Hang on! I'm comin'! Super-Buddies-- I'm comin' home!
I hate to keep harping on the same subject, but the September DC Comics relaunch is a pretty big deal, and I'd rather save my little convention sketches and such until we get a bit more discussion out of the way.
First, some additional updates. The Justice League is looking to consist of 14 members by the time all is said and done, not unlike Morrison's unveiling of his extended JLA "pantheon" early into that book's second year, which totally watered down the team. Hopefully, that number relates to a seven member Justice League International line-up led by Martian Manhunter with Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire, Ice, Captain Atom, and Power Girl. I'd happily swap some of those guys out, but I'd buy it with J'Onn at the helm, even When Judd Icks. Speculation continues to indicate Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason on Martian Manhunter #1, which I'm tepid on, but I'll take it for the fans that favored Brightest Day. It wasn't all bad. However, I've been liking John Rozum's Xombi, and I miss John Arcudi at DC, so either would be a coup in my book. Then again, I suspect Rozum's recent "critical darling" attention might mean he got to hijack the Firestorm gig, but who knows? Anyway, I updated links and guesses to yesterday's big post, and I was happy some of my bets appear to be paying off (Barbara Gordon really will grow a pair... of ambulatory stems.) Maybe my fond wishes for J'Onn will come through?
Next, I wanted to take a look at how the big changes are going down with my friends in the blogosphere:
- Anj at Supergirl Comic Box Commentary just wants good stories. Also, he wanted to talk about the 1970s Levitz/Ditko/Wood classic Stalker #1 at our DC Bloodlines side blog, so please check that out.
- Shag at Firestorm Fan is worried about behind-the-scenes changes nuking a Nuclear Man series, but I think he'll just get a higher profile creative team (John Rozum would be nice, I think.)
- Luke at Being Carter Hall has faith in the Hawkman creative team, up to a point. I share his dismay at 50 new Jim Lee costume designs, but I'm hoping he only supervised.
- Rob at The Aquaman Shrine is rightfully optimistic, because his character is finally a top priority at DC for the first time in ever-ever.
- Caleb at Every Day Is Like Wednesday thinks the Justice League has dumb collars, and they really do.
- Comic Book Resources readers seem pretty ambivalent.
- Scipio came up with 52 Reasons for a Universal Reboot.
That last one got me to thinking about what my list of demands for a Martian Manhunter series would be, especially with the power of rebootage behind it...
- Detective John Jones back patrolling the streets of Middletown. I like him better as a cop than a private investigator, and it's a surprisingly unique role in comics (although he could talk shop with Barry Allen.)
- That's MiddleTOWN, a metropolis within driving distance of Gotham City, not the Colorado ghost town MiddleTON and especially not the internet meme "Apex City."
- African-Amartianican John Jones. We all hear his voice as a black guy in our heads already, and a lack of cultural color likely cost him his JLA slot.
- Have Jones report to Captain Harding and partnered with Diane Meade. Yes Virginia, the Martian Manhunter once had an honest-to-gosh supporting cast.
- Have J'Onzz report to DEO Director Bones and partnered with Cameron Chase. Let the Manhunter police the super-heroes as well as the super-crooks on an informal, as needed basis.
- Zook as Robin to Miss Martian's Batgirl... with Zook acting like a jealous puppy and M'gann trying to kill the imp with kindness. Hilarity ensues.
- Gypsy can chime in as the Huntress, meaning the snarky stepdaughter who also hates M'gann's adorable guts.
- Throw in Oberon or L-Ron. I miss those guys. They were excellent foils.
- Glenn Gammeron. Find out who that is. You'll enjoy the research.
- In other countries, he's called the Martian Detective. While crossing Superman with Batman, don't forget the Question. He's the only crime noir super-hero, as opposed to the usual costumed urban vigilante.
- Fire is the weakness. It's really common, and it's devastating. Understanding the necessity of this vulnerability shows that you get what I mean by "crime noir super-hero." Noir heroes are constantly getting beaten up by lowlifes. J'Onn is meant to be kicked in the teeth.
