If I had a magic wand, I’d wave it over lots of aspects of comics to create my ideal world – a world where great titles are never canceled, every character I fancy receives his or her own series, and super groups are formed at my mere whim. Unfortunately, I have yet to be given such an all-powered implement (although I’ve heard one’s on order), so the best I can do is create a list of things I’d do differently and, well, bitch a bit. Oh who am I kidding? I’m gonna bitch a lot.
Consider me the Veruca Salt of comic book geeks.
First up in the grand scheme of things I’d change in the world of comics is to enact a rule by which all title cancellations would have to meet my approval and all previous cancellations, if met with my displeasure, would be undone. Add to this the option of bringing back any series that’s simply run its natural course. (I like to think this would generally improve the comic experience for fans everywhere, but it’d probably only serve to make it impossible to collect anything for sheer quantity of material.)
My messianic powers of comic book resurrection would touch the following titles, in no particular order of urgency.
Captain Britain and MI: 13: As a chick with a thing for Psylocke, it grieves me to think the name she once borrowed has lost its share of the spotlight. Captain Britain, the UK’s answer to Captain America, debuted in 1976 but his most recent series met the axe in 2009. I’ve always deducted points from Captain Britain for name and concept originality, and this title has never particularly registered as a big fan favorite. I, for one, have never gone ape for tales of Dracula on the moon. But more than the content of the series itself, I appreciate the delicious irony of its Hugo nomination after it got the chop. I may be the only person to read it, but I’ll take it.
Ms. Marvel: This sometimes-feminist has undeniably become one of Marvel’s most remarkable characters, likable both in her personality and her powers. The aforementioned feminism is the root of some controversy surrounding the title, but that hasn’t stopped her creators from confusing fans and activists alike since 1977. For my part, I love unfettered girl power – especially when it’s in thigh highs and a leotard – and I was disappointed to see her title go. At least she’s still around as a member of the New Avengers.
The Watchmen: DC had a good thing going with this dark title, which began and ended as a limited run series in 1986/1987. As a bonus it was adapted to film very well, something many, many…many comics can’t boast. What frustrates me is that when recently offered back the rights to The Watchmen on the condition that he create a prequel and sequel, writer Alan Moore flipped DC the bird. Thus we wallow without additional adventures of unforgettable characters like the inkblot-masked Rorschach.
V for Vendetta: I’ll readily admit I love a superpowered hero as much as the next geek, but some titles are made much more intriguing by a lack of superpowers and a boost of cold, hard realism. Add a heaping spoonful of politics and history with a heavy dose of anarchy, and you have a comic that I personally just about shed a tear to see end. I’ll also readily admit that it probably wouldn’t bear the same weight without the primary incarnation of its hero V, but there’s still a lot of room for growth and a lot left to be said.
Concrete: A seemingly unsung title – apart from its four Eisner Awards – Concrete’s simple black and white artwork may not make it a flashy read, but it’s an enjoyable one. It’s a shame that this solid Dark Horse series has all but faded into obscurity. At least if the rumored film adaptation with Bill Murray had materialized, we’d have a likely cult classic to relive Concrete by. As it stands, the alien-engineered rocky hero’s hearty adventures, which he embarks upon simply because he can, must languish in the past.
Up next in my free reign to complain are characters I’d like to see with their own titles, so stay tuned!