Off My Mind: Should Villains Get Their Own Series?

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gmanfromheck

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Edited By gmanfromheck

Everyone likes to read about the bad guys. Often reading about the big honest hero can get repetitive and boring. With villains, you never really know what you'll get. They can approach a certain scenario in different ways. Heros always do the right thing. Villains are less predictable. Should villains get their own monthly ongoing comic series? 
    

    
 As cool or interesting as it may be to read about villains, would you want to read a monthly book detailing their evil and wicked ways? Would you feel comfortable rooting for an evil psychotic killer? Is it possible to get too much darkness in a comic? 
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Nightshade50

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#1  Edited By Nightshade50

I would love that, seeing the scenes from the eye of a psychopath. It would be nice to see things in the eye of the Joker.

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Dr. Detfink

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#2  Edited By Dr. Detfink

Tomb of Dracula was the BEST title starring a villain because Marv Wolfman knew how to make the supporting characters (Dracula's nemesis') work...
 
That is crucial when it comes to villains.

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queenfrost_

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#3  Edited By queenfrost_

I would love a Joker or Deathstroke mini series :D 
And a Lex Luthor one too!
x

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caesarsghost

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#4  Edited By caesarsghost

this discussion reminds me of Dexter- the T.V. show. He is a serial killer and yet you cheer for him, you are with him and like him as a character. But there is the flip side to that "cheering for the psycho" with Dexter- he only kills the people he believe deserve it.  
So in that sense, it would be difficult to read a regular series from the Joker's perspective- you don't have that "I am actually doing this for GOOD reasons" with a character like that. Or you change the character (as G Man wisely pointed out with Venom) and that change is not welcome and destroys the villain.  
So pretty much you would need to do a regular series with a villain that already had some 'good' in them. Shade, perhaps?
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They Killed Cap!

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#5  Edited By They Killed Cap!

Joker is one of the best villians all time...Carnage is great as well. 
 
As far as wanting to see a true blue villian in his own annual, I think it totally depends on the charecter. Some charecters are better suited for it. I think a Joker annual or Carnage annual would be great for like 6 to 12 issues and then fall off. Norman osbourne was good because there was soooo many different elements and it didn't totally rely on his charecter to carry it through. I would be open for it and excited to see it but I don't think it would last.  
 
Im very excited for this new Carnage run.

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EnSabahNurX

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#6  Edited By EnSabahNurX

I would love to see villains get their own titles, it's interesting to tell their side of the story like jason todd(under the red hood version), the joker would be an interesting story(more of a mini series), the list could go on. 
Sometimes you just want to root for a villain to win XD

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KRYPTON

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#7  Edited By KRYPTON

"I want to eat your brain" Did Venom actually say that in a comic? Good job on this "off my mind". Must take serious thought to think these up everyday.

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difficlus

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#8  Edited By difficlus

No thanks, who wants to see villains raping women, killing kids and stuff in comicbook? 
 
People like hm...Magneto, Bane, Mystique and juggernaut in the old days could probably carry their own series.

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punkelias

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#9  Edited By punkelias

I would love to read a Joker's series. It might be pretty interesting read about an unpredictable character as the Joker.

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Nightshade50

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#10  Edited By Nightshade50
@caesarsghost said:

" this discussion reminds me of Dexter- the T.V. show. He is a serial killer and yet you cheer for him, you are with him and like him as a character. But there is the flip side to that "cheering for the psycho" with Dexter- he only kills the people he believe deserve it.  So in that sense, it would be difficult to read a regular series from the Joker's perspective- you don't have that "I am actually doing this for GOOD reasons"  with a character like that. 

Maybe So, but the Joker would open up for good twists to the series because of his unpredictability and we can get into his psychology more. The joker isn't the only candidate, but i see your point, Some other villains might make for better stories.

  Or you change the character (as G Man wisely pointed out with Venom) and that change is not welcome and destroys the villain.  

Agreed. That is why only the best authors that portray that villain should make the series, not just get a unknown or minor.
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xerox_kitty

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#11  Edited By xerox_kitty
Usually the problem with putting the spotlight on a villain is that the reader begins to empathise with them.  Once you start to feel that you have common ground & associate with someone, they go from being a villain & become a misunderstood good guy.  Just look at Venom. 
 
It's a little different with someone like Osborn or the Joker.  Their psychological mania is difficult to associate with.  But they have been key characters in so many big stories.  Does it make someone blood thirsty to see more stories that focus on these guys?  After all, there's nothing but murder & mayhem that follows in their wake.  But in the hands of a good writer, it could lead to a gritty psychological thriller. 
 
