In my very long discussion of James Robinson's The Golden Age and Darwyn Cooke's The New Frontier, I barely touched upon an idea that I find exceedingly interesting: When the Roy Thomas-fueled period comics like The Invaders and All-Star Squadron hit the scene, World War II was only about 40 years old. And that seemed like an appropriate amount of time in which to set a comic book series set in the past. What if we applied that math to the year 2007, and looked back 40 years ago to the year 1967. I'm not talking about an Elseworlds-style graphic novel or mini-series. I'm talking an ongoing, episodic, super-hero melodrama which, like the Roy Thomas stuff, uses the time period as an essential part of the plotting and characterization.
Here's some of the 1967 the historical backdrop (courtesy of handy-dandy wikipedia):
--The Vietnam War.
--Apollo 1: U.S. astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward Higgins White, and Roger Chaffee are killed when fire erupts in their Apollo spacecraft during a launch pad test.
--New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison claims he will solve the John F. Kennedy assassination, and that it was planned in New Orleans.
--Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, defects to the USA via the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.
--In San Francisco, 10,000 march against the Vietnam War.
--In Houston, Texas, boxer Muhammad Ali refuses military service.
--Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu are married in Las Vegas.
--The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of rock's most acclaimed albums.
--Loving v. Virginia: The United States Supreme Court declares all U.S. state laws prohibiting interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.
--Cold War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, for the 3-day Glassboro Summit Conference.
--12th Street Riot: In Detroit, Michigan, one of the worst riots in United States history begins on 12th Street in the predominantly African American inner city (43 killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned.
--The Black Panthers Party invades the city of New Haven, Connecticut setting people's lawns and houses on fire.
--Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
--U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
--Civil rights activists in the US succeed in their campaign to extend the definition of murder to include the killing of blacks.
Can you imagine a super-hero series, using established heroes, set against such a backdrop? After all, the major super-heroes from both Marvel and DC were already created by 1967.
Or is it only the World War II-era heroes who seem to fit in a historical setting?
If a comic book set in the late 1960s did exist, who would be the ideal creative team?
These are the things I think about. How about you?