Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spider-Man '67

Another fanfiction project I would write, if I had the time, is a mash-up of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book with the Spider-Man cartoon show that aired at the same time.  This is a synopsis of what it would be like.

Spider-Man '67 #1 "The Win of Dr. Octopus"

Spider-Man tracks down Doc Ock, mad that his last fight with Doc put Betty Brant in the hospital.  Spider-Man arrives too late at a Stark Industries lab, where Doc had stolen a "nullifier" device, but with Tony Stark's help, they Tony and Spider-Man build a tracker that can pick up the energy signature of the nullifier.  Spider-Man uses it to find Doc in his mountain cave lair in the Adirondacks.  When Doc uses the nullifier, it knocks them both out, but Spider-Man recovers first and ties up Doc.  However, Spider-Man has amnesia and remembers nothing past the last 20 minutes! 

Spider-Man '67 #2 "Disasters of Crime"

Spider-Man remembers coming from NYC, so he has returned there, but still doesn't remember who he is or where he lives. But the Sandman has spotted him and, sensing Spider-Man's confusion, decides to take advantage of it. The Sandman follows Spider-Man around, committing thefts everywhere Spider-Man has stopped. Eventually, Spider-Man reads of this and wonders if he's actually a criminal and doesn't remember each theft.  He gets lucky, though, and catches the Sandman at his next crime and, though he doesn't remember how to defeat the Sandman, manages to chase him away.

Spider-Man '67 #3 "The Coming of Dr. Magneto"

Spider-Man remembers Betty Brant in the hospital and visits her, out of costume. Betty, awake now, tells Peter his name and he starts to put things back together.  However, elsewhere in the city, a mad scientist has managed to scientifically recreate Magneto's powers and calls himself Dr. Magneto.  On his first crime spree, he runs afoul of Ka-Zar, but Spider-Man also appears and helps take down the criminal.  But Spider-Man is injured in the fight and Ka-Zar has to save him.

Spider-Man '67 #4 "Blueprint for Killing Spider-Man"

Spider-Man recovers in the hospital, fully recovered in mind and body.  Ka-Zar had hired a private doctor under strict orders not to leave any record at the hospital of Spider-Man's true identity.  Meanwhile, Spencer Smythe hires the Enforcers to steal a missile blueprint for him, seeing it as the final weapon he needs for his new Spider-Slayer's built-in arsenal.  Spider-Man witnesses the Enforcers fleeing on his first swing around town since recovering, follows them back to Spenser's home, and battles a mostly-completed Spider-Slayer robot. Spider-Man uses the robot to defeat the Enforcers by getting them between him and the robot, but Smythe escapes while leaving the robot on autopilot to distract Spider-Man.

Spider-Man '67 #5 "The Sting at the Gloom Room A-Go-Go"

Mary Jane gets a job as a go-go dancer at the Gloom Room A-Go-Go.  The Scorpion is also holed up there, while in hiding.  He has a serum he stole from his creator, Dr. Stillwell, that will increase his powers. When Mary Jane finds him, and Peter is there with his friend Harry and girlfriend Gwen, Spider-Man soon appears.  The Scorpion's serum makes him 7 1/2' tall and even stronger, but the growth is painful and distracts him enough to give Spider-Man an edge.  The serum winds up being temporary, leaving Scorpion too spent from the experience to avoid capture.

The Gloom Room A-Go-Go is, of course, a front for the Kingpin.  But the publicity from the Spider-Man/Scorpion fight would bring too much attention to his plans for the place, so the Kingpin abandons that scheme.

Spider-Man '67 #6 "Sub-Zero Victory”

The Kingpin decides on a slightly different scheme, abducting Capt. George Stacy and using a brainwashing machine on him.  Peter sees something is wrong with Stacy and follows him to police HQ, where Stacy steals important documents. Peter wants to follow and find out where Stacy goes with them, but a police report of a giant alien ice monster causes Peter to change priorities and just put a Spider-tracer on Stacy for now.  Spider-Man arrives in Central Park to fight the alien, only to have the Human Torch show up as well and they quickly subdue the alien, and return it to the FF for further study.

