Seeing as how we've yet to receive mail on the first issue of
QUASAR, we thought we'd give our Cosmic Avenger's long-winded
writer this space to say a few words about how this series came to be.
Take it away, Mark . . .
I've been waiting to do this book for ten years, ever since I co-scripted
Wendell Vaughn's first appearance as Quasar (he was called "Marvel Man"
before that) in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE back in 1979. I've
always liked cosmic heroes - the Silver Surfer, Captain Mar-Vell, Adam
Warlock - and I felt that Quasar, despite his humble origins, might bring
something new to that field. After all SS, CM, and AW were all non-human,
and Marvel had yet to showcase a cosmic hero with a totally human
perspective. So for the past ten years ideas for Quasar have
been percolating on the back burners of my mind, and I've managed to
resist the temptation to cannibalize them for other projects I happened
to be writing.
So why did it take so long for me to get this book off the ground? Well,
the main reason is Marvel doesn't publish just anything its freelancers
or editors get a hankering to do. Before I could convince anybody that I
merited the opportunity to have a new book added to the schedule just
because I thought it might be fun, I had to establish a track record
for myself as being dependable, viable writer. That took about six years.
I first submitted a proposal for a QUASAR book in 1984,
and even plotted the first issue with a story that bears an uncanny
resemblance to the story in this, the second issue. But then an editor I
know wanted someone to write a SQUADRON SUPREME limited
series so I put QUASAR on hold to go do that (I always
wanted to write a team book). When that was done, an editor in chief I
knew was putting together a New Universe and I thought it might be
advantageous to get in on that. Well, that lasted 32 issues - almost
three years of a little thing I like to call D.P.7. But
when the decision was made to pull the plug on the New U and we were
looking for new books to replace them on the schedule, I dusted off my
old QUASAR proposal, fine-tuned it with the benefit of four
more years of writing experience under my belt, and submitted it to the
greatest editor in chief in the history of four-color literature,
Tom He-Paid-Me-To-Say-That DeFalco. Tom said "Let's humor
him," so here it is at long last, a book that absolutely nobody but me
has been clamoring for!
If QUASAR has a somewhat familiar look to you, it may be
because the exact same creative team worked together on
D.P.7 - every last one of us: writer penciler, inker,
letterer, colorist, editor, assistant ed, and ed in chief! When in the
course of comic events you come across a team that really meshes well and
enjoys and complements one another's work, you don't let a little thing like
a book's cancellation let it end. You hire the whole zany crew to do a
new book. And for those among you familiar with D.P.7, you
know that when Peerless Paul Ryan and myself commit to a project,
we're on for a long haul. The Gruenwald-Ryan team not only cops the
record for being the only writer and penciler to remain on a New Universe
title for its entire run, but with 32 issues under their belts, Gru-Ry
stand as Marvels' longest lasting creative collaboration currently
working together. (Okay, so we have a way to go to top Lee and Kirby's
102 issue run on FANTASTIC FOUR - give us time!) Since
D.P.7 has given your entire crew plenty of time to iron out
all creative bugs and glitches, you can just bet that we're hitting the
ground running on this title.
My fondest hope in doing QUASAR is that I can not only
provide whopping good yarns for you to read month in and month out, but I
can also break new ground not yet trodden by previous cosmic heroes.
Since Marvel has presented the most cosmic heroes in the history of the
medium, I realize what a challenge this will be. But he, if Quasar and
I wanted things easy, we would have never left Wisconsin!
As a public service to the completists among you, here are Quasar's
complete appearances to date, in chronological order, no less!
The complete appearances of Quasar's predecessor, Marvel Boy, are:
- QUASAR #1
- CAPTAIN AMERICA #217
- DEFENDERS #62-64
- INCREDIBLE HULK #232
- CAPTAIN AMERICA #231
- INCREDIBLE HULK #233-234
- MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #53-58, #67, #73, #74
- DAZZLER #9
- MARVEL TEAM-UP #113
- MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #5
- QUASAR #2-3
- AVENGERS #302-303
- AVENGERS ANNUAL #18
The story of the founding of the Uranian colony is told in the "Untold
Tales of the Marvel Universe" featured in WHAT IF, Vol. 1,
- ASTONISHING TALES #1-5 (1951)
- FANTASTIC FOUR #164-165
- WHAT IF #9
Deathurge has appeared before in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE
#71-72 and AVENGERS #249-250. Eon has appeared in
CAPTAIN MARVEL #28 and #29
Data about Uranus was culled from "Voyager: Discovery at Uranus" by
Richard Berry in the May 1986 issue of ASTRONOMY.