Who Would Be in a Modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

Summer is giving us one last heat wave before turning into fall, and your humble post-apocalyptic fake mailman couldn’t be more ready for some cool weather. You know what the truest mark of civilization is? It’s not buildings, language, community, or even social justice. It’s goddamned air conditioning.

A League of Their Own

Jason H.:

My dad and I had an interesting conversation a while back, on a League of extraordinary gentlemen. Who would you have pick to have on a team, circa 1999? Original rules apply, only characters starting in fiction, not comics, radio or tv.
We went with led by jack ryan, but could never really decide a team (i did cheat and use the 90s updated frank and joe hardy).


Ooh, great question. Okay. So going by the unspoken rules of Alan Moore’s League, we need literary, fictional characters who exist on Earth in modern times, the biggest, most popular ones possible, and the ones who would be best equipped to handle a variety of situations. Unfortunately, the most popular books of the ‘90s were Tom Clancy action-spy nonsense and mysteries, so Jack Ryan and detectives like Kinsey Milhone of Sue Grafton’s “Alphabet Series” (e.g., H Is For Homicide) are probably in there. Happily, Harry Potter had begun conquering the literary world, so he’d be a powerful addition to the team. If you recall, Lestat the Vampire was still going kinda strong in Anne Rice’s Tale of the Body Thief and Memnoch the Devil, so he’d have the supernatural angle covered. As for others… maybe Randy Waterhouse from Cryptonomicon? Someone from the 300 Stephen King novels he published that decade? I’m not sure.


However, a modern League would be much more interesting. I’d say you could still include Harry Potter, because he’s still hella popular. Then you could add Jacob from Twilight while he waits for Bella’s baby to grow up so he can have sex with it (he’d be dumb muscle, if nothing else). Sookie Stackhouse from the True Blood books is a natural fit, and — although it makes me wince to say it — Robert Langdon from Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and its sequels would probably be there as the Allen Quatermain of the group. Lisbeth from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books would be the team's troubled hacker. Anita Blake from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Vampire Hunter books is also gonna be in there. I’m also seeing Jacob Epping from Stephen King’s 11/2/63 making the list for some reason, as the time-traveling “wild card” member of the group. And of course if Alan Moore were writing this, 50 Shades of Grey’s sadist Christian Grey would probably be on the team to be the weird, perverted asshole of the team.

God help me, Harry Potter, Jacob the werewolf, Sookie Stackhouse, Robert Langdon, Anita Blake, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Christian Grey and the dude from 11/22/63 teaming up to save the world? I would read the shit out of that comic.

But I can’t be thinking of everybody. Let me know who you think I missed in the comments.


I’m Gonna Wreck It


While browsing the comic section the other day I noticed that Disney had a big magazine called comic zone. I looked inside to find it had comics of other Disney franchises, Brave, Wreck it Ralph, etc. Then I looked at something with the words princess on it and while it was more like a picture book I saw Aladdin in his prince clothing. Imagine that, a post Aladdin three story.

So my question is why doesn't Disney make comic series based of some of the franchises. They own Marvel and direct-to-DVD movies have shown they aren't afraid about not living up to the originals or having continuity problems. And comics based off cartoon have been super successful. Just look at MLP or Adventure Time comics. They're doing good, & hell we're getting a Samurai Jack comic. That show was based around movement and had little dialogue.

So basically why hasn't Disney stepped up to the plate and made an on going comic series based off their movies? Because I really want Mark Waid to write a Mulan or an Aladdin story.


Holy shit, you’re right. That would be genius. It would be easy money for Disney, easy work for Marvel, a great way to extend the franchises and characters, and kids would actually have more comics they could — and wanted to — read.

So why don’t they do something so obviously good, smart and easy? Disney seems remarkably reticent to muck around with Marvel’s comics division since they bought the company, and I have a theory why: they just don’t care. They bought Marvel for the movies and the characters, and they could give a shit about the comics, because it effectively makes nothing compared to the rest of Marvel. It’s like the equivalent of some major lemonade maker that happens to have a lemonade stand outside — it’s relevant only in that its what originated their delicious lemonade recipe, but it's too small to even bother shutting down.


Say Disney made a Wreck-It Ralph comic (which I, for one, would buy in a heartbeat). At best they’d make a few hundred-thousand dollars, and Disney loses more than that in their couch cushions, so to speak. It’s not worth the time and effort for them to bother. On the other hand, this means they’ve left Marvel’s comics division alone, which is probably for the best.

Network Can’t Connect


Your recent question on the Star Wars/Marvel crossovers reminded me of an idea I had a few years ago: a massive, pan-network crossover storyline. Hear me out! What are the chances we could convince the major American networks, i.e. ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, to combine their efforts and put a massive storyline that encompasses at least one of each of their products? For example, a murder happens on Monday on CSI: Whatever, the people from Bones and NCIS team up together (by some fluke of jurisdiction) to solve it and it culminates at trial on Sunday on The Good Wife (I think. Does she do criminal trials? I may need to do more research on this). Due to the nature of the crime, they could visit other shows for expertise! I think it would be a ratings juggernaut, especially if they planned it correctly and split up the nights.

