TOP 5: WORST FAN FICTIONS
Now I don’t want people thinking I am an animal with that misleading title. In fact it is me being rather self indulgent and picking holes in some of my own fan fics from a by gone age. This has been brought on by finding an old note book during a tidy up. I should point out these aren’t out and out fan fics. They are more like genuine ideas I had for when I made my break in the industry!
This idea just about made the cut. Pushing my idea for a new Ka-Zar ongoing into sixth place. To me it made sense to finally give Clint a decent stab at holding an ongoing. Looking back at my notes I didn’t have a ton of ideas and it seems my potential story was shaped by the events of Secret Invasion. My story opened with Clint visiting the grave of Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) and him basically filling her in on his life and the general world of superheroes since Civil War. There was a flashback to him stopping a terrorist threat after he ran off with the Captain America suit Tony Stark gave him in Death of Captain America. The first story arc was to deal with his identity. At the time I started it he was going around as Ronin. He had previously been offered Caps duds and by the end of the arc he would be Hawkeye again. Cleverly on my part the arc was called (The Hawk-Identity). Waits for applause… Lastly in this opening arc to touch on all his previous identities he was going to get drunk take the Pym Particles that made him Goliath and pluck Tony Stark and of Stark Towers and rant at him for everything that went wrong. Great right? But fate dealt me a cruel blow. Mockingbird was revealed to be alive and that rather messed my opening arc. I simply wrote at the bottom “Need to adapt this.” That’s where things kind of ended. I had very rough notes for future arcs. Including the second being Thunderbolts vs Thunderbolts. Clint would get his original team back together to take on Norman Osborne’s new government backed version. Of course there were plans to interact with Kate Bishop at some point as mentor. In the margin there was a list of potential villains to use. Madame Masque being in there with the usual suspects. Anyway Matt Fraction came along and made the hipster Hawkeye nobody knew they wanted till they read it.
My ideas for this series weren’t to reinvent the wheel. Just to take the core elements of what makes for a good X-Men story and condense all the continuity down. The trouble I can in vision there being looking back at my notes is that it felt a very slow burn. Stuff didn’t seem to happen issue to issue with the way I was constructing my perfect X universe. The plan was to do it in twelve issue cycles. Like seasons on a TV show. But yeah the first season would have been slow. Starting with the friendly Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr on a globe trotting mission spreading mutant awareness. Naturally they started in Muir Island Scotland. Obviously a love triangle developed between Charles, Eric and Moira. Obviously working at the Island facility was resident Doctor Hank McCoy. Slow stuff for my opening issue, it gets worse. I had ideas but no connective tissue. On the flight from Scotland to America they would encounter Jean Grey. With a cameo of Warren Worthington being spotted out the window! Upon arriving at Graymalkin Lane they would find Scott Summers hiding in the basement! By the end of the first twelve issues I would have my main cast in place and then have them divided into Xavier or Eric followers. The amount of crossing out on my roster selections is a sight to see. It appears I was doing a balancing act between not making the line up too modern or too old school. Also I wanted to balance the power sets. Hundred percent Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast and Wolverine were in. Storm was probably at ninety percent. Then Colossus, Psylocke and Shadowcat were in my mind too. With my rooster for Magneto’s Brotherhood it seems I was being obscure for the sake of it! Mystique was in, Quicksilver was but Scarlet Witch wasn’t. Mesmero was in. My best choice was Thunderbird. My train of thought being someone from a reservation would obviously side with someone from a concentration camp. It seems I wanted to keep things simple so was looking at Sentinels as regular villains, branching out into a variation of the Hellfire Club. But staying away from big villains like Apocalypse and elements like time and space travel.
This came about at a time when I was thinking about starting to collect Deathlok comics, particularly the Astonishing Tales stuff. Upon doing my research I thought how has he not got an ongoing when we are in a big tech age? I was inspired by what Brubaker and Fraction did on Iron Fist. They made out that Danny Rand was only one of twenty two past Iron Fists. There was already four Deathloks in continuity I wanted them all to play a role in my series and add more! For example (why I’m leading with this bad idea is a bad idea). I planned for the original Deathlok tech to come from the alien at Roswell! Because I had plans to play with time travel I had a Cable cross over penned in. OG Deathlok Luther Manning was now more urban myth living in a super tech base called ‘The Cube’ hopping from present to future. The story was to begin with four IT students. Three ‘goodies’ (two males and one female) and one villain (male). The three ‘goodies’ were rather coolly named after the writer, artist and inker on Astonishing Tales #25 The villain was obviously a villain as he was a relative of Ryker and had been left all his life’s work in death. So he wanted to created the perfect Deathlok who again obviously would be villainous. I had ideas to write the two male goodies out of the story, with the female going on to be a freedom fighting sidekick of Luther Manning in the future. The main reason for using all the previous Deathloks was to prolong the ongoing series. Maybe I felt with just one I was restricted. Having them all gave me plenty of scope. Also I could always fall back on ‘Mega Deathlok Team Up’ if needed. This beats The X-Men into number two purely because it is more outside the box. It seems I might have been onto something too. A few years back versions or off shoots of Deathlok were popping up everywhere. One even made it on to TV.
