Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Marvel 52-Title Relaunch - pt. 1

It seemed like a natural companion to my previous project for the blog. If I could develop a more grandiose restart for DC comics that would celebrate the richness of their history better than they recently had, I wondered, could I do the same for Marvel Comics?

Marvel Comics. A 42-page adventure anthology featuring three 14-page serials set in 1939 and starring the Sub-Mariner, the Angel, and Ka-Zar. The Sub-Mariner is young Prince Namor, an angry young half-merman taking out his issues on a world that is new to him, getting embroiled in world politics, falling for policewoman Betty Dean, and ignoring his loving cousin Dorma. The Angel is a world-traveling man of mystery, master of disguise, with great strength and agility, plus a glider cape. Ka-Zar is a Tarzan-like character in Africa.
Captain America Comics. A 42-page adventure anthology featuring Captain America with three 14-page ongoing serials starting in different times, 1941, 1945, and 1949. The first will feature Bucky as his 12-year old sidekick. The second will start immediately after Bucky’s death. The third will feature Golden Girl (Betsy Ross, who will also be an FBI agent helping Cap in the two earlier serials) who is now Cap’s fiance and partner in adventure. Contrary to previous retcons, these are all Steve Rogers.
Terry-Toons Comics. A 38-page comedy anthology featuring a rotating cast of anthropomorphic animal characters like Gandy Goose, Oscar Pig, Frenchy Rabbit, and Andy Wolf, in a world kind of like our 1943. There will always be four features, the first two being 10 pagers and the second two being 9 pagers.
Human Torch. A 42-page adventure anthology featuring two 14-page installments of the Human Torch and one 14-page installment of the Sub-Mariner. The first Human Torch story will feature him in 1944, the synthetic human still struggling to find his place in human society, but with the help of an 8-year old boy he calls Toro (a mutant who’s immune to fire). The second serial will pick up with the Torch in 1949, now posing as a human, living as a police officer by day, and striking as a vigilante at night. Toro will be 13 now and be able to generate intense heat and start fires. The Torch’s love interest, secretary, and companion calls herself Sun Girl. The Sub-Mariner back-up will follow Prince Namor’s adventures in 1949, bored with life in Atlantis and touring the world with his cousin and love interest Namora as they have adventures together.
Comedy Classics. A 34-page comedy/adventure anthology featuring three stories about Super Rabbit in a world of anthropomorphic animals similar to our 1944, with the superheroics played semi-serious. The first story will always be 12 pages, with two lighter 11 page stories following.
Gay Comics. A 26-page comedy/romance anthology featuring two 13-page independent stories set in 1945. The stories may or may not suggest homosexuality (50/50), while keeping the stories light and PG.
Krazy Komics. A 34-page comedy anthology featuring a rotating cast of anthropomorphic animal characters in a world like our 1946. There will always be four features, two of them 9-pagers and two of them 8-pagers.
Patsy Walker. A 26-page comedy/romance anthology featuring two serials set in 1946 and featuring 18-year old Patsy Walker and her boyfriend Bill Baxter. The main, 14-page feature stars Patsy and Bill, fresh out of high school, looking for work, and choosing a college, while the back-up 12-page focuses on her jealous friend/rival for Bill Hedy Wolfe.
Margie Comics. A 34-page comedy/romance anthology featuring three stories set in 1950 about 19-year old Margie going to college, pursuing boys, getting into hi-jinks, but also finding a life for herself. The lead story will always be 12 pages while the two back-up stories about her will be 11-pagers.
Cindy Comics. A 34-page comedy/romance anthology almost identical to Margie Comics, save that Margie is strictly middle class and Cindy is from a richer family and so is able to do more globe-trotting while she discovers herself.
Captain America’s Weird Tales. A 26-page horror anthology set in 1950 with two 13-page stories. A semi-retired Captain America either introduces or is peripherally involved in each weird tale of the supernatural, or seemingly about the supernatural (about 50/50).
Love Tales. A 26-page romance anthology set in 1950 with different characters each month. The lead story will be 17 pages with a lighter 9-page back-up.
Marvel Tales. A 26-page fantasy/science fiction/horror anthology set chiefly in 1951 with different characters each month. Both features will be 13 pages.
Lovers. A 26-page romance anthology featuring two 13-page, unrelated stories each month with different characters, each set in 1952 and PG-rated.
Miss America, Starring Patsy. A 26-page domestic comedy/light-adventure anthology, featuring 25-year old Patsy Baxter, army wife to Bill Baxter in 1953, who’s I Love Lucy-like schemes tend to get them both into hi-jinks or trouble.
Tales of Justice. A 26-page true crime (well, mostly true) anthology, featuring two unrelated 13-page stories each month set chiefly in 1955 and focusing on the good guys in law enforcement (sort of a cross between Dragnet and Law & Order).
Kid Colt, Outlaw. A 26-page cowboy adventure anthology set in 1879 and featuring Kid Colt in two 13-page serial adventures. Kid Colt rides around, doing good deeds and trying to vindicate himself being accused of murder by being a gunslinger who never kills.
Marvel Mystery Comics. A 42-page adventure anthology set in 1957 featuring three 14-page installments of the Human Torch, Terry Vance, and Electro. The Human Torch is fully integrated into human society by now, living as a police detective and openly using his fire power to help fight crime. Toro, who’s now 21, can do everything the Torch can but fly and is a hero in his own right (but will sometimes still team up with his old partner). The Torch and Sun Girl will be engaged. Terry Vance is a 17-year old genius inventor and private detective with a pet monkey named Watson. Electro is a powerful robot that is partly self-aware, but the rest of the time controlled by his creator, the Secret Operative, Professor Philo Zogolowski.
Strange Tales. A 26-page lite-horror anthology set chiefly in 1958 with three unrelated stories each issue, the first two being 9-pagers and the last being 8 pages. The PG stories are more weird than horrific, though with a strong supernatural focus.
Battle. A 26-page adventure/war anthology set chiefly in 1959, dealing with conflicts spanning the globe in two 13-page unrelated stories each month.
Patsy and Hedy. A 26-page comedy/romance anthology, serializing the 1960 goings-on of Pasty Baxter, now age 32, with one child in school and a baby at home. The main, 14-page serial is always about Patsy and her old, single friend Hedy who keeps luring Patsy out of the home to see more of life, and the unspoken attraction between them as Bill spends most of his time at work managing the security team for a big company. The 12-page back-up focuses more on the domestic hi-jinks of Patsy trying to keep her kids, her marriage, and her home in working order.
Journey into Mystery. A 26-page science fiction anthology set chiefly in 1961, always with two unrelated 13-page stories per month featuring encounters with bizarre aliens.
Tales to Astonish. A 26-page adventure/romance/science fiction mix set in 1963. The 21-page lead serial always stars Ant-Man, a science-based hero who can shrink himself to 18” tall or grow to 7’ tall and control ants, and his partner and love interest, the Wasp, who can also shrink and grow wings. They will battle foes like the Living Eraser and the Human Top. In the 5-page back-up feature, Wasp will narrate a short tale of science fiction.
Tales of Suspense. A 26-page adventure/science fiction/romance mix set in 1968. The 21-page lead serial always stars Iron Man, a wealthy industrialist in a 7’ suit of armor that lets him lift 10 tons. The criminal underworld, including super-science outfits like AIM, will throw robots and hi-tech villains like Whiplash at him while inside the suit, while outside the suit he woos business rival Janice Cord. The 5-page backup feature will be a random, unrelated short tale of science fiction or weird fantasy each month.
Rawhide Kid. A 26-page cowboy adventure anthology set in 1880. Identical set-up to Kid Colt, Outlaw.