Welcome to the twelfth and final installment of Comics Bulletin’s column devoted to DC’s Wednesday Comics series. Obviously, this week’s column is much later than previous columns have been as we were engaged in an actual three-way discussion of the series (rather than the virtual three-way discussion that we cobbled together for our seventh installment).
The bullet ratings for this week do not reflect our opinions of issue #12 of Wednesday Comics. Rather, these are our bullet ratings for the entire 12-issue run of the series.
Charles Webb: I am sad to see the end of DC’s latest weekly experiment. I’m sure a certain part of that is the inertia of having something you like and having it end. None of the works changed my life (although a few were excellent in and of themselves). Still, as such things tend to go, we must eulogize a thing like this when it ends–singing its praises and maybe even casting a few stones.
So, I must say that I will miss having a weekly fix of Paul Pope’s “Strange Adventures” which became odder each week (sorry to deny you readers the pun). In equal measure, I will be glad to never see John Arcudi’s maudlin and ultimately empty take on Superman ever again.
Though it got off to a rocky start, I will be glad to have read Ben Caldwell’s take on Wonder Woman because the creator took the opportunity to improve his work down the line. I will continue to not understand the appeal of Metal Men stories, but I will respect Dan Didio’s right to ape the ones written 30 years ago.
Finally, I will miss the sheer delight of reading Supergirl by Palmotti and Conner–especially given how joyless the DCU can be nowadays.
What about you guys? Any words for the dearly departed?
Jason Sacks: I’m sad to see Wednesday Comics go away, too. It was the reason I got out to my comics shop each week.
I mostly read my comics in trades nowadays, so I usually get out to the shop once a month or so. However, this series captured my imagination right from the start, and it has compelled me to hit the shop each week. In doing so, I’ve had the chance to check out other comics that I’ve enjoyed over these last few weeks.
I wasn’t expecting to love this format as much as I did. The unique format of Wednesday Comics gives me an odd sort of nostalgic thrill each week. I’ve found I love the aesthetic pleasures of unfolding this comic–expectation building as I get my first look at the “Batman” page.
My next ritual after opening the comic is to take a quick glance at each page–alternately groaning at some stories (such as “Superman”and “Metamorpho”) and getting excited over others (“Kamandi” and “Strange Adventures”).
It was also a fun and interesting challenge for the creators to present 12-page stories, one page at a time. I really enjoyed how each creative team took on that challenge because each really took their own approach–from single page chapters representing segments of time (“Batman”) to balls-to-the wall action in each chapter (“Hawkman”) to a stately progression of the story (“Sgt. Rock”).
Thom, of the three of us, you’ve been the most critical of the format and execution of this comic. How would you sum up your opinions of it?
Thom Young: Well, like you, Jason, I love this format. I love the feel of the newsprint in my hands and the sense of nostalgia Wednesday Comics evokes. I love the large pages and the mostly magnificent artwork. On those points alone, Wednesday Comics was a huge success.
However, as I’ve mentioned in my previous comments, I thought the writing on most of the strips did not meet the requirements of the format and didn’t measure up to the work by the illustrators–which is not to say all of the writing was terrible. It wasn’t, but it wasn’t as good as it could and should have been.
I think I’ll miss “Kamandi” the most–both for the story and the artwork. I loved the first eight or nine installments of “Strange Adventures,” but I thought the last few installments missed the mark–perhaps due to Pope taking shortcuts in the story as the conclusion loomed. However, if Paul Pope were to do an Adam Strange series where he had more space and time to fully develop his ideas, I think it would go down as a classic series of comic book science fiction.
The stories I am glad to never have to read ever again are Arcudi’s “Superman” and Eddie Berganza’s “Teen Titans.” With “Superman,” I at least had Lee Bermejo’s illustrations to soothe my frustrations over Arcudi’s misguided story. (As an aside, I’ve wondered whether Lee Bermejo is related to the Spanish comic book artist Luis Bermejo who did work for Warren Publications and DC Comics in the 1970s.)
