Just stumbled upon this sort of retrospect look at the SLINGERS book ChrisCross and I did for Marvel back in 1998-1999. Very strange to look back on it. But it did make me smile.
I was a complete newbie writer. Early 20-something. And I’d somehow slipped under the Marvel Comics fence and into the House of Ideas… which wasn’t a very functional place, in those days. The company was still in bankruptcy. The X-titles, which I would eventually contribute more to, were running on fumes while trying to find their footing and everything felt transitory around the old offices on Park Avenue South.
SLINGERS would launch in a void in which the core Spider-books (themselves riding a similar wave of fatigue and reader dissatisfaction) took a brief hiatus. The title was my first monthly endeavor after writing a few fill-in issues of X-FORCE and X-FACTOR and I had to learn on my feet. I made some choices I’m probably proud of to this day… as well as some strange ones that make me scratch my head and wonder what the fuck I was thinking now that I’m nudged to recall some of them. I was just a kid, lucky to be there, even if the company was in dire straits and suffering a terrible malaise.
We weren’t helped by the silly sales gimmick that saw variant interiors stretch through four separate editions of the first issue… but we did try to deliver well-characterized stories of real young people in extraordinary situations. At that time, I didn’t have a role model for what I wanted this title to be. I just wrote it as though attempting to fill a void I thought was there, at the time. And I still get emails from fans of the book who kept me oddly informed of the eventual fates and re-appearances of Ricochet, Hornet, Prodigy and Dusk over the years in the pages of books like Marvel’s RUNAWAYS.
Makes me smile to look back on this. Though now I have this strange pang of regret that I never got to tell that Asgard story I’d planned for year two.