Marv Wolfman’s impressive resume consists of writing and editing for DC and Marvel comics, animation, video games and film. He is responsible for creating fan favorite heroes such as Blade, (w/ Gene Colan), Tim Drake (the third incarnation of Robin) and is most famous for his writing for Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earth’s to just name a few.
Hello Marv! Thank you for taking the time for this interview.
Michael Garone: Of all the characters you have written stories about who is the one you connected with the most?
Marv Wolfman: I don’t think I connect with any directly but in one way or another the ones I create all have different aspects of me, including anything bad. But mostly that’s used to set the character and then they’re in charge and go off in their own directions. My job is to empathize with each one even when they are arguing with the others. You even have to empathize with the bad guys so that they’re not solely one-dimensional.
MG: What was your favorite story arc you wrote for Teen Titans? Is there more than one and what era?
MW: I wrote nearly 250 Titans stories and there’s many I like for different reasons. Early on the story “A Pretty Girl Is Like A Malady” was one of my favorites. The space stuff, the search for Wonder Girl’s origin, the Terra storyline, etc. They and others each have something in there that worked. Of course there’s many that didn’t work but those and some others do.
MG: Do you relate any part of the stories to your own life experiences?
MW: You need to understand what motivates characters so yes, but then you take what’s real and explode it for their lives.
MG: What is your favorite Story arc that you wrote for Superman? Is there more than one and what era?
MW: I liked the story commemorating Siegel & Shuster and I like most of my run of Adventures of Superman. And I loved coming up with the businessman Luthor. Also, a story much later on called Virex or something like that because it was a straight forward Superman in space story where his powers were utilized to their fullest, something you can’t always do on Earth.
MG: When you write a limited series such as Crisis on Infinite Earths, how do you stay on track with a story of this magnitude? You are not only writing about multiple characters on one Earth but multiple characters on multiple worlds.
MW: For Crisis I actually composed it, along ahead of even beginning the first story, as 3 four-issue stories. If you look at the end of issue 4 & 8 there’s a big event that takes the story in a different direction. Because the story was so important, I rough plotted it out in advance and kept on track that way.
MG: Did you know from the beginning of the story what your endgame was? Were there a lot of changes from editorial?
MW: I knew that the Earths would remerge at the beginning of time but not the way I finally did it. I wanted all the heroes to be in their present eras when the big bang occurred. In point of fact I wanted the story to end on that note; the Earth reforming from the dawn of time. Part of my proposal was that next month all books would be numbered 1 and we’d start with a new origin. If you wanted to keep what happened before you could and if you wanted to change it you could, but there would never be any knowledge or reference to anything that came before. So if you want a Luthor battle in Superman you’d introduce Luthor as if for the first time.
Unfortunately, one of the editors at the time fought that. He said if the heroes don’t remember the past then it in validates all the comics. I said the heroes don’t buy the comics; the readers do and they’ll still have them and can enjoy them. But I was overruled. And that led to years of confusion where some heroes remembered events and others didn’t and did everything I predicted it would. None of the editors at that time are still DC editors, by the way.
MG: Who decided which characters would die? Such as Supergirl and Wonder Woman.
MW: All deaths had to be okayed by the publisher and editor in chief. I asked for Supergirl, to make Superman unique again (although I expected we’d eventually recreate her) and fortunately the higher ups agreed. We were asked by the Wonder Woman folk to end her series so she could be re-created in her own book. Since George Perez was drawing Crisis and going to be controlling Wonder Woman afterward it made it simple for us to set up where he wanted to go.
MG: How much control did you have?
MW: I had total control over story, although I’m sure if someone didn’t like it they’d argue. But not total control over things like the ending. But except for that the story went about 98% the way I originally outlined it.
MG: Do you have any current or future projects you can talk about?
MW: Working on a novel and some comics. The next comic to come out is the Trigon issue of Teen Titans Villains. I believe in September.
MG: Thanks Marv!
Marv will be writing Teen Titans issue 23.1 titled Trigon, which is part of DC Comics’ villains month to be released Sept 11, 2013. Here is the synopsis:
He is the ruler of six kingdoms of pain, suffering and agony but the one world that evades Trigon is Earth. Trigon’s influence has been spread across worlds by his sons, but it wasn’t until he conceived a daughter of Earthly origin that the monster finally had an heir who could aid his quest. Now, with all the world’s heroes missing is this the final victory of Trigon?
Follow Marv’s current adventures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marvwolfman
And you can visit Marv’s webpage here: http://marvwolfman.com