The “Superman” story was “misguided” primarily because the concept Arcudi wanted to explore could not be achieved satisfactorily in only 12 broadsheet pages–unless they went for the tiny panels and text-heavy approach that Ben Caldwell took in his first half dozen pages on “Wonder Woman.”
Jason Sacks: I don’t know that the intention of Arcudi’s “Superman” needed to be presented in small panels in order for the idea to be expressed effectively. The ideas behind the story could have been presented in a grand fashion that wouldn’t have felt so maddening. Emotions of a character like Superman can and should have an operatic feel, a grandeur and largeness that could really nicely be portrayed on these broadsheet pages.
I think the frustration I felt was due to the ineptitude of Arcudi and the stiffness of Bermejo; if both men had been willing to use “cheats” in their work to convey the emotion of the story in a more intense way, there would have been less pouting in Superman and perhaps more of the look of him figuring out what happened to him.
Thom Young: What I mean is that to believe that Superman might actually have the doubts about his life that he was supposed to have in this story cannot be made believable to anyone familiar with the Superman legend in six broadsheet pages–from the second installment to the seventh–if those pages are limited to six to nine panels each.
There is no way–not even with “cheats”–to make anyone tangentially familiar with the Superman mythos believe that the Man of Steel would suddenly have such personal doubts in a mere 50 panels. It would either feel rushed or it would seem an obvious contrivance that signified a psychic attack by an alien. It’s the problem that I pointed out in “Wednesday Comments” #8:
Arcudi never sold the idea that Superman’s sudden case of doubtfulness was authentic. It always seemed that it was either a case of Arcudi not understanding the character or the alien psychically influencing Superman. Either way, it would have been a case of bad writing on Arcudi’s part. Now we simply know which way the bad writing went.
It’s that Arcudi tried to make the readers believe Superman would have these doubts when he (Arcudi) only had six pages (weeks two through seven) in which to convince us. This story is a prime example of the writer not taking the weekly format and the limited number of pages into consideration. To sell longtime readers that a character with 71 years of history would develop a
uthentic doubts about his life, Arcudi would have needed to write a lengthy novel–not a lengthy graphic novel, but a lengthy novel.
However, he might have been able to convince us in tiny panels filled with tons of text–as Caldwell tried to do in the early installments of “Wonder Woman.” Of course, we have all noted in recent “Wednesday Comments” columns that Caldwell’s strip is the one that improved the most over the course of the 12 weeks in which Wednesday Comics was published.
In the end, I’m still not certain that the strip achieved what Caldwell seemed to have been attempting–a cross-cultural quest in which Princess Diana becomes empowered through the acquisition of Amazonian talismans or magical artifacts that were scattered through various world mythologies that could only be accessed from the collective unconscious that is tapped into during the dream state. It was an ambitious story that really needed a 192-page graphic novel and a story editor who could help Caldwell work out the best narrative technique to achieve his goal.
Still, “Wonder Woman” would definitely win an award for “Most Improved Strip” during the course of Wednesday Comics.
Jason, you’ve had a lot of negative things to say about “Metamorpho” by Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred. While I agree with you that what they attempted in the strip didn’t work–especially the ill-conceived trek across the periodic table of the chemical elements in installments eight and nine–I applaud them for experimenting with the story in this format in which they attempted to bring in some of the “activity strips” that used to run in the weekly Sunday Comics sections decades ago.
Jason Sacks: I’ve honestly felt more angst about my reactions to “Metamorpho” than any other strip in this series. You know I desperately wanted to enjoy this series, and I definitely thought the experiments by Gaiman and Allred were kind of cute. It occurs to me that Gaiman and Allred made an interesting choice by emphasizing the first half of the hero’s name over the second half–it’s much more “meta” than “morpho” in the sense of being transformative.
Thom Young: I’m not sure what you mean by that. Could you explain?
