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Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



Comics, especially superhero comics, are all about 'What Ifs'. What if an infant is sent to Earth from a dying planet, gaining fantastical power and becoming a Man of Tomorrow. A child of privelege sees his parents gunned down in an act of senseless violence and swears vengeance on all crime? What if a shy teenager is bitten by a radioactive spider and learns that with great power there must also come responsibility?

And of course, we've seen countless permutations on these stories- adaptions, elseworlds, reboots...

But this isn't about the fictional universes - at lest, not the ones with superpowers. This is about the people making the books.

Speculating on where the industry itself could have gone is probably one of the topics that's most popular other than the perennial 'who would win in a fight?' the stories of the creators can have as many twists and turns as the ones in the books.

For example, Marvel now a firm member of the Disney family, was up for sale in 1988. It was purchased by Ron Perelman, whose mismanagement set off a chain of dominoes that nearly collapsed the entire comics industry and drove Marvel itself into bankruptcy. But his bid only came out 1.5 million ahead of Jim Shooter, who had been fired from Marvel and hoped to make some big changes if he was able to make a comeback. We saw perhaps what form that would have taken in the form of Valiant Comics. If he'd returned, certainly some creators with long-standing (and often mutual) dislike would have left or not returned, but perhaps Shooter's greater sensitivity to the feelings of talent would head off some of the high-profile departures that spawned Image.

And there are many creators who passed before their time that may have had impact. Names like Dwayne MacDuffie & Mark Gruenwald are well-known to modern fans, but perhaps the largest impact was the death of the artist Joe Maneely in 1958. Stan Lee, his close friend and collaborator, was forced to seek out new artists for Marvel, including an old hand called Jack Kirby and a young up--and-comer called Steve Ditko.

There's countless possibilities. What alternate realities would you like to ponder?

For starters, you might want to check out Comics of Alternate Earths (which has some great ideas, but on the downside stole my thread title idea )

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Shirkelton
Apr 6, 2009

I'm not loyal to anything, General... except the dream.


I think something quite interesting to ponder is what would have happened if the Liefield, etc. buzz hadn't taken hold during the 90s, there's quite a few artists who were pressured into abandoning their usual style to fulfill the desire for more art like that.

It's not quite as huge an impact as imagineering around some more of the more impactful choices with the Heroes Reborn era with Marvel, but small decisions like that are kind of mercurial, it's interesting to think about in terms of what would have become the industry standard.

MacDuffie is a huge shout though, that guy would have had stories for decades, and proved it, it's a little sad to think about what we lost there.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



Dan Didio posted:

I think something quite interesting to ponder is what would have happened if the Liefield, etc. buzz hadn't taken hold during the 90s, there's quite a few artists who were pressured into abandoning their usual style to fulfill the desire for more art like that.

It's not quite as huge an impact as imagineering around some more of the more impactful choices with the Heroes Reborn era with Marvel, but small decisions like that are kind of mercurial, it's interesting to think about in terms of what would have become the industry standard.

MacDuffie is a huge shout though, that guy would have had stories for decades, and proved it, it's a little sad to think about what we lost there.

I think, considering how things run at Valiant with stuff like art classes for Knob Row, that Shooter's hypothetical Marvel wouldn't pressure artists to follow the trends. I wonder how he would have handled the creative tug-of-war between the writers and the artists on the X-books. I'm sure Liefeld & McFarlane would leave, but maybe Lee would stick around.

SFDebris' Rise & Fall of the Comc Empire suggested that Shooter would have given McFarlane a book for him to write, but rather than giving him his own Spider-Man book, he'd have given him a lower-level book instead to get the hang of it. I've been thinking, and I think the most likely candidate would be Cloak & Dagger. Poor sods.

And yeah I think, MacDuffie, had he lived, would be the one in charge of DC's movies, at the very least. And a lot more besides.

Shirkelton
Apr 6, 2009

I'm not loyal to anything, General... except the dream.


