You Know Who’d Be Really Good on That Book?

Change is one of the great constants that us comic book fans have to get used to.

Sometimes the change is good, sometimes it is bad, and sometimes it just never comes, no matter how interesting the change might be.

I was, to put it gently, struck over the head with a 2×4 over and over again when I saw the illustration of a scene from the Star Wars universe by Frank Quitely a little over a week ago.  I really couldn’t get it out of my head — suddenly, for the first time since I was a little kid, there was a Star Wars comic that I had to read.  Sure, there are lots of great Star Wars comics out there, at least that’s what I am told, but I have never felt any desire to read them. But I tell you what, you get Frank Quitely to draw it — and, while we’re at it, Grant Morrison to write it — then, everything changes. It becomes something that most everyone will need to pick up.

Even if you just stuck with the same basic story structure and themes and characters, just the treatment that Quitely and Morrison would bring to the book would make it different enough to demand attention, and suddenly, there is a Star Wars book that everyone’s talking about.

I don’t think about this stuff a lot, I admit. I tend to take the books as they come (or not) and just accept the changes, because that’s our lot in life as comic book fans. But after looking at Quitely’s pin-up, I wondered, “What artists would suddenly make a book something vital to read?” There are no new stories, only new voices, and I find myself wanting to “cast’ a few comics, to suggest new artists for current books that would change the tenor and the tone so effectively, that we would all be forced to take notice.

When I think about Marvel, I think about Spider-Man. And while I hear that Chris Bachalo is doing a bang-up job, I was only really excited about the book when Marcos Martin would lend his art to the pages. But what would happen if someone like Michael Lark took over? Or Matthew Southworth?  Spider-Man would suddenly, become much more of a street level book, which would make for a great contrast with the high flying, good natured hi-jinx that defines many a Spider-Man story. Bring in a writer like Greg Rucka, and, somehow, the book opens up. I can almost imagine these creators wanting to focus on Peter’s early career, when his powers were still coming to fruition, where the costume didn’t really fit right, the web spinners often breaking down.  Artists like Lark and Southworth lend themselves to fist fights and bruised cheeks, which humanizes their characters. Peter is arguably one of the most down-to-earth characters out there, but in the hands of these “street” creators, I think you have something kind of cool, indeed.

iFanboy favorite Darwyn Cooke has made a career of telling wonderful stories with DC’s lineup of characters, but wouldn’t it be terrific to see him do a classic Marvel team book like The Avengers?  There’s something in me that really requires Cooke to draw a young Tony Stark working with Steve Rogers to bring the team together.  Marvel has always struck me as having a toe in “pop art” — especially in the 60’s. I don’t think I have seen Cooke do a book for Marvel with those characters in that era, and after his design work in Parker and his recent issue of The Shade, him doing an Avengers miniseries set in the 60s just makes sounds amazing.

I look over at my Criminal trade and I see, really close to it, Batman: Year One, and I realize that I need a Batman story written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Sean Phillips. I absolutely love what Snyder and Capullo are doing — indeed, none of these suggestions are meant to be knocks on what is going on right now — but while I enjoy the different kind of Bat-tools and vehicles of the modern Batman, it’s the early Batman stories that really get stick with me. I love the stories of heroes figuring out what their abilities are, where there responsibilities lie, and the Criminal team seems like  very cool choice to tell those kinds of stories, especially given their history with crime comics. Who better, really, to write about a hero fighting bad guys than creator who love telling stories about bad guys?

My favorite series of the whole Flashpoint books was the Risso/Azarello take on Batman, which was a great followup to their run in Wednesday Comics.  What would it be like if they could take on Daredevil?  If they took what Waid and Rivera/Martin were doing, with the visualization of Daredevil’s powers, it could be something fantastic indeed. Have Spider-Man and Kingpin show up (these guys would create a fantastic version of Kingpin!), and you have something mighty fantastic.

Sean Murphy took our collective breaths away with his work on American Vampire and Joe The Barbarian, to the point that whatever he does next is going to come up some very close scrutiny.  While I find it really tempting to imagine him drawing Wolverine, it almost seems too easy, too natural for his style. Then I think about him drawing the Hulk. With Grant Morrison. And I wonder just where the two would take the beast.

I will stop my fantasy list there, because, well, for the most part, I doubt any of these creators will ever work on these books or these characters, either from choice or due to the statutes of their agreements with various publishers. Which, you know, I totally understand: exclusivity can mean more profits, at least sometimes. But that’s the thing about comics, right? That even though these characters have been doing basically the same thing for decades, we’ve always had a chance to see new creators put their spin on things, which often inspires a whole slew of artists and writers to do the same. Though it took forever to happen, Whedon and Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men was one of those moments for me — it took those two creators to do something different with the title, and made me an X-Men reader again.

Of course, my picks are pretty easy ones and would probably cost Marvel and DC A ton of money to actually make happen, and as tempting as it is to bring these big names onto existing books just for fun, it’s important that we reach out an experience other artists and writers as well. That being said, it’s interesting when you have an opinion about a person’s take, a person’s point of view, and you want to bring that person to other kinds of stories. Again, the wonderful malleability of the comic book art form.

