Two Guys Talking About Comics: Shaking Up DC Comics’ New 52

Pulse Glazer
Another 2-Guys, Grey? What the hell are we going on about today?

 

Grey Scherl
I figured we’d shake it up a little bit after the decent reception we had to our San Diego thoughts and hit our loyal readers with some lists today.

 

Glazer
What are we listing up?

 

Grey
We’re each going to pick five books out of DC’s relaunch and recast the creative teams in ways that we feel would make the book more successful. The only real rule being that we have to use creators that aren’t exclusive to Marvel or blacklisted by DC.

 

Glazer
I can do that! You can do that, we can do that!

 

Grey
And then we can do it with Marvel in a few days!

 

Glazer
Well, I can do that with writers… I’ll rely on you to supply artists for 3 of my 5 to spice things up.
You in?

 

Grey
Artists will be tricky, I only have one etched in stone….two.

 

Glazer
Sounds like fun! What’s your #5?

 

Grey
My number five book is just for fun, and I’ll also say isn’t a knock on the current creative team. But I want to see Deathstroke in the hands of Garth Ennis and Jae Lee.

Glazer
That would be dark!

 

Grey
I figure with Garth we get the violence and the brutality that Slade should bring to the table, and Jae brings the gritty nasty to the book that puts it just over the top.

 

Glazer
Wow, well it’d be a top seller. There might be a problem when Garth has him do to Batman what Punisher did to Wolverine.

 

Grey
I’d be more worried about his kryptonite shotgun shells.

 

Glazer
Nah, Garth loves Superman – remember Hitman?

 

Grey
This is true.
I just see this as a way to do for Deathstroke what he did for Punisher, because really, Garth rebuilt Frank from the ground up for modern times.

 

Glazer
I can dig that. My #5 book is similarly a small title. I want Chris Priest and Francisco Francavella on Batwing.

Grey
I’d buy that based on creative team alone, hell, you could sell me a Black Lightning book with that team.

 

Glazer
I’d buy Batman with that team… or hell, Hawkman. I don’t care who… but I think Priest could make Batwing work as his own character in a way few others can.

 

Grey
Priest would make him feel like a fully fleshed out character and not “Batman of Africa”

 

Glazer
Exactly. And I love Francavella. I feel like Priest would get a lot out of him.

 

Grey
Completely agreed there. That would be truly inspired.

 

Glazer
By the way, read Priest’s Black Panther if you haven’t.

 

Grey
I read the last year or so of it and really enjoyed it.

 

Glazer
That was too our readers, I know you did.

 

Grey
Oh, I know, but it never hurts for them to know it’s a double recommendation!

 

Glazer
Works for me. So what’s your #4?

 

Grey
Teen Titans by Fabian Nicieza.
And I’ll be honest, despite my love of Fabian, he was actually my second choice, but my first choice was eliminated by the rules of the game.

Glazer
Well, that’s entirely obvious. Fabian writes a great teen book – read Red Robin – and a great team book – 99% of his Marvel work from X-Force to Thunderbolts.

 

Grey
Bingo, the man’s resume speaks for itself. Even the subpar Legion Lost was engaging under him.
But my real choice here was Christos Gage, but he’s Marvel exclusive. That said, I would kill to see him write the Teen Titans back up to prominence.

 

Glazer
Poor Titans. It’s a major franchise with multiple television shows that’s somehow been a C title since Johns left.

 

Grey
It got run into the ground the same way Justice League did in that same time period. When an A list writer wanted to do a run, they went and had a lot of fun, but after they were gone editorial just wrote the book for whoever the incumbent was.

 

Glazer
Sounds about right.

 

Grey
When I talked to Sean McKeever a few years ago he had nothing negative to say about DC, but you could tell he had lots of ideas that editorial just trashed.

 

Glazer
My #4 title keeps the artist, but gets a new writer – Brian Clevinger on Flash with Francis Manapul.

Grey
I’d continue to read that so long as Francis maintains co-writer status.
His pacing may not be perfect, but the characterization in the book is the strongest I’ve seen in a Flash title since Geoff wrote the Rogue War.

 

Glazer
Clevinger needs to be broken in – he’s phenomenal – and Flash is a top selling title where the writing can’t match the art. Clevinger works great with creative artists.  It’d be an A+ book.

