We may be at the dawn of Wave One of the DC Relaunch, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to discuss Wave Two! For those who don't obsessively follow comics news, here's what we know:
1. Wave Two is happening
2. The Marvel Family will be a part of it
3. The powers that be have requested submissions for "fun books"
In other words, almost anything could happen! So, I went all out, picking artists, writers and titles that I'd like to see in my fantasy universe. I didn't include several creators I love, including Amanda Conner and Dustin Nguyen, who are working on unspecified projects for DC. And, while some of these picks are reaching, I also tried to avoid people who probably wouldn't be willing or able to work on a new DC title. This list may be a fantasy, but it's a believable fantasy, dammit! So, without further ado, here are 10 creators I'd like DC to hire for wave two.
What: The Books of Magic
Why: Joe the Barbarian made me fall in love with Murphy's detailed and sketchy style. It's been great seeing his art in Vertigo miniseries, but I'd really love to have a book of his to look forward every month. Murphy is pretty open about not being into superheroes, so I'd love to see him take on a magic based series instead. I loved both Gaiman's original mini and the Books of Magic ongoing series, but the art was often too static for my tastes, and seeing someone like Murphy bring the amazing world around Tim Hunter to life would be fantastic.
What: Spoiler and Blackbat
Why: I am a huge fan of Puckett's run on Batgirl, and I recommend it to anybody in spite of its badly organized trades. Cass is the sort of character who is easy to screw up- make her too angsty, too dark, too violet- but Puckett consistently managed to make her a fun, believable character. Now that Cass has a superhero identity again and Steph's back in the role of Spoiler, I'd love to see him write these two together. Two friends kicking butt and having fun is something I'd love to read every month, and getting to see Puckett work with new, awesome artist (my pick would be Marcus To) would be even better.
What: The Question
Why: Greg Rucka leaving to work on different projects was a tremendous loss for DC. From his work on GCPD to his development of Renee Montoya to Batwoman, he consistently wrote well-written, worthwhile comics with beautifully crafted characters. While I'd love to see him back on Batwoman, my top pick for him would be a Question ongoing, where he'd be free to tell the sort of stories with Renee he never had a chance to tell in the old universe and to develop a new, interesting supporting cast for the character. Woo him back, DC! Whatever it takes.
What: Power Girl
Why: The worst thing about losing Power Girl was that Sturges was finally making her fun again. He figured out how to make her funny, engaging, and showcase how powerful she is, and was telling great stories with her in single issues. Sturges has consistently done great work in the Vertigo universe, and it's a shame that, now that they've found the perfect fit for him in the mainline DC universe, they're not giving him anything to do. Wave Two seems like the perfect time to correct this oversight.
What: Titans Dark
Why: Including Irving on this list is a little bit of a cheat, since he's working on a couple issues of the Shade miniseries, but since he's one of my favorite artists and there are no long term plans for him in the DCnU, I figured I'd bend the rules a bit. Those of you who listen to me a lot know that one of my dream books is a teen magic users team book, and I think Frazer Irving is the perfect person to bring it to life. The dark, creepy vibe will really give the book some atmosphere, but the characters will still have plenty of personality and, most importantly, actually look like teens. Now that Xombi's done, I need a new way to enjoy Irving's art every month, and this would be the ideal way to do it.
Why: Renae De Liz had already won my heart with her beautiful work on the Last Unicorn comic, but her love for Amethyst made me a lifelong fan. Putting creators on passion projects like this is exactly what the big two should be doing, and her style seems absolutely perfect for the character. DC's also shown a fondness for writer-artists with their relaunch, and with all De Liz's interest in the project, it seems very likely that she'd be willing to try her hand at writing the title as well. Whatever happens, an Amethyst project would be a treat for fans and a great way to attract new readers, and De Liz is the number one person I'd like to see working on it.
Why: Like Irving, the inclusion of Miller on this list is a bit of a cheat- he's confirmed he's working on something for DC. However, he's also specified that his project isn't something for the mainline DC universe, which frees him up for this list! The issues of Batgirl that featured Damian were the absolute highlight of Miller's run for me, and I'd love to see him spend more time with the character. For me, Miller is on par with Morrison for how well he writes the characters. As an added bonus, this would give him a chance to continue several of the plotlines he was building prior to the relaunch.
What: Sandman Mystery Theatre
Why: Hill might be the biggest stretch on this list, since I don't think he's ever expressed interest in working on something other than his own original projects. However, Locke & Key is probably my favorite comic on the market now, and I'd love to see him bring elements of that into the DC universe. Something like Sandman Mystery Theatre, that's full of the creepy and mysterious and strange, would show off so much of what he's great at, and I'm confident he'd use his strong characterization skills here too. In a perfect world, I'd like to see him work on this with...
What: Sandman Mystery Theatre
Why: Jock's recent work on Detective Comics elevated an already great story to new heights. His art establishes a dark, noir like setting that would suit Sandman beautifully, and his inventiveness with panel layout might be able to reach JH Williams III levels with the right story to go along with it. Best yet, Jock's style is distinctively different from the artists Hill has worked with in the past, meaning that both parts of this creative team would bring new things out of each other. Pick up the phone and make it happen, DC!
What: The Manhattan Guardian
Why: Quitely is my favorite artist in comics, bar none. I frequently criticize comic art for feeling too static, but Quitely's pages almost feel animated. His panel layouts are designed to create a feeling of motion and his ability to make images look three-dimensional just takes things one step further. The Manhattan Guardian is a project that would showcase everything that makes Quitely great. It's also a title that could use two artists, much like Batwoman has, in order to help Quitely hit deadlines. Frank Quitely on an ongoing is always a dream come true, and putting a character like The Manhattan Guardian in his very capable hands is pretty much guaranteed to be magic.