What Priest Wants To Be When He Grows Up

Priest: which books would you have liked to work on which you haven’t done so before? Personally, I’d like to see you on Batman, Daredevil and The Avengers.

I’d be interested to know which books other posters would like to see Mr Priest write that he hasn’t had written before or had an extended run on.


  1. Priest Priest says:

    Batman. Iron Man. I’ve fairly thoroughly nagged people at DC and Marvel about those. Beyond that, I’ve been away from the shop so long, I really don’t know who Spider-Man is anymore or how to approach him, and the thought of having to read eight years of continuity just to get up to a place where I could pitch an idea is staggering.

    My latest wasting-my-time idea: Sgt Rock as a black retired senior master sgt. (a la “RED”) who rounds up his old Easy Co. pals to perform black ops in Raqqa after his Marine son is killed by ISIL. I don’t even know who to talk to about something like that.

    Or, maybe better, Rock starts going after DC Superheroes, blaming them for doing nothing while terrorist run wild. Title: SGT. ROCK: HERO KILLER. 🙂

  2. Trev Trev says:

    I have no interest in Spider-Man anymore after the whole Clone Saga and Maximum Carnage story arcs I was done with him and comics (except back-issues). Mind you, if you were to write it I’d give it a go.

    It’s a shame the ‘bigger kids’ wouldn’t allow you to play with Batman but I guess they only let the ‘popular boys’ on books like that these days.

    RE: Sgt. Rock. That one will be very difficult to convince anyone to touch because it involves ISIL… Unless you’re Frank Miller then you can do whatever you want.

    Which one of the main characters wouldn’t you touch? I know you found Wonder Woman boring but what about Superman?

    Hey, would you be interested in Teen Titans? I could see you writing a good Dethlok story, though I see you more suited to traditional books but that could be because of my earlier encounter with your work — Spider-Man ‘Gang Wars’ rocked, btw!

    • Priest Priest says:

      Y’know, I don’t think I actually found WW boring so much as I’d never be allowed to actually do much with her. To DC’s credit, they *did* allow me to do an “Indecent Proposal” story with her, 2/3rds of which turned out quite well (before my artist fell behind schedule and was replaced). What *is* it with artists and calendars, anyway?

  3. ireactions says:

    I’m not terribly interested in seeing Priest write more superheroes that aren’t (a) QUANTUM AND WOODY (novelization). I guess I’d like to see him writing IRON MAN and SPIDER-MAN and THE FANTASTIC FOUR and DAREDEVIL and YOUNG AVENGERS — I think he’d be great on YOUNG AVENGERS — but in there’s no real *reason* beyond wishing for favourite books to be paired with a favourite author.

    I’d like to see him assigned to THE HARDY BOYS and NANCY DREW and see him given free rein to reimagine those properties with Priest’s gift for placing the absurd in a somewhat realistic context. (Children dispatched by their parents to fight crime are clearly going to be some messed up kids.)

    I’d like to see him do his own creator-owned stuff, and maybe within prose so that he doesn’t have to see his material filtered through another creator’s sensibilities. I’d like to see a Christopher Priest rom-com. A Christopher Priest espionage thriller. A Christopher Priest horror novel. A Christopher Priest young-adult novel. I don’t think it’s worthwhile to hope for Priest to assigned to something worthwhile; I think he may have to build it himself if he is so inclined. Obviously, Priest has *many* interests and passions outside of writing fiction.

    I keep feeling like comics aren’t Priest’s medium and he’d be better off with formats where he has sole control of communicating information to the reader.

  4. JD DeMotte says:

    Of course I’d love to see Priest’s verison of Iron Man. I’d also love to see Priest tackle Captain America again, whether that’s Steve or Sam (Sam is currently still Cap, or at least is once Secret Wars is over).

    What else? Hmm, I don’t know why, but I think you could probably have an interesting take on Thor or one his/her related titles. I’m not sure if you have a really great Thor story (I’m sure you could, I just don’t know if you have a huge desire), but I suspect you could tell a truly great story set in Asgard with a lot of world-building using the large cast of Asgardian characters to an advantage.

    And of course I’d buy the heck out that Sgt Rock book.

