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If I Ran Marvel, part one: The Imprints

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Several years ago comic book writer Mark Millar wrote an interesting piece for Comic Book Resources entitled Mark Millar, President and Publisher of DC Comics. Having read said article earlier this year and having interviewed for an editorial position at Marvel late last year (where this eventually would have been one of my many duties), an obvious idea hit me: What if I ran Marvel... and DC? What follows then is the first part in the "If I Ran..." series of articles. Just as the title implies, part one will focus on Marvel's many imprints.

The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/articles/if-i-ran-marvel-01

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Loved it. Why didn't you get the job? Because it makes too much sense, that's why.

I agreed with just about damn near everything you put down (especially the MK line part, that's a burst of brilliance).

You did miss a few things. Consider these my pitches Mr. Editor:

For Marvel Knights-

Desmond Reddick and Michael Lark on The Invaders

Monthly

It's 1938 and the world is on the brink of war. The Invaders, already active throughout eastern Europe and Africa, are doing their best to fight fascism when the war breaks out. Them and their elite crew of Green Berets, Blackwatch and Canadian Special Forces soldiers are in the midst of things when the world erupts into war. They're in over their heads until Captain America and Bucky join the fight. See the beginnings of this team and follow them in real time through 1945. See it through the eyes of their fellow soldiers. Who will live and who will die? The world will at least be a better place.

For MAX-

Desmond Reddick and ? on Defenders: Darkhold

12 issue limited

Dr. Strange used to hold the ancient Atlantean spell book Darkhold hidden away in the recesses of his Sanctum Sanctorum. Now it's gone. The vampires it created millenia ago are now back; re-animated, angry and more powerful than ever. Watch as evil unfoils over the entire universe. Dr. Strange must strike up an uneasy alliance with former teammates Namor, Hulk, Nighthawk, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Moondragon and Son of Satan to battle the evil. But, a portal opening in space and Marvel's demons issuing forth, Silver Surfer battles to keep them back. Why do they want the Darkhold? and what will Dracula do with it?

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Loved it. Why didn't you get the job? Because it makes too much sense, that's why.

Thanks. And I suspect I didn't get the job for two reasons:

01. It's no secret that I suffer anxiety attacks, for which I take Xanax. However, I couldn't take the pills before the interview because they make me sleepy. So I had to suffer through. Normally I can prep myself for stuff like this, and I did... when I thought I would be meeting with Publisher Dan Buckley and EIC Joe Quesada. But they threw me for a loop: Joe wasn't there, and I meet with two other people after Dan. Having not planned for those two guys and without the Xanax in my system, my nervousness showed through.

02. One of the other people I met with took issue with my age. Point-blank, he told me I was too old (27 at the time) to be starting as an Assistant Editor. He also thought it was weird that I was willing to take a step down from Publisher / Editor (this site, of course) and Editor (at PopMatters.com) for said Assistant role. Though I tried to explain that it was a step up (in terms of duties, as well as what I want to do with my life), he couldn't wrap his brain around it.

the MK line part, that's a burst of brilliance

As of late the MK imprint has come off like the PG-13 version of the R-plus-rated MAX line, and I feel its original intention has been lost. Hence the idea of brining it back to its roots; MK was designed to be led by a popular character, while showcasing slightly less popular ones. Back then it was The Punisher leading Daredevil to fame (funny how that turned out), and now it would be Wolverine helping along Fury and Winter Soldier. It also once consumed a very small corner of the MU, but I don't get that feeling anymore. With the way I've designed it, all three of the books / lead characters could very easily cross paths from time to time, but would remain separate from the modern storylines.

Funny you should mention The Invaders, 'cause, before I settled on Winter Soldier, I had planned on adding The Invaders to my list. Cap would have been the star, and his modern title would have been cancelled. But right when I began to type the title out, I thought of Bucky... and then Winter Soldier. Everything fell into place from there.

Another period-MK book I had in mind was one set in the mid to late 19th century, possibly starring a mutant team controlled by Nathaniel Essex. Even though Essex is hardly a saint, he and his Marauders would fight Apocalypse and groups like the Hellfire Club. I scrapped the idea because I didn't want two X-books under the MK banner.

For MAX-

Desmond Reddick and ? on Defenders: Darkhold

12 issue limited

Dr. Strange used to hold the ancient Atlantean spell book Darkhold hidden away in the recesses of his Sanctum Sanctorum. Now it's gone. The vampires it created millenia ago are now back; re-animated, angry and more powerful than ever. Watch as evil unfoils over the entire universe. Dr. Strange must strike up an uneasy alliance with former teammates Namor, Hulk, Nighthawk, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Moondragon and Son of Satan to battle the evil. But, a portal opening in space and Marvel's demons issuing forth, Silver Surfer battles to keep them back. Why do they want the Darkhold? and what will Dracula do with it?