But personally... I prefer to read about the heroes defeating the villains :)
   
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username4321

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#12  Edited By username4321

Yes.

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longbowhunter

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#13  Edited By longbowhunter

 
Villan owned titles are the bee's knees man. Ostrander's Suicide Squad was one of the best series of the 80's. Secret Six has been at the top of my read pile for over 2 years and Lex's story in Action Comics has me biting every month. A resounding YES from me!

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dondasch

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#14  Edited By dondasch

This has been done in part already with the Knightfall series, which focused on Bane.  That was very well done, and I have no doubt that others could be done similarly.  Perhaps not an ongoing series, but maybe a 5-10 story arc

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lastdrag0n89

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#15  Edited By lastdrag0n89

I for one think that its a great idea. I can see them more as mini series but i dont want to see stories rehashed in the villains eyes. I would want a new story focusing on the villain.

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AmazingSpiderMike

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You know I was thinking about his as I have been developing my own comic book series. What exactly happens when the villains aren't causing chaos because it seems that when Spider-man is fighting Venom or the Green Goblin, what are the other villains doing? Are they scheming or just making a bowl full of Jiffy pop and watching The View?

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NXH

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#17  Edited By NXH
@queenfrost_:
Yeah. There is a lex luthor comic. Its called action comics.
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Punishment

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#18  Edited By Punishment

that dark wolverine books was really good. and he ws evil yo

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Grouchy224

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#19  Edited By Grouchy224
@difficlus: I'd like to see that.
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DEGRAAF

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#20  Edited By DEGRAAF

Lex Luthor has his own series in Action comics right now. I think its possible to do but the character has to be complex. they cant jsut be a serial killer and thats it. I think an on going would work better for the Joker, Penguin, or Two-Face, along with Lex's already on going. With the gotham villains named, They could follow the manipulations of near by gangs, mobs, and mafia's. As well as plans to take on heroes other tan there main hero. I think its a great idea when writers pit villains against heroes other than their usual one(s)
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NightFang3

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#21  Edited By NightFang3
@username4321 said:
" Yes. "
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comicbikerscott

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#22  Edited By comicbikerscott

bomb queen has her own series in image and she's a villian
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Sobe Cin

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#23  Edited By Sobe Cin

The Hood (Parker Robbins) may not have had his own ongoing series, ( a mini or two) but if felt like the New Avengers was his book for quite a long time before it was cancelled and siege happened. Even when they were dealing the avengers themselves within the title, it seemed like they were the back-up singers.
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DanialCarroll

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#24  Edited By DanialCarroll

I think that's where anti-heroes come into play. They're still heroes, but you don't always know that they're going to do the "right" thing to achieve their goal :)

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batman_is_god

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#25  Edited By batman_is_god

If so, only the ones that can actually justify what they are doing, like Lex or Ra's al Ghul. Death Note was told from the perspective of a villain, but he was at least mildly relateable. Joker? Not really. It would get old fast, but no one will believe me until they do it. There is a reason villains do not have their own series often, and that is because they are very hard to relate to. We all know the emo kids that like to fake laugh during horror movies, but it IS  a fake laugh. For example a story told from Jigsaw's perspective might be cool, while a story told from Freddy's perspective would be seriously lame. That is because Jigsaw has a reason behind what he does, while Freddy is just "MWAHAHAHAHA". Notice in the Secret Six they focus on Ragdoll the least? He shows the least logic. Deadshot, while he's a bad guy, at least has logic. Lex is the same way. They can carry stories. A story can be told ABOUT Joker or Two-Face, but not from their point of view. So Magneto could get his own series, maybe Green Goblin. Definitely not any BATMAN villains.
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Sobe Cin

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#26  Edited By Sobe Cin
@batman_is_god:
Catwoman- is she a hero or villain? But she's had her own series for a very long time. However I don't read the book so I could be mistaken.
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nutzac4888

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#27  Edited By nutzac4888

what about secret six?

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Thunderscream

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#28  Edited By Thunderscream

I'd still love to see a Brotherhood of Mutants book. Mystique has carried her own series and had a limited duo with Sabertooth.

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Doctor!!!!!

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#29  Edited By Doctor!!!!!

It would make an awsome spin off series...  
Carnage's day off!!!

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N7_Normandy

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#30  Edited By N7_Normandy

I would love to see a Joker ongoing and personally, I can't wait for the new Osborn series.  I have no problem rooting for evil

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brc2000

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#31  Edited By brc2000

I'd like there to be more books focusing on the villains.

