Mark Waid's Favorite Things
by Will Allred (06/04/1999)
Unless you've been living in a cave for the last few years (and I don't mean the Bat Cave) you've heard of writer Mark Waid. Whether you read his work monthly on the Flash or picked up one or two of his special projects like Kingdom Come or JLA: Year One, you can tell that he loves heroes; particularly DC's Silver Age heroes. It's a good thing, too, since he's been tapped to replace fan-favorite Grant Morrison on DC's JLA. Mark had a few moments to talk about the JLA, his leaving Marvel's Captain America, and a little thing called Hypertime.
Allred: How about a little background information to start things off? How did you get your start?
Waid: I worked in the fan press doing interviews for Comic Buyer's Guide and Amazing Heroes. This gave me the contacts I needed to pitch Superman stories to then-editor Julie Schwartz, two of which were printed in 1984-85. I was then asked to come to DC as an editor in 1987. I left in late 1989 and have been freelance ever since. While I was there, I edited Secret Origins, Doom Patrol (with writer Grant Morrison), Legion of Super-Heroes (with artist Keith Giffen), Christmas with the Super-Heroes, Gotham By Gaslight. As a freelancer, I've written Comet and Legend of the Shield both for Impact; Archie's Pals and Gals, Veronica In Paris, Riverdale High; Justice League Task Force, Justice League Quarterly, Deadpool, X-Men, Spider-Man Team-Up, Impulse, Legion of Super-Heroes, Legionnaires...quite a few others, too.
Allred: What titles are you currently writing?
Waid: I'm writing Flash with Brian Augustyn and The Brave and the Bold with Tom Peyer. My last Captain America is #22, sadly; chalk it up to that old demon "creative differences," though I didn't want to leave. Anyway, Flash gets a MAJOR makeover with issue #152, right down to the logo. And from there, wait until you see whatever happened to Linda...
Allred: That sounds particularly ominous. I guess we'll have to wait and see. What are some of the projects that you have coming out in the near future?
Waid: Nothing I can announce right now...but stay tuned for some creator-owned news...
Allred: Sounds like there might be a grain of truth in all those rumors that are currently circulating. Any comment on those? And, since were' talking about rumors…what about the rumor of you taking on JLA after Grant Morrison leaves and the possibility of a Doom Patrol: Year One series?
Waid: Well, no comment on those, but the JLA rumor is TRUE! The team will be composed of the Big 7 and just Plastic Man for the moment; although other heroes will play through as needed. As to Doom Patrol…sadly, no. I'd love to, but I don't have the time--and if I did, I'd devote it to Titans: Year One instead.
Allred: Just a few short months ago, The Kingdom redefined the DC Universe. Hypertime, as it's come to be called, has been both applauded and criticized for its effects. Can you explain its origin and how it works?
Waid: The genesis of Hypertime was Grant Morrison, Tom Peyer, Dan Raspler and I all sitting around a room trying to find a way to throw the doors of creativity and possibility OPEN again after thirteen years of having them closed one after another. Every big DCU event since Crisis has been about making the universe SMALLER. We wanted to make it BIGGER again. As envisioned, Hypertime is much like the old parallel Earths structure, but with two major twists: the first, smaller one is that alternate-history tributaries can sometimes fold BACK into the mainstream or cross OVER with it; the second cannot yet be revealed, but it's huge.
Allred: Obviously, you love the Flash, but who are some of your other favorite characters?
Waid: Clearly Superman tops the list, but I also love the original Captain Marvel, the Dial "H" for Hero kid, the Composite Superman, and Mon-El, Marvel's Omega the Unknown, Adam Strange…an eclectic bunch, to say the least...I love characters whose main power is THINKING--Brainiac 5, Captain America, etc.
Allred: Adam Strange is also one of mine. Thanks for bringing him out of the grim & gritty era and returning him to his roots.
Waid: You're QUITE welcome. Like I said, he's one of mine, as well.
Allred: One last question before we run out of time. What would be your dream project?
Waid: Superman. Not gonna happen...but Superman.