 

Grey
Flash is an A list franchise these days, and it would be cool to see DC break in the new guy.
I’m currently in love with Marvel for doing that with Kelly Sue on Captain Marvel.
I mean, how easy would it have been to give that book to Bendis, amiright?

 

Glazer
Marvel does it all the time. They’re much better than DC at breaking in new talent, though DC is improving, using Snyder and the Bat books.

 

Grey
Or Cornell during his Luthor Comics run.

 

Glazer
Lemire, Layman, Higgins…

 

Grey
Layman can stay off your list, he’s been a big deal in comics for over 20 years.
Former writer and editor at essentially everyone to ever publish comics in the big 4 area.
Higgins, on the other hand, I think they’ve done a great job with. Nightwing is phenomenal.

 

Glazer
Right, but he somehow never got a major title all to himself.
I like Nightwing better than Batman.

 

Grey
Nightwing has been more consistent from issue to issue, but both are fantastic.

 

Glazer
I like, but don’t love Snyder’s Batman.

 

Grey
It’s just an odd step away from his Tec.

 

Glazer
Batman is the Superhero book, Tec is the crime book. Viewed that way it fits.

 

Grey
Yup.
My two and three picks could flip with each other, both are pretty big or at least potentially pretty big.

 

Glazer
Well, shoot with 3 anyway.

 

Grey
Green Lantern Corps by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Andy Kubert

Glazer
Ha, I was thinking about that.

 

Grey
I figured that would be the most likely pick for us to agree on without discussing it before hand.
The masters of cosmic take over what was formerly the best Green Lantern book but has since become a shade of itself.

 

Glazer
Agreed – side note, though. Remember when we loved Tomasi?

 

Grey
I pretty much got burned on anyone who made my top rising starts of 2010.
I think I had him and Fraction as my favorite guys in the big two.

 

Glazer
Ha, you did indeed. I remember. I still love Frac.

 

Grey
You also went through a period of not reading him during Fear Itself. I sat through Fear Itself. I have an excuse!
I think the problem Tomasi has in GLC is that not only does he have to do a slow burn for Third Army, but he was given John Stewart and told to make him work. That’s an anchor that has dragged down many writers.

 

Glazer
Well, that’s your own damn fault, then, isn’t it? Iron Man and Casanova are great.

 

Grey
Drunken Iron Man hanging out with a Drunken Dwarf is what kicked me off that book. That and Paris being magically fixed so that Fear Itself didn’t have to be sold.

 

Glazer
Shrug – we’re getting fallout still from him being drunk, and the dwarf’s around, but the book rocks.
I love Mandarin.

 

Grey
I do too, but I still hate the drunken Tony thing. It was a moment that should have been filled with raw emotion and led to great story ideas, but instead it was shocky and has led to…what? Tony got drunk to try and get a God to help them win a war once so now everyone thinks he’s always drunk? There’s a level of suspension of disbelief that the book just completely leaps over. Like the government forcing a guy who saves the country four times a week to quit so they can subcontract his job out…despite that he’s a free agent.

 

Glazer
It fits in that it was essentially the government just being dicks because he refused to sell them weapons.

 

Grey
And Commander Rogers, essentially the Big Boss Man of anything pertaining to…well, this, is outranked by a random guy that was paid off by the Hammer’s?

 

Glazer
Rogers is in charge of whatever Shield is now. That isn’t the US Military. Shield doesn’t fight wars.

 

Grey
He’s in charge of SHIELD, the Avengers, and has a direct line to the president to get approval for anything he needs to get done.
You’d think one phone call and the guy who wanted Tony to stop being Iron Man would be at a base in Siberia in an hour.

 

Glazer
The president doesn’t make unilateral military decisions.

 

Grey
No, but he can understand that a decision is being made without the best interests of the American people in mind and override it.

Glazer
Which he wouldn’t… at all. Iron Man is, for the invasion and such, hated by the government.

 

Grey
Because, honestly, where’s the upside to the US government if one of their guys starts forcing super heroes to retire under threats of slander.

 

Glazer
Why is there a downside? There’s no shortage of heroes at all.

 

Grey
You’d imagine they’d be past that since the guy they replaced him with went completely insane.
Not A listers.

 

Glazer
A-Listers to us and them aren’t the same.
They hate him.

