And now for something completely different.
I know we’re not close, but I wanted to reach out to you.
Recently, it’s come to my attention that you guys are in a spot of trouble. Apparently, your pal Nick Spencer thought it would be cool if Captain America came out as a Hydra agent. I saw this as a dumb marketing decision, like that time when Cap was a werewolf, but apparently this outraged a good number of folks. I’m a bit out of the loop since I barely touch your books, so you’ll have to fill me in on the hows and whys of this decision but from what I’ve gleaned, it’s understandable people would take umbrage with this turn of events. Turning a symbol of western freedom and security into another costumed goon for a Nazi proxy cell is not, er, great?
I’m not here to talk about that, though. I’m here to talk about Spencer’s other bad idea from Sam Wilson: Captain America known as The Bombshells, a radical leftist terror trio of Tumblr strawmen (strawfolk? Two of them are women) and currently I’m wondering what side of the pool everyone’s peeing in over there. However, I’m also wondering if you’ve unintentionally struck gold with this idea.
Here’s a proposition you probably weren’t expecting: I want to write for you. I know you guys get scores of people sending pitches for Spider-Man one-shots or twenty-volume reboots of Power Pack, but I’m serious. I might not have a Wikipedia page to my name yet, but I’ve been featured in a few books and websites. Plus, I know how to write a comic script.
And I want to write about The Bombshells.
That’s right. Not these Bombshells (not yet, anyway). The ones I just talked about.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Why? Do we seriously want to draw fire from Woke Twitter again? Who does this clown think he is?! Call security!” But, wait! I have some pretty good reasons why hiring me is a good idea, and also why The Bombshells’ existence in Earth-616 lay out some interesting ground to tread.
Consider the following:
1. I don’t read superhero comics.
Okay, that’s misleading. I’ve read some superhero comics.
Mostly, I’ve read and enjoyed a large chunk of Ellis, Ennis, Moore, Morrisson, and Gaiman’s works, as well as Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways and Ex Machina, Mike Mignola’s stories, that one Avengers book by James Stokoe, and Jeff Smith’s Shazam. I’m also more interested in the fast-and-daft works of Kirby and Ditko, so basically I’ve only ever read and liked about 7% of the superhero comics out there, including your own library.
This is important for me to lay out because I’m not someone who is steeped in the lore of your works. Superheroes are interesting concepts to me, but they don’t interest me enough to want to write or read hundreds of Hawkman books. I’m more interested, then, in what someone like She-Hulk or Luke Cage signifies versus what they’re doing and who they’re romancing.
And this leads to my next point:
2. I read things aside from speculative fiction.
Part of the problem with being an SF writer is that you’re drawn to reading other SF stories, not just because you enjoy it but because you want to see what the competition’s up to.
Being an artist of any stripe means drawing from a variety of sources, and not just the rivers and lakes that you’re used to. Speaking for myself, I’m a huge fan of noir and non-fiction stories about sad strange people gaining ridiculous amounts of power. Currently, I’m reading the biography of Yukio Mishima, an author and Japanese nationalist who thought it would be great to train up a personal civilian army, kidnap an army general, and then kill himself in the poor sap’s office. It’s pretty rad (the book, not the suicide part)!
Pop is doomed to eat itself, yes, but I bring an empty stomach and an open mind to that buffet.
3. I won’t get in fights with strangers on the web, I swear.
The problem with everyone being connecting is that everyone is connected.
I have lots of fun on the Twitter account I don’t know how to use and the Tumblr account that has devolved into an archive of dark humour and smut, but I am willing to close up shop or make those accounts private so as not to kick any beehives or argue with anyone over touchy subjects during my time as a Marvel writer.
As for those touchy subjects, let’s get right into The Bombshells.
4. The Explosive Potential of The Bombshells
Superheroes today seem to exist in this weird centrist landscape of left-wing morality and right-wing methodology. Save the day but destroy the city, protect the people but restrict their freedoms, get involved but only slightly, and so on. As such, the idea of far-left or radical left vigilantes is an interesting playground to be in.
Despite being intended as a bad throwaway gag by Nick Spencer, you now have at your disposal a trio of unique anarchist vigilantes who might be heroes to some and villains to others. Superheroes whose archenemies include classism, the patriarchy, and a corrupt criminal justice system. There’s a lot of potential here. I understand that this is being addressed on some level in your Champions book, but this could serve as an interesting companion piece.
That said, I’m not sure if I’m the guy to do this justice. My politics are pretty left, but I’m no anarchist and this is a tall order to fill even by my standards.
But I can help with the set-up!
5. A five-issue run called Sam Wilson and The Bombshells.
Here we go.
Sam Wilson reports back to SHIELD after a mission and finds that they’ve been preparing The Bombshells for a trip to The Raft after they started a brawl at a rally. Around this time, Hydra attacks the Helicarrier, led by the charismatic but nonetheless repulsive leader of their new Copenhagen branch. With backup sitting miles away and with only minutes left to live, Sam releases the Bombshells and offers them amnesty if they help stick it to some real fascists.
This five-issue run would not only be a strong Sam Wilson story (perhaps adding new dimensions to Sam’s character along the way), but will also better characterize and humanize The Bombshells, helping establish their politics and dynamic. This would be huge for Sam Wilson because he’s now the new face behind Captain America’s mighty shield, and these are strange times and a stranger political landscape, and the book itself will ask the question of what truth, justice, and the American way actually mean now.
So there you go, Marvel. That’s how and why I’d save The Bombshells from being either shelved for decades or repurposed as another bad guy trio to stomp on. If this kicks off, I’ll gladly give the same treatment to other characters that have been left by the wayside. Wait ‘til you hear about my reimagining of Curtis Doyle/Freedom Ring as a gay Flash Gordon as fuelled by the Power Cosmic.
Thank you for your time. Get back to me with any contracts or Cease & Desist letters at your earliest convenience.