In the course of talking to comic creators this year, I started to think about their unique talents and what I think they would be best suited to. Inspired by all kinds of wonderful ideas I’ve seen online and heard from creators, I’ve put together my New 52. These are the 52 books I would publish if DC’s offerings were up to me and, as my friends and I have had a good time discussing them, I thought I would share them with you.

I tried to consider the actual feasibility of these titles, not only in the sense of immediate sales but in their ability to expand DC’s brand long-term. I also recognize that this is a dramatically simplified version of what DC actually has to do. As such, I made a couple of rules for myself.First, as I don’t have the same knowledge of the creators’ availability and timeliness as an actual editor, I decided that I would allow myself access to any writer currently working in comics, but that I could only assign a creator to one book. Second, I tried not to put a writer on the same book that they’ve already worked on, though some were moved to similar concepts or allowed to expand short work they’ve already done. Finally, while an actual relaunch might do well to include some new books, I limited myself to preexisting titles and IPs for this project.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, on why I’m right, why I clearly screwed up, who should be illustrating the series, etc. But, regardless, I hope you enjoy.

DC is responsible for many of the industries biggest innovations, but one of the most impressive is probably the shared universe system that’s responsible for massive successes like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. DC took the industry by storm with All-Star Comics #3, which introduced the Justice Society of America and set the stage for the greatest superhero team of all time. The Justice League is one of DC’s greatest achievements, so how should we handle it for the New Year’s 52?

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE BY TOM TAYLOR

Justice League serves two purposes. The first is to tell stories too big for one hero and sow wonder in the minds of readers. The second is to provide a place where heroes’ stories can intersect and readers can see less known characters stand alongside the Earth’s greatest heroes. All Justice League series have to balance these two elements, but I think that this one can manage a fairly good blending of the two.

The combinations of League teams are practically limitless. I think a couple of mainstays, a few rising stars, and some lesser known heroes will do the best for us.

My primary concept with this book is to focus on the heroes of the League and how they interact. The series is called Justice League and I want the League itself to be a character, with its growth and conflicts front and center. Obviously their adventures will be the method by which we get to see the Leaguers’ character but I imagine this as a series concerned with character more than spectacle.

In order to facilitate this, I think the series would work best separated into four to six issue arcs, telling the story of individual missions, with League tensions and subplots continuing and growing between them.

I don’t have a hard idea of who the team should absolutely be, I think that should be left to the writers of this series and of any relevant solo series, but there are a few characters I think should be part of the team. Most importantly, I think this should be able to function as J’onn J’onzz’s book. The Martian Manhunter is an important character to DC as a whole and has been described as the ‘heart of the Justice League‘. Despite keeping something of a low profile, I think he brings a lot to the team, particularly as comics become more and more willing to consider the effects of his isolation, psychic abilities, and close friendships with other Leaguers. I’d also like to see Hal Jordan on the team. Some of you may have been confused when I said I’d rather not have Hal starring in Green Lantern, but this is his place to shine. Though he’s not quite as rambunctious as Guy Gardener, Hal is both a leader to the younger members and an instigator in many of the groups troubles. I could easily see the newer members split between their respect for the founding member and their annoyance at his resistance to change and authority.

Considering the massive success of Injustice: Gods Among Us and the strengths that he brought to that series, there’s no way I wasn’t going to pick Tom Taylor for this one. While Injustice occasionally suffered for the excesses of the game’s story, Taylor drew some of DC’s most touching moments of the past two years out of what is, essentially, a guilty pleasure action movie plot. Particularly as the series moved past its original end date and Taylor found himself with a broader timescale to work on, it became clear that he excelled at diving into these characters and considering what motivated them, triggered them, and defined them.

Taylor’s takes on characters like Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Harley Quinn were things of beauty. I would love to see Ollie and Dinah on his Justice League.

Characters like Guy Gardener and Harley Quinn came alive under Taylor’s pen while Hal Jordan and Black Canary stole shows from the likes of Superman and Batman. I’d be very interested to see more of his Martian Manhunter and his Black Canary clearly has what it takes to lead the League, and that’s just what he’s done with the characters Injustice allowed him access to.

Especially on a series that thrives on character interaction, Taylor’s work on Injustice and Superior Iron Man will prove invaluable. Plus Taylor has done a fantastic job of writing some comics’ biggest heroes as villains. That means we can trust that a focus on the heroes relationships won’t leave us with one-dimensional villains.

And while two of his biggest projects have involved writing an evil Superman, it’s clear how painfully wrong that sentence sounds to Taylor. Particularly if you listen to him in interviews, you can tell that just because Taylor is deconstructing the heroism of his characters in his current work doesn’t mean that he can’t see the beauty in playing it straight. In fact, that may be why he’s so good at writing them gone wrong. A series like Justice League ought to connect to that joy on some level, and I think Taylor bring the complexity of a deconstruction to this series without losing the hope.

It’s a big job but I think DC’s flagship title will sail far with Taylor at the helm, carrying some of the world’s finest heroes along with it.

Tomorrow…It ’tis a silly place…

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