The Future of Comics
by Mike Baron

Paul Levitz got the idea for 52 watching 24. Instead of comics providing intellectual fodder for television it's the other way around. My fly-sized spy in the DC offices reports on future projects:
  • Bizarro World, a take-off of Surreal World in which over-the-hill superheroes are forced to live together in a Beverly Hills mansion and compete for computer time. The first installment will feature Captain Marvel, Zatanna, Snapper Carr, Mr. Pre-Crisis Mxyzptlk, Mr. Post-Crisis Myxyzptlk, Lana Lang, and Booster Gold.
  • The Question will feature The Question questioning world leaders in the manner of Chris Matthews' Hardball. He will ask Lex Luthor about the future of energy. He will ask the Elongated Man his diet and exercise regimen. He will ask Zatanna about the housing bubble.
  • Legion follows a wildly successful twenty-something superhero as he flits from disaster to ceremony attended by a coterie of less-successful superheroes. Rob Liefeld to write and draw.
  • Rick Veitch will write and illustrate Sidekick Swap in which well-established duos trade sidekicks for a week. Robin and Kevin Eubanks, Aqua Girl and Keith Richards, Aqualad and Dick Cheney. Justice League Europe has spawned Justice League Paducah, Justice League Bismarck, and Justice League Colorado City.
Marvel will try to snatch DC's lunch with:
  • Reviver: reliable warhorses Warlock, Sons of the Tiger, Spider-Girl, and Fin Fang Foom compete for Scoobie-Snacks in a Boston row house.
  • Daughters of the Dragon Lady: Dakota North, Colleen Wing, and Misty Knight vie for a job with impossible-to-please uberbitch fashion designer Infinity.
  • Slap Leather features Rawhide Kid as a fashion consultant and hairdresser who will make-over less presentable super-heroes like The Punisher and Wolverine.
  • Hard Copy With J. Jonah Jameson showcases the seasoned editor investigating what's really driving up the price of gas, why you can't get a decent cup of coffee in South Dakota, and why your clothes dryer resembles the cage in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome; two socks enter the dryer, one sock leaves.
  • Captain American Idol will feature aspiring super-heroes who will perform heroically and be judged by Wonder Man, Black Cat, and the Joker. Feats include saving a puppy from a storm drain, getting a spot out of a white shirt, straightening out Fantastic Four continuity and bringing peace to the Middle East.
  • Desperate Superheroines stars Sue Richards, Jean Grey, Black Widow, and Aunt May as scheming, man-eating denizens of Bucks County.
Disney is re-launching its comic line with Mouse, featuring the veteran actor as a no-nonsense ER physician whose brusque manner and squeaky voice rub some people the wrong way. Millionaire is a revival of the fifties drama starring Scrooge McDuck and his nephew Donald. Once a month, Scrooge hands out a million bucks to some deserving entrepreneur.

Warners is launching its own line with Skunk'd, featuring Pepe LePew as celebrity prankster. In the first episode, David Duke calls on Foghorn Leghorn. Wascally features Bugs Bunny in a burka interviewing various world leaders such as Mamoud Ahmadinejad, Madeline Albright, and Hugo Chavez. The Fudd Report investigates various quack cures for baldness.

And of course there's Monday Night Dragonball.

Dark Horse's The Goon is hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards. Lonely Wolf and Cub is now a reality show, with Samurai's most eligible bachelor meeting Hollywood starlets and going on dates.

Mike Baron worked for the Boston Phoenix, Boston After Dark, and the Real Paper. He broke into comics with Nexus, his groundbreaking science fiction title co-created with illustrator Steve Rude. Baron has written Marvel's Punisher, DC's Batman, Deadman, and Flash. Nexus has garnered honors too numerous to mention, including Eisners for both creators. Baron has written Star Wars for Dark Horse, Turok, Dinosaur Hunter and Archer & Armstrong for Valiant, and has three issues of Legends of the Dark Knight in the works.

A prolific creator, Baron is at least partly responsible for The Badger, Ginger Fox, Spyke, Feud, and many other comic book titles. He currently has two new web comics up at Big Head Press. The Architect is a horror story based on the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Hook is rock and roll science fiction - think Farenheit 451 only instead of banning books they have banned music.

Baron lives in Colorado with his wife and dogs. He collects rocks.
Nexus Archives, by Mike!

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