MacFarlane's a weird question, because with his output in hindsight, it's incredibly difficult to picture him putting appreciable effort into anything bar the Ultimate Universe, which fits his sensibilities a lot more, but he was such a property at the time, it's hard to see him getting anything but what he wanted.

As much as it is maligned, I think there's something electric to the Dark Ages of Comic Books. There's something really powerful about all the potential there.

Jordan7hm
Feb 17, 2011

MENS REA? LOL MORE LIKE CHRIS REA AM I RITE





Lipstick Apathy

I donít think MacFarlane stays in / returns to comics short of an ownership stake in the company he works for.

I also think itís interesting to think about - what if Rob wasnít there? He was going through a lot of poo poo with his dad in that period, and it wouldnít be crazy for him to have stepped away from comics for a few years. If that happens, image likely doesnít happen. Something else maybe does, but he was a catalyst for bringing that particular group together.

So he goes away, and then he comes back a few years later. The boom wasnít as pronounced but maybe the fall wasnít either. So what happens then?

Letís say he leaves after blowing up at marvel but before all the image stuff, early 1991. Him coming back would be a big deal. A good get for a big headline series. Louise Simonson stays on NM, so now thereís this spot for Rob to be the big star of Death of Superman.

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


I found out the other day that Chris Claremont was in talks at Image around the time it was founded to do a creator-owned series called The Huntsman with Whilce Portacio illustrating, but it fell apart when Portacio decided to do Wetworks instead. The Huntsman character only showed up in a few Claremont-scripted issues of WildCATs before becoming a footnote.

This was around 1994, so it's before any of the really freaky poo poo you got when Claremont went back to Marvel in the oughts. Realistically, you'd probably get a few years' run on a Claremont book at Image before it descended into constant relaunch hell like most of the other launch titles did, but it's interesting to consider what happens if the book succeeded. You might end up with a very different look to superhero comics in the subsequent decades.

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002

Nope



Jordan7hm posted:

so now there’s this spot for Rob to be the big star of Death of Superman.
Rob on Death and then on Knightfall would be something else.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



Jordan7hm posted:

I don't think MacFarlane stays in / returns to comics short of an ownership stake in the company he works for.

I also think it's interesting to think about - what if Rob wasn't there? He was going through a lot of poo poo with his dad in that period, and it wouldn't be crazy for him to have stepped away from comics for a few years. If that happens, image likely doesn't happen. Something else maybe does, but he was a catalyst for bringing that particular group together.

So he goes away, and then he comes back a few years later. The boom wasn't as pronounced but maybe the fall wasn't either. So what happens then?

Let's say he leaves after blowing up at marvel but before all the image stuff, early 1991. Him coming back would be a big deal. A good get for a big headline series. Louise Simonson stays on NM, so now there's this spot for Rob to be the big star of Death of Superman.

FilthyImp posted:

Rob on Death and then on Knightfall would be something else.
Wasn't Knightfall explicitly intended as a satire on the excesses of the 90s? Would be rather ironic. Of course if Liefeld's stepped away, perhaps the excesses weren't as bad and Knightfall never comes to be.

Also didn't Liefeld once go to a drawing class, but the teacher threw him out when he found out he was already a professional? Maybe if he steps away from comics that doesn't happen (well, the throwing out doesn't), and he actually evolves his style.

I think the late Carol Kalish is another person who died before her time that could and should have had a big impact on comics. She was a senior sales person, actively campaigned against the Heroes World buyout, and had been given a position for new product development at the point she died. And if she'd lived, we'd have a woman operating at the highest levels of the industry, maybe even president of Marvel. That'd be a nice universe to live in.

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006


I only have excellent ideas.


This is a really fascinating thread, I'm loving how much of the speculation is centered on the Image exodus and that whole weird feeling of change and potential that was in the air. I'm going to sticky it for a week because I think a lot of people would enjoy this.

I also agree 100% that McDuffie and Kalish would have been game-changers if they'd lived. Jack Cole too-- he'd recently broken into syndicated comics when he took his life, and Betsy and Me was a super promising comic that was getting more and more sophisticated as he found his feet in the format. As it is we have two and a half months worth of what could have been.

