The comics industry underwent a bit of a shakeup when Brian Michael Bendis made a move from Marvel to DC. Speculation arose immediately about what he’d be doing for Detective Comics. The answer revealed that Bendis would be managing several things, including Superman. Bendis talked about his connection to the last son of Krypton and why it’s such a dream to be able to write for him. As Bendis prepares to live out a dream, we dreamers here at Monkeys Fighting Robots pooled our collective talents to talk a little about what character we’d love to write for if ever given a chance.
Marvel: Nova (Richard Rider)
I’m a Long Island boy, and I always got a kick out of Richard Rider being from Long Island. He’s not a top tier character (yet), but he so deserves to be. Abnett and Lanning’s run on Nova showed me what an incredibly badass and complex character Rich is (the dude literally tore Annihilus’ guts out through his throat!), and I would kill to show that to a new generation of readers. My favorite stories are those that take a lower tier, cult character and makes them so great that it builds their fanbase tenfold. It shows the power of great writing, and it shows that the strength is more in the writer than the character. It’s a challenge. And Nova’s the kind of character where I could tell epic cosmic adventures OR smaller, more intimate stories on Earth. Long Island represent.
Everyone wants to write Batman, but Nightwing is a much richer character. Whereas Bats is dark, brooding, and trusts no one, Nightwing is an actual human being. He’s friendly and lighthearted; he makes jokes. He gives writers a chance to have fun! Plus I would want to explore the complexities of his trust. Batman’s easy; he instinctively shuts people out. But Nightwing follows more of the “superhero ideal” in that he wants to see the good in everyone. That opens the door for conflicts and betrayals, and you can explore society in an interesting way. Superhero comics should teach lessons, and the one lesson that I would want to teach is to try and see the good in people, to open yourself up and be the change you want to see in the world. Nightwing affords that opportunity. Plus, you still get to play in the Batman sandbox with all the cool gadgets and villains (which is the real reason people want to write the Dark Knight).
Marvel: Doctor Strange
The man was a highly-recognized and incredibly skilled surgeon till a car accident damaged the nerves in his hands, ending his career. Seeking treatment, he opted for the mystic arts and, over time, became the Sorcerer Supreme. Unreal. That alone is enough of a reason to want to write for this character, but it is what he does on a daily basis to keep our planet safe, like having to face world-shattering entities and villains, that is appealing. He has saved our realm countless times over while we’re walking our dogs and going about our daily routines.
DC Comics: Doctor Fate
Kent Nelson was the son of an archaeologist, taking on the craft as well. He turned in his greatest find, an ancient immortal, named Nabu, while exploring a pyramid in the Valley of Ur, in ancient Mesopotamia. He freed Nabu but accidentally killed his father in the process. Nabu took Nelson under his wing while molding him into Doctor Fate and gifting him his signature amulet, helmet, and cloak. What makes this character exciting to write about is how Fate runs in the family, as it has been extended to not only other family members but his wife as well. It’s a task that is seemingly passed on, which makes for great stories to tell, along with the fact that he is constantly doing battle with evil magical and mythical beings, all while also having served on the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America, among other affiliations.
Marvel: Old Man Logan
Logan aka James Howlett aka Wolverine has always been a favorite character of mine (my first comic memory was reading the Spider-Man vs. Wolverine one-shot by James Owsley and Mark Bright). So if given a chance, I always wanted to write Wolverine. But lately, it is one particular version of “Ol’ Canucklehead” that has attracted my attention, and that is Old Man Logan. Old Man Logan was created by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven in the pages of Wolverine but was given life in his own title by Jeff Lemire recently. What I love about this version of Wolverine is the attitude. This is a Logan well past his prime, having seen much more than the ALREADY weathered younger man we all know. More akin to an aging western gunfighter or lone wolf ronin, Old Man Logan has enough pathos to fill issue after issue and his age would also allow you to tell some great flashback and parallel narrative tales. He is a man out of time twice over. I’m already getting ideas!
DC: The Spectre
One of DC’s ‘cult’ characters, resurrected policeman Jim Corrigan/The Spectre has always fascinated me. Created during The Golden Age, and a big part of the JSA, Spectre has been used sporadically over the years in various degrees. To me what makes him special is the unique combination of the supernatural and the grounded the character brings. He is not only a streetwise cop but is also the freakin’ Judgement of God himself. This duality would open up the doors to tell stories on both a huge, magical epic scale and even ‘Law and Order’ style police procedurals. Think about it; you could have entire arcs about the DCU’s crazy magic world and then do a flashback about Corrigan, as a human, working a case. Plus the character is one of the coolest looking in DC with a great color scheme and costume.
RUBEN R. DIAZ
Marvel: Uatu the Watcher
I love a good anthology and so Marvel’s What If … comics were right up my alley. Like a comic book Twilight Zone, What If … were random stories of alternate timelines and the after effects. Like an omnipotent Rod Serling, Uatu the Watcher narrated every issue. What a fascinating character is Uatu? A race of super-beings who, lead by Uatu’s father, tragically helped another civilization annihilate itself. Ashamed, Uatu exiled himself to a distant part of the multiverse where he’d watch a place called Earth. It’s there that Uatu sees the same pattern of destruction facing the future of mankind and, posing as a human, begins to investigate the cause of humanity’s collapsing destiny; a mystery that will reach across multiple Earths.
DC: Martian Manhunter
All my life I’ve had a fascination with space and Mars (I’m @RMartian on Twitter). Martian Manhunter was always an interesting character, like Superman, he’s a complete fish-out-of-water. The origins of a character like Martian Manhunter are also murky and mysterious too. He’s far less defined than Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, leaving the door open to play around with a lot of interesting science fiction ideas. Taking the original premise, Manhunter is brought to Earth by a human experiment in a middle of a great war happening on Mars. With no way back, Manhunter goes into hiding, but his heroic nature makes it difficult for him to refrain from helping those in need while also looking for a way back home. Soon Manhunter discovers the fate of his people when White Martians arrive to kill the last Green Martian.
After years of being a fan of the character, I believe I could do great justice to DarkHawk from Marvel Comics. After his comic was canceled, the character was used in different storylines and revealed to be part of an intergalactic guild of assassins and was designed as a countermeasure against the Phoenix Force. With the same guild now becoming an obstacle for the Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s time DarkHawk was once again allowed to spread his wings and become a part of the Marvel Universe. My ideal story would involve him working to cast off the role he was designed for by finding a new candidate for the Phoenix Force and having to protect them from evil.
The product of an ancient assassin program, Azrael did what many only dream of by filling in for Batman. During his time as the Dark Knight, Azrael created an iconic suit of armor, became defeated Bane, but unfortunately went off the deep in the process. When a new series launched, Azrael was left to redeem himself from his past mistakes and move forward to prove he was worthy of being a part of the extended Batman family. The original Azrael, Jean Paul Valley hasn’t made an appearance in the Rebirth universe and this needs to be rectified. Yes, he did die and even was a Black Lantern for a time but the DC is filled with ways of resurrecting the dead. If I was able to bring him back, I’d have him work to fight against the Court of Owls, who would be working to resurrect the assassin creation program which made Azrael in hopes of creating a being which could bring Gotham under their control.
What character would you love to write for if Marvel or DC came calling?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.