In mid January, comics writer and columnist Joe Glass posted a question on his Twitter feed which went along the lines of ‘what DC comic would I be most suited to write if asked?’ This was a question I responded to, starting a discussion which ended at True Believers between us about what he would have done with the book I suggested. Well, since then I’ve become intrigued by his ideas and it has gotten me thinking; what other indie creators would I put on DC’s titles?
So, with DC Rebirth just around the corner, I’ve decided to do just that, coming up with a list of what indie/small press creators I would put on the newly planned DC comics if it were up to me.
Now, this isn’t a definitive list, as all the names I’ve chosen are creators I’ve either met personally or read their work. I’ve also included (almost) every guest talked to by our friends at the Awesome Comics Podcast, and have paired each one of them with books I feel are titles they would work well with. Now, the one provision is that they could not have worked on a big name/DC title before. Therefore British creators (which make up the majority of my list) like Rob Williams, Si Spurrier or Mark Millar are not eligible.
So, with that in mind, here is my list:
Aquaman – Nich Angell – Nich was a tough decision to make, but his elegant, regal art, while different, along with his in depth world building made me think that his Aquaman would be an interesting shout.
Batman – Mike Garley, Andy Bloor
This was, by far the easiest decision, as both Mike and Andy are top of their game creators. Mike’s incredible writing coupled with Andy’s gritty art make this a match made in heaven (or Gotham)!!!
The Flash – Chris Welch, Jack Tempest
One half of Doc Dino, Chris’ work on Wart makes me think he’d give us a nice lighthearted flash. Couple that with Jack’s colorful art and we’ll have a fun book that this should be.
Green Arrow – Chris Sides, Jon Scrivens
Chris and Jon were maybe the last creators I matched to a book but I thought Chris’ grim writing in things like Dark Matter and Hallowscream, along with Jon’s dark art would make for a gritty Ollie Queen.
Green Lanterns – Cavan Scott, Lynne Triplett
From the moment I started this article I knew where Lynne Triplett was going as her art just screams Green Lanterns. Cavan was initially another tough choice, but then I remembered his Dr Who and realised he’s got the imagination for space opera.
Superman – Dan Harris
Based on his Druid Investigations comic, I think Dan could write a Superman which would have the light tone the character deserves.
Wonder Woman – Ben Read, Chris Lackey
Putting Ben on this book was an easy decision for me after reading his epic Porcelain work. The art was a bit harder, but seeing some of Chris’s clean panels from his work soon changed that to an easy decision.
Action Comics – Jay Martin, Chris Imber – Jay’s action packed story in ALV sold me on the idea he should be writing a Supes title while Chris’s vibrant art on The Last Sheriff made me realise that no one could better depict him.
Detective Comics – Lizzie Boyle, Gavin Mitchell
Lizzie writes some truly dark stuff for disconnected press and her style perfectly fits on Detective, as does Gavin’s whose grainy style would give the book that rough feel the concept deserves.
Titans – Brian Vander
For this book, I gravitated to Brian Vander because his art, while perfectly suiting many books, would make this important characters look epic.
Batgirl – Rachael Smith, Tillie Walden
This was another easy decision which editor Alex independently echoed. Rachael’s calm, slice of life works are a must for this book as is Tillie innocent looking art. They’d be great successors for Batgirl’s recent new direction.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey – Emily Owens, Steve Sims
Emily is a bad-ass, take no prisoners writer, therefore she deserves to write bad-ass take no prisoners characters, which sounds like the BoP to me. Steve’s art is softer than this concept should be, but I think he’d be a good choice to balance the tone.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps – Bob Salley, Shaun Dobie
Go read Descending Outlands and Salvagers. You done that? Ok, well now you know why Bob and Shaun are perfect choices for this cosmic title. Their respective works are quintessential space opera.
Hellblazer – Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard
I’ve done my best to separate established teams with this idea but Limbo, while not my cup of tea, was a terrific occult style book and makes Dan and Caspar natural choices to work on John Constantine.
Justice League – Joe Glass, Dan Butcher
Joe was a tough choice, because he’d be so good writing so many heroes, in the end I thought he’d be awesome to write them all. Meanwhile, Dan’s great art on Vanguard would suit to make JL the flagship book it should be.
Nightwing – SJ Webster, Tally Burtram
Sam Webster already pretty much writes a Nightwing book in his Joe Cape series, so this wouldn’t be a stretch for him. The art, however, would have to be Tally’s work, as her style would really suit a Dick Grayson book.