How Wonderful! fucked around with this message at 22:38 on Jul 24, 2020

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



How Wonderful! posted:

This is a really fascinating thread, I'm loving how much of the speculation is centered on the Image exodus and that whole weird feeling of change and potential that was in the air. I'm going to sticky it for a week because I think a lot of people would enjoy this.

I also agree 100% that McDuffie and Kalish would have been game-changers if they'd lived. Jack Cole too-- he'd recently broken into syndicated comics when he took his life, and Betsy and Me was a super promising comic that was getting more and more sophisticated as he found his feet in the format. As it is we have two and a half months worth of what could have been.
Wow, thanks!

I must admit, the Comics Fantasy Draft thread was actually kinda the impetus for this. Well, that, that Comics of Infinite Earths articles and reading a timeline where Jim Henson winds up getting on the Disney board in the 80s, but the draft thread was the main thing.

I think part of the reason for the focus on the Image exodus era, aside from the potential you mentioned, is that it's so well-documented. At the same time, the industry arguably reached its creative nadir, so naturally the desire to imagine alternatives is very tempting. If Shooter buys Marvel, Gruenwald's not put through the anguish of firing so many coworkers and friends, so perhaps he doesn't die from a heart attack, DeFalco doesn't get booted out at around the same time, and the proposed collaboration with Milestone they were pushing for gets off the ground.

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


Yvonmukluk posted:

I think part of the reason for the focus on the Image exodus era, aside from the potential you mentioned, is that it's so well-documented. At the same time, the industry arguably reached its creative nadir, so naturally the desire to imagine alternatives is very tempting. If Shooter buys Marvel, Gruenwald's not put through the anguish of firing so many coworkers and friends, so perhaps he doesn't die from a heart attack, DeFalco doesn't get booted out at around the same time, and the proposed collaboration with Milestone they were pushing for gets off the ground.

I would wonder if a Shooter-owned Marvel would run into a different set of problems, though. Unless he mellowed out some, he was unusually restrictive on content even for the period while he was the EIC; no mention of swearing, his heroes couldn't kill without consequences, no mention of LGBT affairs whatsoever. The Arnie Roth arc in Captain America is a decent example of the latter.

I suspect you'd end up with Marvel seeming weirdly puritan by the standards of the '90s, although that'd also mean it wouldn't have a "Dark Age" to speak of. You'd likely also have a regular talent drain, though.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



Wanderer posted:

I would wonder if a Shooter-owned Marvel would run into a different set of problems, though. Unless he mellowed out some, he was unusually restrictive on content even for the period while he was the EIC; no mention of swearing, his heroes couldn't kill without consequences, no mention of LGBT affairs whatsoever. The Arnie Roth arc in Captain America is a decent example of the latter.

I suspect you'd end up with Marvel seeming weirdly puritan by the standards of the '90s, although that'd also mean it wouldn't have a "Dark Age" to speak of. You'd likely also have a regular talent drain, though.

That's a fair point. I don't know if his later record on Valiant or Defiant would be indicative if he became more permissive when he was running his own company or not.

That Milestone crossover I mentioned's got my attention, since it'd basically be doing what Event Comics did with Marvel Knights in 1998 (and look where they ended up!). And now I'm picturing Dwayne McDuffie as EiC of Marvel...

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Wanderer posted:

I would wonder if a Shooter-owned Marvel would run into a different set of problems, though. Unless he mellowed out some, he was unusually restrictive on content even for the period while he was the EIC; no mention of swearing, his heroes couldn't kill without consequences, no mention of LGBT affairs whatsoever. The Arnie Roth arc in Captain America is a decent example of the latter.

I suspect you'd end up with Marvel seeming weirdly puritan by the standards of the '90s, although that'd also mean it wouldn't have a "Dark Age" to speak of. You'd likely also have a regular talent drain, though.

