Monday, July 04, 2011


For years Marvel has layed claim to the mantle 'The House of Ideas', but right now the biggest, boldest idea in comics belongs to DC and their 52 title, line-wide launch, that will see their comics available online the same day they hit the stands of your local comic store.

But who would be your Marvel 52? As I've never asked a question I wasn't prepared to answer, the following is how my own mighty Marvel line would shake out;

The Spider-Titles (6) Making Marvel's humourous heart more affordable, The Amazing Spider-Man turns monthly and spins a team-up title like the days of old in Web of Spider-Man. Spider-Man 2099 adds some futuristic cyberpunk, while Eddie Brock's mental-state proves the battleground of Venom: Lethal Protector. Showcasing the ladies, Jessica heats up Spider-Woman and the millionaire by day wildchild by night swings again, in Felicia Hardy: The Black Cat.

The Cosmic Edge (5) Anchored by adventurers into the unknown, The Fantastic Four, I'd push the diversity and scope of Marvel Cosmic. Silver Surfer: Herald of Galactus adds another icon to the mix, while The Man Called Nova brings the 'average Joe' perspective to the stars. Annihilators; Guardians of The Galaxy mixes the line-up's of the two teams, while Gladiator: Pride of The Shi-Ar not only gives the mohawk man his due, but explores that rich pocket of X-ness. 

X-Universe (8) Jean Grey takes a team into the future to fight Apocalypse in Phoenix Force. The Uncanny X-Men and X-Factor mix students young and old, and comics best holds his own in Magneto! Add Gambit to obligatory X-books Wolverine and Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth, and you have just enough space for Iceman, a title that explores his multi-team history and proves you can fight for mutant rights and still have fun in the process.

Marvel Knights (9) No matter what your Pulp preference is, Marvel has it covered! Daredevil: The Man Without FearPunisher: War Journal, and The Incredible Hulk take point, while dinosaurs cause chaos in Ka-Zar: Lord of The Savage Land

Blade: Vampire HunterGhost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance and Strange Tales: Starring Cloak and Dagger look at horror and the supernatural forces stalking our streets. The Immortal Iron Fist continues it's mystical legacy, while former partner in crime Luke Cage: Hero For Hire literally pounds the pavements for the down-trodden. 

Thrills, Action and Espionage (10) Bourne Identity/smentity, no one compares to the thrills and secret societies of Marvel. Anchored by iconic titles Captain America and The Invincible Iron Man, this is also where Black Widow: Sting of The SovietBlack Panther: Weapon of Wakanda and Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.E.I.L.D. take back their due.

X-Woman Psylocke takes the fight to both the Friends of Humanity and The Hand, as up north Alpha Flight bring government conspiracies to life. War Machine and Hawkeye - Soldiers of Fortune is the buddy book that means what it says, The Invaders take war comics to new levels and Tales of Suspense: Starring Deathlok brings the cyborg home.

Home of Heroes (14) Adding to those already named above, The Mighty Avengers would also serve as a link between The Sensational She-HulkJourney Into Mystery: Starring Thor, Prime from the merged Ultraverse and the highly overdue Vision and the Scarlet Witch.

Non-team The Defenders, Brits Captain Britain and MI13, Runaways, global predictive strike-force Force Works, and 20-somethings The Warriors flesh out the team side of the universe, while Thunderbolts give the rouges a shot at redemption.

Speedball: The Masked Marvel and Tales To Astonish: Starring The Thing amp up the humour. Marvels looks at the universe through human eyes, and a handful of humans accidentally given powers band together in fellow merged Ultraverse title The Strangers.

What do you think?


  1. Great points Dan.
    Totally agree with Immortal Iron Fist under Marvel Knights imprint as well as an ongoing series for Nick Fury.

  2. phoenix force sounds cool, but there are already too many X books out. Cool idea but if this was their new 52 i couldn't see it being successful at all. Some of those cosmic books seem a little secular to prove successful. marvel should stop trying to imitate (canceling Uncanny and starting it again with #1 less than a week after DC's similar announcement) and start innovating. get fresh talent, a young and upcoming writer like yours truly. Also, they should grow some balls and try something that doesn't have capes and tights. A gritty street detective, skewed historical fiction, thrillers, etc.
    but cool list, Dan.