For this to be a MAX book, the team would probably have to change. It's doubtful Marvel would allow Hulk (with very close ties to The Avengers) and Namor (Sue Storm's love interest) to appear in a MAX comic.

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As of late the MK imprint has come off like the PG-13 version of the R-plus-rated MAX line, and I feel its original intention has been lost.

100% agreed.

Funny you should mention The Invaders, 'cause, before I settled on Winter Soldier, I had planned on adding The Invaders to my list. Cap would have been the star, and his modern title would have been cancelled. But right when I began to type the title out, I thought of Bucky... and then Winter Soldier. Everything fell into place from there.

Love the idea of the Invaders. I thought more of placing importance on the soldiers and Bucky. Cap's always the star.

Another period-MK book I had in mind was one set in the mid to late 19th century, possibly starring a mutant team controlled by Nathaniel Essex. Even though Essex is hardly a saint, he and his Marauders would fight Apocalypse and groups like the Hellfire Club. I scrapped the idea because I didn't want two X-books under the MK banner.

I'm out of X-touch. Nathaniel Essex?

Anything with the Hellfire Club and Apocalypse as regular villains would have my $2.99.

For this to be a MAX book, the team would probably have to change. It's doubtful Marvel would allow Hulk (with very close ties to The Avengers) and Namor (Sue Storm's love interest) to appear in a MAX comic.

Yeah...I really only said MAX because of the horror aspect. It could be a MU book. I love Darkhold and its implications. My dream project.

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Love the idea of the Invaders. I thought more of placing importance on the soldiers and Bucky. Cap's always the star.

Placing the emphasis on the soldiers is a great idea, but that's what The 'Nam is for. That's another reason why I strayed away from a WWII themed comic.

I'm out of X-touch. Nathaniel Essex?

Sorry. Before Apocalypse changed him, Mister Sinister was known as Nathaniel Essex.

Anything with the Hellfire Club and Apocalypse as regular villains would have my $2.99.

In my opinion the HC fits that era better than the modern X-world, so they're a must. And I like the idea of Apocalypse running around in the 1850s. Not sure why, though.

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Okay first, I have to defend exclusive contracts:

Do you not understand that part of an exclusive deal incorperates such things has

health insurance plans and travel expenses for writers/artists and their families.

Also, the contracts GAURENTEE income, and if the writer/artist needs to fill out something like a

home loan application at a bank, then a steady income looks good.

Second, you talk like the MK line is still in existance when it is all but dead

(I think Marvel is just using the line for the occasional mini-series)

Third, I agree that Marvel misuses the MAX line. I think that it would probably save more money for

the company if the MAX and Icon lines were combined. (save more money: economicaly possible)

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Okay first, I have to defend exclusive contracts:

Do you not understand that part of an exclusive deal incorperates such things has health insurance plans and travel expenses for writers/artists and their families.

Also, the contracts GAURENTEE income, and if the writer/artist needs to fill out something like a home loan application at a bank, then a steady income looks good.

Never once did I speak against exclusive contracts. I think they're great due to all of the reasons you stated. When I wrote "Exclusive contracts are void" I meant they're void because they hinder this imaginary world I'm creating. By voiding them for the sake of this article, I can have a current DC-exclusive artist draw a Marvel book and vice versa. If I play by real world rules, I can't have Joe Quesada on a DC book, Alan Moore wouldn't write for either company and I doubt highly that Tom Clancy has the time or desire to write a comic book.

Second, you talk like the MK line is still in existance when it is all but dead (I think Marvel is just using the line for the occasional mini-series)

Again: my world, my rules. Marvel Knights would be a viable line under my reign. Hell, I almost brought back Marvel 2099, but I couldn't think of more than one 2099 book I'd want to publish. So there was no need for an entire imprint.

Third, I agree that Marvel misuses the MAX line. I think that it would probably save more money for the company if the MAX and Icon lines were combined. (save more money: economicaly possible)

Rumor has it that Icon has come under a lot of legal troubles. I wouldn't be surprised if MAX merged with Icon to form a new Epic (or something else) within a year.

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My favorite: Spider-Man 2099. Though I could probably make a case for Avengers 2099 (which was never published during the 2099 boom), and X-2099 (like X-23, but the 2099th clone of Wolverine).

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