Honestly I'd consider that a good thing* overall if comics had remained a bit more restrained in regards to content, as otherwise that leads to gross pointless edgy poo poo

Basically I'm much more in favor of Shooter style editors who might be a touch tyrannical in how they run things versus the way many modern editors are seemingly unwilling to rein in the excesses of modern comics writers

*well besides the no LGBT part

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



drrockso20 posted:

Honestly I'd consider that a good thing* overall if comics had remained a bit more restrained in regards to content, as otherwise that leads to gross pointless edgy poo poo

Basically I'm much more in favor of Shooter style editors who might be a touch tyrannical in how they run things versus the way many modern editors are seemingly unwilling to rein in the excesses of modern comics writers

*well besides the no LGBT part
Yeah the no LGBT part is basically the one unambiguous downside to Shooter's approach. I think you have to also avoid going the other extreme of the editor/creator relationship where the editor dictates to the writer to try and shape the stories to their idea of what things 'should' be.

Interestingly, Shooter actually putting in a bid for Marvel during the bankruptcy proceedings, too. Of course, with Icahn and Perlmutter squabbling over it basically solely for spite at that point, there was no way they could pull enough money together. Maybe if the Beyonder turned a skyscraper into solid gold.

A more minor divergence I picked up - during the much-maligned Clone Saga, Marvel put out a miniseries called The Final Adventure, which as the name implies, was supposed to wrap up Peter's tenure as Spider-Man for good. While it was still in production, Bob Budiansky had a meeting at I think the Chicago Comic-con with Dan Jurgens, who more or less gave him an ultimatum that Peter had to definitively go back to being the genuine Peter & Spider-Man. Budiansky, who had up this point committed to the switchover but was harbouring doubts about the whole thing, ordered a reversal of course, forcing a rewrite of The Final Adventure so, instead of Peter's daughter being born (providing the justification for Peter to hang up the webs for good), Peter would temporarily lose his powers only for him to regain them and Mary Jane to have a miscarriage. What if the decision to reverse course came after The Final Adventure had been published and baby May's existence couldn't have been shoved under the rug?

Jordan7hm
Feb 17, 2011

MENS REA? LOL MORE LIKE CHRIS REA AM I RITE





Lipstick Apathy

Hereís one:

What if Jeff Smith decides to stick to animation?

When scholastic tries to break into the graphic novels for young adult market in the early 2000s who do they use? Do they have anywhere near the same level of success?

I believe Bone was a genuine game changer once the scholastic deal happens. Would another series have done as well?

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006


I only have excellent ideas.


Jordan7hm posted:

Hereís one:

What if Jeff Smith decides to stick to animation?

When scholastic tries to break into the graphic novels for young adult market in the early 2000s who do they use? Do they have anywhere near the same level of success?

I believe Bone was a genuine game changer once the scholastic deal happens. Would another series have done as well?

I want to propose Castle Waiting although I think Linda Medley would have to have been a much more tireless and vigorous self-promoter, but in a perfect world if there was lot more of it I think it would have the potential.

Or else maybe Measles found more of a foothold and generations of kids are enjoying The Adventures of Venus.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



It's cool to see some non-cape comics ideas, that's an area I know little about but want to find out about.

Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011






I think that "what if horror comics wasn't killed by the comics code". Would superhero comics be as popular or even be a thing if that hadn't happened?

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



Alhazred posted:

I think that "what if horror comics wasn't killed by the comics code". Would superhero comics be as popular or even be a thing if that hadn't happened?

Ooh, now this is a great idea to explore!

I think there would still be superhero comics, but I wonder if comics as a whole wouldn't get shunted into more of a niche as they did in a primarily-superhero based market.

I'd love to see what EC could have kept making if it had been allowed to live on.

Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011






Also, "what if DC hadn't hosed Alan Moore over? Would we have gotten a completely bonkers crossover event?"

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Alhazred posted:

Also, "what if DC hadn't hosed Alan Moore over? Would we have gotten a completely bonkers crossover event?"

Man a world where we got Twilight of The Superheroes would have been wild

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


A minor one with big potential effects: Flo Steinberg quit Marvel in 1968 after not getting a raise, and wouldn't go back for 30 years. It's quite possible it'd be a very different company now if Steinberg had stayed at Marvel through the '70s, just in terms of the effect she'd have had on early fan culture.

