Let's say Marvel decides to top DC's "All-Star" franchise, by turning Astonishing X-Men into a franchise of the stories of a-list Marvel licenses by a-list creators, and they're going to do an Astonishing Spider-Man book, by creators on par with Whedon & Cassady, Miller & Lee, and Morrison & Quitely. The basic idea would be a high profile accessible Spider-Man book, which hits the Top 5 every month.
What creators shouild Marvel go after for the book?
My list. The writers.
Mark Millar- He's one of the industry's biggest writers, and his twelve issue arc arc of Marvel Knights Spider-Man featured almost everything to love about Spider-Man, and was pretty much a Spider-Man artist's wet dream. He's written before about how he'd love to do more with the character, because all of the ideas he's come up with for the character while writing his first epic.
Roger Stern- He's almost universally considered the second best Spider-Man writer (after Stan lee of course) so he'd be the perfect writer for an All-Star Spider-Man type book. It would be wise to have it set while Peter Parker's still single, because Stern's not a fan of married Spider-Man. As for whether a book like this would survive when so many "Untold Tales" series have failed with the character, one need only look at the success of All-Star Batman & Robin/ All-Star Superman, Justice, or the Ultimate books. The one difference between it, and an Ultimate book would be that the events depicted could impact the regular books (ie- a new villain introduced for a storyline may come out of prison for a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man arc.)
Jeph Loeb- His writing on Jim Lee's Batman wasn't the strongest, but it was the best-selling book of the month almost every time it came out, and one reason for this was that Loeb knew what fans wanted Jim Lee to draw. His twelve issues of Batman run included Killer Croc, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, the Huntress, Robin, Nightwing, Superman, Harley Wuinn, the Joker, Ra's Al Ghul, the Riddler, and more (which may be one reason why it was more successful than Azarello's Superman run.) His previous Spider-Man work, the Blue mini-series was enjoyable, especially with the variety of situations he placed Spider-Man in.
Dan Slott- He's an excellent writer, who wrote one of the best Spider-Man stories ever with Spider-Man/ Human Torch. A book like this could help his profile, but as a rule he would have to collaborate with an amazing a-list artist for the project to get the profile it deserves.
Steve Ditko- Probably an impossibility, but it would be an astoundingly big deal.
He wrote a great Spider-Man in the first three issues of his Black Cat mini series, but the latter three issues were still not worth the wait. I'd want him to have a lot of lead time on this book, and he better make a hell of a pitch.
Joss Whedon- Because apparantly he wants to follow-up Astonishing X-Men with a Spider-Man run with Bryan Hitch.
Bryan Hitch- See above. He's also one of Marvel's best artists, with Ultimates 2 having some of the best art ever done in the comic book form.
Steve Ditko- Don't tell me it wouldn't be an astoundingly big deal.
John Romita Sr- Perhaps the most popular Spider-Man artist ever. This would a great capper to one of the best careers in comics.
Todd Mcfarlane- One of the moist popular Spider-Man artists ever. A one year run on a title like this would help his reputation (and help him turn Spawn into a best-selling book again), and let's face it- he may need the money (he lost two major lawsuits recently, and his three million dollar baseball plummeted in value.) Watch his Spider-Man run outsell Jim Lee's Batman.
John Romita Jr- One of the best Spider-Man artists ever. He's said that he's waiting to return to the title, and I'd love it if he was given the opportunity to draw Spider-Man with his greatest allies, greatest enemies, and lots of new villains (as opposed to four issue arcs with Spider-Man VS new villains.)
David Finch- The man drew an excellent Spider-Man in New Avengers, and a Spider-Man Unlimited issue.
Neal Adams- He's probably the best regarded comic artist alive, who has not worked on Spider-Man. And it would be a great coup for Marvel with the talk that he'll follow Jim Lee on All-Star Batman & Robin.
What do you guys think? Could you see yourselves buying a book like this? Could you see a lot of other people buying a book like this?
One small detail. This book would differ from the new "Sensational Spider-Man" simply because it would have more popular creators, and because it will be independent from the other Spider books (ie- can be set in different eras.) I see Sensational Spider-Man as a book where creators you wouldn't associate with the character are given the opportunity to tell great stories. I also see it as more of a breakout book.