Midnight Sons: Greg Smallwood Breaks Silence on Viral Marvel Pitch

Nearly four years ago, comic artist Greg Smallwood unveiled his ultimate Midnight Sons pitch to the masses. The artwork and character turnarounds Smallwood designed went viral, and the team-up is still referred to all these years later. As it turns out, it's actually a project Smallwood actually pitched to Marvel, but the publisher ultimately passed on it. Now, the artist has revealed what his story would have all included over a five-issue mini-series.

Speaking with Newsarama, Smallwood said the primary conflict would involve Doctor Strange, Daimon Hellstrom, and Johnny Blaze. According to the artist, Strange puts together the team to stop Hellstrom from releasing Ghost Rider's demon spirit Zarathos "into the wild." As the Son of Satan sees it, the move would finally free Johnny Blaze from all his pain.

"Blaze is fatigued and discouraged by the increasingly blurred line between good and evil. Strange asserts his belief in fighting for good in a never-ending world of darkness and evil while Hellstrom insists that survival means stamping out evil by whatever means necessary," Smallwood told the outlet. "Strange has the wise and measured approach, recognizing that the war against evil will never be won – it will go on long after they're gone."

In addition to Strange, Hellstrom, and Ghost Rider, Smallwood's Midnight Sons would have also featured Moon Knight, Hannibal King, Blade, Jennifer Kale, Man-Thing, Satana, and Terror. Along the way, the group would have encountered Blackout, Jigsaw, and the Hood.

"The book strikes a tone somewhere between True Detective and The Defenders," the artist added. "With its unique blend of supernatural horror and action noir, Midnight Sons offers fans a dark, atmospheric mystery set against the epic backdrop of the Marvel Universe."

Smallwood even explained the series was prepped as a Christmas tale, taking place in a New York City "complete with holiday decorations, snow-covered streets, and rooftop pillars of steam [that] will help establish a strong sense of time and place for the reader."

As for why it didn't ever come to fruition, Smallwood said he figured it was a book that would sell itself, so he didn't "do a hard sell" when it came to pitching the House of Ideas.

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"I incorrectly assumed that the creation of books started at the bottom but in reality, marketing or publishing often decide what books get made and editorial is tasked with assembling the creative teams," he concluded. "A writer simply pitches his concept for the title and characters. I was swimming upstream and had no idea."