Comics Cornerstone Special Edition: Brainstorming in the Apocalypse

Image Courtesy of Marvel Comics


Good day, readers!  Or, as good as it can be in this situation I suppose.  The pickle that the world is currently in is bad no matter how you slice it.  However, it does present some interesting creative opportunities.  So, what I’ll be doing today is brainstorming a couple of ideas involving superheroes and viruses.  Yes, it’s been explored time and again in the last 25 years.  Though I think now is the perfect time to explore some hypothetical scenarios as well as reflect on how it’s been executed previously.  Before I begin, I should tell you that this idea is not 100% mine.  I actually got inspired to do this post via the most recent episode of “The Elseworlds Exchange” podcast over on the Comic Pop YouTube channel.  I’ll link to that episode below so you can watch it for yourself.  But the whole point of today’s post is really just to expand on that idea a little bit.  Alright, let’s see how this goes.


As I mentioned earlier, the concept of viruses in comic books is nothing new.  I believe the first time it was made into an event was during the first “Marvel Zombies” miniseries.  That was met with much critical and fan acclaim.  So much so that it spawned at least three sequels, each one worse than the last.  But the original was what really started this whole craze.  DC Comics even did their own version of this last year in an event titled “DCeased”.  I haven’t read it, but I hear it’s pretty amazing.


Let’s take some time now to look at some hypothetical scenarios and storylines.  I’ll start off with the thing that’s on everyone’s minds:  Coronavirus.  How exactly would the superhero community, whether it be Marvel or DC, respond to something like this?  Well, it’s simple really.  A virus like this is far from the worst thing that either universe has faced and, therefore, it wouldn’t be an issue.  One of the geniuses like Reed Richards or Bruce Wayne would be able to come up with a solution in a few hours.  And that’s only because they’re geniuses and have access to chemicals and formulas that don’t exist in the real world.  My point is, this would be taken care of immediately and would be old news by now.  Unfortunately, we live in a world without such intellects and a solution to this pandemic will require time and patience.  Another thing I should mention is that assuming the virus did originate in another country, someone with access to stealth technology like Iron Man or Black Panther would just be able to covertly go to whatever place and find the source of it.  Because, in the world of comic books, behind every illness is a madman looking to get rich or take over the world.


If you ask me, this whole social distancing thing is ripe for a Spider-Man or Flash story.  Why?  Because, with everyone locked in their houses and all non-essential businesses shut down, all the crooks and thieves are bound to run rampant.  Especially the dumb ones like Rhino or The Rogues.  I can just imagine Rhino being like “What?”!  Everything’s closed and the people are locked up?  Let’s do this!”  And, of course, Spider-Man would have no choice to go out and handle it because it’d be impossible for a skeleton police force to handle someone like the Rhino.  In fact, given the comedic nature of Spider-Man’s personality, this could make for a pretty hilarious storyline.  Maybe not a three or four-issue story.  But it’s perfect for a two-parter or, even better, an annual.  As for The Flash, he would literally have to be everywhere at once because there’s no way that the more opportunistic criminals wouldn’t take advantage of this.  Sure, Flash is fast.  But even this would be a challenge for “The Fastest Man Alive”.


The more I think about it, the more I wish this was a concept that was explored in “Ultimate Spider-Man” from the early 2000s.  That book actually would have been perfect for this because you could make it a parody of “Ferris Bueller” except Peter’s actually sick instead of faking it to get out of school.  But then, something happens and he’s forced to go out as Spider-Man and still make it home before Aunt May gets back so that she doesn’t see that he’s not home.  This just gets more hilarious the more I think about it.  Or maybe, May catches it and Peter is supposed to be taking care of her.  Except instead he has to go do Spidey stuff because the entire city is in quarantine and the criminals are running crazy.  So, therefore, Peter has to get MJ or Gwen to cover for him with Aunt May.  I’m not sure which of these pitches I like better.  Let me know what you think in the comments!


That pretty much does it for this brainstorming session.  I hope you enjoyed it and, if so, maybe I’ll do more of these in the future.  I’ll probably do it regardless just because I like putting these crazy ideas out for people to see.  Anyway, I figured it was timely to do this one in particular.  As for what’s coming next, there will be more content, but nothing’s set in stone because of the quarantine and all that.  Just be patient and I can assure you that it won’t be too long before you see a new post in this feed.  Until then, stay healthy, stay safe, and stay comical!



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Baily Vis

Hi! My name is Baily Vis. I joined The Vessel writing team back in February of 2019 and am in charge of The Streaming Spotlight and Comics Cornerstone. My interest in comic-related media began when I was about 10 years old with a random issue of "Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man." This gave birth to my overall interest in writing and the science fiction genre. That's why in the Fall of 2016 I enrolled at USF to pursue a career in media.