 

Grey
Alright, founding Avenger member in good standing who literally just saved the world.
Let’s fire him and replace him with a mother daughter team that has had a ton of issues in the past, as the name Hammer tends to lead to all sorts of chaos.

 

Glazer
Who let earth be invaded and caused the PR nightmare that was Civil War.

 

Grey
“Are they qualified?”
“Nope, but they have a checkbook.”

 

Glazer
The Hammer team that will do whatever the government says as opposed to Stark who does whatever the hell he wants.

 

Grey
The Hammer team also has a long history of being under handed, Stark has a long history of saving the world.

 

Glazer
Again – politically, why would that matter?

 

Grey
The suspension of disbelief is giant, because apparently the only person in the Marvel universe who is a victim of people having memories is Tony Stark.

 

Glazer
Spider-Man is semi-regularly. The X-Men are.

 

Grey
For the same reason you wouldn’t have fired an well respected general for making a mistake just to replace him with a mercenary squad.

 

Glazer
Yeah, not generals, but military units are replaced by merc squads in real life all the time.

 

Grey
I’ll be happy when someone else takes over the book.
So anyway, DnA on Green Lantern Corps to bring it back to glory. Andy Kubert on art to make it look positively epic.

 

Glazer
Works for me. My number 3 is Gail Simone on Suicide Squad. She needs something darker and nailed these characters when she had Secret Six.

Grey
Gail is up next on my list, actually.
I agree with you though, she needs something with some teeth.

 

Glazer
I want her on a dark team book. I feel like she’s miscast as the female character writer. It isn’t her strength. Females are obviously fine under her, but espionage and morally gray characters are her strength.

 

Grey
I want to argue with you and agree with you at the same time.
Birds of Prey showed that females really are her strength, while Batgirl and Wonder Woman showed that straight super heroics are definitely not.

 

Glazer
It doesn’t matter if the character is female. She wrote the best Bane ever.

 

Grey
I’m not saying she can only write women, she wrote a great Deadpool too. Also, Deadshot, Catman, Savant, Creote, Ryan Choi, etc.

 

Glazer
All but Choi at least a bit dark and morally gray, hence Suicide Squad.

 

Grey
I’m just saying that she is great at finding the voice for female characters and then not exploiting them for cheesecake.

 

Glazer
What’s your pick for her?

 

Grey
Catwoman

 

Glazer
Well, it’s morally gray to be sure, but I dislike Catwoman as a protagonist.
I’d rather she not have a book.

 

Grey
I did not like Gail’s run on Wonder Woman because it was just too….I don’t have a word for it. But Catwoman brings that gray area that Gail does great work in.
She’s also a marquee recognizable woman at DC, the kind that casual fans know off the top of their head.
She’s an absolute DC icon that has been handled amazingly in solo books from time to time.

 

Glazer
They also tend to buy her as a Batman supporting character.

 

Grey
So I offer Gail to make Catwoman into an A list character, and I partner her with Amanda Conner on art to completely put it over the top.
That would be the best twelve issues of Catwoman ever. Gail and Amanda? Yes please. The book would be pure fun.

Glazer

Well, no, Brubaker and Cooke had Catwoman, which was unreal, but it would be great.

 

Grey

Alright, valid, Bru and Darwyn are kinda incredible. But Gail and Amanda would be a top 15 on the charts creative team for Catwoman.

 

Glazer

Works for me.

My #2 is a re-working of DC’s biggest franchise, which according to sales isn’t broken, but I kind of hate it. I want Brian Wood with Jim Lee on Justice League.

 

Grey

That’s an interesting choice, I actually omitted JL but had a creative team in mind.

What makes you think Brian Wood would make that book any better?

 

Glazer

Brian Wood makes everything better. He’s phenomenal with a unique voice and he develops characters better than nearly anyone. I’ve loved his X-Men so far even though he’s using literally no characters I even like.

Grey

His Alpha and Omega mini fell completely flat for me.

 

Glazer

I didn’t get it. Read DMZ. Top 5 Vertigo book ever. And Northlanders is top 10.

 

Grey

Interesting. I had gone the other way on Justice League, I kept Johns but swapped out Lee.

 

Glazer

Preacher, Sandman, Transmetropolitan, Y the Last Man and DMZ… though I hear Scalped might knock out Y.

