Back-Up Story by Christos Gage
Back-Up Art by Stephano Caselli
Out of all those movie viewers, some of them are bound to head down to the comic book shop, and having a title with both of the movie's protagonists in the cover is bound to be a sure sale. The two characters have also been tied throughout their history, so it would not be a stretch to have them share a title.
As for the creative team, I love what they did together with War Machine back in Avengers: The Initiative (although Dan Slott was also co-writing at the time). Greg Pak is a great writer, but to be honest he did not hook me enough with his work in War Machine, so maybe a change of writers could help the character.
Back-Up Story by Brian Reed
Back-Up Art by Mike McKone
Brian Michael Bendis, writer of New Avengers, and Brian Reed, writer of Ms. Marvel, have a long history of collaborating together, in titles like New Avengers: Illuminati, Spider-Woman: Origin, and the Ultimate Spider-Man video game, so it seems like a perfect marriage between the two on a New Avengers and Ms Marvel back-up.
As for the creative team, Brian Reed should indeed continue writing Ms. Marvel, after all the hard work he has put into the character. Mike McKone drew part of the recent issue of Ms. Marvel where Carol went on a date with Spider-Man. I don't believe McKone is very busy right now, he has done recent issues of Amazing Spider-Man, but I don't think he has been announced for any future projects.
Back-Up Story by Duane Swierczynski
Back-Up Art by David Aja
Sure, wishing that David Aja came back to Iron Fist would probably be a dream to many, many readers, as he helped define the look of the character for the new century. As for Duane Swierczynski, he had the thankless task of following Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker on the title, but he actually did a pretty good job and I hope he keeps writing the character, and if he had Aja on tow, it would be a winning combination.
Back-Up Story by Kathryn Immonen
Back-Up Art by Sara Pichelli
The X-Men have always featured an aspect of teenage angst into their plots, so combining the Runaways into the title, which is all about teenage angst, would be a very good fit. Additionally, Kathryn Immonen, who was the last writer to handle the Runaways, is going to write an upcoming mini series featuring one of the recurring characters from Uncanny X-Men: the teenage Pixie.
And why change a winning combination, right? I thought that the Immonen/Picheli team did a great job on Runaways, and I do sincerely hope that they continue working together in the future.
Back-Up Story by Kieron Gillen
Back-Up Art by Manuel Garia
Of course, as I mentioned above, Incredible Hercules currently features another back-up, Agents of Atlas, so Thor is the next logical step. The gap is not as big as it sounds, as the god pantheons of the Marvel Universe have become particularly close during the last few years. It also helps that Kieron Gillen is currently writing both the Thor title and the Ares mini series I mentioned above. Also worth mentioning is that Thor used to be a $3.99 title until JMS left the title and the price was brought back down to $2.99.
The creative team for the back-up is the same one as the current mini series, because they have really been knocking it out of the part. Much like Detective Comics, this one would feature both the back-up and the main story written by the same person.
Back-Up Story by Fabian Nicienza
Back-Up Art by Mark Brooks
Furthermore, Deadpool has been interacting with the X-Men and X-Force quite a bit, two teams that Cable also has a long history of involvement with. The two characters have been tied to each other from their conception and they even shared a title for more than four years, Cable & Deadpool. Putting them back together seems like a perfect solution.
Alright, so I doubt Fabian Nicienza is going to be leaving his DC exclusive contract just to write a Cable back-up, but I would love to have him come back to the character. I think he wrote the most compelling and likable version of the character to date. Mark Brooks also worked with him during the early days of Cable & Deadpool, a series I absolutely love, and I don't think he is very busy these days, considering Dark Reign: Young Avengers has already wrapped up and he hasn't been announced for any other project.
Back-Up Story by Fred Van Lente
Back-Up Art by Emma Rios
Both characters have a long history together, as they both belonged to the original New Warriors. It may not increase readership by a lot, as I don't think Darkhawk has many fans out there that are not already reading Nova, but it would help by adding and expanding to the very rich tapestry of the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have been weaving in the last couple of years.
This is the oddest creative team choice of the bunch, I will admit as much, but there's logic behind it. Just the other day, during FVL Day, Fred Van Lente was saying that he would love to collaborate and write in the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe, so maybe he would be up for this. As for Emma Rios, who is currently illustrating the Strange mini series, I still stand by what I said in my Wednesday Comics Marvel Edition, that she would be a great artist to work on the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
Back-Up Story by Jason Aaron
Back-Up Art by Dalabor Talajic
Since he didn't turn into the next Sorcerer Supreme like I wanted, it's about time someone did something with him. Jason Aaron teased me with his appearance, during Wolverine: Manifest Destiny, and since he has such a great handle on Wolverine, I would be very interested to see what he does with the fuzzy elf. Both characters have shared a close friendship since the early years of the All-New, All-Different X-Men era and they often work as partners.
Aaron writing the back-up is a no-brainer, but the artist has had (to my knowledge) very previous published work in Marvel. Dalabor Talajic really impressed me with his work in Deadpool 900, and I'm hoping Marvel will put him in a new assignment soon.
Back-Up Story by Charlie Huston
Back-Up Art by Chris Bachalo
The Thunderbolts, on the other hand, are Marvel's longest running villains-pretending to be heroes team. Sure, it may be better sales-wise to put him in the Dark Avengers comic, but who knows how long that's going to last now that Dark Reign is coming to an end?
Anyway, thematically, it is a very good choice to have them share a title, although Fantomex is more closely tied to the X-Men books, it may lead to some crossover readers, which the Thunderbolt title needs anyway.
Charlie Huston has experience writing white-wearing mysterious character, as he was the writer of Moon Knight for quite some time. And Chris Bachalo collaborated with Grant Morrison on the New X-Men storyline "Assault on Weapon Plus", which featured Fantomex heavily and revealed much of his background.
Back-Up Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Back-Up Art by Takeshi Miyazawa
Expanding the title so it can have a back-up feature that centers more on the adventures of Iceman and Human Torch when they are "off-screen" from the main chapter of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man would be a good back-up for this title. Bendis is apparently a big fan of the old TV series, as this is not the first time he has written a story of this kind (previously, it had been with the Ultimate version of Firestar and Iceman). Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is also a title that is currently at $3.99, adding a back-up feature would probably convince more people to read this title since it's seen significant drop-off in readership since Ultimatum.
It would make sense for Bendis to also write the back-up, so that is an easy choice. David Lafuente is still the ongoing artist of the series, although Takeshi Miyazawa is taking over him for a two-part series in the future, but this way they could both continue to provide artwork for the series.
Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it and coming up with the ideas. I feel I must apologize for those two last mock-up covers though, it was a last minute idea that I didn't consider when first writing it. If I had known I was going to do them, I would have picked back-ups with already established logos. Instead you have to look at the reason why I am never going to be a letterer.
Obviously I wouldn't want ALL of these possible back-up ideas to come through, because that would mean that my comic budget would go up by a lot, but I certainly wouldn't be opposed to some of these happening. Which ideas did you like the most? Which ones did you hate? Which ones would you choose instead? Let me know in the comments section!