Inside Greg Smallwood’s Marvel Comics Midnight Sons pitch that still haunts us today

Anticipation is building for XCOM Midnight suns Marvel Game, a new video game adventure that gives a new twist to the concept of the Midnight Sons, Marvel’s first supernatural super-team.

Usually organized around characters like Doctor Strange, Blade, and Morbius the Living Vampire, the Midnight Sons have had many incarnations over the years. In 2017, popular artist-writer Greg Smallwood pitched his own idea for a new take on the team, but his concept never came to fruition.

Earlier this year, we collected snippets of information on the Midnight Sons location that the comic book creator posted on social media, but since then Smallwood has provided Newsarama with the full pitch of what could have been, offering an in-depth look at the characters and plot points he had planned. .

(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)

Midnight Son by Greg Smallwood

Greg Smallwood’s Midnight Sons was planned as a limited series of five issues that he would write and draw, uniting a new team of some of Marvel’s magical-themed heroes as the Midnight Sons to stop Daimon Hellstrom from releasing the demonic spirit of Ghost Rider Zarathos in the wild. , to end the spirit once and for all.

“The central debate that resonates throughout the story is set in the very first scene with Doctor Strange, Johnny Blaze and Daimon Hellstrom,” reads Smallwood’s pitch for Midnight Sons.

“Blaze is tired and disheartened by the increasingly blurred line between good and evil. Strange asserts his belief in fighting for good in an endless world of darkness and evil while Hellstrom insists that the survival means eliminating evil by any means necessary, ”the step continues. “Strange has a wise and measured approach, recognizing that the war on evil will never be won – it will continue long after they are gone.”

The other Marvel heroes that Smallwood was planning to be a part of his Midnight Sons were Moon Knight, Hannibal King, Blade, Jennifer Kale, Man-Thing, Satana, and even Terror. Here are Smallwood’s designs for some of the characters:

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(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)

Midnight Sons design sketch

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(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)
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(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)
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(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)
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(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)
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(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)
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(Image credit: Greg Smallwood)

The villains that Smallwood had in mind were Blackout, Jigsaw, and the Hood.

“The book has a tone somewhere between True Detective and The Defenders,” Smallwood’s pitch explains, referring to the HBO crime series. “With its unique blend of supernatural horror and dark action, Midnight Sons offers fans a dark, atmospheric mystery set against the epic backdrop of the Marvel Universe.”

Smallwood predicted that the series would be set primarily in New York City during the winter, with “holiday decorations, snowy streets, and steam pillars on the roof will help establish a strong sense of time and place for the reader.”

Other parts of the story are said to have taken place in the Astral Realm, with Smallwood describing his intended artistic interpretation of the Intangible Dimension as “equally Tarkovsky, Lynch, Moebius and Ditko”.

What went wrong with Smallwood’s Midnight Sons pitch to Marvel

Smallwood pitched their Midnight Sons idea to Marvel in 2017, midway through their multi-year “exclusive” deal with the publisher. At the time, he was known exclusively as an artist, but he hoped his Midnight Sons pitch would be his way of writing comics.

“I felt like it was a self-selling book, so I didn’t do a hard sell on the concept. Maybe it was a mistake,” Smallwood told Newsarama. “Some people at Marvel really needed a tough sell.”

The punisher (Image credit: Greg Smallwood)

Smallwood tells us that the main reason given to it as to why Marvel passed on its Midnight Sons project was that “the marketers really didn’t think a Midnight Sons book would sell.”

According to the creator, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso recommended adding the Punisher, to give it more of a “tactical vibe.” Others within Marvel have said Doctor Strange should be removed because he would not be “available” at that time, Smallwood explains.

“It didn’t help that my understanding of the pitching process was woefully outdated,” he admits.

“I mistakenly assumed that book creation started at the bottom of the ladder, but in reality marketing or publishing often decides which books to make and the editorial staff is responsible for bringing the creative teams together,” he continues. . “A writer just presents his concept for the title and the characters. I was swimming upstream and had no idea.”

“To be honest, I didn’t want to compromise at this point in my career… very stubborn,” Smallwood concludes. “Everyone at Marvel was very patient with me but I was adamant about everything.”

Smallwood eventually gave up on his Midnight Sons idea, instead of scratching his horror comic book itch by writing and drawing Archie Comics’ Vampironica series with his sister, Meg Smallwood.

The closest Smallwood had come to realizing his Midnight Sons idea was to portray some of the characters on a pair of Marvel Variant covers – one for Marvel Comics # 1000 and one for the “Damnation” crossover event.

Smallwood is currently drawing DC 12’s next series, The Human Target, with writer Tom King.

Do you like the supernatural side of superheroes? here are the best supernatural comic book heroes all time.

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About Glenn Gosselin

Glenn Gosselin

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