Alhazred posted:

I think that "what if horror comics wasn't killed by the comics code". Would superhero comics be as popular or even be a thing if that hadn't happened?

You'd probably still have superhero comics, but I have to figure there are a lot of creators who weren't necessarily a great fit for the genre who'd have done most of their work in horror comics if they could've. Alan Moore in particular always seemed like a horror writer who'd been forced into superheroes by the market, and maybe Marv Wolfman stays doing Dracula comics and never moves over to Teen Titans.

That doesn't mean you don't get good superhero books, but I'd imagine a lot of the seminal works in the genre wouldn't exist or would be considerably different.

sticksy
May 26, 2004
keeping austin weird





Nap Ghost

I'm sure it's been discussed at length forever and I'm just not aware of it but the one that always hit me was What If...

Jack Kirby, quite possibly the most iconic and influential creator (or co-creator if you believed Stan Lee) of the entire medium, wasn't treated like poo poo by Marvel over ownership rights etc and had never left to do his stint in the early 70's at DC?
  • Would Thanos and much of what Starlin created as to cosmic characters never have been done since Marvel editorial would've likely seen it as redundant/clashing with now Marvel's New Gods and Darkseid?

  • Would Infinity Gauntlet then eventually come to pass, how would it have been different and would it have revolved around Darkseid instead?

  • Given Thanos' prominence in what becomes the MCU over multiple phases concluding with End-Game, who would've been the big bad or what would've been the over-arching storyline for what becomes the most successful film series of all time?

Test Pattern
Dec 20, 2007

Keep scrolling, clod!


Yvonmukluk posted:

And yeah I think, MacDuffie, had he lived, would be the one in charge of DC's movies, at the very least. And a lot more besides.

Imagine a world where DC vs Marvel movies was a choice rather than a joke.

Jordan7hm posted:

Hereís one:

What if Jeff Smith decides to stick to animation?

This reminds me -- What if Gerard Way had stuck it out in comics and animation the first time out rather than switching to his fallback plan?

Test Pattern fucked around with this message at 12:50 on Jul 31, 2020

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


sticksy posted:

I'm sure it's been discussed at length forever and I'm just not aware of it but the one that always hit me was What If...

Jack Kirby, quite possibly the most iconic and influential creator (or co-creator if you believed Stan Lee) of the entire medium, wasn't treated like poo poo by Marvel over ownership rights etc and had never left to do his stint in the early 70's at DC?
[List]
[*]Would Thanos and much of what Starlin created as to cosmic characters never have been done since Marvel editorial would've likely seen it as redundant/clashing with now Marvel's New Gods and Darkseid?

I'm not sure you'd have the New Gods in their current form at all. Funky Flashman in particular suggests that a big ingredient in their creation was Kirby's frustration with Marvel and Lee.

Alvarez IV
Aug 3, 2010


I've always been curious what happens if Len Wein stays on as X-Men artist instead of migrating over to DC. John Byrne would have to break through on another title. If he both writes and draws it, the era of 80s comic auteurs could start a hair sooner, and Byrne's clout only can go up. Then later on, when he shows his rear end all over the internet, it's a bigger deal because of his greater prominence. Wolverine might migrate out of the X-Men and into military Marvel, while Nightcrawler winds up being a big Spidermanesque title character. Someone else might have to take on the task of revitalizing Superman, if Byrne isn't driven out by creative differences with Claremont. That could go any kind of way. Someone else has to edit Watchmen too. Alan Moore's time at DC is going to have to come from some non-Swamp Thing source. I think X-Men stays old-school Romantic for longer with Claremont and Wein at the helm. The mutant metaphor always felt more like one of Byrne's ideas, especially given what he ended up writing for Superman.

Lager
Mar 9, 2004

Give me the secret to the anti-puppet equation!


