Welcome To My Nightmare

My friends, I have not left! I have been patiently waiting for several good people to fix an issue with our site. I have been trying for three weeks to upload pictures in this column, and it’s just not working. Other than my logo pic, nothing I — or several other writers here — attempt to upload shows up. So with apologies to the folks who submitted their won ideas for Elsewords style comics, I am going to go ahead and post your ideas without visual aids. As our favorite hobby is a visual medium, I’m pretty bummed about this current state of affairs, but I know several folks are working hard to fix it. Hear that, tech monkeys? FIX THE DAMN PICTURES!

This week we’re checking out some of my readers’ ideas for “What If…Elseworlds Style?” Paul and Mark, you’re up!

Paul brings us some inter-company crossover goodness:

Tony Stark is BATMAN, by Frank Miller and Georges Jeanty. Bitten by a radioactive bat while at a science fair, blind teenager Tony Stark gains superhuman senses, including a radar sense that allows him to ‘see’ through echolocation. After moving to Gotham City’s notorious Hell’s Kitchen, Stark witnesses his father’s murder at the hands of a carjacker and, with a winged suit of armor, vows to punish those who do wrong! But can even the Iron Knight defeat the Kingpin of Crime (childhood friend Obadiah Stane) and his League Of Shadows?

Norrin Radd is SUPERMAN, by Ed Brubaker and Ed McGuiness. To save his home planet from the menace of Galactus, a young diplomat agrees to become a herald, seeking worlds for his new ‘master’ to eat. However, upon his arrival to Earth, he falls in love with reporter Sue Storm. With the aid of Earth’s Avengers, Galactus is repelled, and Radd remains on our world as its greatest champion… SUPERMAN, THE MAN OF SILVER!

James Howlett, Peter Parker, Victor Von Doom and Selina Kyle are THE FANTASTIC FOUR, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley. During a cosmic storm, four ordinary New Yorkers are given extraordinary powers! Howlett gains the ability to replicate any fighting style… he becomes TASKMASTER. Parker gains superhuman speed… he is now THE FLASH. Von Doom can control all metal…enter: MAGNETO. And Kyle becomes the world’s greatest telekinetic… PHOENIX! Now they’re on the run from a government who wants them for experimentation, and Norman Osborn, who, with his sinister Goblin Force, plans to use their DNA to make himself immortal.

Harvey Dent is THE PUNISHER, by Garth Ennis and John Cassaday. Mayoral candidate and successful lawyer Dent finds his world turned upside down when he is accused of money laundering. Disgraced and jailed, Dent finds a kindred spirit in an alien symbiote that attaches itself to him, endowing him with spider-like strength and agility. Arming himself to the teeth, Dent sets out for revenge — namely, by eliminating the man who set him up from the beginning, Bruce Wayne!

Nicely done, Paul. I liked how you blended elements from both companies, like giving Stark a bit of Spidey and Daredevil origins and yet setting him in the Batman role. The Harvey Dent Punisher (with a dose of Venom) is nice too, Ennis and Cassaday would be fabulous on that.

Mark offers some unique twists as well:

I’m not sure if I’m doing this right, but I hope you’ll like these anyway.

Batman, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Elektra and Kyle Rayner are THE AVENGERS, by Warren Ellis and Travis Charest. This is a “What if…” and “Elseworlds” crossover, where the heroes come together to avenge their loved ones. All of these people lost family or in Green Lantern’s case a girlfriend to violent crime. I always wondered what the Avengers were avenging, so this is my answer.

Mary Jane Watson is WONDER WOMAN, by Scott Lobdell and Adam Hughes. Mary Jane is an actress who lands her dream role in a major motion picture, “Wonder Woman, Amazon Princess”. She doesn’t have any powers, but when the set is besieged by mysterious accidents, she takes the role to heart. The director shoots everything she does, spinning the making of the move off to a reality series. The tag line could be “Wonder Woman, now playing at a crime near you.” I picked Lobdell because I liked his humor on Alpha Flight, and Hughes should be pretty obvious why I picked him.

Dick Grayson is THE GHOST RIDER, by Mike Mignola. The Flying Graysons are terribly murdered, but this time there’s no Batman to comfort the orphaned Grayson. Instead he finds a home with fellow circus stuntman Johnny Blaze, who suspects there is more to the Grayson’s death than meets the eye. The two soon find themselves at odds against an army of dark forces, lead by Neron and his half brother Mephisto. In the battle, Blaze is gravely injured. Grayson makes a deal with the demons Sy’m and Etrigan to gain the powers of the Ghost Rider and to save his mentor.

Thanks for playing, Mark. I think you got the hang of it. I agree with you completely on the Avengers thing; what DO they avenge? Almost all of the non-X-something teams should more or less be called “The Defenders.” And where in the world did Travis Charest go? For awhile there I thought he and Leinil Yu were pretty similar, but Yu’s style has changed somewhat. I miss ol’ Travis. As for Wonder Woman, that’s a great concept. The old Wonder Man series had Simon Williams in Hollywood, but he obviously had powers. Hughes makes this cheesecake city. I bet if they made a statue of Mary Jane as Wonder Woman as designed by Adam Hughes there’d be an even bigger outcry of outrage and sexism than we heard for the Mary Jane Does Pete’s Laundry statue. I think Lobdell was underrated on X-Men, but boy I didn’t like that Alpha Flight stuff at all. You know who would be really interesting to have on this book is Joss Whedon. As a director, he’d have a terrific grasp of the Hollywood backstage stuff. And as for the Ghost Rider, you had me at Mignola. You could have sent me a pitch for Power Girl as Rainbow Brite and if you had Mignola attached I’d be all over it! That said, I liked it too.

Man, you guys come up with some good stuff every time. How come I never get stuff I can rip people on? Nobody sent me anything with Liefeld drawing Grant Morrison’s Xorn. How am I supposed to be the bad guy around here if you don’t give me anything to shoot down? Then again, Liefeld probably couldn’t figure how to give Xorn Rob’s trademark hairstyle anyway. Where’s Cory when I need him? Jim Trebold must have him under an exclusive contract or something. Just kidding, Cory. Mostly.

Next week this column will feature a bunch more Elseworlds ideas, all from just one reader who sent me email after email of terrific ideas! See? You guys play along and you get to take over for a week! Until next time, I’m hoping the tech monkeys get the pics fixed because my column looks decidedly naked without pictures, and I’m off to start my Christmas shopping. Or, in other words…

Welcome to my nightmare.

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