Spider-Man ’67 #7 “What a Tangled Web We Crawl…”

Stacy’s brainwashing has worn off, he tells Gwen what he remembers, and Gwen tells Peter.  With Peter’s help, Capt. Stacy finds out that the papers he stole were about Dr. Curt Conners.  Meanwhile, the Kingpin confronts an abducted Dr. Conners and reveals that he has the papers – letters Conners had left with the NY police in case he should ever turn into the Lizard again while working here.  The Kingpin plans to extort the Lizard formula out of Conners with the papers.  While giving Conners time to think it over, the Kingpin sends hitmen after the Stacy’s and Peter Parker, who all know too much.  The hitmen catch up to the Stacy’s at the airport, trying to leave town, but Spider-Man confronts them, roughs them up, and finds out where the Kingpin sent them from.  But, before Spider-Man can get there, the stress has made Conners revert to the Lizard and he wrecks the place.  The Kingpin flees and so does the Lizard, but he reverts back to Conners before he can do more harm.

Spider-Man ’67 #8 “Make Way for Electro”

Electro seems to have gone straight, working in a publicity campaign for a big company.  However, Electro is just using the job to get into position for a daring robbery.  He is interrupted by Medusa of the Royal Family of the Inhumans, in New York on a “goodwill tour”.  Electro is about to win the fight when he sees Spider-Man swing by and flees.  When Spider-Man arrives, drawn by a burglar alarm Electro just set off, he only sees Medusa and mistakes her for a thief.  They tussle before Spider-Man learns the truth and they go after Electro together to defeat him.

Spider-Man ’67 #9 “Wings in the Night”

Blackie Drago, the second Vulture, escapes from prison, but thinks he is being haunted by the original Vulture’s ghost.  One night soon thereafter, Peter and Gwen are out on a hot date, when the Vulture flies by, thinking he’s fleeing from the Vulture’s ghost.  Peter leaves, but promises to explain his secret very soon to Gwen.  As Spider-Man, he tracks down the Vulture and, together, they learn that Mysterio is behind this, trying to make Blackie think he’s crazy to give up the Vulture costume, so Mysterio can sell the designs for it.  Spider-Man manages to beat Mysterio, but the Vulture flees.

Spider-Man ’67 #10 “The Vulture in the Sky”

Spider-Man goes after the Vulture, who next steals a device that allows him to control birds.  He assembles a flock of vultures and uses them in his next run-in with Spider-Man.  Despite the slight upgrade, Spider-Man manages to best the Vulture again and return him to jail.  As Peter, he goes back to Gwen and tells her his secret – that he’s Spider-Man.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Restarting Timely Comics as a Marvel Imprint

That Marvel Comics is broken cannot be argued. Awful hack writers, ugly art, and horrible rewrites of every character have doomed a once proud stable of characters. The only solution lies in looking backwards. Marvel could dump 10, 20, even 30 years of awful continuity and start over from an earlier point when they were still getting it right.

But I’m proposing something bolder – going back 71 years. In 1943, Timely Comics – the forerunner of Marvel -- was just a small company with a small, but successful output.  This new version of Timely would stay small too.  Relaunching Timely Comics as an imprint of Marvel would allow for a restart and would keep the current mess for those who like messes.

The tone for all the stories is light – violence is like a PG-rated film, sex is limited to kissing with no extreme cheesecake, and stories are meant to be fun and entertaining.  When real issues, like WWII, poverty, or corruption are dealt with, they are handled artfully and tastefully to be as inoffensive as possible. Politically, stories will take a pro-U.S. government stance.  Death is a sobering event, remorse by all heroes, and limited to no more than one death per story. 

I propose 12 titles – 4 solo titles -- Angel Comics, Captain America Comics, Human Torch Comics, Sub-Mariner Comics – and 8 anthology titles – Marvel Mystery Comics, Daring Mystery Comics, Mystic Comics, All-Winners Comics, Young Allies Comics, USA Comics, All-Select Comics, and Comedy Comics. 

