Reclaiming the Biff Bam Pow
posted by Brian Cronin at 5:23 AM
Let's see if I can articulate this one: I'd have kept Batman a loner that has a group around him. Huh? DC has had the problem of how to keep Batman a brooding, obsessed loner; who has Robin, Huntress, Batgirl, Azrael, Oracle, Harold, Spoiler, the JLA, the Outsiders...you see the problem. The trick is, Batman may team up or consult with or hang out with any or all of these, and yet still go off on his own at a moment's notice. You see this in JLA, or in Batman's meetings with Gordon: Batman's there for a minute, grunts out a response, disappears. From there, storywise, you can follow Batman to see what he's up to, or stay with the other characters to see their response. I never saw what the big problem with Batman's supporting cast was. Just because he knows people or has sidekicks or is part of a team; doesn't mean he spends every waking moment with them. And yet every so often it seems like the editorial gauntlet is thrown down, pare Batman down to Batman. Maybe Alfred. And a lot of good stories can be told that way. But that doesn't mean he has to get rid of everything.
Painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa here, but... I would have had Batman die for real at the end of DKR. Carrie Kelly or, god forbid, Dick Grayson could have done the same thing he did with raising the Mutants as an Army, and it would have made that incredibly powerful fight scene even more emotionally resonant. Sure, we would have lost the Superman wink at Bruce's funeral, but I can live with that trade off. And also, I probably would used Batmite. Frank Miller has more restraint than I do. Well, at least he did before he went batshit insane, pardon the pun.
Also, I would have done everything in my power to keep Jean Grey dead after the Phoenix Saga. X-Factor could go fuck itself for all I care. The plot hammering done to set that comic up really screwed up the X-Men, I think, and what did we get? Well, Peter David's run is good, but I don't think getting the original X-Men together in a team was worth ruining the best X-Men story ever and throwing a perfectly good character like Madalyne Prior in the toilet (assuming that was the reason she became the Goblin Queen and died. I'm not sure).
This is addictive. I would have give Silver Surfer a wacky sidekick to make his stories less montonously mopey and dour. Okay, we get it Stan, he's space Jesus. Make with the wisecracks! Maybe I would have created Pip the Troll if he wasn't around already and had them go on wacky adventures. That way, the Surfer could do his purple proze philospohising but someone could shut him up. John Buscema would make it all look gorgeous anyway, and it might not have been a failure my way.
Now, if I had done MAUS... all right, I'm not going there.
If I had designed Firestorm's costume, I wouldn't have used the puffy sleeves, because they are PUFFY FUCKING SLEEVES! Also, I probably wouldn't have created Firestorm.
Firestorm sucks, is what I'm trying to say.
If will do Jimmy Corrigan better. In my version, Jimmy dies three pages in and the rest of the story is about Hellboy and Maggie from Love and Rockets teaming up to go back in time to the World's Fair chapter, the only part of that book I really liked. And I'd do that like Ware did, because at least that hack got it right there. Also, there would be pirates. And Wendigo. I still think I could win the Guardian Book Prize.
I'd get somebody to write and draw some funny comics- like 'Mazing Man. Or at least put some humor back into comic books, like Robin's puns occasionally (too much is too much, of course)
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