This got me thinking about what if Marvel Comics released an anthology similar to this one? What characters would it feature? Which creators would be attached to it? In all honesty, I wouldn't want Marvel and DC to become a Coke/Pepsi-like feud (they both have cherry colas, vanilla colas, lime colas, etc.), but I thought it would be interesting to try to put together my own "dream project" of what the anthology from Marvel would look like.
I also have to say that this is not completely my original idea. Ryan K. Lyndsay made this post that inspired me to fully flesh out my list of ideas. Make sure to check out his list, and hit the jump to see mine.
Written by Paul Tobin
Art by Skottie Young
Paul Tobin has been working on the Marvel Adventures titles (in ALL of them) for a long time, delivering all-ages fun reminiscent of the yesteryears of comics. Not only would his style fit in perfectly with the nostalgic feeling of an anthology of this kind, but it would help him establish a big name for himself in the eyes of many readers.
Skottie Young is known for his dynamic style and creative character design. He could really work wonders with the extended page size and he has shown that he has a good handle on drawing Spidey, as he has been delivering some great covers for Marvel Adventures Spider-Man.
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mike Allred
Sure, Mike Allred is currently busy already penciling a story for Wednesday Comics, but I am not going to let a little thing like reality get in the way of my dream project. It's also no secret that I absolutely loved Jason Aaron's short stint as the writer of the Black Panther title and that I would love to see him come back to the character.
Because T'Challa is currently incapacitated in the Marvel Universe, I think this story should be done in a Silver Age style, and this is where Mike Allred's strengths come in, in the Wakanda jungles, with a young and cocky Black Panther still discovering the reach of his abilities or learning new ones.
Captain America and Bucky
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Marcos Martin
Jeff Parker seems to get a lot of critical acclaim, but so far he has been unable to translate that into a commercial success. Assigning him to write a high profile character like Captain America would certainly help remedy that. He has a good handle of just about any character he gets a hold of, and his style is a mix of humor and excellent superhero fare. This story should be set in the "lighter" days of Captain America, when he still had a sidekick (Ironically, this was during World War II).
Marcos Martin has impressed just about everyone with his work in Amazing Spider-Man, and he had a short story (more like a recap) in the pages of Captain America #600 that allowed him to flex his artistic muscle and showcased what a great fit he is for the character.
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Adam Pollina
It's no secret that JMS has wanted to write a Doctor Strange series for a LONG time and this would be the perfect opportunity to indulge him to go absolutely wild with the character.
However, Adam Pollina is probably not a name you are very familiar with. He did some work in X-Force back in the 90's and (more importantly) he worked recently in a series that went under a lot of people's radar - Angel: Revelations. His style is moody and, at times, grotesque, with exaggerated figures and heavy shadows, and I think he would really shine at drawing Doctor Strange's enemies, such as Shuma-Gorath and Dormammu. And that's what this strip should be about - Strange dealing with the crazy cosmic threats, not Earth-based problems.
Frank Kafka, Private Eye
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
This one I stole completely from Ryan Lyndsay because it is such a great idea that it needs to be repeated as often as possible. You are probably asking yourself, "who the hell is Frank Kafka?" Well, if you have been reading Criminal, you would know that the title has a newspaper strip within the comic. Think like the play-within-a-play of Hamlet, or the Tales of the Black Freighter in Watchmen, that relates to the main story.
In this case, it is a newspaper strip about 1930's-like Frank Kafka, Private Eye. The strip is often made fun of by the characters in the comic and described as nonsensical and absurd. He could get a whole page all for himself in this anthology and really shine. I am making an exception in this one, and keeping the same creative team that created and worked together on the character.
Hank Pym: Science! Adventurer!
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Tan Eng Huat
Just let Warren Ellis run wild with the concept of Hank Pym's time off from the Avengers, where he would dedicate himself to research and solo adventures. Ellis should be able to come up with some crazy SCIENCE! adventures for Hank Pym to deal with.
Tan Eng Huat worked in with Jason Aaron on Ghost Rider and is currently working with Rick Remember on Punisher and he has shown that he can illustrate even the craziest of concepts in those two titles (which is saying something). Have Hank Pym be shrunk throughout the whole series, interacting with bigger objects, just to add some extra craziness.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Ron Garney
I am of course talking about the original Human Torch, Jim Hammond, not the member of the Fantastic Four. I am actually basing this on very little, as I don't think neither of these creators have worked with the character before or anything similar. Just a gut feeling that they would work great together.
From what I have seen, Jonathan Hickman is a very creative writer that can turn concepts on their heads and Ron Garney is a veritable master at drawing action scenes. Set in WWII, it would involve mostly the Torch punching the hell out of Nazis, while setting them on fire at the same time and hunting the big bad himself, Hitler.