Alvarez IV posted:

I've always been curious what happens if Len Wein stays on as X-Men artist instead of migrating over to DC. John Byrne would have to break through on another title. If he both writes and draws it, the era of 80s comic auteurs could start a hair sooner, and Byrne's clout only can go up. Then later on, when he shows his rear end all over the internet, it's a bigger deal because of his greater prominence. Wolverine might migrate out of the X-Men and into military Marvel, while Nightcrawler winds up being a big Spidermanesque title character. Someone else might have to take on the task of revitalizing Superman, if Byrne isn't driven out by creative differences with Claremont. That could go any kind of way. Someone else has to edit Watchmen too. Alan Moore's time at DC is going to have to come from some non-Swamp Thing source. I think X-Men stays old-school Romantic for longer with Claremont and Wein at the helm. The mutant metaphor always felt more like one of Byrne's ideas, especially given what he ended up writing for Superman.

Len Wein wasn't the artist on Giant Size X-Men, that was Dave Cockrum. Len Wein was a writer, and an editor. Dave Cockrum staying on X-Men alongside Claremont, though, would have been interesting. Len Wein probably still returns to DC and does all the Alan Moore related work you're referring to in that scenario, though it would be interesting for Nightcrawler to have immensely increased prominence. Wolverine mostly got the focus because he was Canadian, and Byrne stuck up for him as a result. Without Byrne around, would Thunderbird live instead and Wolverine die?

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



An interesting Spider-Man one: Roger Stern left his run on Amazing Spider-Man after personality clashes with Danny Fingeroth, partially spurred by finding out John Romita Jr. was also leaving the book, leaving after only 26 issues and leaving the Hobgoblin mystery unsolved. However Stern has also gone on record that had he known that Ron Frenz would be the new artist he might have stayed on. So what if he had?

TwoPair
Mar 28, 2010

Pandamn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta


Grimey Drawer

My only real what if thing I think about is what if the DC New 52 wasn't such a hot mess? As I understand it, financially the New 52 was a good move (for a while at least) and theoretically a clean break with a complex canon would be an ideal way to draw in to draw in new readers. Except it wasn't a complete reboot because they just let Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison continue their Green Lantern and Batman stories with more or less (definitely more in Morrison's case but still mostly) no changes, and a good portion of the new #1s were clearly written without a reboot in mind at all, or were written from very confusing angles which referenced older stories that supposedly were no longer canon. So like, what if DC let Morrison and Johns finish and let every other writer put a cap on other characters' stories (this would also be fun because it'd let writers go real crazy since there would no longer be a reason to "put toys back in the toybox" for the next writer) before the big break? Would things have ultimately turned out better, or would we more or less be in the same boat as we are now with Rebirth, and DC still going "uhhhh it was Dr. Manhattan's fault but now we're fixing everything back to the way it was!"

Test Pattern
Dec 20, 2007

Keep scrolling, clod!


TwoPair posted:

So like, what if DC let Morrison and Johns finish and let every other writer put a cap on other characters' stories (this would also be fun because it'd let writers go real crazy since there would no longer be a reason to "put toys back in the toybox" for the next writer) before the big break?

This is sort of what Marvel's "Last Days" titles in the run up to Secret War were. Some of those were very good. In general, I think Secret War was the best linewide restart either of the big two have ever done -- some of my favorite comics of the last decade were the totally bugfuck minis we got during it.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


TwoPair posted:

My only real what if thing I think about is what if the DC New 52 wasn't such a hot mess? As I understand it, financially the New 52 was a good move (for a while at least) and theoretically a clean break with a complex canon would be an ideal way to draw in to draw in new readers. Except it wasn't a complete reboot because they just let Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison continue their Green Lantern and Batman stories with more or less (definitely more in Morrison's case but still mostly) no changes, and a good portion of the new #1s were clearly written without a reboot in mind at all, or were written from very confusing angles which referenced older stories that supposedly were no longer canon. So like, what if DC let Morrison and Johns finish and let every other writer put a cap on other characters' stories (this would also be fun because it'd let writers go real crazy since there would no longer be a reason to "put toys back in the toybox" for the next writer) before the big break? Would things have ultimately turned out better, or would we more or less be in the same boat as we are now with Rebirth, and DC still going "uhhhh it was Dr. Manhattan's fault but now we're fixing everything back to the way it was!"

