Marv Wolfman through time
Active in fandom before he broke into professional comics at DC in 1968, he often collaborated (particularly in his early years) with friend Len Wein. When asked what a book about the both of them would be like, Wein and Wolfman replied it would resemble the Three Stooges minus one. Wolfman was one of the first to publish Stephen King with "In A Half-World of Terror" (in "Stories of Suspense" #2, 1965)
In 1974, Wein and Wolfman moved to Marvel Comics as protégés of then-editor Roy Thomas. When Thomas stepped down, Wein and Wolfman took over as editors. Initially Wein was in charge of the color comics and Wolfman the black and white titles. After about a year, Wolfman succeeded Wein as editor-in-chief of the color line. One innovation which Wolfman instituted was the "warehouse story"; when writers and artists missed deadlines, it cost Marvel a great deal of money to delay the release of a scheduled issue, and using reprints to tread water wasn't as appealing to readers. So, Wolfman had various creative teams produce complete stories for various titles, which were then stored for possible later use if a book went off schedule, allowing the editor to keep the book on track with an entirely original story that wouldn't alienate readers.
Because Marvel was producing an ever-expanding line of comics, Wolfman found it difficult to both supervise their titles and still write comics. He opted to step down as editor-in-chief in order to spend more time editing and writing.
While at Marvel Wolfman wrote lengthy runs of Amazing Spider-Man (where he co-created the Black Cat); Fantastic Four; and Doctor Strange. He created Nova in that character's eponymous first issue, and ran till it was cancelled in issue #24.
His best-received work was Tomb of Dracula, a fledgling horror comic which Wolfman turned into a rich, complex piece of high gothic, well matched with the moody shade-and-light pencilling of Gene Colan. Taking Bram Stoker's basic story, Wolfman created his own vampire mythology and introduced a set of new characters, including Blade.
In 1980, Wolfman returned to DC after a dispute with new Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, who offered to renew Wolfman's contract as a writer, but not as an editor. Teaming with penciller George Pérez, he relaunched DC's Teen Titans. The New Teen Titans added the characters Raven, Starfire and Cyborg to the old team's Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Beast Boy (renamed Changeling). The series became DC's first new hit in years, and its first serious competitor to Marvel since the early 1970s.He would also go on to create Vigilante, a hard bitten crime saga.
During the early 1980s Wolfman also collaborated with artist Gil Kane on a run on Superman, rejoined Colan (who had also moved to DC) on the short-lived Night Force, and worked with Carmine Infantino on a revival of Dial H for Hero.
In 1985, Wolfman and Pérez launched Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 12-issue limited series celebrating DC's 50th anniversary. Featuring a cast of thousands and a timeline that ranged from the beginning of the universe to the end of time, it killed scores of characters, integrated a number of heroes from other companies to DC continuity, and re-wrote 50 years of DC universe history in order to streamline it.
Wolfman was also involved in the DC Comics relaunch of the Superman line, reinventing nemesis Lex Luthor and initially scripting the Adventures of Superman title.
After Pérez left The New Teen Titans in 1986, Wolfman continued with other collaborators - including pencillers Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Eduardo Barreto and Tom Grummett - but never enjoyed the same level of commercial or critical success. It was around this time that Wolfman had begun a brief run on the Batman titles, most notably creating Robin III Tim Drake and writing an anniversary adaptation of the first ever Batman story which was printed along with two other adaptations and the original.
Wolfman got into disputes with DC over a proposed ratings system, and finally, after several years, asked to be taken off the title and put onto another book.
Wolfman's writing for comics decreased as he turned to animation and television, though he wrote the mid-1990s DC series The Man Called A-X.
- Wolfman won the Shazam Award for Best Writer (Humor Division) in 1973.
- Wolfman's and artist George Pérez's Crisis on Infinite Earths won the 1985 Jack Kirby Award for Best Finite Series. The duo's The New Teen Titans #50 (with inker Romeo Tanghal) was nominated that year for Best Single Issue.
- He was nominated for the Comics' Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1986, and his work on the "Batman: Year Three" story arc in Batman #436-439 was nominated Comics' Buyer's Guide Favorite Writer Award in 1990.
- In 2007 Wolfman won the "Scribe" Award, given by writers of novelization and tie-in fiction for his novel based on Superman Returns.
- In 2008 Wolfman's nonfiction book Homeland, The Illustrated History of the State of Israel won the prestigious National Jewish Book Award as well as many others.
- 1972, 1979, 1980, 1986: #248, 338, 353, 422
The creations (or co-creations) of Marv Wolfman:
Log in to comment