 

Grey

I’ve read two of those.

Well, two and a quarter. I definitely have read the first 20 issues of DMZ.

 

Glazer

Your loss.

 

Grey

It was several years ago, I went on a Vertigo binge and read what I could find available at the time. DMZ and 100 Bullets both were read, but I somehow never got around to reading more of either after where I left off.

 

Glazer

DMZ just stays fantastic forever.

 

Grey

The only reason I only read 20 or so issues is that those were all there were at the time, one day sooner than later I’ll read the rest.

Also, since you didn’t ask, I’d have Bryan Hitch join up with Geoff on Justice League.

 

Glazer

Good call. So who was your JLA artist? The pacing, not Lee, is my issue.

 

Grey

Though that one may actually be a reality in the very near future.

 

Glazer

Ha, way to make it slower!

 

Grey

Hitch is making a move to DC.

I actually blame Jim Lee for the pacing, there’s a story he wants to draw and Geoff has to write it, but you don’t usually see Geoff do summer blockbusters with every issue.

The two just don’t make a great creative team.

 

Glazer

I’d rather have Geoff gone.

What’s your #1?

 

Grey

My number one is Superman.

I want Bryan Q. Miller writing it.

And I want Gary Frank to draw it.

Glazer

Frank might sell it – I could see that.

 

Grey

Q might not have the name value of some of their talent, but his work speaks for itself. He writes some of the best Superman I’ve read in years in Smallville.

I think readers would take nicely to his handling of the Man of Steel.

 

Glazer

I like Q a lot, but he’d need a co-writer at first, I think.

 

Grey

Not at all. If anything, a co-writer in this case would hamper him.

 

Glazer

I’d agree, but they need a reason for it to sell. I’m not sure Frank is enough.

 

Grey

You don’t want another writer to over shadow him if he’s going to be your guy, because then when they leave you lose a chunk of the reader-base instantly.

The reason for it to sell, honestly, it’s Superman. Promote it as the big deal that it should be and it will sell.

I believe that everyone who likes superheroes really does, deep down, want to read Superman, but everyone has been so burned by bad Superman writing.

 

Glazer

Which is why they won’t try for a guy they’ve never heard of.

 

Grey

You promote him as “the writer of Smallville”

Because right now Smallville Season 11 is apparently a REALLY big hit for them digitally.

 

Glazer

I guess that could work. Works for me.

 

Grey

Call me a fanboy, but I really do think that Superman should be a top 30 book on name alone. With a writer that could make fans care by actually having the book be readable I can only imagine that buzz pushes it up the charts.

 

Glazer

I think Q is a good call. My #1 is a full creative team of Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez on Legion of Superheroes.

Grey

I actually had that exact same team in mind for another book and went a different way with it.

 

Glazer

I love Legion. Grant could re-invent the franchise into a top seller and amazing title.

 

Grey

I agree, the Legion is a sci-fi gold mine.

I’d have put DnA there but I’ve already read and loved their Legion.

 

Glazer

DnA don’t make it sell the way Grant does.

Waid is my favorite Legion anyway.

 

Grey

I loved his run, that was my first monthly Legion

 

Glazer

Yeah, but those characters no longer exist. If we’re mining a long, crazy silver age history, that’s Grant.

 

Grey

Agreed. That’s how you make the Legion a top 10 book. Him or Geoff.

 

Glazer

Right, but I trust Grant more than Geoff. His best is better.

 

Grey

Tangent, sort of, but I’m amazed Geoff never did a solo run on Legion after all the work he did to bring them back to prominence.

 

Glazer

I fully expected it as well. Instead we got weird Earth Man as a good guy.

 

Grey

Yeah, Levitz did…an interesting job during his pre New 52 run. Some issues were quite good, but there was no real consistency. You’d get a great character issue followed by three that are completely forgettable.

 

Glazer

I hated it. I need Grant there.

 

Grey

I’m not arguing, was really just justifying the amount of chances I gave that book before the relaunch….because it got one New 52 issue out of me.

 

Glazer

Ha, no, I’m done with Levitz! Give me Grant or give Legion death!  See you all in a day or two for more 2 Guys Talking About Comics.

 

Grey

Have a great one everybody, and hey, send us any ideas you have for us to talk about in future editions!

 

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