Red Hood and the Outlaws – Sam Read
Sam’s work on Exit Generation was really fun and action-packed and, as such, would work well on a book such as this.
The Super-man – Tom Ward, Conor Boyle
I envision something titled ‘The Super-Man’ to be a bit horror/pulpy and, in that case, Conor’s art is perfect here. Meanwhile, Tom’s work on Merrick: the Sensational Elephantman appears to be in the same vein and so would help make the book stand out from the norm.
Batman Beyond – Andi Ewington, Joshua Sherwell
For Batman Beyond I felt a techno feel was needed and after reading Overrun and The Kill Screen, I could only envision Andi writing and Josh drawing this book.
Blue Beetle – Vince Hunt
I mentioned this article to Vince at True Believers and he suggested Booster Gold for himself. Well, Booster isn’t here but since then, all I can think is that Vince’s storytelling style of equal parts superheroes and adventuring just screams Blue Beetle (especially if both Jaime and Ted are in the book).
Cyborg – Sam Roads
For this book, all I could think of was Sam, whose Silicon Heart book just said to me he could get under the (metal) skin of the character.
Deathstroke – Mo Ali
Mo Ali got the anti-hero vibe down pat with his work on Midnight Man. Therefore, even before the titles list was released, I knew Mo should write this character because he’d do it justice.
Earth 2 – Jon Lock
Jon was tough because his prior work is so out there. However, his world building is second to none and, therefore, why not give him a whole Earth to play with.
Harley Quinn – John Cullen, Rob Jones, Dani Abrams
I had a lot of choices for this book, but Rob’s work on Papercuts and Inkstains shows he’s got the dark humour to give us a good Harley, while John’s more light hearted humour would balance it out. Meanwhile, Dani’s light art is a fantastic way to mesh the two while keeping it grounded as a superhero book..
Justice League America – Lex McDonald
This actually seemed like an easy one when I look back because the way Lex’s action adventure Assault on Fortress Doom looks, it’s the kind of action adventure that a Justice League book should be.
Suicide Squad – Matt Garvey, Barry Nugent
When it comes to Matt, I figured him for Harley Quinn. However, his newer books make me think he could give an equal action/humour element in Suicide Squad. Meanwhile, Barry’s style on Fallen Heroes seemed gritty and in keeping with the squad’s aesthetic.
Supergirl – Sarah Millman
This was another easy decision as Sarah’s work on A Heart of Time shows she can write a truly enjoyable adventure story with a fully rendered female lead.
Superwoman – Ian Matthews, Laura Trinder
Ian’s work on RazorHawk was what made this decision for me, as he writes a formidable lead superhero. On the other hand, Laura’s art, while not conventional, I think would really suit such a concept to the ground while making it different.
Super-sons – Emma Vieceli
After speaking with Emma at True Believers, she talked about angsty ideas if she were on a teen hero book. Well, with her work on Breaks, if this book had some sort of Superboy(s) team up then I figured this to be a natural pairing.
Teen Titans – Noelle Stevenson
Initially suggested by editor Alex, Noelle’s work on Lumberjanes just screams this book as she would give great focus on the ‘teen’ aspect of the Teen Titans. (Ed’s note: Noelle is going to be doing a Gotham Academy/Lumberjanes crossover so perhaps we weren’t too far off on this one?)
Trinity – Malin Ryden, Chris Wildgoose
Malin’s great work on the Breaks webcomic feels really poignant. Couple that with Chris’ epic Porcelain work and this would be a book showing DC’s big three as they should be read.
And there it is! Now, I’m fully aware that this may not be to everyone’s tastes as other, wiser people may think these creators are meant for other books (or even creators I didn’t think of). However, this, like all opinions, are subjective and so i’m more than willing to hear the views of others.
That said though, it has been a good number of years since DC provided anything which was of any real interest to me, while on the flip side of that coin, all of these indie creators have created comics which I have been really excited about or interested in.
So what now? I guess we all move on with our lives and await the arrival of DC new rebranding. However, this was a fun way to remind myself that if Rebirth fails to ignite my interest like New 52 did, then there is still small press, which has so many quality writers and artists just waiting to show the world what they can do.
And hopefully by posting this list, someone at DC may take note of many of these names and maybe give them a shot.
And if that happens, maybe I’ve just found myself a new job!