Jason Sacks: I was trying, perhaps too cleverly, to allude to the idea that Gaiman and Allred were seemed more interested in the idea of playing with the format and presentation of a comic page than they were with their story itself. They cared more about the meta of the format than with the transformations that their characters would go through. If that was their intention, I have to grudgingly say that Gaiman and Allred were successful in their intentions, but the series really left me unimpressed.
Really, the biggest reason for my frustration here is the feeling that I had hoped that Gaiman and Allred would be presenting a story as transcendent as Pope’s work on “Strange Adventures.” Instead, they only showed rare flashes of mere mediocrity in their story.
Charles Webb: I should have been an easy mark for “Metamorpho” as well. I have a lot of patience for Gaiman and Allred–two of the creators I encountered during my formative comics reading years through Sandman and Madman respectively.
Increasingly, though–and I’m sorry for what might seem like an extended dig at Gaiman here–I feel like this influential, brilliant, and interesting writer has approached some of his most recent comics work as formal exercises in the elasticity of stories.
His recent “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader,” and Marvel 1602 seemed like a series of artistic muscle flexes with no real emotional core–so, too, does “Metamorpho” seem like a collection of tics and tricks unified and elevated by the stunning art of the Allreds. It has none of the free-flowing, organic feel of the creators’ previous works.
Thom Young: I agree, Gaiman’s recent work in comics has not been his best. I think he’s essentially admitted that he can make far more money with his novels and other non-comics work and that he’s been frustrated with the compensation he’s been offered by DC for recent projects that were discussed but that never advanced past the initial stages due to money.
If I remember correctly, I read that he took the “Metamorpho” job because Allred has asked him to write it. As you implied, I’m sure he’s just cranking out some quick, easy stories with minimal work because that’s all he’s getting paid to do.
Still, I was also hoping for a “transcendent” Metamorpho story. The very nature of the character is ripe for some sort of transcendental experience. However, Gaiman and Allred do attempt a few “experimental” things in the strip, and I’d rather see an experiment that fails miserably (and not everything they tried in “Metamorpho” was a “failure”) than see a conventional story that tries to achieve nothing more than mediocrity.
For instance, while Dan Didio’s writing on “Metal Men” wasn’t horrible, neither was it particularly inspired. If it wasn’t for Garcia Lopez’s illustrations, that strip would have been almost as bad as Arcudi’s “Superman” (almost, but not quite).
Didio took no chances and essentially just had the protagonists hanging around inside a bank while the antagonists came to them–and what a coincident-filled story it was as the bank robber happened to be a former colleague of Will Magnus, the creator of the Metal Men. What’s more, Magnus’s bank-robbing former colleague just happened to be the creator of Chemo, the giant robot (filled with chemicals) who has long been the Metal Men’s version of Superman’s Lex Luthor or Batman’s The Joker.
Jason Sacks: I can’t agree with you more on “Metal Men,” Thom. It’s ironic that the words on the last page are “After all, how can you improve on perfection?” when perfection was one of the last words anyone would use for that strip.
Thom Young: It wasn’t imperfect either, though. It was just a competent but bland story illustrated by a man who deserves better material. Another strip that didn’t take any risks was “Sgt. Rock” by Joe Kubert and his son Andy. When the 12 pages of the strip are collected together, the story is going to read just fine as a short comic book narrative that tells the type of human interest Sgt. Rock stories that Robert Kanigher used to write for Joe Kubert decades ago. However, the strip worked even less effectively as a weekly narrative than did Didio’s “Metal Men.”
I’ve recently read several of the Sunday installments that Joe Kubert did for his and Robin Moore’s “Tales of the Green Beret” newspaper strip in the mid 1960s. It’s surprising how different the plot and the pacing are between those weekly “Green Beret” Sunday strips and these weekly “Sgt. Rock” strips.
