New Ideas, Simmering

I’m trying to remember to blog more. So here, an expansion on some stuff I just rattled off on Twitter…

While watching 2 GUNS, I came up with the final conceptual bit for a character I’ve been playing around with for years. Nothing to do with 2 GUNS, which was fun—it’s loud and fun and charming and not trying to be deep, so I enjoyed it for what it was but had plenty of time to appreciate the surface stuff and still think about other things.

But the new character feels strange to me, a little alien to my usual sensibilities. More like something Greg Rucka or Ed Brubaker would write than my general approach. And that’s fun, and invigorating. It’s always exciting to try new stuff.

And this is new/old stuff, really. It grew out of what I was planning to do with the Black Widow in IRON MAN, as a way of making her unique and compelling again, but they took her away from me and gave her back to the DAREDEVIL guys before I could get started. So I stewed about it—I liked the idea, but it was a big change, not something you can do with a character when someone else can yank her away at any moment. Nut then, it was a big enough change to be a new character, so why not try that? So she went into my notes, and I messed around with new names and new contexts and story structures and approaches, and now I’ve got the last major piece.

Now I just need a series to do it in. That’s the fun part. I’ve got notes I’ve written up over the years, everything from a two-line concept to multi-page documents, on superhero and action/adventure ideas that either I planned to do at Marvel or DC and they just never happened, or that from the start I knew had to be their own thing, but wasn’t the sort of character I’d put into ASTRO CITY. In ASTRO CITY, after all, the superhero action is the backdrop, the context in which character stories happen. And these ideas were things that really want to be shown off in an action-adventure setting. Not subverted, but treated as the main course.

A while back, I went through my list of these ideas, and figured out that if I did a new series, a new world with these guys in it, and did an average of a six-issue arc on each one, the series could run twenty years without needing any new concepts. And of course, I’ve come up with more since.

It’s nice to have all that in my back pocket, knowing I can pull it out whenever I want. But someday, I’m going to have to start using this stuff. Building that new world, making those ideas come to life on paper.

I don’t have the time yet; too many other deadlines to deal with right now. But I hope it won’t be too long.

Just some thoughts I’m thinking about on a Sunday evening…

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