    P.S. Guardian and Iceman with their own titles, really?

  3. Thanks for the great comments guys!

    You know what Adam, when I put this list together one of my key goals was to trim the x-books and showcase more of the forgotten characters. Then I ended up doing almost the same! Glad you like Phoenix Force though - I think that's pretty sweet myself.

    While Doc Strange didn't end up getting a title, I'm glad I still had room for Deathlok, Vision and some of the others I originally had in mind. I dodn't get to elaborate on my thinking above in order to keep the post short, but hopefully you won't mind if I fill a few things out here so you can see more of where I was coming from.

    I think you are bang on about getting fresh talent - non-usual superhero writers to me is what makes the idea of a Marvel Knights imprint so awesome.

    While I think the historical fiction, detective and thriller books could be handled with writers of those genres been brought in to do Black Panther, Black Widow, Ka-Zar etc, I think that's also part of Marvel's main weakness compared to DC - Vertigo.

    That's why I purposefully left Ruse, Scion and The Path from Crossgen off, amongst others. I LOVE what CrossGen tried to do and books like Criminal from the Icon line. Hopefully there will be more of a effort to push these genres and books out to audiences in the future - maybe through a combined line?

    Guardian to me was more a front person for the Shi-Ar - (originally I was thinking Lilandra). Tales of a whole empire and the stakes it takes to keep it's order I think would be quite cool in the Marvel universe style. I'd like to think sci-fi fans, would be attracted to the secularity, as it means the books won't be sucked into every 'event' that comes along, but see your point too and I guess that's the view Marvel has felt the market is suggesting with the disappearance of the cosmic books to one.

    As for Iceman, my thoughts behind that one were that we need more humour and upbeat positivity in mainstream comics - and I don't mean the Deadpool variety.

    Heroes who laugh a little and are a little brighter. I think we need that in many mediums right now and comics has great potential to blaze the way. Get Spider-Man back to been funny and not just sitcom funny, and Iceman and Speedball were more books I put down with that objective in mind.

    I think Iceman could work. Given his history as a Champion, a Defender, as well as an X-Man, he can really break out of just X-locations and storylines and really explore the past of the Marvel U (hopefully with regular teammate Beast popping in here and there!).

    Is there a forgotten Marvel Hero or character you would like to see grab a title?

  4. I think Iceman could work too and I'd love to see one of the non-Logan X-Men get a title of their own and run with it.

  5. I did love your list.
    Actually I'm liking Marvel right now, very much. Except the x-titles
    You totally had me on phoenix force though. I'd love to have Jean Grey back, and not that tiressome messia/Hope that does´'t seem to go anywhere, other than the repetitive "she'll be special" stuff.
    The other titles would be good.

  6. Thanks Craig and Aliera!

    Maybe I should see Marvel about Phoenix Force! And Craig I completely get you with the Logan free thing....

  7. I really like your line-up, sir!

    A couple titles I'd like to see are:
    Marvel Team-Up: this would feature a character who is in development for other media, then rotate to the next. For example, a Spider-Man movie is due out next year. Spidey would take the lead and team up with other Marvel characters, eventually teaming up with and subtly handing off the title to Iron Man, just in time for Iron Man 3, and so on.

    I really want to see the Champions back in action.

    A Thing series. Two-In-One, Thing, I don't care. Just do it.

    Finally, an all ages Kitty Pryde book similar to what was done with Wolverine First Class a few years back, but more Kitty Pryde. Chris Samnee on art would be the crowning jewel.

  8. Thanks Doug - you just names one of my all-time biggest Marvel addictions too - Two and One! Thing was the character that got me to look into Marvel way back when I thought DC was the king of the land.

    I gave him Tales To Astonish in my 52 because he's one of Jack Kirby's best, I wanted to use all the classic Marvel titles, and Astonishn' ever-lovin' blue eyed Thing just seemed to go together!

    The real world subject chaser is a wicked idea! Would save been flooded with random projects each time, and as for the Champions yeah Hercules deff can't be left out of the spotlight and Ghost Rider does look good at his side!