The obvious reason for the differences is that Robin Moore (and Joe Kubert) understood how to pace the Sunday strips back then–which could be read either with or without reading the Monday through Saturday daily strips. In contrast, Andy Kubert seems to have just used the model of Kanigher’s 12-page all-in-one-issue stories for his first attempt at writing.
It would seem Joe didn’t share any of his previous experience in how to plot and pace a weekly strip–that it requires a different approach from that used in scripting short comic book stories. Overall, though, “Sgt. Rock” was a good three-and-a-half-bullet comic book story.
Jason Sacks: This is a case where I really wonder if the static format was a specific storytelling choice (and that’s a question I asked CB staff member Andre Lamar to ask Joe Kubert when he interviews Kubert at the Baltimore Con). Both Kuberts have delivered much more interesting storytelling choices than this in the past; I find it hard to believe that they chose to create such a static story.
Thom Young: Well, again,
I think the story would read just fine in a 1972 issue of Our Army at War. It might even be considered a minor classic for that era with its conclusion that revealed that Rock had met his long-lost uncle. It just wasn’t a story in which the creators seemed to have considered the format in which it would be appearing in 2009. I wouldn’t want to read one of Kanigher’s Sgt. Rock stories from 37 years ago at the rate of one page per week–even if it was illustrated by the legendary Joe Kubert.
I mean, I would read it, but I wouldn’t think that it was the best way to publish an old story from Our Army at War.
After “Superman” and “Teen Titans,” the story I was most disappointed with was Brian Azzarello’s “Batman.” The illustrations provided a great deal of the appropriate atmosphere for a Batman story (though Bruce Wayne looked like street-brawling thug rather than a cultured playboy socialite). However, the story held no surprises whatsoever.
The first installment ended with a murder that the police failed to prevent–largely because Commissioner Gordon refused to bring Batman onto the case until just minutes before the announced time of the murder–which was an odd way to begin the story. I figured we were going to get an intriguing murder that might tie into police corruption (why else wait until the final minutes before asking Batman for help).
Alternatively, we might have been given a story that took place early in Batman’s career before he had gained Gordon’s trust–and so the plot might involve Batman earning Gordon’s respect. Instead, Azarrello gave us a cliché-ridden conventional tale of a beautiful femme fatale who killed her husband and tried to frame others to take the fall.
Within that trite story, we were apparently supposed to believe that Bruce “Batman” Wayne was falling for the beautiful widow (yet another cliché), but I never got a sense of any sexual tension and chemical attraction between the two characters.
Charles Webb: The structure of this “Batman” story was indeed really odd. The opening installment seemed to indicate that its time and format would have bearing on the proceedings. The story actually starts with a ticking clock that goes unresolved and a mystery that really meant nothing.
Stranger (and more disappointing still) was the beginning of what appeared to be a highly sexual interaction between Bruce and a femme (one of the most striking panels being the one where Bruce-as-Batman is almost stalking her, watching through her window, his entire body tensed).
However, as Thom rightly points out the progression is done in an abrupt manner that undercuts what is supposed to be a build-up of sexual tension. As read from end to end, it feels like Batman goes crazy for some woman for a little while with the obvious results of one of the Warner Brother noir cheapies of the 40s.
Thom Young: Yeah, that ticking clock was just a motif on that initial page; it made no appearance after that. It really seemed as if the story was going to be something else entirely with that first installment–such as a series of murders that were to be carried out at designated time (which is actually an old Joker technique going back to Batman #1 in 1940 and in the Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers story in Detective Comics #475-76 in 1977.
Still, despite it being an old Joker modus operandi, I would have enjoyed seeing Azzarello use the idea again here–especially since it’s been 32 years since Englehart did the “time-designated murder” plot. Instead, Azzarello gave us an uninspired story of a femme that never seemed very fatale.