All-Select Comics.  An anthology featuring 3 15-page stories of Miss America, Miss Fury, Blue Diamond, and a 9-page Tuk, Caveboy adventure, but with the promise of rotating out characters from other titles, or otherwise unused characters from Timely’s past, based on annual readers’ polls.  The Miss America stories will feature 3 pages of reprinted material, with 12 pages of new material branching out from them.  The Miss Fury stories will feature 7 pages of material from the original comic strip, with 8 pages of new comic book pages taking the stories in different directions. Blue Diamond and Tuk features will be all-new.  Miss America is essentially a half-powered Captain Marvel, able to lift 50 tons.  Blue Diamond has bulletproof skin and can lift 3 tons.

All-Winners Comics. 4 13-page stories featuring the solo heroes, Angel, Captain America, Human Torch, and Sub-Mariner.  Stories may tie into each other and the four heroes may meet in them, but they do not team-up.

Angel Comics.  3 15-page stories starring the Angel and 1 9-page back-up story, usually focused on his supporting cast.  The Angel is strong (lifts 600 lbs.) and a superb athlete and jumper, but not superhuman. His colors are darker (other than the bright red cape) and he adds a domino mask and gloves. He knows some magic and can cast simple charm spells and also wears a magic cape that lets him fly.  His supporting cast is bad girl Lil Lang and good girl FBI special agent Jane Framan.  One story each month takes off from four pages of reprinted material.  In 1942, the Angel will be recruited by the Secret Service. 

Captain America Comics. 3 15-page stories starring Cap and Bucky, and a 1 9-page back-up story of Cap and Bucky out of costume, on Army duty, or Bucky solo. Cap is twice as strong as in modern comics, but not the ‘ultimate fighter’ of modern comics either. Bucky is 13 years old. Supporting cast also includes FBI special agent Betty Ross, Sgt. Mike Duffy, Henry Baldwin (engineer/inventor?), Hawkshaw Brogan (actor- turns soldier?), President Roosevelt, and Tom Peters (fellow soldier).  The stories themselves are a mix of reprint with fresh material. For example, Captain America Comics #1 (new series) would lead off with the first story from Captain America Comics #32, featuring a Golden Age version of the Mole Man, but retaining 6 pages of the original 13-page story with 9 new pages that would take the story in a fresh direction.

Comedy Comics.  A funny animal anthology book, leading with 2 13-page stories featuring Super-Rabbit (superhero/funny animal mash-up), and 3 8-page one-shot stories involving funny animals, plus 1 4-page joke filler.

Daring Mystery Comics.  3 15-page stories featuring the Masked Raider (cowboy genre); amalgamated/new character Dakor Barton, the Invisible Super-Mind (half-robot, half-man, telepathic and super-smart); and Hurricane (the god Mercury as a modern day superhero). A 9-page back-up features the Thunderer, an engineer who designs a costume that amplifies his voice to deafen/disorient selected individuals around him.

Human Torch Comics.  3 15-page stories featuring the Human Torch and Toro, plus 1 9-page back-up story usually focused on Toro solo.  The Human Torch is not yet accepted as equal to a human, and is treated with fear and mistrust wherever he shows his powers. Only Toro, Mr. Harris (a businessman), and Johnson (ex-con, ex-race car driver/the Torch’s chauffeur character) trust and protect the Torch. At least one story a month would be built off of an already-told story, using the first 5 pages of a 12 page story and then adding 10 new pages of different material. 

Marvel Mystery Comics.  3 15-page stories featuring Ka-Zar, Laughing Tiger (amalgamated/new character who wears a tiger costume, laughs when he attacks because he’s slightly off his rocker, and rights wrongs he discovers about as a reporter – also a crack pilot and ex-safari hunter), and Dynamic Man (an android who can lift 6 tons).  A 9-page back-up features the Human Top, an extra light-hearted superhero serial about a guy who can spin real fast.

