Five Questions with Daredevil Writer Mark Waid
Daredevil is one of Marvel's most criticially acclaimed series and Mark Waid is a legend in comics who continues to gain new fans with his current work.
1. The tone of your Daredevil run has been vastly different than that of DD’s past few series. Was it an intuitive decision to go back to the old-school swashbuckling Daredevil over the grim and gritty DD of recent memory?
Mark Waid: It was certainly a decision to go in SOME other direction, but I bristle at the phrase "old-school" -- "swashbuckling adventure," yes, but there was no attempt to re-create anything of the past, just an enthusiasm to bring some hope and optimism back to the series after such a long, relentlessly grim era (which has been brilliant and which I've enjoyed greatly as a reader--but noir isn't really my wheelhouse).
2. Your professional relationship with Chris Samnee has evolved in the time he’s been on the book. Originally it was Mark Waid as “Writer” and Chris Samnee on “Art.” Now, you and Samnee are listed together as “Storytellers.” Has there been an actual shift in the way you two work together? And if so, can you elaborate?
MW: There has been a shift, but it has less to do with any sort of transfer of responsibility and more to do with a general mutual trust that comes from collaborating long-term. That said, at Chris's own invitation, I do tend to hand over the choreography to him more often these days--the dialogue's always there, but rather than break scenes down panel-by-panel, I'll just set the scene and call out any specific visual beats I think we should hit. He's a brilliant storyteller himself--why not put that to use, right?
3. Your Daredevil series has managed to stay mostly self-contained and accessible while maintaining ties to the larger universe. But you’ve also done many books in the course of your career that are deeply entrenched in a larger continuity. Which mode do you prefer to work in and why?
4. How far in advance have you planned out Matt Murdock’s narrative? Do you know where you’ll be 12 issues from now? Or do you take it several issues at a time?
MW: Dude, sometimes I don't know the narrative three pages ahead of me. I almost never know the resolutions to the cliffhangers I write when I hand them in. But in broad strokes, I do know where Matt and his cast are heading for the next six months or so at any given time. Beyond that, the fun of it all is the voyage of discovery for me.
5. Daredevil is getting a new #1 in a few months, a new locale, presumably a new supporting cast, in addition to other “renovations.” But will the central tone and direction be familiar to current DD readers? Or will we be seeing Daredevil in a whole new light?
MW: He'll certainly have a whole new attitude to the way he approaches conflicts now that his identity's been made unquestionably, irrevocably public. The tone will be familiar without being redundant, though--suspense, humor and horror, flipping back and forth between them as rapidly as possible.