As underwhelmed as I was with “Metal Men” (and a few other strips), I would have to say that “Batman” was the third most disappointing due to the character being one of my all-time favorites and the fact that I think there is so much more potential to tell an interesting Batman story than there is to tell an interesting “Metal Men” story–though I do think that a serious cyberpunk-based Metal Men (possibly with artwork by Lee Bermejo and written by someone like William Gibson or perhaps William Gibson himself) would be an interesting approach to that series that I could go for.
Jason Sacks: Ooh, there’s a tantalizing idea for the next run of Wednesday Comics–and I think you’re getting at a terrific idea for reinventing the Metal Men for the 21st century.
Thom Young: Yeah, I liked that idea when I came up with it–the Metal Men written by William Gibson and illustrated by Lee Bermejo. However, I have something else in mind for a Wednesday Comics feature that could be written by Gibson (if DC could secure his services for a second volume of this weekly series). I’ll include it in my list of ideas for volume two features later in this column.
Jason Sacks: I’m looking forward to that – and a little jealous of your coming up with such a cool idea.
What did you think of “Batman”? That series just felt kind of dull and uninteresting to me. I thought the series wasn’t especially awful. I quite liked Risso’s atmospheric art, which made the story feel stronger than it had any right to be–but then I’m hitting exactly your point above about art trumping writing in this series, aren’t I?
Thom Young: Exactly! For the most part, the writing in Wednesday Comics just didn’t match the quality of the visual elements of the package. As I mentioned earlier, I also liked Risso’s atmospheric illustrations–except for his depictions of Bruce Wayne.
As far as this first volume’s final installments of the current 15 strips, I was disappointed in five of the conclusions:
- “Green Lantern”
- and “Teen Titans”
Of course, I’ve been disappointed with all five of those strips for a few weeks now, so it’s not surprising that I was disappointed in the way they ended, too. Still, those five all had rather anti-climactic conclusions after wrapping up their respective plots in the eleventh installments and then using this final installment to provide banal denouements.
Jason Sacks: I thought the most satisfying conclusion was “Supergirl”, ending with her napping with Krypto and Streaky in her arms. The conclusion to “Strange Adventures” was tantalizing (can we please see more “Adam Strange” by Paul Pope? Please, DC?), while “The Flash” was sweet and it was nice to see “Sgt. Rock” break out of its dull page grid.
What the conclusion of “Superman” really did to me was make me wish Bermejo had drawn more Lois Lane–she seems like an awesome woman!
Charles Webb: I have to disagree with at least one of the items on your “disappointment” list, Thom: “Deadman.”
Maybe it’s because I’ve had so little exposure to the character or because I’m a sucker for mystical tales with Kirby-style demons, but I had a lot of time for this strip. With each installment, it became a little stranger and a little more interesting. Even if the story meandered a bit, I was at no point bored.
Thom Young: Well, I didn’t think the demons looked particular Kirby-esque (especially with Kirby’s Demon looking so great in another Wednesday Comics feature. However, I have been a fan of “Deadman” ever since I read the Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino origin story when it was reprinted in the back of The Brave and the Bold #97 when I was a kid. I subsequently sought out all of the stories from the original Deadman run in Strange Adventures (#205-16), which I bought from a guy in Kansas City in 1977 when he was selling his entire collection.
My biggest complaint is that this story by Dave Bullock doesn’t really use the conventions of the character–his ability to possess the bodies of living people in o
rder to resolve the situation in which he finds himself. Instead, Bullock quickly sends Deadman to Hell (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) and gives him a corporeal body where he falls for a backstabbing femme fatale that was as transparent of a character as the one that Azzarello had Bruce Wayne fall for in “Batman.”
Charles Webb: It really felt like there was a missed opportunity to say something about Deadman experiencing a corporeal “life” however briefly–but it was obscured by all of the hell-based elements.
For the most part, the stories that I enjoyed in the first weeks were the ones that I enjoyed in the last weeks. Likewise, with the exception of Caldwell’s “Wonder Woman” (which, no offense Thom, did a great job in 12 weeks–196 pages would be belaboring the point), the works that failed to generate interest at the beginning continued to meet or fail to reach their low expectations.