Mystic Comics.  A slightly more mature anthology with scary visuals, darker themes, the supernatural, up to two deaths per story, and occasional bras showing.  The lead feature is a 15-page serial about the Black Widow (the Golden Age version, woman who is sent back to Earth by the Devil as a supernatural bounty hunter – like the TV show Reaper, but less funny).  Other 15-page features include Dave Blaze and Flexo the Devil (amalgamated/new characters about an amateur conjurer/daredevil who summons a minor devil able to stretch and very resistant to injury), and Blazing Skull (Assistant D.A. who is changed by skull-men to be immune to fire, can start and manipulate fires with his mind, and can lift 1.5 tons). The 9-page back-up feature is about the Black Marvel (Indian who uses his intense physical training to become a superhero).

Sub-Mariner Comics.  3 15-page stories featuring Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner as he explores the world of man, sometimes with his doting cousin Dorma, and usually in the company of his guide and main crush, NY policewoman and tough girl Betty Dean.  Namor is no longer hostile to the surface world by 1943, but he views most of it negatively. Namor doesn't always run around in trunks.  Sometimes he wears surface world clothes and other times he wears his princely ceremonial outfit (complete with cape), but it all depends on Namor's mercurial mood.  Namor is the most powerful being in the world, able to lift 96 tons, which makes him frightening even to the other superheroes. Supporting cast includes now-deposed Emperor Tha-Korr (an isolationist and a bit of a racist who favors the more catfish-like mermen over the more human-looking mermen, still allowed to serve as a figurehead on the Council of Three), Princess Fen (Namor's mother, a real surface world-hater who was briefly allied with the Nazis, and the other member of the Council of Three with Namor and Tha-Korr), Luther Robinson (soldier of fortune and Namor's ally/adversary depending on who's paying him) and Luther's fiancee Lynn Harris (another of Namor's crushes, because Namor is a cad).  Namor's undersea kingdom is Aquaria -- not called Atlantis.  Aquaria is found between Argentina and Antarctica and has 1957-era technology, including nuclear power.  The 9-page backup feature focuses on Dorma, Betty Dean, or Luther.   

USA Comics.  3 15-page stories featuring Electro (the robot “Marvel of the Age”), the Vision (Aarkus, a Martian Manhunter-like character who journeys to our world through smoke), and American Mask (amalgamated/new character who wears a flag mask over a suit while fighting crime and solving mysteries. He works as a reporter by day, but even that is an assumed identity, for he’s really a rich prince from another country. His focus is on detection and mystery).  The 9-page back-up feature is about the Fin, a Navy lieutenant who discovers he’s a mutant (without using that term), can lift 5 tons, survive under enormous pressure, and quickly finds a magic sword.

Young Allies Comics.  Not the Young Allies comic you know, per se.  The first two 15-page stories are indeed about Bucky and Toro teamed up, and may or may not feature less offensive stereotypes of their friends from Young Allies.  These stories may or may not stand alone or continue.  But the third 15-page feature is about Terry Vance, schoolboy sleuth (with a mystery focus, as opposed to the adventure focus of Bucky and Toro).  The 9-page back-up feature stars Young Marvel (a museum mummy turns out to be an alien who abducts Martin Burns, takes him to Jupiter for 4 years, and returns the now-12 year old boy to Earth with the ability to lift 2 tons and with bracers that generate bright flashes of light when touched together). 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Heroes of a Golden Age DC 52 - pt. 3

Just a remainder of heroes remain unexamined in this last installment of a look back at the DC Comics character of 1943 and what could have been done with them to boost their success.

Shining Knight. Always seeming more like a fantasy strip poorly married to the superhero genre, the Shining Knight needs more grounding.  If you're going to keep the winged horse, then the Shining Knight needs a less gaudy outfit -- realistic armor instead of gold chain (the "shining" quality could be from his sword and/or shield) -- a day job (something in the government, like the Training within Industry service, teaching chivalry to common Joes), and a supporting cast of regular people. Even more than Captain America, Shining Knight could really play up the "fish out of water" angle, having to constantly find new ways to adjust his 6th century thinking to the 20th century.

