Call it a Comeback

This week saw the unveiling of the first J.H. Williams III-illustrated images from the October-debuting <i>Sandman: Overture</i>, writer Neil Gaiman's return to <i>Sandman</i> — the comic series that propelled him to the top of the science fiction and fantasy world. <p>In keeping with that, here are 10 series we'd like to see revived or creative teams we'd like to see reunited, even if only for a brief return or an anniversary-style follow up — and at least one that's, sadly, a genuine impossibility.


Thought the <i>Immortal Iron Fist</i> didn't end when Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and David Aja left, many of themes they explored were left unfulfilled by those that followed. <p>Fraction and Aja have since reunited on the critically acclaimed <i>Hawkeye</i>, and Danny Rand and the Immortal Weapons have been further explored as well, but there's still more than enough room for Fraction, Aja, and even Brubaker to return to telling the tales of historic Iron Fists, drawing on the pulp sensibilities that made the series a hit to begin with.


Mark Waid's <i>Superman: Birthright</i> presented one of the best versions not only of Superman's origins, but on the Man of Steel himself, presenting a Superman who was compassionate, adventurous, and inspiring. <p>Once the official in-continuity origin of Superman, <i>Birthright</i> has since been written out of canon, and Mark Waid hasn't written for DC Comics for several years, but seeing Waid's continued take on Superman and his world remains a pipe dream for many fans.


With Geoff Johns in a top position at DC Comics (as chief creative officer), it's unlikely that he'd ever return to Marvel's flagship series. But, in his brief stint taking over from Kurt Busiek's legendary run on Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Johns showed an updated and insightful take on the Avengers, adding characters like Jack of Hearts and Ant-Man to the roster, and setting the stage for Brian Michael Bendis's "Disassembled." <p>Though the chances of Johns playing in a sandbox other than DC's are currently slim, there's still hope that someday, he'll bring his dialed-in character sensibilities back to Marvel's premier characters.


Both Alex Ross and Mark Waid have returned to <i>Kingdom Come</i>'s universe, without the involvement of the other. However. thanks to the amount of notes and interviews with the pair that have been published, a fairly comprehensive vision of what the pair had in mind, and where they diverged, is available to fans who want to seek it out. <p>Still, there was magic in the pairing of Waid's storytelling and Ross's vision, and seeing an official follow-up exploring the fate of Superman and Wonder Woman's child would be thrilling.


Grant Morrison's <i>All-Star Superman</i> ended with the seeming death of the title character, his legacy left to a world made brighter by his life. <p>With Morrison's vision of Superman as a man of myth well-told, it may seem like poisoning the well to go back, but seeing Morrison and artist Frank Quitely follow up on a post-Superman world, examining the effects of his legacy and the beings that have propagated in his wake would be well worth the price of admission.


After working together on a series of Batman specials, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale created <i>The Long Halloween</i>, a seminal Batman story set in the early years of his career, and centering on the transition of Gotham's underworld from one run by mobsters to one populated by costumed supervillains. <p>In the years since, Loeb and Sale collaborated on a sequel, <i>Dark Victory</i>, and a spinoff, <i>Catwoman: When In Rome</i>. They also told a Superman story, Superman For All Seasons, and a series of stories starring Marvel characters. It's been a long time since the pair last worked on Batman, however, and given the amount their vision influenced Christopher Nolan's <i>Dark Knight</i> trilogy, another look at the Caped Crusader might be in order.


This one is less of a long shot and more of an impossibility, since Jack Kirby has sadly been deceased for almost 20 years, but since this is a wish list, we can still dream. <p>Jack Kirby's Fourth World was a new take on the mythological themes many of Kirby's earlier works had explored, created when he departed Marvel for DC Comics in search of greater creative freedom. Though he spent almost four years telling the stories of the New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips, he had to abruptly wrap up his vast opus when the line was cancelled. <p>In the decades since Kirby last touched the Fourth World, numerous creators have taken up their story. Still, despite some fitting follow ups, Kirby's full vision for the Fourth World is destined to remain one of comics' greatest untold stories.


The characters of the fan favorite <i>Runaways</i> have been somewhat scattered since their title's last issue, published in 2009, and with the fate of some of the main cast unclear due to the ongoing <i>Avengers Arena</i>, the chances of getting the band back together look fairly bleak. <p>Still, since the departure of series creator Brian K. Vaughan, subsequent attempts at reviving or continuing the series have been met with mixed results. The idea of Vaughan returning to tie up loose ends and giving the Runaways one last hurrah as the team fans came to love is just too tempting to pass up


While Jack Knight had a fairly satisfying ending, retiring with his son and passing his cosmic staff on to Courtney Whitmore a.k.a. Stargirl, the 20th anniversary of the seminal <i>Starman</i> by writer James Robinson and artists Tony Harris and Wade Von Grawbadger is fast approaching. <p>Robinson has long talked about writing a "lost episode" of Starman, which would be the perfect accompaniment to the anniversary of the series, especially if done separate from the constraints of current DC continuity, in the style of the original series. Here's hoping!


Of all the classic comic reunions, revivals, and relaunches, the one that has eternally eluded readers and publishers alike is the return of Steve Ditko to Spider-Man, the character he created with Stan Lee, and whose adventures he told for almost 40 issues. <p>The reasons for Ditko's departure and for his subsequent refusal to return to the webslinger reportedly owe equally to Ditko's personal code of honor, his falling out with Stan Lee and Marvel Comics, and near constant speculation and argument over whether Lee or Ditko was more responsible for Spider-Man's creation and stories. <p>So, the idea of Steve Ditko returning to Spider-Man is a lot like, say, Alan Moore writing or endorsing new <i>Watchmen</i> stories. Still, Ditko's return to Spider-Man remains daydream-worthy for fans of the early days of Marvel Comics.

Beyond SANDMAN: 10 Comic Book Revivals We'd Like to See

Date: 02 July 2013 Time: 08:56 PM ET