The better what if is regarding the fact that DC had originally planned on having a New 52 style line wide reboot after Final Crisis, which would have been a much better way to do it

Alvarez IV
Aug 3, 2010


Lager posted:

Len Wein wasn't the artist on Giant Size X-Men, that was Dave Cockrum. Len Wein was a writer, and an editor. Dave Cockrum staying on X-Men alongside Claremont, though, would have been interesting. Len Wein probably still returns to DC and does all the Alan Moore related work you're referring to in that scenario, though it would be interesting for Nightcrawler to have immensely increased prominence. Wolverine mostly got the focus because he was Canadian, and Byrne stuck up for him as a result. Without Byrne around, would Thunderbird live instead and Wolverine die?

drat, you got me. I had hosed up on the names and should have known what I was doing.

OldMemes
Sep 5, 2011

I have to go now. My planet needs me.


What if the Dazzler movie had gotten made? Would it have been a hit, or bombed at the box office and become a cult classic years later?

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


OldMemes posted:

What if the Dazzler movie had gotten made? Would it have been a hit, or bombed at the box office and become a cult classic years later?

The movie was designed as a Bo Derek vehicle, and Bo Derek doesn't make good movies. It'd probably have ended up as an informal failure trilogy with Howard the Duck and that Captain America movie with J.D. Salinger's kid where he just can not stop stealing cars.

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002

Nope



Fresh off of Little Shop of Horrors, Howard Ashman gets word that Marvel Comics wants to try its hand at a few cape flicks. While he's not sure he can make Spider-Man into a broadway song-and-dance number, he does find something interesting about the proposed sidekick, Dazzler.

A week later, Ashman pitches something back to Marvel execs: a grand musical rock operatic deal that puts Dazzler straight into the height of 70s Disco excess. Mutant becomes a coded analogue to the Gay experience, with the mutant powers bit hewing closer to drugs than a genetic burden. One part A Star Is Born, with a dash of Saturday Night Fever and Grease, Ashman's ambitious project gets a tentative green light. Provided he can write up three sample songs and get a treatment in within two months.

Problem is, Ashman hates the star they have in mind: Bo Derrek. She's box office poison, acts like a cardboard box, and can't hold a tune. So he deliberately writes songs that are way out of her range.

The resultant screen test is legendary as Marvel big-wigs decide to sit in at the last minute. They don't even make it to the second song before they walk out. But Ashman workshopped these songs with someone in mind, and he takes a gamble by sending the demo tapes to the Marvel folk to see if they bite. He figures they can keep Bo, but she'll be the cold-hearted proprietor of the Hellfire Club and antagonist. And she won't sing a bar.

It pays off. DAZZLER is a big, campy hit. Subversive enough to draw in adults but written with enough plausible deniability that kids can enjoy it. The surprise breakout star ends up being the foreigner they cast as John Logan, an Austrian muscleman.

No sequel is made, since Ashman gets called up by Disney soon after and most of the cast finds other projects that are much more fruitful.

Now, the only question is, did Ashman cast Susan Dey as Dazzler, or was he able to convince the suits to go with Janet Jackson...

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



FilthyImp posted:

Fresh off of Little Shop of Horrors, Howard Ashman gets word that Marvel Comics wants to try its hand at a few cape flicks. While he's not sure he can make Spider-Man into a broadway song-and-dance number, he does find something interesting about the proposed sidekick, Dazzler.

A week later, Ashman pitches something back to Marvel execs: a grand musical rock operatic deal that puts Dazzler straight into the height of 70s Disco excess. Mutant becomes a coded analogue to the Gay experience, with the mutant powers bit hewing closer to drugs than a genetic burden. One part A Star Is Born, with a dash of Saturday Night Fever and Grease, Ashman's ambitious project gets a tentative green light. Provided he can write up three sample songs and get a treatment in within two months.