Star-Spangled Kid.  Sylvester needs some of the retconning he would later get, like actual powers instead of just being an athletic kid.  I'd, first, specify that he's 14, so he's more of a young man than a kid. Then I'd have a weaker prototype of Starman's gravity rod wind up in Sylvester's hands, like Roy Thomas would later do with the character. Make his "sidekick" Stripsey a smarter inventor, like was done in the Stars and STRIPE series of the '90s, and have him build an exoskeleton that doubles his normal strength (just not as powerful as the armor the later series would give him).  Like the rest of the Soldiers of Victory, give them government jobs -- in their cases, honorary positions in the Office of Civilian Defense.

Starman. James Robinson showed Starman had, er, star power in the 1990s and much of that could be reapplied to the original Starman. Keep Robinson's innovations of a well-developed cityscape to base his adventures in, a rogues gallery that interacts with him differently than just wanting to fight all the time, the interesting hobby of collecting, and a strong supporting cast -- but without all of Robinson's dark cynicism. Since the original Starman would not have previous incarnations to interact with, play up the scientist angle and give him a group of scientists to hang out with. Maybe he's still a genius, but he didn't invent the gravity rod all on his lonesome. He could also use a love interest.

Three Aces.  From what I gather, this strip was not canceled for lack of quality, but because its creator unfortunately died while serving in WWII.  The story of the American Volunteer Group, pilots "unofficially" aiding China against Japan during the War, is a story modern audiences could use reminding of. "Whistler" Will Saunders, "Gunner" Bill, and "Fog" Fortune could use a dash of humor, some recurring villains, and maybe some of their supporting cast and villains could use magic to make up for the lack of superpowers in this strip. It could be an all-grownups version of Terry and the Pirates.

Vigilante.The modern day cowboy should always have been cool enough to carry his own title. I would only change his sidekick Stuff's name to something less offensive, like maybe Song. Make Song an equal partner (and specify that he's 20 years old). Then I'd soup up his rogues gallery, give Vigilante a love interest, and a job in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help give him focus.

Whip.  This one required an awful lot of thought. Substituting a whip for a sword doesn't make this any less of a Zorro clone and taking just a few elements away from the character barely conceals that. I think this is one character that is better served by a complete do-over. Keep the name, location (LA), and the weapon of choice, but make him a soldier of fortune/weapons master who has killed and is looking to redeem himself by acts of good.

Wildcat.  One of those golden age heroes who seems more popular now than he ever was back in the day.  I think what Wildcat was missing back then was more time out of uniform. In the '90s he was shown to be a personable and chummy guy. He should have a larger supporting cast to pal around with when not in costume.

Zatara. Get the man out of the tuxedo. He can wear fine suits, but he needs to look less like a Mandrake clone. His magic needs to be less than all-powerful, too.  We need to see Zatara in danger. International intrigue would be nice. He has a recurring villainess, the Tigress, and that could be spiced up with more tension.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Heroes of a Golden Age DC 52 - pt. 2

Crimson Avenger. Keep the red trench coat, fedora, and mask look, but over a tight-fitting bodysuit. Keep the retcon idea of him using a gun that shoots a red smokescreen instead of the gas gun.  Upgrade the Kato-like Wing to Crimson’s partner, wearing a similar costume, but a shorter coat and no hat, and call him Redwing.  Make it a buddy story, like the Green Hornet movie, but taking itself about 20% more seriously. Although still based in New York City, as a member of the Soldiers of Victory he goes wherever the government asks him to.

