With our own NuMarvel Initiative underway here at The Outhouse, and apparently DC Comics is doing something similar, the Nerds of the Roundtable talk a bit about what they would like to see start over from scratch!
In Outhouse Roundtable, Royal Nonesuch gathers the writing staff of The Outhouse to find out where they stand in the landscape of comic book fandom. The formula is simple: one question, a joyous multitude of answers.
Week 11: In conjunction with our NuMarvel initiative, and oh yeah, the DC Reboot, what comics do you think would benefit from a reboot? How would you carry it out?
I'm going to go with a suggestion out of left-field, and that's Roy Of The Rovers. Yes, Roy Race, the world's most famous fictional football (soccer) player. If Americans are unaware of the character, he's a footballer for the equally-fictional Melchester Rovers who since the 1950's has lead the club to glory and all-sorts of madness, like kidnappings and playing alongside Duran Duran. There haven't been new Roy Of The Rovers stories since 2001, and in that time, Football has changed a lot, it's been super-charged with money, and there's loads of untapped drama that a good comic could take advantage of.
The way I'd do it would be to focus not on Roy Race, but his grandson, Roy Race III, who is a youth-team player for a big Premiership club, Arsenal, Manchester United, whoever. He's a bit of a flash-harry with a bigger reputation for going out on the town than for actually playing. After getting involved in a bust-up with the police, his manager decides to loan him out to the club his family is intrinsically linked with, Melchester Rovers, who have fallen on hard times and are in the 3rd tier of English Football. The strip would deal with the way modern footballers are celebrities, and how Roy Race III deals with his family's legacy and how the sport is about more than just making money and getting girls. Eventually of course, Roy will lead his team back to the top flight and to glory into Europe. I would try and have the book reflect modern football, and make it realistic with a focus on the media and on the influx of money and foreign players into the game. No more kidnapping, no more pop-stars. Realistic football comics.
I'd also have a back-up story which retells the original Roy Race's story, looking at Melchester Rovers in the 1950s and contrast Football then with Football now.
Mark Waid's Hunter/Killer was initially an excellent book, but it fell apart a few issues after Marc Silvestri's departure. I would love to see it resurrected, perhaps by Waid and an artist more committed than Silvestri.
The book was interesting because it had a great mix of Cold War history, superhero battles, global government conspiracy, and teenage angst. It was like Watchmen, X-Men, and Spider-Man all mixed together in a wild, page-turning package.
If I remember correctly, delays hurt the pace of the early issues. And Silvestri's decision to abandon the project after issue 6 really -- ahem -- killed Hunter/Killer's long-term chances. Waid, it seemed, knew the end was near after his co-creator left. And rather than continue with complex Cold War conspiracies, he dropped the politics from the book entirely and opted for an out-of-nowhere, fantasy-themed, demonic ending. That final book -- was it issue 12? -- really did not fit with the rest of the story. God, I still remember my disappointment when I flipped to the final, full-panel page and saw an illustration of Hell that belonged more in a mediocre issue of Spawn than in a political thriller.
I've always thought that those first six issues of Hunter/Killer showed tremendous promise. At the time, back in 2006, they were the comics I looked forward to reading most. I would love to see the series rebooted and Waid's vision properly and fully realized.
Iron Man for me. Remove all that Civil War baggage and Matt Fraction's superdecompression and the subtle power creep with every armor iteration, and turn his characterization into something closer to the movies. I say the movies because it's the closest we can get to something actually resembling some heroism. These days Iron Man is more iron than man. Robert Downey Jr's character was a ladies man, a douche most of the time, but in the end does the right thing. I can't think of anyone who writes like that these days, but if I had a gun to my head the first who come to mind are Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and maybe Christos Gage. Maybe then we can revisit some old foes like Fin Fang Foom or create new ones that don't just go klang-klang with Iron Man every other issue. The artist is whoever can make the Armored Avenger look good and consistently month in and month out.
This is not to say that I haven't enjoyed the IDW iteration. It just fell apart during and after "All Hail Megatron." What I would do with the franchise is put it all in a blender and see what came out the other end. Every Transformer toy would be added to the same continuity. Gigantic, sprawling, intergalactic conflict. A fractured Autobot resistance that lacks a centralized command structure. A Decepticon war machine that has various generals vying for the top spot and world conquering competition with Vehicons and Predacons. A very complicated relationship with humanity in the best of circumstances.
Do away with all the fan continuity. No Matrix of Leadership. No Creation Matrix. Make the factions complex in culture... and make them diverse. Give weight to the war and at least for a time, take away the "constantly low on energy subplot." Tighten the continuity. Don't do as much fan service. Forge a new epic instead of copying the original "Generation One" animated series.
And even though it's a gigantic intergalactic war, don't make it a hopeless war. Have the good guys have a win every so often so we think it's worth reading.
As far as how it would work out, I'd say start the focus with the Optimus Prime Autobots for the first arc or so and then switch focus to another squad with another leader and a different ethic. Switch from Earth adventures to other planets by the arc. I have no clue who I'd put on creative duties, though. This would need one hell of a writer to remember where all the pieces are and an even better editor to keep things rolling. It's possible that this would work better with a team of creators but if that were the case, it'd need an even stronger editor to keep the ship running in the right direction.
Some day, I'd like to see Vector Prime fighting alongside Optimus Primal. It'd be a hell of an adventure.
Written or Contributed by: Royal Nonesuch
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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch
As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well. You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.
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