As The Waid Turns...
teach me to try and have a life on weekends.
several days of debating a new direction for Marvel's revivified
Fantastic Four, writer Mark Waid has been fired from
the book. His final issue will be #508, still a few months
put that a little more clearly: Bill Jemas wanted something
different, Waid expressed his discomfort with the idea and
then Friday, he got the phone call.
that "something different" is may be a matter of
some controversy for quite a while. In an interview with Newsarama,
Waid claims that Jemas wants "...a wacky suburban dramedy
where Reed's a nutty professor who creates amazing but impractical
inventions, Sue's the office-temp breadwinner, the cranky
neighbor is their new arch-enemy, etc." As might be expected,
Marvel disputes this.
rate, Waid rejected whatever notion Jemas tried to plant in
his head, saying it was too different from what they had hired
him to do in the first place. Though he worked on a compromise
with editor Tom Brevoort, he continues "...it would seem
the decision to replace me was made the moment I failed to
get with the program."
of course, not been the first time that Waid has left a project
under a storm of controversy. When he first became connected
with Fantastic Four, it was after unexpectedly leaving
CrossGen and the book he had co-created for them, Ruse.
Earlier, CrossGen had lured Waid away from JLA at DC,
a move he himself
has claimed regret over.
Newsarama interview, Waid expresses his belief that Jemas
may be replacing him with ...Jemas himself, but reminds his
fans that it's "...(Jemas') company, his prerogative."
Naturally, in the span of 24 hours, the internet has been
today, Joe Quesada sent this out to web editors, including
Fanboy Planet. It includes responses to couple of rumors that,
quite honestly, we didn't know about until Joe's letter. There's
that whole "having a life" thing again.
been busy as hell of late and found my life much more enjoyable
these last few months that I've avoided Internet message boards,
but sometimes things get so out of hand that issues just need
to be addressed and tackled head on.
off, regarding Mark Waid's exit from the FANTASTIC FOUR (pretty
the only part of this 'story' that's completely accurate).
Let me preface this by saying that Mark and I have been friends
for years and years and I expect that that relationship won't
change over this creative decision. Mark is one of the most
talented guys in the business and I have the utmost respect
for what he does, but his departure from FF is now being siphoned
through inaccuracies, mistaken impressions and hardcore enthusiasts
inability to wait for the whole, real story before slitting
their proverbial wrists and launching profanity-ridden grenades.
Hey, what the heck, it's so much more fun to be angry at Marvel
even with only half the story.
a month ago Bill Jemas asked for a change of direction for
the FF monthly title ... business as usual and no different
than asking for a costume change, a change of cast or story
line. As President, it's Bill's right and responsibility to
call for changes as he feels will benefit any Marvel title
just as it is mine. This is not the first time such changes
have been asked for and I certainly hope it won't be the last.
called up Mark and asked him personally to steer the book
towards a new vision and Mark made it clear that it wasn't
a direction that he felt he wanted to write in or was comfortable
with. That in turn is Mark's right and responsibility as a
creator - if it's not his cup of tea and if he can't bring
his "A" game to a project then that's okay, no harm
no foul. I respect Mark for making his decision as I respect
Bill for giving Mark the first crack at the new storyline.
has also been given every opportunity to work on other books
here at Marvel.
like with every creative change at Marvel, this change has
been met with much "fanfare" and fear. Let me assure
the fans that while Mark will be missed, the high quality
standard of FF stories that Mark and company have set, will
for Bill Jemas writing the monthly FANTASTIC FOUR title, and
the "wacky suburban dramedy" description, with all
due respect to Mark, neither is accurate. A new FF writer
will be announced shortly, but it won't be written by Bill
and won't be as described. Everyone getting upset and angry
over this are getting upset and angry over nothing ... or
in other words, business as usual. I'm in no way saying that
Mark is misleading the fans, only that he may be mixing up
stories he's heard and judging the new direction on what was
a very initial pitch that was circulated over a month
this isn't a cost saving measure nor is it some flight of
fancy. This is a change in direction for a Marvel title requested
by the man who schemed the Ultimate Universe, had the guts
to tell Origin and turned Marvel's publishing business around
in less than two years. But hey, what does he know. Yes, Bill
is indeed working on an FF-related concept, but then so am
I, along with a couple of Marvel's top creators and perhaps
that's where the stories get mixed up ... but more on that
when the time is right.
the truth? Like many events in the comics industry, we may
never know. But it is newsworthy now, because certainly what
Waid and artist Mike Wieringo have been doing on Fantastic
Four is working. It does seem an odd time to request a character
change, unless rumors about the sitcommy nature of the upcoming
film adaptation are true.
continues in his letter:
I want to get to all of the anti-Epic garbage that has been
hitting the streets. It seems that there are those that feel
that perhaps the best way to get accepted by Epic is to scare
off anyone who wants to submit. Think about it, put out some
nasty rumors that this is all some evil plot by Bill, that
there are 3000 submissions gathering dust, that the editors
aren't reading pitches and the fewer people that submit, the
better the chances of those that are already through the door.
Epic is no more nor less than what we've stated from the beginning.
We feel that there is a
wealth of undiscovered talent out there in need of a break.
We honestly feel that there are stories out there that need
to be told that are just looking for the right opportunity.
If you believe all of this Epic conspiracy nonsense, then
you're falling into a horrible trap.
ya in the funnybooks,
that note, we want to publicly congratulate the editor of
Rob Worley, for landing a pitch at Epic, Young
Ancient One. It
couldn't have happened to a nicer, or harder-working, guy.