- The Vile Menagerie. It's what I call the Martian Manhunter rogues gallery. Trademark the term for yourselves as a fair trade for not shutting down my blog for copyright infringement with my full blessing, DC Comics. Also, study those links. I put them in alphabetical order and everything.
- Bring back Mr. V and have Vulture terrorize the nation, while cultivating the mystery of who in the Martian Manhunter's expanded supporting cast is secretly Faceless.
- Give us more weird or goofy villains like Mr. Moth, the Falcon, and the Human Squirrel, played for laughs or chills.
- Stop treating Martian society like high tech rednecks. In the '50s & '60s, they were culturally ahead of us but technologically closer to the dawn of the industrial age. Their existence turned post-apocalyptic in the '80s. In the '90s, things got schizo, with enormous interstellar ships supposedly launching from a Mars dotted with pyramidal mud huts. Pick one direction and stick with it. Also, consider using more imagination than swiping Kirby's swiping of Erich von Däniken.
- Revisit Commander Blanx as a cross between George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. He could bankrupt Mars with escalating war, then bomb it back to the stone age. It restores him as a major genocidal threat and explains why all the Martians ended up back on Mars.
- Revive Malefic. He's the only modern age Manhunter villain any casual fans can name.
- Stop introducing second-to-last Green Martians. You're not fooling anyone.
- Acknowledge all the other Green Martians. Bel Juz, the Marshal, J'en, Vulkor, Re's Eda, Cay'an, and many others are viable characters.
- Bring back the Hyperclan. Legions of identical White Martians are not as cool as Protex & company.
- Might as well recall the Saturnians and Yellow Martians, too. Maybe tie it into the Emotional Color Spectrum or something to rook Green Lantern fans.
- Fernus was stupid. Forget that guy. Retcon the Scorch romance, too. She's better as a villainess.
- Get their asses away from Mars. Make those Martians come here. The actual planet of Mars is boring.
- Forget you ever dragged the New Gods to Mars. Have Despero and Malefic drop by instead.
- Seriously though, who the hell were the Osprey and the Pyre supposed to be?
- Have B'rett shoot people in the face. Have the Getaway King drown kittens. Just don't try a dark, post-modern Professor Arnold Hugo. You'll only look foolish.
- Can you figure out a way to make the ridiculousness of the Human Flame entertaining, or even endearing? As it stands, he's just an ineffectual Lobo.
- Throw Jemm and Bloodwynd the occasional bone.
- Don't forget the good Ostrander/Mandrake villains, like they did.
- Keep J'Onn J'Onzz as the super-hero spanning decades, then populate those decades with characters you've never made work outside their time-specific milieu.
- "Martian Vision" eye blasts, flight, telepathy, super-strength, the limited ability to assume the forms of other beings, and the power to pass immaterially through objects. Never compare any of these powers to those of other heroes, and use them well.
- Jupiter the dog, the only creature that truly understands Zook, who warms its kibbles.
Actually, I'm not sure I'm that optimistic--there's a part of me that doesn't believe DC will actually "pull the trigger" and do a full-on, universe-spanning reboot. And if they only go part way, I think that will be a big indicator they aren't that serious.
But even if all this new Aquaman stuff fails, he's still getting a shot at bat again, after sooooooo long on the bench. So that's good no matter what!
Looks like he's not in the JLI either. This doesn't bode well...
I want to print your list out. I like it. A LOT. Yes to Martian Detective, yes to goofy villains, yes to noir, yes to Jemm. Yes to Blanx. Yes to all the Silver Age heroes who could be revived. I'll even take Miss Martian. And *maybe* Zook.
But I know DC's never going to use any of those ideas, so now I just want to sit in a corner and cry, clutching my JLI trades in one hand and Showcase Presents in the other.
If it helps, Zook and M'gann would be occasional guest stars, not in the supporting cast. Gypsy doesn't get in the way like they would, so she'd be semi-regular.
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