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Multiplus

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#32  Edited By Multiplus

Well let's be frank. 
The Scret Six ain't exactly an angelic faction. 
I think the following are capable of their own titles (insanity not a major point): 
Lex Luthor 
The Rogues 
Gorilla Grodd (I like to know more of Gorilla City life) 
Jason Todd (Might as well) 
Maxima 
Bizarro (Definitely) 
Brotherhood of Evil Mutants 
Magneto 
Abomination (Character needs more life and backstory development) 
Dr. Doom (Don't know why, but character's cool) 
 
 
What do you all think? 
Skrulls had their day in the sun.
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The_Martian

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#33  Edited By The_Martian

I think it depends on the villain. I believe Magneto is one of the few who could pull off an ongoing series.

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caesarsghost

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#34  Edited By caesarsghost
@Nightshade50: 
Maybe So, but the Joker would open up for good twists to the series because of his unpredictability and we can get into his psychology more. The joker isn't the only candidate, but i see your point, Some other villains might make for better stories. 

  Or you change the character (as G Man wisely pointed out with Venom) and that change is not welcome and destroys the villain.  

Agreed. That is why only the best authors that portray that villain should make the series, not just get a unknown or minor.
 
 I see your point here- the Joker would make for some excellent twists. And the thing about getting into the Joker's psychology is that it puts you (the reader) on uneven moral ground. I mean, who didn't feel a little creeped out watching The Dark Knight thinking "well, he kind of has a point...", when you start agreeing with the Joker you kind of get chills.  
What is the risk of exposing his psychology TOO much, though? Part of the Joker's allure is the mystery surrounding him...  

 And  you need a seasoned writer to bring a villain into his own line. Otherwise the villain gets destroyed and you cant honestly sleep at night or look at yourself in a mirror knowing that you destroyed a time-honored villain's rich mythos 
 
@Multiplus
said:
"Well let's be frank. The Scret Six ain't exactly an angelic faction. I think the following are capable of their own titles (insanity not a major point): Lex Luthor The Rogues Gorilla Grodd (I like to know more of Gorilla City life) Jason Todd (Might as well) Maxima Bizarro (Definitely) Brotherhood of Evil Mutants Magneto Abomination (Character needs more life and backstory development) Dr. Doom (Don't know why, but character's cool)   What do you all think? Skrulls had their day in the sun. "

I would be with you on Gorilla Grodd, Bizarro (I would like to read more about Bizarro world, once you get the knack of reading his lines they actually get kind of fun), Magneto and The Rogues. Especially the Rogues, because the Rogues role (especially Captain Cold) in Blackest Night was so fun to read. 
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darkxman123

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#35  Edited By darkxman123

i like the idea of a joker ongoing with him being locked up in arkham remebering his greatest battles with batman but  from the jokers perspective then give it a kick ass writer and a great artist any one else 

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Nod-Nolan

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#36  Edited By Nod-Nolan

I doubt it could be done any better than Mark Waid is currently doing in Irredeemable, and that title is enough for me.

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GothamRed

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#37  Edited By GothamRed

didn't deathstroke already have an on going, and lex is in action comics, so do those not count?

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Sir Duke

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#38  Edited By Sir Duke

The excellent run of Lex Luthor in Action comics aside, I think villains only work as a main character for mini-series, where there is a very specific story to be told.  I don't think they work so well for ongoing.  Plus, the fact that they're so recognizable, but not always used, it makes it more special when they do show up.  Remember how amazing it was when the Joker finally reappeared after being gone since RIP? 
 
As for villains that could possibly carry an ongoing, it couldn't be a deranged lunatic or killer.  Villains who skirt the line between and good and evil could work.  Some villains I could see working are Magneto or Black Adam.

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Video_Martian

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#39  Edited By Video_Martian

Yes! I REALLY wanna read an ongoing comic starring The Rogues! =D

 
 



 

 
 



 

 
 


THAT WOULD BE SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!! =D

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ImperiousRix

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#40  Edited By ImperiousRix
@mr.obvious: 
YES.  I'm on board.
I don't necessarily have a ton of love for villain series, but I certainly think that some villains could work as an on-going.  I actually think Norman Osborn could work in his own series, also teams of villains seem to work pretty well.
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KingsCastle

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#41  Edited By KingsCastle

I think for villains mini series work best. They give you a glimpse into the villains mind without making you bored of them. 
 
The downside of Villains having their own monthly series is that if  have their story plots to deal with, they  are no longer around to cause trouble for the heroes.