Dr. Fate.  Reveal that the whole half-masked crimefighter version of Dr. Fate was made-up so he could take his relationship with Inza to the next level, by realizing that he’s been negligent in being the world’s supernatural protector and there’s lots of cosmic badness descending on Earth, attracted by all the evil of WWII.  To make up for lost time, Dr. Fate rejects his false identity of Kent Nelson and returns to being a magical construct the Elder Gods created 400 years ago, who is now ready to take those same gods down.  It’s going to be like Terminator 2, with Dr. Fate as the Terminator, Inza as Sarah Conner, and instead of a shape-shifting Terminator, the ‘Elder Gods’ of Dunsany and Lovecraft.

Dr. Mid-Nite.  Dr. Mid-Nite moves to Hawaii, where he fights Japanese agents. The pet owl stays at home. Play up the doctor angle (like was done with Dr. Mid-Nite II in the modern JSA), using medical knowledge to find weaknesses in his foes, or to save his injured foes after kicking their butts.  As an active JSA member, expect lots of guest-appearances.

Gay Ghost. Play up the relationship between the possessed Charles Collins and his fiancée. Charles feels violated and emasculated by being possessed by another man, while the spirit of Keith Everet is pure ego and neglectful of Charles’ feelings. They’re an odd couple who will have to learn to live together. Eventually, before Charles and Deborah Wallace can get married, she’ll have to learn about Charles’ secret and learn to deal with it.

Ghost Patrol.  Fred, Pedro, and Slim are the ghosts of three French Foreign Legionnaires, each possessing their original weapons – a rifle, handgun, and knife. Their book is an anthology war book, as the weapons fall into the hands of various soldiers fighting in the closing months of warfare in the European Theater of WWII and the ghosts guide the soldiers wielding their weapons to victory.

Green Arrow.  Downplay the similarities to Batman -- Green Arrow works out of an abandoned hangar, not an “Arrow Cave”, drives a motorcycle instead of an “Arrow Car” and uses an autogyro not called the “Arrow Plane” if he absolutely has to travel by air. Speedy is a 13-year old boy and make him a nephew instead of a ward.  Although still based in Star City, as a member of the Soldiers of Victory he goes wherever the government asks him to. If he was working for the Fair Employment Practices Committee, it might open his eyes to racial inequality that marked the social agenda of his Silver Age version.  

Hawkman.  Play up the reincarnation, remembering ancient Egypt aspect of his origin and ignore the talking to birds and hanging out with birds stuff. But Hawkman is situated in the Philippines (Carter Hall joined Interceptor Coast Command and Hawkgirl is a war nurse by day), allowing for lots of South Seas adventure, as well as fighting the Japanese. As a JSA member, expect crossovers.

Hop Harrigan. A vigilante in the air, Hop Harrigan is assumed dead, but is still around in the European Theater, shooting down enemy planes from an unmarked plane and becoming known as the Guardian Angel.

Johnny Thunder. Johnny is in the Navy, Pacific Theater. Commander Sewell and his superiors know about Johnny’s magic Thunderbolt (genie), so they put up with how Johnny’s a bit of a screw-up (though he does something smart about 1 time in 3).  Johnny gets transferred around a lot as they try to find a niche for him.  And sometimes he gets called away to do JSA business too.

King.  A spy working for the Office of Strategic Services and putting his mastery of disguise to good use. King will never allow his face to be seen, choosing to wear a mask when not in disguise. King is like a 1940s James Bond.

Manhunter.  Keep Kirby's version of Paul Kirk, a big game hunter returned to the states, turned P.I. + vigilante (depending on whether he's getting paid or not).  

Mr. America.  Tex Thompson was a soldier of fortune, but now he’s a soldier infiltrating Germany. He loses his flying carpet, but picks up a pistol that shoots exploding bullets (which he has to use judiciously, as it’s hard to come by exploding bullets). Bob Haney is still his sidekick, but calls himself Bob instead of Fatman.  Mr. America is still Zorro-like, otherwise, posing as a wealthy landholder by day, but attacking Germany instead of defending Mexico.

Mr. Terrific.  Keep the green jacket over the red bodysuit, but ditch the “Fair Play” badge on his chest and change it to each word being written on a pocket on either side of his jacket. Since combatting juvenile delinquency is one of his priorities, he picks up two kid sidekicks, both around 9.  He’s purely an urban crime fighter otherwise.

