Many years ago, during my time at Marvel Comics, assistant editors (of which I was one) attended semi-weekly “Assistant Editors’ Classes”, something that happened throughout Marvel’s history from time to time. This round of classes were taught alternately by Chris Claremont and Mark Waid, both of whom were (and are) renowned for their work as comics writers. And the classes were less about being assistant editors and more about thinking about comics, characters, etc.
For a series of weeks we were given some homework. The first assignment was to choose either The Avengers or the X-Men, select a roster of six characters to make up that team, and explain why.
The second assignment was to take the team you’d composed and develop a proposal for a year’s worth of stories and what, given the power to do so, you’d do with the team/title you’d chosen – in theory something different than what was, at the time, happening in those series.
As a long-time Avengers fan…and at the time assistant editor of The Avengers, naturally I chose The Avengers. I composed my team and following that developed a proposal that took some glee in the hypothetical nature of it. In a nutshell, I proposed a storyline that would change the very nature of what The Avengers was, how the team functioned, etc. Something different.
In light of recent and not-so-recent goings on with Avengers comics over the past seven years (and for those who don’t follow this sort of thing I did consider taking the long way and explaining it all, but thought that might be…tedious) and more recently the launch of a brand new Avengers series last week, I thought I’d drag out and share the line-up and proposal I’d written way back when.
In reflecting on it I can’t help but notice some of the…similarities to what’s happened over the past seven years. Stylistically, yes, there are huge differences, but thematically, for those who’ve been paying attention, there are definite parallels.
The point of this isn’t to show off in an “I had this idea first!” sort of way…well, maybe a little…but really, it’s more to show how there’s sometimes parallel thinking out there and how similar ideas can be explored or executed differently. As to whether those ideas or stories are worth exploring…or whether the executions worked or didn’t, that’s a whole different discussion and surely a matter of personal taste and opinion.
But, for those who are interested, you can read my “take”, as it was written over 10 years ago, by clicking here.