Remember the hatred that surrounded the release of the ‘Before Watchmen’ prequels? Well imagine that times a million if DC had handed a Watchmen sequel to me! I don’t actually have a lot of detail for my ideas to share with you. My notes are only one side of A4 sectioned into six to represent my main characters! Like that would be enough to convince the DC big wigs to do a sequel to such a classic comic. I couldn’t find any evidence I started the actual script, its all notes. Like I felt the pressure of such a big project, no matter how fictitious. Let me run though what I had in mind. Please don’t hate me for it. The story was going to cover a five year span with flashbacks. These flashbacks would cover what happened in the immediate aftermath of the NYC squid invasion. America and Russia would put aside their Cold War differences and combine their efforts to battle intergalactic threats. The first target being Dr. Manhattan. Also I thought the squid invasion aftermath would allow me to do a whole 9/11 analogy. Because thats what people want from a Watchmen sequel. Want to hear more? I had the left field idea of having someone haunted by The Comedian. Who? I don’t know, Thinking about it now maybe Ozymandias seems a good candidate. Laurie and Dan are still living their new life on the west coast. But again Laurie is missing the adrenaline rush of being a vigilante so starts up fighting crime at night. I hadn’t fully fleshed out Dan, I don’t think I intended for him to don the Nite Owl duds again. My crowning achievement of this series was brining back Rorschach. How I hear you ask? Its easy really. I always felt it was more than coincidence they guy on the last page was like a young Walter Kovacs. Yes Seymour is Rorschach mark two. In my story he doesn’t run the diary as a piece for the paper. Instead he reads it and is inspired. He trains his mind and body and becomes NYC new protector. Oh man I can smell an Eisner award already.
Ten to fifteen years from now DC will be looking to completely reboot Batman from the very beginning. Its only natural they would choose a complete unknown like myself to helm the project. With this series I was really thinking outside the box. After all so many Batman tales have been told an retread. So why not have them retread by an amateur with supposedly fresh twists. My basic goal was to take all my favourite elements from any Batman from any medium and put them into one fluid story. There was a lot of liberal borrowing from Batman The Animated Series and it seems Arrow was an inspiration too. My idea for the first issue was to have the narration by Alfred and it was all flashback with Batman appearing on the last page leading into issue two. In the flashback issue it would tell the stories of what main cast was doing the night the Waynes were gunned down. So I had Maroni, Chill and pre Ace Chemical Joker as hoods in a gang. Young Selina Kyle a pickpocket in the same gang. I paid homage to Martha’s pearls breaking with Selina mugging her before the shooting. Bullock and Essen were first on the scene as Gordon and Flass were at a poker game. Lastly Alfred was supposed to propose to a childhood sweetheart before receiving the news. All good so far I know. As Bullock was first on the scene he feels a responsibility to Bruce hence his later resentment of Batman as he had to look into young Bruce’s eyes and Batman didn’t. Oh the irony. The second issue was a typical first police sighting of Batman and cornering him in a warehouse. This was cut with flashbacks to his training. Bruce partook fight training with Kyodi Ken (BTAS) and Floyd Lawton. This is where the Arrow inspiration came in. At the end of the issue the police find goons in the warehouse hired by the ‘man with the smile.’ Queue the first of my great ideas. The young hood who would become Joker was hired to silence Joe Chill. Failing to gain notoriety for killing the Wayne’s killer he goes insane! See I keep everything tied to that fateful night. As you can tell I worked rather extensively on the first three issues then lost will power. Like The X-Men I wanted it to have a TV serial feel to it. For example by the end of the first season I wanted Robin established because by season three I wanted him to be Nightwing during a big gang war storyline. I wanted to set lots of ideas up early and have them be paid of much later. One example being when doing his training Bruce used the alias Thomas Elliot. Which would come back on the future in my version of Hush. My most outrageous idea was the use of Two-Face. Harvey Dent would have been a long time friend of Bruce. While Bruce is away Harvey rose through the ranks of Gothams legal system by creating a gangster called Two-Face to wipe out other opposition. Obviously then he gets mentally unstable with it before fully embracing the persona. That’s two Eisners I’ve racked up here. This series was essentially my love letter to BTAS. Oh nearly forgot the Bullock, Essen, Gordon love triangle…
About Ian Wells
Ian currently runs the THEBLOGOFCOMICSHOTTOPICS blog. Check him out on Twitter @IanWells87.
About Language of Bromance
Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
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