Thom Young: No offense taken, Charles, but my point was that for the first six installments or so, Caldwell crammed so much into his pages with tiny panels and tons of text that it would have easily filled 196 regular comic book pages if he had kept up that pace. Of course, near the end he was opening up his pages more and not using the panel- and text-heavy approach that he used in his first few weeks.
Before we sign off, I was wondering what 15 strips both of you would like to see in a second volume of Wednesday Comics. Jason?
Jason Sacks: OK, let me give it a try. My rule was that no creators from the current run of Wednesday Comics could come back for a second run:
- “Superman” by Wayne Boring. The best of the classic Superman comic strip from the ’50s and ’60s
- “Batman” by Steve Ditko. I miss seeing Ditko on modern comics, and the single glimpse of Ditko’s work on Batman in the ’70s Man-Bat series was tantalizing. Yeah, the guy’s lost a few steps, but with a good inker this could be transcendent.
- “Wonder Woman” by George Perez. Arguably the best approach to the charater ever; wouldn’t it be great to see what Perez could do with a broadsheet page?
- “Slam Bradley” by Darwyn Cooke a la Dick Tracy
- “Doom Patrol” by Mike Baron and Steve Rude. The classic Nexus team brings their unique and thoroughly creative approach to the World’s Weirdest Heroes
- “Space Cabbie” by Daniel Torres. The master of retro views of the future takes on an archetypically retro future character
- “JSA” by Chris Giarusso for a bunch of wackiness with a family of fun characters.
- “Hawkman” by Erik Larsen. The master of crazy superhero action takes on the hero who just cannot sit still.
- “Mister Miracle” by Jonathan Hickman and John Cassaday. Hickman is showing in his current Fantastic Four run that he has a great mind for big action. Who better to join him than John Cassaday?
- “House of Mystery” by a rotating set of creators. Yeah, I’m cheating a bit here, but it would be really fun to have a quickie mystery story by a different team each week.
- “Stanley and His Monster” by Michael Kupperman. Kupperman is doing some of the funniest comics these days with his Tales Designed to Thrizzle; it would be great to see him do some narrative – and the story would give the comic a real manic humor that it didn’t have this time.
- “Jonah Hex” by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Jordi Bernet. This team does brilliant work the ongoing Hex comic, which doesn’t sell anything. This comic would provide the creators a chance to get a wider audience for their work, which would fit this format really well.
- “Starman” by Gerry Conway and Peter Snejberg. The blue Starman, Mikaal Tomas, in spacefaring adventures by the writer who created he character 30 years ago and the artist who did such a fantastic job on the Starman comic.
- “The Losers” by Garth Ennis and Jock. Ennis has presented some of the most intense war comics in recent memory, while Jock not only illustrated the recent Losers series, which would be humorous, but he also is an artist whose work would fill the broadside page nicely.
- “Lois Lane” by Gail Simone and Alan Davis. Can we finally get a new take on this classic character from one of the most popular writers working today?
Charles Webb: Fifteen strips I’d like to see in the future? I’m not sure I can pin down that many given some of the interesting choices DC made with this iteration of the book. Instead, I want to discuss the delivery of the content instead of the content itself that I’d like to see changed.
I think DC should be commended for continuing to flex their creative (and marketing) muscle with these weekly experiments. We’ve each already discussed in previous installments of the column some things we’d like to see in the next iteration of Wednesday Comics and so I’m just going to throw this out here– I wouldn’t want it to come back.
Let me clarify that. I would like to see some of these strips (and others, perhaps) leveraged by the new DC Entertainment reorganization into daily or Sunday strips in major papers (or on their sites). One of the great frustrations I had with this project is how insular it has been–even with the dreadful Arcudi “Superman” strip appearing in USA Today.