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ArachKnight

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#42  Edited By ArachKnight
@Dr. Detfink:
I used to have the first 6 comix of this series - Then and I had an accident and they burned up in a fire - Later I got curious one day while looking up stuff and looked up the market value for all six including #1 - It still makes my stomach hurt.
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Hawk

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#43  Edited By Hawk

 Best Comic Ever!
 Best Comic Ever!
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TheMess1428

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#44  Edited By TheMess1428

Lex Luthor has ACTION COMICS. Magneto is getting his own series.

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roadbuster

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#45  Edited By roadbuster

I disagree with the initial premise that morality is intrinsically boring, but to take a step back, there's no reason heroism needs to be of the paragon sort.  Currently, the most popular superheroes have a powerful anti-hero aspect or moral ambiguity to their actions which certainly is compelling and capable of sustaining a book / popular interest.  Therein lies the weakness for most villains.  The issue is not so much predictability or unpredictability... the issue is the challenge or the struggle or the barriers a character has to overcome- whether external or internal- to achieve their goals. 
 
A paragon wrestles with achieving a standard which may be more clear than with other character archetypes which tends to externalize the conflict (note, only a tendency).  An anti-hero or character with fewer clear standards faces both internal conflict (whether in the character or in the reader) between standards and external conflict in seeking to apply the standard (moreover the struggle can be a bit more dynamic as standards may shift and change).  A sympathetic or rational villain will be closer to the anti-hero spectrum, but a full-blown psychopath results in completely externalized conflict (since there is no internal conflict as to what to do or, on the part of the reader, whether the action is right) which isn't even as heightened as the paragon's external conflict.  Why?  Simply because it is far easier to do evil than good. 
 
That low threshold for meaningful conflict means that psychopathic styled villainy generally cannot sustain a long run.  If we take Mark Millar's Nemesis, for example, the character's internal struggle is all but irrelevant and everything is about how much of a challenge "the whole world's law enforcement versus Nemesis" can bring... (or, if you flip it, how can a lawman fight a villain with absolutely no moral limitations and significant resources and talents?). 
 
The ease of doing evil starts to erode many of the tropes which sustain the comic book genre.  Batman has a rich universe of rogues largely in part to his no-killing policy.  How is Punisher's rogues gallery by comparison?  It is almost as if the only way for a villain to have any on-going challenge is either to face other villains (say Millar's Wanted or Simone's Secret Six) or to fill their gallery with the unkillable (say the Wolverine family) or the uninteresting (mobster of the month for Punisher).  That's why the villain's story will almost always be a discrete and limited run with an emphasis on a focused storytelling goal which, unlike the hero, they may or may not achieve... and that tension with the trope that the villain always loses tend to amp up the conflict in the story. 
 
The closer a villain is, however, to the hero on the spectrum in terms of larger motivations, sympathetic goals, codes of conduct, honor, morality, standards, etc. the more compelling an on-going villain book can be.  A mob-family take on the Flashes' Rogues, for example, would actually have more rules and standards amongst the Rogues more akin to the hero spectrum than the psychopath spectrum even if they permitted killing.

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MisterMollusk

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#46  Edited By MisterMollusk

I think it'd be cool to have a story about the life of villains during the down times when they're not really planning any major crimes. What does the Joker do when he's not in prison or annoying Batman?

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Theodore

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#47  Edited By Theodore
@queenfrost_ said:
" I would love a Joker or Deathstroke mini series :D  And a Lex Luthor one too!x "
Lex has Action Comics.
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Sebastian Dark

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#48  Edited By Sebastian Dark
yea A villains story would be great
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roadbuster

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#49  Edited By roadbuster
@Theodore said:
" @queenfrost_ said:
" I would love a Joker or Deathstroke mini series :D  And a Lex Luthor one too!x "
Lex has Action Comics. "
Not to mention Luthor the hardcover (with 10 extra pages of story) just came out collecting "Luthor: Man of Steel".
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roadbuster

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#50  Edited By roadbuster

One quick point from reading the replies seems to be that the idea of "monthly on-going" with an emphasis on on-going seems to differ rather drastically than mine since a lot of things being cited are limited series or clearly temporary measures (does anyone really believe Lex Luthor will still be the star of Action Comics two years from now much less ten or twenty years from now?). 
 
I don't know if that's a reflection on readers or the state of the industry that "on-going" has pretty much lost any meaning... so long as a comic is monthly and comes out more than once it seems to constitute on-going?  To me an on-going title is one intended to have no ending and which sees 18+ issues (with anything less arguably a mere limited run).