  5. Thad says:

    Much as I love the corporate-owned characters, my answer is, and I think will always be, “Do something creator-owned.” Make something new.

    I remember reading Strange, a miniseries by Mark Waid and Emma Rios, a few years back and thinking, “Well, this is great, but there’s absolutely no reason that the down-and-out sorcerer character has to be Stephen Strange, and I can’t imagine the Strange brand is enough to be a huge boost to sales anyway; why didn’t they just do something creator-owned?”

    I don’t see the point in catching up on the tangled mess that is Spider-Man continuity to write Spider-Man, when so many people have succeeded at doing their own versions of the character — the current Ms. Marvel, Batman Beyond, Invincible, Static, and even Kasper Cole. Granted, most of those characters aren’t creator-owned, but anyone can make a character who’s got the charm of Spider-Man without all the baggage. And true, a Spider-Man homage will never have the prestige or the sales figures of the genuine article — but a lot of them have been pretty successful nonetheless.

    That Sgt. Rock pitch sounds like it would be a lot of fun to read — and DC might even go for it, considering their last attempt to reboot Sgt. Rock was one of the first big flops of the New 52 — but I don’t see why it needs to be Sgt. Rock. I think a pastiche would work just fine.

    I can think of a lot of great books that took existing characters and filed the serial numbers off, with Watchmen as the biggest example. Supreme and Glory are two more (and while I’m not a big Liefeld fan I think subsequent creators have done great work with those characters). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the greatest creator-owned success story in comics history, started out as a Frank Miller pastiche. Edlund’s original run on The Tick was mostly a straight-up parody of Superman and then Daredevil.

    Not to say that anything you do has to be a pastiche or an homage to anything else. Just that I’d rather see something new than something that’s owned by DC or Marvel.

    And that’s mostly just superheroes. I’d like to see Priest work in different genres — Zion has me looking forward to more unconventional crime fiction from him, for example.

    Whatever ends up happening, though, I’m interested in seeing where it goes; I’m looking forward to those Milestone announcements.

  6. E-Man says:

    I know that Priest once said something along the lines that he didn’t want to be pigeon holed into writing black characters, so most of the people I’d want him to write would be him getting a shot at bigger known characters so that his skills could be displayed on some other characters. Nightwing comes to mind big time with DC. I know he wants to write Batman, but I think that he could be allowed to do more with Nightwing. I like both characters, but the concept of a superhero growing up into his own man is what I like more about Nightwing, and I think that Priest could play more in his own terms with the character and his supporting cast without DC coming in and wanting to have too much overhead. This is speculation of course, but I imagine that writing a guy like Batman could be a headache sometimes because they’d be hovering over your shoulder a lot. With Nightwing I think there would be pressure, but less than with Batman.

    I also would probably give an arm and a kidney to see Priest on a Mr. Terrific, Michael Holt, series. That’s not just because he’s a black writer, but because Priest is an intelligent guy that sets things up for the long haul. Mr. Terrific is one of the absolute best characters created in the past 20 years, and it’s a shame that DC hasn’t expanded on that concept to give their universe some new blood instead of all roads leading back to The Trinity. Mr. Terrific is a guy who is incredibly smart, skilled, and has tons of resources without needing to rely on any other superheroes. He also has a great look too. Priest could take him into legend the same way he did with Black Panther if DC just gave him the book to work with. They’re doing nothing with the character right now, and that saddens me because there is a lot to like there.

    In terms of Marvel I think that Captain America would be fantastic because Priest gets the character. He manages to write him as an idealist without idolizing him to an unreasonable level like how too many people do with Cap now. I liked in Captain America and the Falcon how Steve wasn’t exactly right all the time because the world isn’t as black and white as he’d want it to be, but he kept on trying because he’s a guy that believes he can make a difference and bring out the best in people. That’s why you admire Cap. Not because he’s always right, but because he sticks to morals and can work with others without forcing them to do it his way. Priest could have a Brubaker type run with great espionage and character, and I’m saying this as someone who loved Brubaker’s Cap.

    The other book I would want Priest to write is Daredevil because they always leave him to his own devices. He doesn’t get swept up in most of the “universe changing” nonsense gimmicks that Marvel relies on too often now. They basically give him a good writer and artist and just let them do their thing. Just give Priest an old partner like Joe Bennett and stay out of their way.

