With the announcement of the upcoming Damian: Son of Batman and Sinestro Corps series, DC has (for the time being) decided to stop making new series that don’t involve Batman, Green Lantern, or Superman. This is a shame because they experimented and are still experimenting with books in different genres, like war (G.I. Combat), western (All Star Western), fantasy (Sword of Sorcery), and sci-fi (Threshold). However, these books are usually the ones that get cancelled. Many of the Bat-books (Batman, Batgirl, Batwoman) are solid reads, but does there need to be thirteen of them? Here are characters at DC that should get their own ongoing series.
Unlike some of the other characters on this list, Booster Gold has made several appearances in the New 52. He acted as the leader of the Justice League International and more recently teamed up with Jonah Hex in 19th century Gotham in All-Star Western. In Justice League of America, Amanda Waller sent another time traveler named Chronos to look for him so he may play a role in “Trinity War” or future DC storylines. However, DC could do so much more with Booster Gold. His book could become the Doctor Who of the DC Comics as he travels throughout the history of the DC universe. In one story arc, he could team up with the Demon Knights and in the next, he could meet the Legion of Superheroes. This book could be a light humorous read, but also deal with parallels between superheroes and celebrities as Booster Gold struggles to balance product endorsements with heroics. Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen have written most of the Booster Gold stories so it’s time for new blood. This book should be given to indie comics writer Matt Kindt, who is currently writing the retro spy thriller Mind MGMT for Dark Horse and the Martian Manhunter backups in Justice League of America. Kindt deserves his own high concept sandbox to play in, and the Booster Gold series will allow him to write stories in many different genres. Aaron Lopresti, who has experience drawing Booster Gold in Justice League International and Justice League: Generation Lost, should be the artist because of his bright, loud take on the character and his steady work.
Cyborg has become one of the most interesting characters in Geoff Johns’ current Justice League run in which he helped save Earth from the Atlanteans by sacrificing his lung to get more enhancements to his battle suit. He also currently appears in the Teen Titans Go! and as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us so he is known outside of comics. Cyborg is also the only member of the Justice League to not have a solo book. Even though his history with the Teen Titans has been erased, a Cyborg ongoing series could be compelling. It could focus on an ordinary human’s struggle with being a hero and having his life snatched away from him when Darkseid invaded. Because his father works at S.T.A.R. Labs, the story could deal with Cyborg’s relationships with the scientists there and have science fiction feel elements. But for this book to be a success, Cyborg must interact with people of his own age. Maybe he could take classes at a community college or run into teen heroes, like Blue Beetle or Static. The writer of Cyborg should be Geoff Johns even though he is writing many books right now because he has the ability to make less popular characters like Sinestro and Aquaman interesting. He also had a four year run on Teen Titans in which he wrote Cyborg in addition to his Justice League work. The artist should be Nicola Scott, who was the artist on Teen Titans from 2010-11 and can handle a variety of characters in the DC universe as exhibited by work on Secret Six, Superman, and Earth 2.
One of the highlights of the DC New 52 has been the renewed emphasis on magic characters. From Justice League Dark to Swamp Thing and even Phantom Stranger, some of the best stories in DC universe are being told in its shadowiest corners. One of the characters that keeps popping up in these books and other DC series is Zatanna, the famous magician and practitioner of backwards magic. She has been a steady member of Justice League Dark, and deeper relationships with characters like John Constantine, Batman, and her father Zatara have been hinted at and shown. Zatanna’s solo book could be a crime series with a supernatural tinge and deal with her double life of being both a stage magician and actual magician. There could be occasional looks at her relationship with the dead Zatara, and like the Phantom Stranger, guest stars like Constantine, Batman, Batwoman, and Madame Xanadu could make appearances. Paul Dini wrote Zatanna’s last solo series, but the New 52 is a different animal so Ray Fawkes should write the series. From his work on Constantine and Justice League Dark, he is comfortable with this side of the DC Universe. He also excels at writing female characters and their inner voices as shown by his fill-in arc on Batgirl. The artist should be Amy Reeder, who drew a female magical character in Madame Xanadu and also had a brief run on Batwoman. She brings a unique manga-inspired influence that would stand out from the other artists currently working in DC.
This might sound like a contradiction because there are thirteen Batman titles, and Alfred has never had his own series. But if they keep putting out Batman books, DC might as well experiment with their concepts. Alfred is the most constant member of Batman’s supporting cast and one of the few who knows his secret identity. He can also handle himself in combat and even had his own backup story in the “Court of the Owls” arc in Batman. An Alfred book could explore the problems of Gotham and the Bat-family from his perspective. We’ve seen what Batman thinks about Alfred; it will be even more interesting to explore their relationship from his perspective. The beginning of the series would focus on Alfred trying to bring the Bat-family together after the events of “Death of the Family”. Subsequent stories could look at Alfred’s past. Hopefully, the creative team will keep Alfred’s military background seen in The Dark Knight film and Batman: Earth One. The writer would be Batman: The Animated Series and Arkham Asylum mastermind Paul Dini, who could fit in one comic along with his Marvel animation work. Readers haven’t seen his take on the New 52 Batman, and his knowledge of the Bat-mythos would be invaluable for this daring series. The artist would be Gary Frank, who drew an extremely militaristic take on Alfred in Batman: Earth One and just finished drawing the “Shazam” backups in Justice League.
One of the legendary Jack Kirby’s earliest comics creation, the Newsboy Legion were a gang of boys selling newspapers in the slums of Metropolis who had a backup story in Star-Spangled Comics and were supporting characters in Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen. They later were retconned as clones created by Project Cadmus. A revamping of the Newsboy Legion would bring things like new media and social networking to the DC New 52. The Newsboy Legion would be renamed the News Legion and have a blog that chronicled the events of the DC Universe from a person on the street perspective. It would be like the “Channel 52” feature at the end of all of the DC comics, except less cheesy. It could explore what an average person thinks about the larger than life characters of the DC universe. The cast of News Legion would be diverse in gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and political views to reflect all points of view. Because the characters aren’t DC’s heavy hitters, everyone in the News Legion would be expendable. Warren Ellis should write this high concept series and make a triumphant return to DC without the kind of creative interference he had on Hellblazer. He has dealt with journalism before in Transmetropolitan and written plenty of books about the different parts of the Marvel and DC universes. Cameron Stewart, who drew a version of the Newsboy Legion in Seven Soldiers and collaborated with Ellis on a Transmetropolitan one-shot, should do the art. He is familiar with the DC universe through his work on Catwoman, Batman Inc., and various covers for the company.