On Halloween, we learned during a Reddit AMA that celebrated Goosebumps author R.L. Stine was asked if he would ever think about writing a comic book. Stine answered in the affirmative, saying “I’m writing a series of comic books for Marvel — my first comics ever. But I’m not allowed to talk about them yet.” Way to bury the lede, Stine!
Unfortunately, the author didn’t give any further details on the bombshell he dropped, but he did reveal that when he was a kid, his own favorite comics were books like Tales From the Crypt and The Vault of Horror, so don’t expect Stine to stray too far away from all things spooky and supernatural. He’s a writer who knows exactly where his bread is buttered.
So, given that Marvel really isn’t into the anthology business anymore, which supernatural characters from the publisher’s extensive library might be getting a new series from Stine sometime in 2017? Here are our guesses as to which spooky Marvel character may be getting the R.L. Stine treatment.
Right now, Doctor Strange is in the capable hands of writer Jason Aaron, and the series is doing so well for Marvel it’s even produced a spin-off, Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme. But Aaron is a very busy writer with a lot of comics on his plate, and likely won’t stay on the title forever, so R.L. Stine might be a perfect choice to replace him.
Doctor Strange is maybe the most perfect candidate for an R.L. Stine written Marvel book, because he’s “spooky” without totally tipping over to true horror, but he does tangle with ghosts and werewolves and other things that go bump in the night. And with Stephen Strange having a higher profile than ever before thanks to a certain movie coming out, maybe a high profile name as writer might be a wise choice.
Hellstorm, the Son of Satan
Back in the ’70s, there was a huge interest in Occultism—and even outright Satanism—from the general population. Just look at the horror movie hits of the era: The Exorcist, The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby spooky, religious-fueled fare the lot of them. Marvel Comics, always a publisher that looked at picking up pop culture trends and spinning them into comic books (see: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Master of Kung-Fu) decided to tap into the growing fascination with Beelzebub and produced a major hero that was actually related to him. This was Daimon Hellstrom, who starred in Son of Satan.
Actually, the “Son of Satan” didn’t have his own comic per se, but he was given a trial run first in Marvel Spotlight that proved so popular, he was then given his own 8-issue comic. It’s hard to imagine in today’s climate, but a kid could pick up a comic called Son of Satan for $0.35 at your local 7-11 at one time and nobody batted an eye. (The ’70s were a different time, man.) The character was revived in the ’90s as “Hellstorm,” now a rip-off of DC’s John Constantine. Actually dealing with the Devil himself might be a little too extreme for R.L. Stine, but what if he’s trying to branch out and get a little edgier than his usual safer supernatural fare? This might be the perfect character to try this on.
The Legion of Monsters
Marvel Comics have produced a few titles over the years with the name The Legion of Monsters. The first was in 1975, and was a one-off that featured Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Werewolf by Night, and Manphibian (basically, the Marvel version of the Universal Monsters, with Manphibian taking the place of the Creature from the Black Lagoon). This line-up never returned, however—probably because Marvel didn’t want to get into legal quagmire with Universal.
When the concept was revived a few months later, Dracula and Frankenstein were gone, and in their place were original Marvel monsters like Morbius, the Living Vampire and Ghost Rider. After several decades, a version of this line-up returned (more or less) in 2010 for a mini-series. Whichever line-up is used, a team of monsters seems totally suited to R.L. Stine, and if they’re basically being good guys, it might fit in more with his “scary but wholesome” brand he created with Goosebumps. Were I a betting man, of all the choices on this list, this is the one I’d think has the best shot at becoming reality.
This one is a little more “actiony” than outright “spooky,” but the character of Blade does live in a world of vampires and is kind of half vampire himself, so it could fit into Stine’s wheelhouse. About a year ago, there was a rumor that Blade would be coming back to the world of comics (in a series that found the vampire hunter training his young daughter in the art of vampire killing) but so far, nothing’s come of it.
Did this new series not happen because R.L. Stine maybe had a Blade series pitch they wanted to pursue instead? Who knows, but stranger things have happened. And with Blade’s fame as being the first successful Marvel property ever to be turned into a film, you’d think that Marvel would want to have a Blade comic out there in some way, shape or form in the future. Can’t leave that one on the back burner forever.
Which spooky Marvel characters would you like to see R.L. Stine take a crack at? Let us know down below in the comments.
Images: Marvel Comics