Sporadic Sequential
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Mike Mine Merry Marvel Manga!

The idea of Tite Kubo working on a corporate property like Blade got me thinking about which other manga artists would be good fits for interpreting classic Marvel characters. Here are some that would be a blast to see:

» Dr Strange by Tite Kubo - Starting with Tite Kubo again, I'd love to see him tackle Dr. Strange and really make the character a force to be reckoned with. Plus, based on his Hollow designs, Kubo would have a blast reimagining Doc's classic villains, such as Mephisto and Nightmare.

An early design for Tite Kubo's version of Dr. Strange.

» Spider-Man by Junji Ito - No, I don't want to see Spider-Man turned into a horror comic where Spidey is more spider than man, but tell me Ito's gangly male characters wouldn't be a perfect look for guilt-ridden Peter Parker:

"And I can't help but feel responsible for Mary Jane's growing obsession with spirals ever since she was taken hostage by the Ringmaster!"

» Fantastic Four by Eiichiro Oda - One Piece creator Oda has shown he can handle stretchy characters with Monkey D. Luffy, so Mister Fantastic is a no-brainer, but I think his cartoonish dynamism would be well-suited to characters like the Thing and Torch as well. Plus, One Piece shows that Oda can craft tales with an adventurous, questing spirit, which would be useful in returning the FF to their explorer roots.

» Daredevil by Masashi Kishimoto - Kishimoto has demonstrated he can handle kinetic ninja action on Naruto, so throw him on DD and watch sales skyrocket!

» Iron Fist by Takehiko Inoue - Inoue does a marvelous job of laying out long, complex sword fights in Vagabond, so he'd be a natural pick to restore some of the martial arts mystique to Danny Rand.

» Hulk by Naoki Urasawa - Time to see Urasawa draw an actual monster. Plus, the Fugitive vibe from Monster would be a good fit for a hounded Bruce Banner, once again on the run and in search of a cure.

» Killraven by Minetaro Mochizuki - As seen in Dragon Head, Mochizuki is perfect at depicting detailed drawings of devastation, so he'd be a perfect fit to illustrate a war-torn Earth ravaged by Martian invaders and defended by a rag-tag assortment of human warriors.

» Deathlok by Hiroki Endo - Endo's Eden revealed he was skilled at imagining what man/machine hybrids would look like, so he's a natural choice to take on the hard-luck cyborg from an alternate future.

» Elektra by Hiroaki Samura - Samura renders some of the most beautiful women around in Blade of the Immortal, and many of those women are frequently deadly assassins, so putting him on Elektra seems like a match made in heaven.

» She-Hulk by Usamaru Furuya - Given Furuya's work on books like Short Cuts, I think he could bring a welcome sense of satire and surrealism to the character. Plus, for some reason I can see She-Hulk as the ultimate ko-gal, can't you?

» Spider-Woman by Iou Kuroda - Kuroda's Sexy Voice and Robo makes me think he'd be a good fit for a manga detailing unknown details from Jessica Drew's days as a P.I. in San Francisco.

» X-Men by Katsuhiro Otomo - With Akira, Otomo clearly demonstrated he could handle a large cast of characters, intense battles, creative depictions of psychic powers, and large urban settings. Transfer all that to the X-Men and the book would be more visually exciting than it's ever been!

» New Mutants by Yellow Tanabe - Tanabe has already shown she's adept at creating likable misfit characters cursed by their powers (think Gen and the members of the Night Troop), so she'd be a natural to chronicle the misadventures of The New Mutants X-Force New X-Men whatever the students at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters are currently called.

» Storm by Kosuke Fujishima - With his striking visuals and character & costume designs, the Oh My Goddess creator would be a good pick to propel this fan-favorite character to a position of prominence once again. (Plus, it doesn't hurt that Fujishima can write a passable Claremont imitation.)

» Rocket Raccoon by Mine Yoshizaki - I know, I know — now it's just like I'm typecasting based on the manga most strongly associated with the manga-ka, but I still think Yoshizaki would be a natural choice to breath some life into Rocket Raccoon after his success with another space-faring animal.

» Ghost Rider by Takeshi Obata - His designs for the Shinigami in Death Note were genuinely creepy, so I'd be excited to see what Obata could do to make Ghost Rider frightening again, especially given the striking contrasts of his rich black-and-white artwork.

» Hellcat by Kaoru Mori - Mori draws one of the sexist and strongest females I've read in comics in her Emma series, so I'd love to see her revitalize the Patsy Walker character by returning her to her romance roots while still keeping the superheroics.

So those are some of my marvelous manga mash-ups. What characters and creators did I miss? What Marvel heroes would you like to see receive an authentic manga makeover? (I just realized I didn't even touch on the bad guys. Man, would I like to see Obata's version of a young Victor von Doom!)

"You dare challenge DOOM?!?"


* For the purposes of this thought experiment, I'm imagining these creator/character pairings as stand-alone projects where the creators were given free rein to reinterpret the characters however they wanted (kind of like the upcoming Marvel indie anthology project). I'm not envisioning these artists taking over the monthly comics, as Kia Asamiya did when he became the regular artist of the ongoing, in-continuity Uncanny X-Men title.

* I wanted to include sample images for each and every creator to illustrate why I thought they were ideally suited for that particular character, really I did, but I ran out of energy after a couple scans. Maybe some other day.

TOMORROW: Just Imagine Your Favorite Manga-Ka Creating The DC Universe!

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