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Mark Waid

by Danilo Guarino


Fantastic Four (c) MarvelYou have done a good work with the characters both at Marvel and DC, working with the "back to the basic idea". So what's the reading of your

youngest as reader of comics that most influenced you?


The first comic I read as a child was BATMAN #180 in 1966, the first issue to come out after the Adam West TV show premiered in the U.S. From that moment on, I was hooked--though I'd have to say that the single most influential comic book from my childhood wasn't that one. It was ADVENTURE COMICS #369, by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan. It's a classic Legion of Super-Heroes tale full of heart and humor and a chilling cliffhanger, and the basic plot structure of that issue is an influence than can still be seen in my work to this day.


You now work with two icons of comics with Fantastic Four and with Superman. How hard is to try to give reader a version of this character for the new millenium? What's the funny thing to write a Superman or Fantastic Four story?


The hard part with Superman is always having to remember that we define the word hero far differently in this country than we did in 1938 when Superman debuted. I began to realize that part of the problem might be that, in this day and age, it seems more unrealistic than ever that someone with these powers and abilities might actually choose to go public--while wearing a big, red cape, no less. Until now, the answer to the question Why would he has simply been Because it's the right thing to do. I wanted a much deeper answer than that, and I think we've found one--or, rather, several. The Superman identity is now more tied up in Clark's need to belong to the world rather than stand apart from it. It's tied up in his desire to explore his alien heritage, and in a need to find and fulfill his own murky destiny.

With Fantastic Four, the tough part is having to compete with the first hundred issues of the series from the 1960s since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in their prime, were producing what I believe was the best super-hero comic book of all time. Jack in particular was the Grant Morrison of his day; he filled every one of their issues was filled to the brim with new ideas and exciting new concepts, and I feel the need to do the same. It's tough!

Both series are hard work, but they're worth it. The fun part is being able to write the characters with depth and feeling and return to them the love I feel for them and that I have always gotten FROM them.


Superman (c) DC ComicsYou work with many artist from Pacheco, to Yu, to Wieringo. How is difference working with these penciler? Your plot his the same with all of this artist? And when you feel that you have a real team-based work ?


I do tend to work full script with all my artists regarless of the collaboration, but with someone like Wieringo or Kitson, my most frequent collaborators, we've done so much work together over the years that they can sort of read my mind by now just as I can anticipate their needs--meaning there's less direction in the written script and more (very enjoyable) telephone collaboration. As with those guys and a few others, I know I have a real team-based work when I feel I can relax and totally trust my artist to do whatever he wants or needs to do to make the story his as well as mine.


What's the dream project for mark waid?


You're reading it. It's called BIRTHRIGHT.


How's difference from write superheroes story, to write science fiction story like in Empire? How's born the idea to have a world ruled by the evil?


Structurally, is no different, because regardless of the genre, I tend to work starting with the characters and build my story out of them. But the attitude I bring to the keyboard makes the difference. With super-hero stories, I feel the need to maintain my characters as symbols of inspiration. With EMPIRE, there's no such burden. The idea for EMPIRE rose almost ten years ago, when friend and editor Brian Augustyn and I were working on THE COMET for Impact Comics and toyed with the idea of making that character a villain. We wondered how much of a challenge it would be to write an ongoing series about a super-villain with no heroes to fall back on; it's fun!


You have work also at the begginning of your work as writer for Who's Who for DC. How do you remember of this days?


I still love writing that sort of thing, since I can work largely from memory. In a similar vein, during that period, I once had to write the card-back text for a set of DC trading cards, but I had only a 24-hour deadline--and there were 180 cards! I literally wrote as fast as I could type, producing ten cards an hour--one every six minutes!


Empire (c) DC ComicsKingdome come was a book that have opposite mark waid feel remembered of this work? You have the same satisfaction with the sequel "The Kingdom"?


No. The Kingdom was a well-intended fiasco, but at least it gave us Hypertime and the OFFSPRING one-shot, of which I'm particularly proud. As far as KINGDOM COME goes, I'm thrilled that fans have embraced it so warmly over the years; it's hard to go wrong working with someone as talented as Alex Ross.


You have work for both great company,what of the two give you more satisfaction?


In general, I tend to love the DC characters more because I grew up with them--but I've since fallen quite hard for the Fantastic Four, so I'd say it's a tie!


Upcoming projects?


Another EMPIRE mini-series next year, more FANTASTIC FOUR, and another top-secret DC project for September of next year. Thanks for asking, and best wishes!


The staff of would like to thank Mr.Mark Waid

for the generous contribution of his time and energy!




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