Obviously this is a brilliant plan. What's holding the networks back?

Time, money, contracts, egos, jealousy, refusal to cooperate, you name it. Trying to coordinate the writing and production staffs of two TV shows is nightmarishly hard enough even before you take into account the actors involved, and how ridiculous they can be. Who gets top billing? Which show’s star is the starriest? Who’s getting paid what? It’s a recipe for disaster, which is why even shows from the same production company — like NCIS and NCIS: LA — tend to bust them out on only the most special of occasions. Verrrry rarely will you see a crossover between two completely different series — I know the procedural Homicide had a few — but even those were all on NBC.


As for shows on competing networks? Forget it. Say you’re CBS and the #1 network by a comfortable margin. Why would you help out NBC by allowing a crossover with one of your more popular shows? You wouldn’t and you don’t.

(P.S. — The Good Wife doesn’t prosecute criminals, the state does,. Although private law firms do defend alleged criminals, which The Good Wife has done on more than one occasion.)



The Right Guard

Smelling A Rat:

Dear Mr. Postman,

During a trip to the gym, I realized that punching out terrorists or berserk robots isn't a desk job. Using your strength to put down the bad guys is a physical exertion. And when you engage in strenuous phsical activity, you sweat a lot.

So how do the superheroes with secret identities to protect avoid smelling like old gym socks and blowing their cover? It never seems like they have enough time to take a shower before donning civilian dress again either.

And in a related question, what happens to old superhero outfits when they become too grossly sweaty to wear?


Dude. These are universes with Mr. Fantastic, Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Ted Kord, Bruce Banner, Mr. Terrific, and more. People who have invented gadgets and weapons and technology beyond anything we’ve ever seen. They figured out super-deodorant a while ago.


Would You Like to Know More?

Paul E.:

I love Starship Troopers (The Book). I read it because of seeing Roughnecks; Starship Troopers as a kid and found the book was amazing. My question is will we ever see a proper adaption of the book?

Well, I’d say the chances of you getting another adaptation of the book are pretty great. The Hollywood remake machine will inevitably get to a cult smash and action-filled scifi flick like Starship Troopers eventually, and my personal guess in probably within 10-15 years, unless Ender’s Game completely tanks and scares studios off book-based scifi for a while.


As for “proper”… well, I think it’ll be more accurate, but I sincerely doubt you’ll be able to call it completely accurate. The book is just really… pro-war and pro-military in a way that the modern audiences just aren’t cool with — everybody supports the troops and all that, but only letting the troops vote and teach about politics? Not so cool.

On the other hand, few directors have the balls and the subversive sense of humor of Paul Verhoeven, who read half of Starship Troopers, said “this is terrible,” and then proceeded to completely deconstruct it in his movie adaptation. So you’ll get a closer adaptation, but Heinlein’s pro-military state agenda will still be softened to be more palatable modern audiences.


Oh, by the way, the chances of either Paul W.S. Anderson, Len Wiseman, or their 2025 equivalents directing the inevitable Starship Troopers remake is probably about 80%. Sorry about that.


Along Came a Spider(-Woman)

Brian L.:

Do you think Spider-Woman could join the Avengers in the Cinematic Universe or be a character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, considering she has little to do with spider-man, is a major part of the Avengers, and Sony will be damned before they give up the rights to Spider-man?


Oof, I honestly don’t know. I mean, I’m fairly confident Marvel didn’t sell the Spider-Woman rights to Sony along with Spider-Man — why would they want them? — but I can see Marvel signing away the rights to make “Spider-Anything” movies in some sort of non-compete clause. I feel pretty confident that somehow Marvel is legally not permitted to use Spider-Woman in the movies — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the cartoons may be another matter, however.

But even if they did have the rights, I don’t think we’d be seeing Jessica Drew or Julia Carpenter any time soon. The Spider-Women are so weird, because they have nothing to do with the infinitely better-known Spider-Man. Introducing a Spider-Woman independent of Spider-Man would be baffling to audiences — hell, it’s still kind of baffling to most comic book fans. And it’s not like either of them are that popular; the only reason the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman has recently risen to prominence with the Avengers is because Brian Michael Bendis has a crush on her. Bringing her to the Marvel Cinematic Universe would mostly just confuse mass audiences, confusion that could easily be avoided by picking one of several less baggage-laden superheroines (cough cough).


In related news, is there a superheroine who drawn more to look like she's actually nude, and is only wearing body paint? Knock it off, Marvel. It's creepy.



Tough Talk

Scott A.:

I have a simple question:

Who wins in a debate (on any random topic): Hodor from Game of Thrones or Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy?


Hodor. But am I referring to the character, or am I simply saying the word “Hodor” as Hodor himself might, in order to refer to either character, any number of concepts, or an impassioned argument in either direction? Even I’m not completely sure!

Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the postman@io9.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!


Share This Story

Get our newsletter