Stories I Never Told

Stories I Never Told: Future Justice

One weird element that keeps coming up as I look through my old files is that many of the ideas, notions, and “bits” that I developed actually ended up happening “for real” in later comics! Maybe it’s a weird coincidence or psychic thievery or maybe it’s just that — given time — sufficient permutations of comic book stuff will result in any possibility coming true.

Last week, for example, I mentioned my plan to use an obscure character called The Wrath…and years later The Wrath was, indeed, resurrected. Similarly, there are some strange coincidences between this week’s entry and what eventually happened in the actual comics. I’ll point them out when we get there, and will also point out such coincidences going forward. Because why not?

This particular Story I Never Told is similar to the last one in a couple of ways. For one thing, it’s of relatively early vintage — probably 1990 or 1991, making me a college freshman or sophomore. For another, it involves an alternate version of the Justice League.

Future Justice logo

Future Justice was a mini-series idea that would have been set some time in the 26th century, a period of DC’s future history that — as best I could tell — hadn’t been explored.1 It was a pretty simple story, really. [Read more…]

  1. The Legion was in in the 30th century and Reverse-Flash came from the 25th.

WiRL: “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

WiRL-iconYes, it’s another episode of Writing in Real Life, the only podcast featuring my wife and me babbling about writing and kids and marriage and publishing.

This week:

The New York Times finally meets our demands. “Who knew women could write books?” Wishing your life away. Is keeping a baby alive “productive?” Leia turns ten months. Participation trophies: threat or menace? Figuring out “the twist” ahead of time.

Playing Politics with Guns

A thought I’ve had for a little while, sadly as relevant today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow…

Americans famously craft legislation that is named not to accurately describe its function, but rather to appeal to jingoist or clueless appetites. The PATRIOT Act had nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with a power grab. No Child Left Behind was all about using schools to churn out a generation of unthinking robots.

Someone needs to send a bill to the House and Senate called, oh, I dunno, the “No More Murdered Children Act.” Or the “Less Blood in Schools Act.” Or the “Anti-Bullets in Killing People at Random Act.”

In short, make the opposition stand up and be forced to vote against something called the “Preserving Kindergartners’ Lives Act of 2015.” The same way the PATRIOT Act passed in large part due to cowardly shitheels in Congress who didn’t want to vote against something with the word “patriot” in the title.

Stories I Never Told: Crime Syndicate of America

Being something of a loner as a youth, I had a lot of time to think. And what I thought about were stories.

Most of those stories were no good, but some of them were pretty damn cool. Sadly, a bunch of them were the sorts of stories that had expiration dates on them. Mostly comic book stories that now no longer fit into any kind of continuity.

But I’ve decided to dig into my archives and give those stories some new life, presenting them here in a little feature I like to call…

Stories I Never Told


Crime Syndicate of AmericaDC Comics’s Crime Syndicate of America always seemed really cool to me. The basic premise was this: In an alternate universe (called Earth-3), there were no superheroes, only a group of villains resembling Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Batman. I always loved that concept.1

In a comic published in 1985, Earth-3 was destroyed, then retroactively (thanks to time travel) made to have never existed at all. Young Barry thought it was a shame to lose such great characters.

I spent some time thinking of ways to recreate the CSA2 for the new, post-Crisis DC Universe. At the time, alternate universe/parallel worlds were verboten at DC, so that option was out. I had to come up with something new.3

Cobbled together from my old notes, here’s what I came up with in 1987 or thereabouts. (I would have been around 15 or so at the time.) [Read more…]

  1. The fact that Earth-3 had only villains and yet hadn’t been conquered by them was, I think, a comment on the enduring power of Good.
  2. How cool is it that a villainous group has the same initials as the Confederacy?
  3. In the decades since, alternate universes became OK again at DC, and the CSA was once again returned to its status as an other-dimensional, evil version of the Justice League.

WiRL: Not 100% a Dick

WiRL-iconPrepare yourselves, podcast listeners, for in this episode Morgan (gasp!) makes a comic book reference!

We finish (?) discussing the New York Times bestsellers list. Leia eats everything imaginable. “Lady guilt is heavy.” Parenting advice and anti-advice. High-chair condoms. Feeling like a one-hit wonder as an author. The tension between what readers like and what writers want to write. Lyga’s Law of Publishing.