FW Presents: When I’m In Charge Ep. 2

Ryan Daly continues his series of minisodes about the changes he'd make to DC Comics' publishing slate in the fantastical future when he's in charge. On this installment, Sensation Comics, Adventure Comics, and More Fun Comics.

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Music by Neil Daly.

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16 responses to “FW Presents: When I’m In Charge Ep. 2

  1. Your SJW idea is Sensational! Who else premiered in Sensation Comics way back when? That’s right, the Gay Ghost. It writes itself!

    As long as the book doesn’t become a ghetto for diversity characters!

    1. Ideally, it’ll be a platform or a showcase for diversity characters, but if there is no other home for some of them, I’ll take ghetto over nothing.

  2. This episode, in just 11 minutes, took me on a real roller coaster of emotion.

    –Love the SENSATION COMICS idea, full stop.

    –When you first mentioned dropping Aquaman from ADVENTURE, I was aghast. Then when you suggested the LSH instead, I felt like this whole episode was a passive-aggressive shot at me, for no good reason.

    –Then you partly redeemed yourself with the MORE FUN concept. While I think I’d still prefer Aquaman in Adventure, a book consisting of Aquaman-Green Arrow-Dr. Fate is an unbeatable combo.

    Along this line of thought, I’d love to see DC bring back Star Spangled War Stories where you could use their war characters. But maybe you’ll get to this in episode 3?

  3. I love the hell out of this, and anybody who knows be even a little bit could probably guess that I’d happily pick up old collector habits like buying two issues (one to read, one to keep mint) for Sensation Comics as you just laid out. Much like you, it has always struck me as odd that certain stripes of people use the term “Social Justice Warrior” as a pejorative. As a superhero I have that emblazoned across my shield crest for all to see. I mean… uh… IF I was a superhero I WOULD have it… yeah… that’s what I meant. *Walks off in an aggressively nonchalant fashion while whistling.*

  4. I noticed the other day when I was ordering my comics that Dark Horse Presents had been cancelled so abruptly that even two issues I’d already paid for won’t actually come out as solicited. When even I won’t show up for Adventure Comics and More Fun Comics despite making a point of ordering most current anthologies (I did recently drop Island and Indie Comics Magazine, but have stuck with Cinema Purgatorio) you’ll be lucky to finish even one arc! Fool! A pox on your house! I guess if you fold two of those titles into one round-robin DC anthology, I might come to the yard.

    However, shut up and take my money for White Knight Sensation Comics (another “I hardly see where that’s a Yankee Doodle scenario, but sure, applaud me derisively, troglodyte.”) Better than my vague notion of reviving it as either a “World of Wonder Woman” or “Amazing Amazon Team-Up” book. I see what you did there by referring to a series about a trans Black Orchid being “seminal.” I would also offer Madame Fatale, but that’s both a tougher sell and probably more of a transvestite deal besides. Given that VIxen has her own solo webisode cartoon like her contemporaries at DC Super Hero Girls, it makes sense to give two black heroines a shot instead of giving one two simultaneous chances. Also, Vixen is too much like Cheetah and Bumblebee’s wings are more “toyetic.”

  5. Well, originally the full phrase was ‘Tumblr Social Justice Warrior’ and carried some considerably more pejorative senses related to excess, silliness, and slacktivism. The sort of person who considered otherkin-ness and being transgender on the same level of morality and oppression.

    But the first word and actual sense in which it sort of made sense as a criticism got lost when it was picked up by other sets of critics who had more of a problem with social justice itself…

  6. Like pretty much everyone else, I love the idea of Sensation Comics having an overriding feminist, socially-engaged theme running through its stories. I’m also on board with your More Fun suggestion.
    As for Adventure, well, I have a soft spot for that title, as I loved the late ’70s, dollar comics era in both Adventure and World’s Finest, and I continued to love Adventure when it segued into two-way split between Plastic Man and Star Man (Prince Gavyn) stories (with Aquaman coming on about a year later for a 3-way split). So my suggestion for Adventure would be for it to contain about four or five features of roughly the same length (as it did in the dollar comics days), and contain the ongoing adventures of some characters I liked best in both Adventure and World’s Finest at the time: Plastic Man, Star Man (Prince Gavyn, obviously), Dead Man, Black Lightning and, instead of the entire, JSA, the Huntress and Power Girl (or if not them, Supergirl and Batgirl) in a World’s Finest type team-up feature. Of course, in my ideal world, the creators involved would include Paul Levitz, Len Wein, Tony Isabella, Gail Simone, Steve Ditko, Trevor von Eeden, Joe Staton, Marty Pasko and, of course, JL GL (PBHM), but I know that’s too tall an order to fulfill…

  7. The Sensation Comics idea makes sense, but you’d have to be careful to balance things so that every A plot and B plot isn’t screaming the feminism/social justice/diversity theme. Maybe go heavy with it in one story per issue, and sprinkle things through the other two tales, or you’re going to run out of takes on social injustice very quickly and it’ll feel way too preachy, more agenda than adventure. There’s a lot to be said for subtlety.

    Love the Legion as I do, they need a whole book, 38pp like in the mid-Seventies would be marvellous. Anytime it’s been 17pp or less we’ve suffered stories with barely any members – the occasional intimate tale is great, but really, the team demands room for the scope the concept demands.

