The first part of our recap of the Marvel Panel at Baltimore Comic Con discussed core audience and reader issues with respect to the history of the characters and the politicization of world events into comic stories. In this second part, we will discuss how Charles Soule, Mark Waid, Greg Pak, and Barry Kitson go about creating their stories and scripts and get a little bit of insight into the future of Marvel.
If you didn’t know, Mark Waid is a very busy man at Marvel. He is juggling numerous teams, including two Avengers teams and the new Champions team. In order for Waid to keep all the teams separate, he has created trading cards and uses action figures as well. He not only uses them to keep them separate, but also uses them to make sure his books are balanced with each character getting enough of the spotlight. It’s a unique way to keep himself organized as well as help him write his scripts.
Surprisingly enough, even with Waid’s massive workload at Marvel, like Larry Hama he doesn’t actually outline any of his material before he sits down to work on the script. He just sits down and begins writing. However, he doesn’t ever write a script in one day and actually refuses to do so. He once wrote 21 pages of a 22-page script and stopped before the last page so he would have time to sleep on it and be able to make any adjustments the next day.
In contrast to Waid, Charles Soule has done a number of one-day scripts, although he doesn’t recommend it and actively tries to make sure it doesn’t happen, but sometimes it just works out that way. Soule is also a big outliner. He even whipped out his red journal where he keeps his Daredevil story outlines where he is up to issue 30! In the middle of the panel, he opened it up and wrote down an idea! While a number of those ideas in his journals may be loose ideas, he tries to tighten them up with his ideal three-day turn around for a script. On day one he writes out a detailed outline. He follows that up with the first ten pages of the script on day two. Finally, he finishes the script up on day three.
Both writers along with Pak emphasized that the script is never final. They will always adapt their script to their artists’ panels. Pak specifically noted he adapts his dialogue based on the art. Barry Kitson was very appreciative when writers listen to his suggestions for the story. In fact, he noted that probably the most under appreciated aspect of artists is their ability to affect the story by the choices they make in their artwork and the intricacies involved. Kitson did note that the only writer who refused to listen to one of his suggestions was George R.R. Martin who refused to tell Kitson what a number of silhouettes were supposed to be. Martin wanted to make sure his secrets were secure, but Kitson couldn’t draw a silhouette of something that he didn’t even know what it was going to look like!
As far as any hints or revelations into what we can expect moving forward in the Marvel Universe, Waid, Pak, Soule, and Kitson were very tight lipped. However, we did find out that the original X-Men and the Masters of Evil, including what Kitson described as the most hideous costumed villain, The Melter, will be returning in Waid and Kitson’s Avengers #1.1 Waid also confirmed that Dr. Doom will be joining the Avengers, but couldn’t give details on exactly when, noting that it will only happen after Bendis is finished using him. He also revealed that Ri Ri Williams, the new Iron Man, will also be joining the Avengers, but only after Bendis is done with her as well. Waid also discussed how Cyclops’ character will grow. He will have to turn into a new man, leaving behind the older version that basically turned into Magneto. He confirmed his love for the character and promised he will find a way to make you love Cyclops, even going so far as to promising that even Gail Simone will love Cyclops!
We had a great time at the Marvel Panel at Baltimore Comic Con and got to see some of our favorite creators giving us an inside look into the Marvel Universe and really allowing the fans to dominate the panel and ask their questions! Thank you to Mark Waid, Charles Soule, Greg Pak, and Barry Kitson for giving us this glimpse into your work.