Newsboy Legion.  Other than letting Big Words figure out that Roy Harper is the Guardian (and protecting his secret from the others), this title could be left largely as-is. The four newsies should be established as being 10 years old.  Being a “legion”, they should probably pick up at least one new member – but NOT Flippa Dippa.

Penniless Palmer.  A vain, short man with big wavy brown hair, Palmer is a P.I., but a literally poor one.  He lives in the office he can barely keep open, doesn’t have a gun because he always has to sell it for food when he does have one, gets around on foot a lot because he can’t afford the bus let alone a car, and often takes dangerous cases but fails to get paid.

Red, White, and Blue.  Red Dugan of Army G2 Intelligence, Whitey Smith (Army), and “Blooey” Blue (Navy) are three experienced combat veterans already in their late 20s who have a series of war-themed adventures that are 2/3 serious and 1/3 comedy.

Sandman.  Keep him in the black and yellow tights, as per Kirby’s redesign.  Bring back Dian Belmont (only shortly presumed dead) and get those two engaged.  Sandy is his 12 year old kid sidekick (and Dian’s nephew).  Maybe bring back the gas gun more, but keep everything else Kirby-riffic.

Scribbly and the Red Tornado.  Scribbly is a 13-year old professional cartoonist now, following the adventures of the Red Tornado and the 12-year old Cyclone Kids.  Scribbly knows Red is really Ma Hunkel and the Kids are her children Huey and Amelia, but conceals their identities to write about a more dashing male superhero Red Tornado.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Heroes of a Golden Age DC 52: Part 1