  7. circ says:

    If the shackles could be loosened – Wonder Woman and Fantastic Four need a shot in the arm. They are woefully and headache-inducingly pathetic when they shouldn’t be.

    X-ppl and Captain America proper would be golden.

    • Priest Priest says:

      I was offered Wonder Woman and then the offer was rescinded when John Byrne expressed interest. I was assigned JLA but then Grant Morrison appeared and DC said, “Priest? Priest who?” I was rumored to be taking over Batman back in the early 90’s and was even sent schedules from DC before Marv Wolfman (one of my former bosses, btw) expressed interest. This is the story of my life. 🙂

      I would be horrified to be named the new writer of Fantastic Four. “Am I…being punished for something…?”

      • circ says:

        “Punished”? Nope. 🙂

        I think Warner and Disney are caught in ‘low importance story mode’. Since (in my experience) a coherent story is considered unimportant, they need a guide to set the foundation before they go off into their mess of ‘storytelling’.

        You have a knack of making ‘jobbers’ aka 2nd tier (and lower) characters matter. They need more competent wordsmiths (not rock stars)…. badly!!!!

  8. I apologize up front, as I don’t know if Mr. Priest has had any kind of lengthy run on any of these characters, but I would like to see him write series based on these for sure:

    Fantastic Four: with the traditional four members.
    Thor: The traditional Thor, not the current Jane Foster version. With Donald Blake in the mix. I was intrigued by the introductory story that J. Michael Straczynski wrote where Blake joined Doctors without Borders and got caught up in an African tribal war; but it was just one story. I was all into the idea that Blake might continue to go to “conflict hot spots” around the Earth, sometimes encountering super-villains, sometimes encountering problems his hammer can’t solve.
    Daredevil: New York City as his base. Lots of new villains. Some updated old villains. Maybe point out the silliness of some of the silver-age foes (e.g., the Ani-Men). The current planned scenario of having Murdock be a NY state prosecutor is intriguing. I’m less enthused about any revisitation of Elektra and even Kingpin. At least the way that they’re normally portrayed.
    Punisher: I’d like to see a road-tripping Punisher. More specifically, it’s been scarcely acknowledged, if at all, in the Marvel Universe, just how bad crime is everywhere outside of New York City or Los Angeles. The way I figure, at some point, certain super-villains and racketeer-types figured it was bad business to try and rob banks, etc. in either city, so they migrated. Maybe there’s a Kingpin of Toledo, or Lincoln, Nebraska.
    Hercules- I don’t think his ongoing series have lasted too long. We’ll see about the latest.
    Sub-Mariner- see above. For some reason, a “Planet Namor” (parallel to “Planet Hulk”) setting intrigues me.
    Avengers: with as many cool characters as possible and big threats in every arc.

    Justice League: with as many cool characters as possible and big threats in every arc.
    Shazam/Captain Marvel: I really enjoyed Jerry Ordway’s revival of the character in the 1990s series. I still think it’s odd that many people by default feel he simply belongs in his own universe, which is the only way to justify the talking tiger and Shazam-bunny and the rest of the traditional CC Beck characters (but hopefully Steamboat is buried forever.)
    Batman: “The Hill/Prodigal” remains one of my favorite Batman stories. I’m unfamiliar with the current status quo in the comics.
    Green Lanterns: I’d like to see a team-up series focusing on Hal Jordan and John Stewart.
    Flash: The Barry Allen version.
    Teen Titans: An all-new group of young heroes.

    Star Trek- The original (Shatner/Nimoy) series, in the general timeframe of the original show, pre-movies. I have no idea how it would fit into whatever continuity, or whether it matters at this point. But it could be cool.
    Conan the Barbarian: I haven’t paid much attention to Conan in years. But I’d like to.
    Star Wars: It’s too bad that the “Expanded Universe” is officially no more. It would have been great to see Mr. Priest deal with various characters beyond the traditional cast.
    Castle: the detective TV show already had a graphic novel produced.
    Ghostbusters- based on the Aykroyd/Murray –era movie characters, not the new one.
    The Wire: continue the stories of these characters in comics. Why not?

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