We have so many great artists and writers, but oftentimes, whether it be their professional choices or the limitations imposed on them by the people who write their paychecks, I can’t help but want to see the creators I love do something unexpected, something totally different–yet also completely appropriate, not only for them, for the books as well. The folks above are just a few who came to mind immediately. How about you? Is there an artist you’d really like to see on a specific book? Is there a writer who, in your opinion, must write a particular character? Share your picks below!


Mike Romo is an actor in LA and likes roller coasters. You can reach him through email, visit his facebook page, connect with him on google +, and collect his tweets on twitter.




  1. Great Article. For me, change was bad when Quitely stopped drawing Batman and Robin…broke my heart.

  2. Sean Gordon Murphy on Swamp Thing has ben a recent daydream. But his art on anything would get my money. Also, after the work he did on Civil War, whatever big company wide crossover is next , Steve McNiven needs to get back at it. Hopefully with Millar.

    Great article. Great suggestions.

  3. I’d love to see Matt Wagner as writer and artist for Daredevil. Or Terry Moore do the same for Dr. Strange. For that matter, have Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez work on Cloak and Dagger.

  4. As for Brubaker and Phillips on Batman, you can’t go wrong with BATMAN: GOTHAM NOIR featuring none other than Brubaker and Phillips!

  5. also, in addition to Gotham Noir, Batman #603 was a single issue in the middle of Bru’s run that was drawn by Sean Phillips.

  6. I’d love, love, love to see Dini and Timm working on an all ages book or one of the Batbooks. Want to bring comics to the masses? Bring on the team that made Mr. Freeze a powerful villain again!

  7. I’d be really excited for a Mike Allred drawn and written Dr. Strange book. I saw a sketch of the Joker by Tony Moore that made me with for a Tony Moore/Rick Remender Batman book.

    I know that it’s just a dream, but I’d be so interested to see what Geoff Johns would do with an X-Men title.

  8. Well I would love to see Rafael Albuquerque do just about anything, but I think he’d be awesome on a BPRD story. Also Francavilla on Martian Manhunter would be sweet (this would require a MM book, but we’re talking fantasy right? Do it DC!!). Duncan Fegredo doing Swamp Thing or Animal Man. Man there are soo many possiblities this is fun. I’ll add more later if I think of some better ones.

  9. I would love to see Scott Snyder working on some Marvel projects.
    Maybe doing an espianage story with Nick Fury or Wolverine.

    Joe Hill is doing amazing work on Locke and Key and his novels are so good I would love to see him write a horror story with Dr. Strange.

  10. I’d like to see Lewis Trondheim collaborate with Travis Charest on a Captain Marvel/Captain Marvel GN.

  11. I would love to see Ryan Ottley expand outside the Image universe, when he posts sketches of Batman, Wolverine etc. it’s incredible, he’d work amazingly with a book like the Punisher.

  12. Chris Roberson and Renae De Liz on Ametheyst
    Nate Cosby and Evan Shaner on SHAZAM!
    Christa Faust and Greg Tochinni on Catwoman (Paul’s suggestion)

  13. I would consider donating a kidney if it would get Chris Samnee on a Superman book. I’d love to read Snyder’s take on the character, but Samnee and Kurt Busiek would be fantastic.

    Also, Sean Murphy on Batman with Snyder would be great.

  14. I want Peter David to write Avengers. For at least 100 issues.

  15. Totally with you Mike regarding wanting to see Darwyn Cooke do a Marvel version of New Frontier. That would be amazing.

    Question if anyone in the know is reading this. Does Cooke have any sort of exclusive with DC? It’s been a long time since he’s done any work for Marvel. Is he just not interested, or is it a contractual thing? Been curious about this as he’s by far one of my favorite artists.

  16. If he was still around today I would want Seth Fisher to do a comic with Johnathan Hickman. Nick Pitarra is a great artist but his style is so much of Fisher’s that it reminds me too much of the latter’s work. Fisher’s take on Hickman’s madness in The Red Wing would be amazing. (and also for the upcoming Manhattan Project)

    How about Jeff Parker for Justice League International? Parker is THE best writer in terms of a team book and I would love to see his take on Booster and Ted Kord.

  17. Ok here we go…………

    1. Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker on Hawkman!

    2. Grant Morrison and Chris Samnee on New Gods.

    3. Johnathan Hickman and Timothy Green II on Wildcats.

    4. Catherine M. Valentine and Claire Wendling / Ryan Sook on the Dreaming.

  18. Or, for years I dreamt about an American company “re-imagining” The Masked Rider. My team for that would be Jason Aaron and Doug Mahnke or Patrick Gleason.

  19. Well written Mike!! You should let them know what you want on you’re books!!

  20. Grant Morrison on Dr. Strange

  21. Easy…Ben Templesmith on Punisher.