Legato - Frank, Calm Down Your Nerd Rage!
If Marvel wants to do a good dark series:
1. Dump any notion of 80s black leather broody dark. It's not the 80s anymore. Also forget about zombies; they're overused and tiring at this point.
2. Get Dr Strange in it. He's ideal for dark without falling into all of the cliched stereotypes for dark characters. He's got serious personal flaws that he is aware of and is trying to fight, which is critical for a dark series. He's old enough to have some sense and not do teenage brooding crap (teenage brooding crap is annoying even to teens). He's got enough wisdom to be a decent mentor and focus for other characters. He even owns a large house that would make a perfect base for a team.
3. If you plan on doing horror, not everything should be horror or the readers get desensitized to it and it stops working. The world should feel normal and even have bright spots to make the horror even more horrifying. The problem with mixing dark and horror is that eventually the dark and the horror become normal, at which point it isn't horror anymore. Also, go play Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and come back after you've crawled out from under the table. It's the little things that add up to create the atmosphere.
4. Don't let characters dwell too much on their own issues. Introspection is fine, asking for help or discussing issues is fine, but I want to see the heroes take action to change the situation, not wallow in it.
5. Put in at least one light-hearted character to break up the tension. Dark all the time wears on everyone's nerves. Even dark characters should have fun, and not everything should be terrible all the time.
6. Get your team (assuming there is one) bonded as a family. Pay attention to group chemistry and roles and do not let the team devolve into a powder keg that requires eggshell walking. Batman wouldn't be selling like hotcakes if it didn't have an extended "family" that mostly gets along, has genuine emotional bonds, respects each other, and looks out for each other. The team needs to be the refuge from the storm, not the eye of the hurricane. Differentiate their personalities please. Who's the joker? The brawler? The shaman? Who is going to start fights first and jump into action? Who is going to approach things cautiously? Who will be blissfully unaware of danger? Who nurtures the group? Who gives the orders?
Last edited by Post Monster; 08-05-2012 at 08:52 AM.
I also don't understand why people believe that certain monsters are overused. Some of the biggest complaints are, "oh look at marvel trying to cash in on the vampire/zombie/werewolf success, i bet this is going to suck." It makes no sense to me, you don't hear people complaining about aliens/mutants/robots/dinosaurs/ninjas or the variety of other generic antagonists that pop up. But when marvel TRIES to use it's horror corner, people write it off instantly and think themselves too clever to be drawn in.
Now if we can just find some writers who play with the Norse origin of the word "werewolf". It's actually an old slang term for bandits. Someone tell me why there's not a single comic out there featuring a gang of werewolves roving neighborhoods? *sigh*
The problem with overused monsters is that people develop a bad taste due to how poorly those monsters are used. Also, half the time, they're added to be cool, not because the author is planning on using the concept of myth to say something.
Many of those reasons are why I enjoyed Dan Brereton's The Nocturnals so much.
I would also hire a creative team that really enjoys dark fantasy/horror etc. Jeff Parker and Kev Walker would be a really good team for this. As they've proven in Thunderbolts, they can and will go there. And it's often a lot of fun and creepy when it has to be.
Waiting for Moon Knight's return in March 2014 and Ollie's goatee...eventually.
Honestly, most of Marvel's modern takes on horror just feel like superhero stories with horror archetypes inserted in. Legion of Monsters, for example.
I don't think Marvel hates horror, I just think the writers know they don't know what to do with it. I think most of them honestly know they don't know what to do with it and don't want to ruin it.
We keep hearing how they want to bring in more horror elements, but those always fall to the way-side. Comics aren't cheap for anyone and if they can't sell, then, well, someone's out of the job or something. So I can see why they're hesitant to bring them back.
Legato - Frank, Calm Down Your Nerd Rage!
Gillen's entire run on Journey Into Mystery looks like it belongs to the horror genre.