Last time, I talked about what a Golden Age DC 52 would look like.  This time, I want to talk about what would keep such a comic book line successful. 
The goal would be to make every character as capable of permanently sustaining a comic book title as Batman or Superman, while also revamping them as little as possible.  First, some notes on the heroes who already had their own books.
All-Flash. Keep his iconic costume the same, but maybe adding yellow lightning bolt-themed gauntlets. The adventures would lose the comedy elements that dragged down the Flash in later years and refocus on Flash being a super-detective, like in the early days, while highlighting his strong rogues gallery from the later years. Allow for frequent guest-stars from the JSA, along with their rogues. Keep his girlfriend Joan involved in his stories as a strong partner character and get them engaged. The Flash’s speed would cap off at about 700 MPH, with him not breaking the sound barrier by becoming vibrationally out-of-phase when he hits that speed.
All-Star Comics.  The Justice Society of America needed only consistently stronger stories, and keep them focused on improving the world, socializing amongst each other, overseeing the superhuman community, and occasionally stopping supervillains.  I would restore its membership to Sandman, Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Flash, Green Lantern, and Johnny Thunder. Maybe allow the Atom to rejoin later and break the 8-member rule. Make it clear that Wonder Woman is a full member and not the secretary.
Batman. Keep him as he was in the 1940s, except make him a more formidable combatant again so he doesn’t get knocked out and captured so often. Acknowledge that Robin is 11, not 8, and let him age 1 year per 2 years of real time passing, graduating to long pants when he hits 14.
Boy Commandos.  These kids were really popular during the War, so their continued popularity would seem to hinge on keeping them fighting one. After Europe is settled, they can be shipped off to China to fight the Japanese and then the Communists, giving it a Terry and the Pirates slant, or maybe even off to Russia to fight an early covert war against them. Instead of replacing commandos, I’d expand their numbers slowly, and allow them to slowly age into their teen years. I’d also like to give them a female cook as a supporting cast member, and someone for them to be constantly trying to hook her up with their father figure, Capt. Rip Carter.
Green Lantern. Swap the high collar for a cowl and have the long cape attach to the front of a military-style jacket instead of attached to a cord in front of his throat, over a loose blouse-like shirt. Give him green gloves. Play up the magic angle of his powers more and give him more magic foes. Sideline “Doiby” Dickles more and play up the romantic triangle of Green Lantern, Harlequin, and his long-time fiancé Irene. Like with the Flash, allow for guest appearances by the rest of the JSA and their rogues galleries.
Leading Comics. The Soldiers of Victory need more to distinguish them from the JSA. I would make them federal agents, answerable to the President (more like the All-Star Squadron), while the JSA is a gentleman’s club that sets itself above politics.
Mutt & Jeff.  This title would differentiate from the rest, having only 2 8-page stories of new material, while the rest would be comic strip reprints from the 1940s.
Picture Stories from the Bible.  Granted, there are only so many stories from the Bible to draw. Some “fleshing out” might be required with stories related by giving some historical context, or even non-canonical texts from the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Superman. I would scale back the power inflation on Superman, having him lift/press about 44 tons at the start of 1943 and have it increase gradually over time, capping his lift capacity at around twice that. He’d still be bulletproof, but not invulnerable. He could fly, but with limited maneuverability, and would run faster than he could fly (about 250 MPH and 125 MPH respectively). Lois needs to figure out his identity so she doesn’t look so dense. But otherwise, the Golden Age Superman was solid.
Wonder Woman.  Make it consistent that she does have some superhuman strength (say, lifting 9 tons). Severely tone down the bondage fetish stuff. Cut off the hi-tech level of Paradise Island to 1950s level tech (always about 10 years ahead of the comics).  
And then the heroes who would be upgraded from bit players to carrying their own titles. 
Air Wave. Remove the skating on power lines and focus on the helmet being able to detect, redirect, scramble, listen to, or broadcast into any electrical communications within a 2-mile radius.  The aquamarine bodysuit conceals a light bulletproof vest. Retain the yellow cape as a half-cape, along with a wide V-shaped chest emblem, to keep him looking like a superhero. His supporting cast can be girlfriend Helen (who adopts his parrot Static) and a D.A.’s assistant who’s a real straight arrow and hates vigilantes like Air Wave.  He’ll fight organized crime.
Aquaman. Keep him in the South Seas, fighting the Japanese Navy and pirates like Black Jack (who will have super-strength from a magic gem, maybe half as strong as Aquaman, so he still has to be crafty to win). Let him have some elements of the Silver Age Aquaman – some super-strength (maybe lift 6 tons), empathy with sea animals (they won’t attack him and he can sense what they’re feeling), and some connection with Atlantis (his mother was the baroness of a South Seas outpost, though he hasn’t seen an Atlantean in 7 years).  His supporting cast can be a friendly sea captain and a U.S. Navy sailor.
Atom. Shorten the cape to a half-cape, give him blue tights so he’s not bare-legged and to match the hood and cape. Give him yellow gloves. Keep him a short scrapper, but he really needs a superpower. A recent college grad, he minored in chemistry and was working with some professors on a shrinking formula. It works, though only so far on the Atom, who can shrink to 3’ tall and, with his enhanced density, lift about 1 ton. He needs a purpose too, so he’s joined the U.S. Army and is in the tank division. His adventures are in Europe, where he’s still stationed even as the War winds down, and rights wrongs on the side as the Atom. His supporting cast can be his fellow officers, who learn he is the Atom and receive mysterious orders to allow the Atom to do whatever he wants in costume.
Bart Regan, Spy. Bart wouldn’t need much but to be taken up a notch. He could be a jet-setting, globe-trotting American James Bond before there was James Bond. He would still be in the Secret Service, since this is pre-CIA years, and have two agents under him he could both boss around but also pal around with. He would also be distinguished from James Bond by having a very close relationship with his fiancé, Sally Norris, who is also Secret Service.
Black Pirate. In 1558, privateer Jon Valor is to be hanged for having backed Mary, Queen of Scots. Jon escapes, takes up a new identity to hide as, and then another identity -- that of the Black Pirate -- to seek revenge against those who betrayed him. It would be Count of Monte Cristo mixed with Zorro on the high seas, with Queen Victoria as the big Bad Guy.