    Outside of the Big Three (Trinity? Bah?), I don’t want any DC characters with their own titles to take up anthology room when DC’s Library of Limbo is so massive, so much as I like the idea of Golden Age-style Green Arrow, let that be his own book. Assuming he hasn’t his own title, I’d have Superboy – the Adventures of Superman as a Boy – lead off the book, which covers the MFC history angle. Dr Fate would be terrific. And how about an updated Merry, Girl of 1000 Gimmicks, unless she’s coming up in All-Star Comics… what about Mary Kramer from Stars and STRIPE, she seemed to be heading in that direction? Actually, Stars and STRIPE would be great, I much prefer Courtney with Pat Dugan (or his son) than as Stargirl.

  8. Great ideas, Ryan! As I was listening to your plans for Adventure comics, I was thinking “Challengers.” When you were speaking of your plans for More Fun Comics, I actually said out loud “‘Mazing Man!” just before you did! What was more fun than ‘Mazing Man? Maybe Sugar and Spike!
    Touching on what Martin wrote about the possible pitfalls of similar stories in your Sensation Comics, the plots could be the standard super-hero fare, but having the protagonist being so different from the traditional square-jawed Northern European male, would provide character-driven distinctions.

  9. Ryan I am really liking your ideas so far.

    I was wondering if you had any ideas for a book that may have a focus or put the spotlight on up and coming creators telling small, intimate tales about characters (both well known and not so well known) in the DC pantheon. And maybe another a book (or a second feature in the that first book?) that focuses on debuting new characters or teams. So many much loved characters and teams debuted in anthology type books. Would love to see a place where that could be the case again. I would think maybe Showcase or DC Comics Presents would be titles that would reflect the content of that type of book or books.

    Also, if you are in need of an assistant when you are in charge of everything, please keep me in mind. I think my ideas would be very compatible with yours. And in the event that something catastrophic and horrible might happen to you and leave you totally incapacitated and incapable of being in charge of everything or anything at all (God forbid), I would be willing to step up to the plate and take over as the person in charge of everything. Just a thought. 🙂

  10. So I was listening to this episode and was surprised to hear of another person who shared my issues with Katana as a character, especially as an ethnic one. I have never felt comfortable with her as she is. I’ve always wanted to rework her into something more steeped in Japanese lore and so, keeping in the theme of this show; here is how I will handle Tatsu Yamashiro when I’m in charge.:

    As you might have noticed, I’m not calling her Katana. I’ve thought of various ways to repurpose Katana, in line with the DC naming convention. I’ve thought about Kuro Katana and Black Blade, but while they were very DC, they didn’t really work with what I envisioned for her. So I began looking up Japanese Yokai mythology and settled on something I liked. I call her Onryo, named for vengeful ghosts. I imagine this is something the people she preyed on would call her, which she adopted for herself. She likes this as the attack that left her with the sword and a widow also left her feeling that she also died that day and drifts in the world of the living. She thinks she’s a living ghost of vengeance.

    Her backstory is largely the same. There really doesn’t need to be much done in the broader strokes of a lady who lost her family to her husband’s brother and swears vengeance, using an ancient, cursed sword to hunt down monsters, Yakuza and international criminals

    The next thing I would handle would be her costume. Gone would be the rising sun on anything she wears. unless you’re Captain Japan, or a patriotically themed hero, you don’t need to run around in a flag. I remember her black suit from a few years back, and I’d borrow a lot of elements from that. She would go maskless; instead opting to paint her face white, like a corpse. She would also be wearing a white Haori (Japanese surcoat of sorts) draped over her shoulders to give the impression of a cape and create a more ghostly silhouette as she moves. Another advantage is that you can show it getting tattered and splattered in blood to show just how hard a fight is going in an incredibly striking way. This thing should blaze white in the darkness.

    After that is the way she fights. Swords look cool, but it’s also really, really violent and when you think about the circumstances of her origin and what that sword can do, do you really want to risk trapping someone’s soul in there accidentally? No, this version of her will rarely unsheathe her sword all the way. she doesn’t need to. She has a sword full of Japanese monsters at her beck and call. And that’s how I’m going to keep it. From the gigantic Gashadokuro (a giant skeleton made from people who died of famine) to the versatile Kamaitachi (spirit weasels that cut things with the wind) to Tsukumogami (everyday objects that have come to life) she has a swiss army knife of monsters to cause destruction for her. She doesn’t need to swing the naked blade to cause serious damage. That’s not even counting monsters and cryptids from all over the world that sword has probably collected inside of it. Her book can be a veritable Who’s who of things that go bump in the night. The fun would be seeing how she uses them to reach a solution to whatever problem she has; whether it be just tearing things up to finding a more subtle way of doing things.

    After that is the more personal names. I’ll be shuffling that name around a bit. Tatsu Yamashiro is now Yamato Mashiro. Yamato is a fairly common Japanese name, so it’s relatively safe. It’s also less redundant when her name is no longer Tatsu (Dragon… really DC, you named the Japanese lady the word for Dragon?) but Mashiro (Pure White). I feel like it’s a more fitting name for a character who looks at herself as a spirit of vengeance and desires to look like a ghost. The other name I’m changing is the sword’s. Soul Stealer isn’t a bad name, but it doesn’t really translate well.

    I tried to imagine what a sword that steals souls would be like, and all I imagine is that when you unsheathe is, it must make an awful sound. So I went looking for the right word, and the word I found was Dokokuga or Shrieking Fang.

    And there you have the changes I would make. Is it presumptuous of me to have made this? Very likely. Still, I’ve wanted to share these ideas for a long while and this seemed like the most receptive(?) venue for it. If you think this isn’t awful, great! If it sucks, oh well, I had fun doing it. Thanks for taking the time to read this far. I’ve been enjoying the show a bunch and look forward to other specials in this vein. Keep on doing what you enjoy doing

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