Earlier this week, Aaron Sorkin did an interview where he said he had meetings scheduled with both DC and Marvel comics. Let the baseless speculation begin!
Obviously, the writer of great TV and movies is probably meeting to discuss writing one of the many upcoming superhero movies – if they can find the right fit for the superhero neophyte. But what if Sorkin, while studying these characters to see if there’s a good fit, the man decides he wants a new challenge?
Having claimed that he’s never once read a comic book, WRITING one absolutely sounds like a brave new adventure. Which character or characters would he fall in love with and feel comfortable writing for?
I don’t know that Sorkin’s writing lends itself to a big brawling spectacular, so focusing on smaller, more personal stories will probably be more his style. Thankfully, the Big Two have no shortage of supporting characters who could carry their own stories. Let’s take a look at some options:
The Daily Planet
Take the drama of HBO’s The Newsroom and transport it from a TV station to a well-regarded fictional newspaper and throw in a little bit of Superman every now and then. Over the years, we’ve been introduced to a lot of members of The Daily Planet’s staff that could make up the book’s cast. In the same vein as Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka’s Gotham Central, a Daily Planet book could focus on smaller stories in Metropolis that wouldn’t necessarily need Superman’s intervention. I imagine Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen as background characters, much in the same way that President Bartlet was supposed to be on The West Wing, but the rest of the staff – Perry White, Ron Troupe, Steve Lombard and others – can more than carry the weight of the stories.
Nelson & Murdock, Attorneys at Law
The adventures of Daredevil, when he’s just a blind attorney, and his pal, Foggy. A pair of pals teaming up to fight social injustice in Hell’s Kitchen – and maybe even the rest of New York City. Sorkin has written a lot of lawyers over the years, and the primary focus of his featured characters always seemed to be more altruistic than was plausible for the lawyers in their positions. But that altruism would fit in well with Nelson and Murdock. Sorkin could tell great tales of the less fortunate in the City, with the heroics of Daredevil in the background.
Ever since Identity Crisis and the weekly series 52, Ralph Dibny has been on the back-burner at DC Comics. While the stretchy detective recently returned to form in the pages of Gail Simone’s Secret Six, it really is time for Elongated Man and his wife Sue to get a new push and a new series. The relationship between the two is paramount to how the characters get through every day, much like the way Sorkin portrayed President Bartlet and his wife, Abigail. Ralph and Sue, exploring the mysteries of the world while working together, written by Sorkin, could be a fun way to spend 22 pages.
Three of Sorkin’s television series have focused on the television industry itself, so it could be fun to have him write a comic book about a celebrity comic book character, one famous for something other than superheroics. Dazzler, the mutant alter ego for Allison Blaire, could be another great fit. Telling the story of how Dazzler became famous, with the occasional interference of opponents of the X-Men, Sorkin could explore the trappings of celebrity and how it affects being a hero. And since Dazzler is not a very well-known name, creating his own world for Allison could be an interesting exercise.
The West Wing: Origins
OK, I cribbed this from an idea discussed on the phenomenal The West Wing Weekly podcast, but it’s too good an idea to not explore here. While so many comics have received extended life in comic book form, because Sorkin left midway through the show’s life, the world we were left with wasn’t his own. But there are certainly many stories about the cast of the show from the years before the show picked up. TWWO should be an anthology series, jumping from story to story, from era to era. How did Josh and Sam become friends? What about Toby and CJ? Sorkin teased us with flashbacks throughout his four years on the show, and telling more stories about the West Wing universe without the limitations of finding younger actors to play the characters in their youth.