Problem is, Ashman hates the star they have in mind: Bo Derrek. She's box office poison, acts like a cardboard box, and can't hold a tune. So he deliberately writes songs that are way out of her range.

The resultant screen test is legendary as Marvel big-wigs decide to sit in at the last minute. They don't even make it to the second song before they walk out. But Ashman workshopped these songs with someone in mind, and he takes a gamble by sending the demo tapes to the Marvel folk to see if they bite. He figures they can keep Bo, but she'll be the cold-hearted proprietor of the Hellfire Club and antagonist. And she won't sing a bar.

It pays off. DAZZLER is a big, campy hit. Subversive enough to draw in adults but written with enough plausible deniability that kids can enjoy it. The surprise breakout star ends up being the foreigner they cast as John Logan, an Austrian muscleman.

No sequel is made, since Ashman gets called up by Disney soon after and most of the cast finds other projects that are much more fruitful.

Now, the only question is, did Ashman cast Susan Dey as Dazzler, or was he able to convince the suits to go with Janet Jackson...
Another option: Grace Jones, since I believe she was the inspiration for Dazzler's look before they instead modelled her on Bo Derek. Funny, that...

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002

Nope



Yvonmukluk posted:

Another option: Grace Jones
She'd obviously get a role as the mentor character, STORM, who leads an all-girl Punk band called The Maurauders and helps pull Dazzler out of Frost's clutches.

How Wonderful!
Jul 18, 2006


I only have excellent ideas.


FilthyImp posted:

Fresh off of Little Shop of Horrors, Howard Ashman gets word that Marvel Comics wants to try its hand at a few cape flicks. While he's not sure he can make Spider-Man into a broadway song-and-dance number, he does find something interesting about the proposed sidekick, Dazzler.

A week later, Ashman pitches something back to Marvel execs: a grand musical rock operatic deal that puts Dazzler straight into the height of 70s Disco excess. Mutant becomes a coded analogue to the Gay experience, with the mutant powers bit hewing closer to drugs than a genetic burden. One part A Star Is Born, with a dash of Saturday Night Fever and Grease, Ashman's ambitious project gets a tentative green light. Provided he can write up three sample songs and get a treatment in within two months.

Problem is, Ashman hates the star they have in mind: Bo Derrek. She's box office poison, acts like a cardboard box, and can't hold a tune. So he deliberately writes songs that are way out of her range.

The resultant screen test is legendary as Marvel big-wigs decide to sit in at the last minute. They don't even make it to the second song before they walk out. But Ashman workshopped these songs with someone in mind, and he takes a gamble by sending the demo tapes to the Marvel folk to see if they bite. He figures they can keep Bo, but she'll be the cold-hearted proprietor of the Hellfire Club and antagonist. And she won't sing a bar.

It pays off. DAZZLER is a big, campy hit. Subversive enough to draw in adults but written with enough plausible deniability that kids can enjoy it. The surprise breakout star ends up being the foreigner they cast as John Logan, an Austrian muscleman.

No sequel is made, since Ashman gets called up by Disney soon after and most of the cast finds other projects that are much more fruitful.

Now, the only question is, did Ashman cast Susan Dey as Dazzler, or was he able to convince the suits to go with Janet Jackson...

I have no doubt in my mind that this would be my favorite movie.

WeedlordGoku69
Feb 11, 2015

by Cyrano4747


FilthyImp posted:

The surprise breakout star ends up being the foreigner they cast as John Logan, an Austrian muscleman.

If this is meant to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was already a known quantity in 1986. Not the mega-star he'd become after Terminator 2, granted, but he'd already done Conan the Barbarian, Commando, and the first Terminator by that point and people generally knew who he was.

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drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


WeedlordGoku69 posted:

If this is meant to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was already a known quantity in 1986. Not the mega-star he'd become after Terminator 2, granted, but he'd already done Conan the Barbarian, Commando, and the first Terminator by that point and people generally knew who he was.

And even before those he was still an international celebrity through his bodybuilding achievements

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