celebration of our shared creativity, this wonderful impulse to ask–not unlike the series of old…What If?

And we get to experience this every Wednesday!

See ya in seven…

Mike Romo acts, and now writes, in LA, which, along with his yoga mat, makes him a full on stereotype. He can be socially networked at facebook and you can experience his tweets on twitter. Email address #5 is mike@ifanboy.


  1. Have I got some good news for you: that story about the construction guys more or less exists. One of my favorite things as a kid was Damage Control, an occasional Marvel book about the insurance/construction company in charge of cleaning up the aftermath of superhero brawls. Now, it was played for laughs rather than being a particularly serious look at the idea, but the fact that they were addressing it at all delighted me when I was a kid.

  2. Excellent ideas – Black Adam and Namor in Pointy Ears of Destiny . . .

    Did you ever read the Mindy Newell/Gray Morrow Lois Lane micro-series, ‘When It Rains, God is Crying’ – I think you’d like that, Lois actually being a reporter! Plus, it made me cry.


  3. Kirkmans Irredeemable Ant-Man had a good deal of Damage Control in it and, while funny, also focused on their personal lives some to. It is coming out in TPB form (finally) soon so I would definately say pick that up.

  4. Black Adam and Namor compete to see who can kill and/or insult the most people in one hour.  I would buy it

  5. The new Outsiders is basically Alfred and the Outsiders. I’ve enjoyed it so far.

  6. I’ve said this before, but I’d like to live in a world where "Male Bonding with Hal Jordan" and "Shoe Shopping with Jean Grey" were regular features.  On my birthday they would crossover.  (There would, of course, be cosmic-level threats in each book, but everybody would know that wasn’t really the point).

  7. The ‘Nightwing: Year One’ trade has Dick meeting Deadman, and in fact shows that Nightwing’s original super-sized collar was inspired by Deadman (within the story, that is).

    And I’m not really into either, but I would gladly throw money at whatever companies decided to publish a Star Trek/Star Wars crossover. That’s just rad, dipped in awesome.

  8. I’ve got one: an Original Series-era Star Trek crossover with Superman (kind of), where the Enterprise travels back in time to try to stop Krypton from exploding. Actually, Superman probably shouldn’t be in it. And Jor-El should be drawn to look like Marlon Brando, of course.

  9. ahhh, it’s good to dream

    how about the 1938 Superman and the 1939 Batman show up in Fables? they’ve been around long enough, right? i could just imagine Rose Red or one of the girls falling for the brooding younger Bruce while Clark just scares everyone in Fabletown with his right wing view and destructo powers

  10. Edward, that’s genius!

  11. thats why i get paid the big bucks ( i don’t )

  12. re Superhero butlers, "Caped" (I believe from BOOM) seems to be trying to do something like this.  But from what I gathered in the first issue, it’s approaching it from the angle of how difficult the job is, not so much the eating bon bons and watching soaps with Jarvis, Alfred, and Benson stuff.  I think we can all agree, however, that the world of comics could use more butlers.

  13. How about a pin-up book comprised entirely of the embarrassed looks on literary characters and DC characters faces as they read the Alan Moore books based on them. All illustrated by Kevin MaGuire of course.

  14. Black Adam vs. Namor: Crotch Wars
  15. Who would win, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard or the Sinestro Corps?


  16. I would read the hell out of an Aaron Stack: Agent of A.R.M.O.R. book. Ven Lente writing it! Crossover with Hickman’s Secret Warriors! Not too out there, but just as unlikely to happen as most of the other suggestions sadly.

  17. That construction idea will probably only work in the USA. Reading about foreign workers breaking their backs for scraps while endangering their lives doesn’t sound like too much fun…
    People getting electrocuted and falling off buildings… hmm.

    The only comics that I want to exist – that I can think of – are just so I can continue reading those stories even though the creator is dead. The young Indiana Jones series of books, The Three Investigators, etc. Maybe a young Indiana Jones with Artemis Fowl.So you can see it’s not targeted towards comics – more books, but comics are good as well – as long as it is read. The kids from the first Spiderwick series and the kids from A Series of Unfortunate Events. Rincewind in more Eric type of stuff without being terrible – old stories (fables, the bible etc.) changed in some interesting and funny way. Maybe more towards comics is Super Shloomper with Halalnick in a space adventure. The Runaways in a scooby-doo type of mystery or in gotham city. Daredevil with Catwoman.

    Nice article. 

  18. A book I would like to see is a Batman versus Black Panther.  Although Batman has been paired with Captain America, I think Black Panther is the closest match to Batman in the Marvel universe (great wealth, advanced technology, political connections, in place contingencies plans two steps ahead of the current situation, world class fighting skill, and a determination that borders on scary).  Jason Aaron’s recent run on Black Panther during Secret Invasion makes me think he would be a good fit for the story.  I see the conflict as a chess match between two equal adversaries.  I have no idea what that conflict would be, but in my mind the splash page on the last page of the first issue is Bruce Wayne in costume (cowl off) in the Batcave stating "We’re going to Wakanda!"

    I would really like to see that story. 

  19. loving the awesome ideas here!!