I would love for DC Comics to launch a very small line (five titles maximum) for mature readers. No, I don’t feel that the “Edge” or “Dark” lines are suitable for older readers seeking adult themes. I would like to see a line akin to Marvel’s MAX imprint. Honestly, I was an avid reader of the Wildstorm line of comic books and I feel like those properties have been watered down and mishandled since the recent DC revision. I think introducing alternate “MAX” versions of these characters in a mature line would satisfy readers like me.
In DC’s mature line, superheroics would shift to the background. The focus would be on smart crime, spy, war, humor, and adventure stories. The line would focus on cult favorites such as Wildcats, Lobo, Hitman, The Authority, Xombi, Team 7, and Checkmate. It would not be a place where children’s icons ran amok. Batman would be nothing more than an urban legend in this universe—akin to the Jersey Devil. There’d be no Diana or Amazons, only Coda. And, of course, Kal-El would happily spend his days as a lead scientist on Krypton. And would never be mentioned or seen.
Think about the modest success of the Extreme line. Think about a Waller war hawk gunning for old Team 7 members who have gone off the grid. Think about a Wildcats book exploring superhero decadence. Think about “bang babies” and urban blight. Think about a satirical space adventure or “buddy cop” comic featuring Guy Gardner dragging his prisoner Lobo across the galaxy to stand trial.
I’d have two ongoings—Wildcats and The Authority. Rotating miniseries would account for the remaining three books.
Why not give it a shot? You’ll need something in that vein once Before Watchmen is no longer shiny and new, properties for the cable companies to salivate over. Remember, there are some places the trinity simply cannot tread.