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Comic Theme Time – Making Comic Book Lemonade Out of Lemons

by  in Comic News Comment

Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

I was thinking about this when I was writing my most recent TV Legends Revealed, about how the prop designer for the original Star Trek TV series re-used items he procured for one reason for a whole other reason. That got me thinking about how we see that happen in comics all the time. Writers come on to titles and don’t always know what to do with the cast given to him or her. A lot of the time, they’ll just get rid of the characters they’re not interested in (sometimes they just kill the previous cast). But sometimes they’ll try to get a handle on the cast that they’ve inherited and come up with an interesting new take on the cast, which quite often means re-purposing characters. For instance, I don’t think anyone expected what Grant Morrison would end up doing with the cast he inherited on Doom Patrol, but it ended up being quite good.

So today’s theme challenge is to come up with instances where an incoming writer surprised you with what they did with the cast members that they were more or less “stuck” with when they took on the title.

Some examples are Warren Ellis on Stormwatch and the aforementioned Grant Morrison on Doom Patrol.