Written by Brian Reed
Art by Stuart Immonen
Brian Reed really embraced the Nextwave incarnation of Machine Man and that's always a fine thing in my book. Stuart Immonen is one of my favourite artists and his work in Nextwave has a lot to do with it (tired of hearing me rave about the series yet?).
The plot to this strip should be a homage to Terminator, with Machine Man traveling back in time to the 60's to save and/or kill Rick Jones, who in the future will inevitably and indubitably start the war between machines and humans that will destroy all of Earth. Machine Man must stop all this AND deal with those damn dirty hippies.
The Mighty Thor
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Stephano Casseli
Fred Van Lente is one of the co-writers of Incredible Hercules and he seemingly commands an incredible knowledge of the ancient Greek myths and history in general (he also writes Comic Book Comics, which is about the history of comic books).
Set this story completely in Asgard, with Thor battling such mythic adversaries as the Frost Giants and the World Serpent, and you would have some Simonson-levels of awesome. Stephano Casseli's style is very dynamic and lends itself to epic battles, as seen in the pages of Secret Warriors and in his earlier work with Avengers: The Initiative.
Written and Art by Chris Giarusso
One page stories in newspaper-strip style? Chris Giarusso has been doing this for years with his work in Mini-Marvels, so it would fit right in this type of anthology. It would also add some humor to the title and echo back to the "newspaper funnies" days. Could potentially be the front page feature, to hook readers in with the humor.
However, I'm not sure if this one is plausible, as Marvel decided to scratch this series in order to publish the Marvel Super Hero Squad instead (a loss that a lot of fans are still lamenting). But like I said, reality is not an obstacle for my dream project and I want more Mini-Marvels!
Namor: The Sub-Mariner
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Leinil Francis Yu
DC's version of Wednesday Comics is mysteriously missing Aquaman from it's roster, but the Marvel version could fix the lack of Atlanteans by having Namor featured in his own strip.
Paul Cornell had a short story in the recent Dark X-Men mini series that featured a naked Namor taking a shower, so he clearly knows what Namor fans want to see. Leinil Francis Yu created some very good covers for Agent of Atlas that had Namor on them and he has a good sense of action and movement. Ideally, this series would be all underwater or in the surface of the oceans, just to make it more visually distinct from all the other ones.
Power Man and Jewel
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Aja
Two of Brian Bendis pet characters in one strip! I know what you are thinking - "Bendis could never tell a whole story in only 12 pages!". And while that is certainly true, as he is notorious for his use of decompression in his comics, before his career in comics he used to work in a newspaper strip, so I am sure he could handle the pace of this anthology.
Team him up with the wonderful David Aja, known for his fluid action and almost minimalistic style, and I think you would have a winning combination. As for the story, it could be about the first meeting of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, complete with yellow disco shirt, affro and tiara.
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Emma Rios
Sure, having both Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning write a single story that moves at one-page-a-week pace may be a bit of an overkill, but I don't think it is physically possible to tell where one ends and the other one begins at this point. As everyone knows, DnA have been revolutionizing the cosmic side of Marvel, with the almighty trifecta of Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy and War of Kings.
Well, it's about time everyone's favorite space raccoon got some "me" time and headed on an adventure of his own. I'm not sure if Emma Rios can draw small furry animals, but she seriously impressed me with her work in the BOOM! series about magic, Hexed. It's not that big of a leap from crazy magic creatures to crazy space creatures, right?
The Scandalous She-Hulk
Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by Juan Bobillo
I don't think She-Hulk has ever been written by a woman and I think Kathryn Immonen would be the perfect candidate to become the first one to do so. I think she would be able to handle properly both the quirkiness of the character and the 4th wall breaking while delivering action scenes.
Juan Bobillo worked on the character during Dan Slott's run, then in a Howard The Duck miniseries and I haven't heard from him since then. His style is very cartoonish but at the same time very detailed. The story could be a callback to the classic She-Hulk story where she has to deal with paparazzi following her every move, hence the "scandalous" adjective in the title.
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Joe Quesada
Look, you may not like it a lot, but Wolverine can move units like no one else (he is the best at what he does, after all). This strip would be all about star power and the real catch to get people to read all of the other strips. Mark Millar sure knows what makes a good Wolverine story, although I can see how he would struggle a bit with the pacing in an anthology such as this one.
And if Dan Didio can contribute to DC's Wednesday comics, then Joe Quesada can also join in on the fun. I may have problems with some of his editorial decisions, but he can still draw a very dynamic page. Also, this strip would be unanimously voted for "Most Likely to Run Late" by a jury of its peers.
So that's it for what my dream anthology would look like! Agree/disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comment section. And if you are feeling brave, try putting together a whole dream anthology together or a handful of your own dream teams for a Marvel version of Wednesday Comics (trust me, it takes longer than you'd think!).