Sitting in on the last comic book panel of the weekend at LFCC, here’s a Top Ten of the thing I learnt from listening to Marv Wolfman reminisce on a fulfilling career to date.
1. While Archie Goodwin created Spider-Woman to protect the name form being trademarked by anyone else, it was Wolfman who gave her secret identity of Jessica Drew.
2. He named her, ‘Jessica’ after his daughter and ‘Drew’ after crime-solving Nancy Drew.
3. Wolfman created some of modern comics most memorable characters, such as Daredevil’s Bullseye, with the original two stories featuring this villain soon to be collected. How does he know? He’s just wrote the introduction for the collection.
4. Nowadays when he isn’t writing he does writing seminars. Hopefully, if he’s here next year, he can do one of these.
5. Wolfman created the businessman Lex Luthor realising that Luthor is the smartest man on Earth and his intelligence is his real power. Why the insistence on a superset for Lex since the 80’s is a mystery to him. Supes could simply weld his suit’s shoes to the floor at any time.
6. When creating The Omega Men, Wolfman created a series of 20 or so planets circling the sun, Vega. The destruction of these planets and the individual survivors formed The Omega Men. Ten years later and scientists really did find 20 or so planets circling Vega. Prophetic of what?
7. As a kid, he created The Librarian, who observed and collected data on Eartha and its inhabitants. The Librarian eventually transformed into The Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths.
8. The idea for Crisis on Infinite Earths came from a fan letter stating that DC’s continuity by the early 80’s was “a mess”. While waiting for a train and fellow friends and colleagues heading for a comic con that very day, came up with the kernel of the idea and bounced the idea off his colleagues on the rain ride up.
9. Wolfman doesn’t read what other creators do with the characters he created because he never asked permission off the creators that had gone before him, so why would others need to seek him out and ask for his advice/blessing? “I never asked Bob Kane if I could age Robin and have him sleep with an alien”. Modern writers and artists should have that freedom to do their own stories and their own takes on such characters.
10. One of his greatest regrets? He wished Night Force had been more popular There’s a lot of people who would love to see it again.