Mark Waid (born March 21, 1962 in Hueytown, Alabama) is an American comic book writer. He is well known for his eight-year run as writer of the DC Comics' title The Flash, as well as his scripting of the limited series Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright, and his work on Marvel Comics' Captain America. From August 2007 to December 2010, Waid served as Editor-in-Chief, and later, Chief Creative Officer of BOOM! Studios, where he wrote titles such as Irredeemable, Incorruptible and The Traveler.
Waid has stated that his comics work was heavily influenced by Adventure Comics #369-370 (1968), the two-part Legion story by Jim Shooter and Mort Weisinger that introduced the villain Mordru: "It's a blueprint for everything I write."
Fantagraphics and DC Comics
Waid entered the comics field during the mid-1980s as an editor and writer on Fantagraphics Books' comic book fan magazine, Amazing Heroes.
In 1987, Waid was hired to serve as an editor for DC Comics where he worked on titles such as Secret Origins, Legion of Super-Heroes, and part of Grant Morrison's critically acclaimed run on Doom Patrol. He also served short stints as editor on Action Comics, Infinity, Inc., Legion of Super-Heroes, and Wonder Woman, as well as various one-shots like Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. With Gotham by Gaslight, and in tandem with writer Brian Augustyn, Waid co-created DC's "Elseworlds" franchise.
As a writer
In 1989 Waid left editorial work for freelance writing assignments. He worked for DC's short-lived Impact Comics line where he wrote The Comet and wrote dialogue for Legend of the Shield.
In 1992 Waid began the assignment which would bring him to wider recognition in the comics industry, when he was hired to write The Flash by then-editor Brian Augustyn. The comic starred one of DCs flagship characters, and in an acclaimed eight-year run, Waid and a number of artists, most notably Greg LaRocque and Mike Wieringo and in the final year with Augustyn as co-writer, brought the modern Flash out from the shadow of his predecessors and increased his powers dramatically.
Marvel editors Ralph Macchio and Mark Gruenwald hired him as Gruenwald's successor as writer on Captain America, during which Waid was paired with artist Ron Garney.
Although his second run on the character (Captain America Volume 3, issues #1-23) was not as universally praised as his first, Waid's prestige had been boosted by the whole affair, and he went on to be one of the most prolific comic writers of the late 1990s. He also wrote the short-lived spin-off series Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty from 1998–1999, having written 10 of the 12 issues (skipping issues #7 and 10).
In 1996, Waid, with artist Alex Ross, released his best-known work, the graphic novel Kingdom Come. This story, set in the future of the DC Universe, depicted the fate of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other heroes as the world around them changed. It was written in reaction to the "grim and gritty" comics of the 1980s and 1990s, and while many of the events in the story were intense, a steady optimism filled the series. Many of the ideas introduced in Kingdom Come were later integrated into the present-day DC Universe, and Waid himself wrote a less successful follow-up to the series, The Kingdom.
Waid also had acclaimed runs on DC's JLA, the Flash spinoff series Impulse and Crossgen's Ruse.
Waid and writer Grant Morrison tag-teamed on a number of projects that would successfully reestablish DC's Justice League to prominence. Waid's contributions included JLA: Year One, as well as work on the ongoing series. The two writers also helped develop the concept of Hypertime to help explain problems with continuity in the DC Universe.
In 2003, Waid released a series named Empire (with Barry Kitson), whose protagonist was a Doctor Doom-like supervillain named Golgoth who had successfully defeated all superheroes and conquered the world. The series was originally published by Gorilla Comics, a company formed by Waid, Kurt Busiek and several others, but the company folded after only two issues were produced. Empire was completed under the DC Comics label but is in its own distinct universe.
Waid began an acclaimed run as writer of Marvel's Fantastic Four in 2002 with his former Flash artist Mike Wieringo, with Marvel releasing their debut issue, Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #60 (October 2002) at the low price of 9 cents U.S. By the next year, however, Waid's fan-favorite run on the Fantastic Four was threatened when Marvel executives sought to reinvent aspects of the series. When Waid and Wieringo were replaced on the title after refusing to acquiesce to the editorial changes, the resulting fan backlash led to Waid and Wieringo's reinstatement on the title within weeks. The FF backlash was also a contributing factor to then Marvel Publisher Bill Jemas leaving his position. Waid and Wieringo completed their run on Fantastic Four with issue #524 (May 2005), by which time the previously relaunched series had returned to its original numbering.
In 2003 Waid wrote the origin of the "modern" Superman with Superman: Birthright, a twelve-part limited series which was meant to be the new official origin story of the Man of Steel. Birthright contained several characters and elements from Silver and Modern Age Superman comics and also homages to Superman: The Movie and the Smallville television series.
Waid returned to writing Legion of Super-Heroes in December 2004, teaming again with Barry Kitson. He wrapped up his run on the book in mid-2007 with issue 30.
Waid, along with past collaborator Grant Morrison, and other prominent DC Universe creators Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Keith Giffen played an editorial role in guiding the DC Universe after the events of the company's "Infinite Crisis" event. Together, they wrote a weekly series named 52 that lasted for one year and covered the events that take place during the year in the DC Universe following Infinite Crisis.
In 2005, Waid signed a two-year exclusive contract with DC Comics. Among the projects covered by that contract were a new launch of The Brave and the Bold with artist George Pérez, and a brief return to The Flash.
Waid's recent work includes working on the Spider-Man creative team, writing several issues for The Amazing Spider-Man, writing the Doctor Strange mini-series Strange, and several series for Boom! Studios, notably Irredeemable with artist Peter Krause and its spinoff Incorruptible. In July 2011 Marvel relaunched a monthly Daredevil series with Waid on writing duties.
On July 27, 2007, at the San Diego Comic Con, Boom! Studios announced that in August of that year Waid would join Boom! as Editor-in-Chief. As his non-creator assignments at DC lapsed, he stated that all his future creator-owned work will be with BOOM! Waid was promoted to Chief Creative Officer in August 2010. In December 2010, Waid announced he would be leaving his role as Chief Creative Officer, and return to freelance work, though he will continue writing for the publisher.
- ^ Ellis, Warren. "Come In Alone", Comic Book Resources, September 29, 2000
- ^ a b c Mark Waid biography, The Brave and the Bold: The Lords of Luck (DC Comics, 2007).
- ^ Jonah Weiland. "Waid fired, off 'Fantastic Four,' Marvel EIC Quesada responds". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=2249.
- ^ Richards, Dave (June 20, 2009). "HeroesCon: Waid Talks "Strange"". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=21669. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- ^ Rogers, Vaneta (June 20, 2009). "Mark Waid Gets 'Strange' For Marvel This Fall". Newsarama. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/090620-waid-strange.html. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- ^ Richards, Dave (November 4, 2009). "Mark Waid Gets "Strange"". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=23578. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- ^ Ching, Albert. "Mark Waid on a DAREDEVIL That 'Won't Drive You to Drink'". Newsarama. March 20, 2011
- ^ Weiland, Jonah. "Mark Waid Named EiC of Boom! Studios", Comic Book Resources, July 27, 2007
- ^ Weiland, Jonah. "Waid Leaves BOOM! as CCO, Returns to Freelancing", Comic Book Resources, December 9, 2010
- ^ "Mark Waid Steps Down as BOOM! CCO, Returns to Freelance", Newsarama, December 9, 2010
- ^ Greenberger, Robert. "Mark Waid Leaves BOOM!" ComicMix, December 9, 2010