They’ll be back… or at least I’d like them to be!

Bloggerinos! Raph here, with something that I think we all think about from time to time: dream projects. All of us have favorite characters and creators we’d like to see on books, and for this post, I’d like to share with you some of the characters I’d like to see come back, and what creative team I’d like to see on them. For the sake of fairness, I’m doing two DC characters and two Marvel characters, check out who my choices are after the break!

1)     Azrael

Since the New 52 hasn’t made any mention of this particular character, I’d like to take the chance to reboot this character. Jean Paul Valley is a biomechanical engineer at Wayne Enterprises, who is working on a prosthetic suit for injured war veterans and the disabled, as he is disabled himself. When a shadowy organization attempts to steal the suit, Valley discovers a forgotten family legacy: the legacy of Azrael, the chosen soldier of the Order of St. Dumas! Jean Paul will have to undergo the ritual of fire and come out of it stronger and more powerful than he could ever dream. He modifies his invention and combines it with the armor he was destined to wear, the Suit of Sorrows, and becomes the Order’s fist of vengeance. After making a name for himself on the assassin circuit, he draws the attention of Batman, who opposes Azrael’s methods, and exposes him. On the run from the metahuman community, and eventually betrayed by the Order, Azrael must not only fight for survival, but also for vengeance against the Order that betrayed him.

I’d love to see Luthor Strode  and Green Lantern: New Guardians writer Justin Jordan tackle this and have his Strode collaborator Tradd Moore work on this series. Maybe it won’t be as gory as their Strode saga, but it’ll be plenty of fun to see Jean Paul running around again.

2)     Black Bat (SPOILERS FOR BATMAN INC.)

Another character that was erased, and another member of the extended Bat family, Cassandra Cain deserves a shot at another series. The end of Grant Morrison’s run has seemed to have brought an end to Batman Inc., and when last we saw her, Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl, had become the Black Bat. What does this mean for Cassandra Cain?

I imagine Cassandra being on the run, Batman Inc. no longer has any authority or jurisdiction, and being chased by China’s heroes, which could be the Great Ten from the old DC Universe, or a new set of characters. I’d also like her to get to a point of desperation, and turning to the one person who could help her: her mother, Lady Shiva Woo-San. The deadliest fighter in the world, attempting to initiate her daughter into the League of Assassins, as Cassandra is desperately trying to hold on to the lessons Batman taught her.

I would like Gail Simone to write this, and have it drawn by Scott McDaniel, for that old school 90’s feel, or maybe someone like Jim Califiore, who has collaborated with Gail on books before, and is familiar with the flowing movement of characters like Black Bat and Shiva.

And now the Marvel Characters:

1)     Darkhawk and the Runaways (SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS ARENA)

With the recent developments of Avengers Arena, Chase from the Runaways is now in control of the Darkhawk amulet, and wields the armor and capabilities of Darkhawk. He and Nico have been stuck in Arcade’s Arena, and I’m assuming they both survive the Avengers Arena series after the first season ends.

In this spin-off, I’d like for Nico and Chase to reunite with all of the Runaways and decide that they need to run further than ever. The Avengers failed them, the X-Men failed them, and now it’s time for them to strike out on their own… in space! Of course, their encounters with other alien races will be entertaining and fraught with danger, but that’s what happens when you’re forced to do nothing but run. Also, Darkhawk is part of a much larger, ancient fraternity, and maybe that could be the driving force of their mission in space, to stop the Raptors from their evil schemes.

I think Dennis Hopeless, writer of Avengers Arena, would be a natural choice, or he could plot this and Kieron Gillen (Young Avengers) could script it. I don’t think bringing back any past Runaways artists is a good idea, as this series would have a darker turn. Maybe Stefano Caselli (Secret Warriors, Avengers) could draw this one?

2)     Masters of Kung-Fu

I feel like this could be a 70’s noir, kung-fu book. Following the adventures of Iron Fist and Shang Chi around the world, as they fight criminals and threats on a more lower level. I want the driving point to be Danny Rand travelling the world and helping to revive martial arts schools and programs, and for various enemies to get in the way: a world tour through places like China, Japan, Thailand, Greece (Pankration with Hercules anyone?) and other locales with a history of great martial arts. People in these areas may not have thunder gods and super soldiers to look out for them, but they’ll have the power of the legs and fists.

Matt Fraction has experience with Iron Fist, but the poor guy is overworked with so many titles coming out through both Marvel and Image. Let’s give someone else a shot: Sam Humprhies. I liked his work on the Ultimates after Hickman, and Fanboys vs. Zombies. For the art, how about  Sebastian Fiumara, who drew Shang-Chi in Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu.

That’s it for this time, do you have a book you’d like to see Marvel or DC make? Feel free to comment with your choice of character and creative team, and who knows, maybe one of the Big Two will pay attention? Until next time—

“Which one’s the ugly one?”

-        Raph

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