A set of daily strips in local papers? Get even more radical and bundle the whole colored supplement into Sunday editions for free. Use the format as a loss leader to get some of the more unknown characters from the DCU into the public consciousness.
In part, I enjoyed “Deadman” because of the novelty of the character and his situations. Imagine a wider audience who’s never encountered the character before getting a year’s worth of stories in their local daily and then being told there’s a movie coming to their local theater with the adventures of Boston Brand. Instead of a bemused question mark over their heads, new Brand fans and potential ticket buyers would be aware of the character and clamoring for his big screen adventures.
The same would go for Mr. Miracle–because who wouldn’t appreciate the bizarre trials and tribulations of the world’s greatest performer who also happens to be descended from a line of god-like beings from beyond the stars?
Or what about the criminally underused Dr. Midnight (he’s Batman if Batman were Dr. House)?
Give people the daily adventures of Firestorm II and you might have the chance to create a new Peter Parker with the strange, science-based adventures of a kid who just wants to go to college and make time with his teleporting girlfriend.
By shedding of some of its big-name characters, I think Checkmate would make a fine addition to a broad audience publication–delivering international espionage and intrigue in an era when the country continues to be on the brink of so many complicated engagements with other nations.
DC Comics (now Entertainment) is now in a precipitous position to do something interesting with all of those licenses sitting around gathering dust (or getting disemboweled in the latest crossover)–they have the chance to let them live and breathe for new audiences in new formats.
Thom Young: I like your idea, Charles. Will Eisner packaged a 16-page Sunday Comics supplement, “The Spirit Section,” for newspapers beginning in 1940 (and ending in 1952). As we all know, it featured eight-page stories of Eisner’s The Spirit as well as four-page stories starring Mr. Mystic and Lady Luck.
Jason Sacks: My favorite comic of all time. I’m the proud owner of all 27 volumes of the hardcover Spirit volumes as well as every single other reprint of the series since 1966. Sure, it means I have some of those stories four or five times – or maybe more. Bu
t the work is so transcendent… but I digress.
Thom Young: You’re sort of calling for a return to that type of packaged supplement for Sunday newspapers–not unlike the “free” Parade magazine supplement that has been appearing in Sunday editions since 1941. I think this idea could work if handled correctly–which would include having quality stories to go along with the quality illustrations (and crafted by writers who fully understood the format of the weekly publication with limited page counts of one- to four-pages per feature per week).
Regardless of whether we get a Sunday supplement like you’re calling for or a second volume of Wednesday Comics (which I think is more likely), here are the fifteen features that I have on my wish list (in no particular order):
- “Superman” written by Elliot S. Maggin and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith.
- “Batman” written by Steven Englehart and illustrated by Walt Simonson.
- “Wonder Woman” written by Matt Wagner and illustrated by Timothy Green II.
- “Original Golden Age Robotman” written by William Gibson and illustrated by Lee Bermejo. This is a character that predates Cliff Steele of the Doom Patrol by 20 years. He had an uninterrupted run of nearly 12 years from April 1942 to December 1953 in Star-Spangled Comics and Detective Comics. I’d love to see a retro cyberpunk story using this character.
- “Original Shade the Changing Man” by Steve Ditko using a dialog writer of his choosing–with an allowance for Ditko to use Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy.
- “Sugar and Spike” written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis as one-page gag strips that are not an on-going story.
- “Young Romance” written and illustrated by Terry Moore.
- “Swamp Thing” written by Stephen King and illustrated by Bernie Wrightson.
- “The Spirit” written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Michael Kaluta.
- “Shazam!” written and illustrated by Jerry Ordway.
- “Jack Kirby’s Original OMAC” written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Liberatore.
- “Star Hawkins” written and illustrated by Jaime Hernandes.
- “Leave It to Binky” written and illustrated by Daniel Clowes or Peter Bagge.
- “King Faraday” by Howard Chaykin.
- “Chris KL-99” written and illustrated by Paul Pope.