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Marv Wolfman Interview

 height=(WoW OCT 08)

Marv Wolfman has written such classic comics as Marvel's Tomb of Dracula and DC's New Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earths. Recently, in DC's Nightwing, he introduced a new Vigilante. This month, Vigilante gets his own title and Westfield's Roger Ash contacted Wolfman to learn more about the series.

Westfield: For those who have not encountered this new Vigilante before, what can you tell us about him?

Marv Wolfman: Although I worked out his history before I wrote the first of the new Vigilante stories in Nightwing, the readers know very little at this point. What I can say at this point is, he is NOT Adrian Chase, the earlier Vigilante, and his reasons for dong what he does has nothing to do with anyone in his family being killed by the mob, the standard reason given these characters. But is he a good guy? Is he the person he says he is? All I will say is what you think about him is not necessarily what or who he is.

Westfield: What do you enjoy about writing street-level characters like Vigilante?

Wolfman: As much as one part of me enjoys writing large scale fantasy, with super-heroes, horror and science fiction, another part likes to see how far one can push the real world. As a writer it's great to explore people who talk like real people, who have more realistic lives, who hold down jobs, big and small, who have trouble paying the rent, paying for food, and finding friends they can count on. These are people who live on the edge which makes for fascinating stories. There are also people who could very well be walking next to me. Super-heroes are bigger than life and that's their ultimate strength. When we see a super-hero perform incredible deeds, it appeals to that part of us that wishes we could be doing that as an escape from our real lives. Crime is part of that real life whether we have been directly impacted by it or not. There are many people who walk those roads, and to do so means they're heavily flawed in some way. I love finding those flaws and writing about them in some way that I hope interests others.

Westfield: What can readers look forward to in this new series?

Wolfman: I've worked out a fairly detailed history of crime in the city. I set up crime figures, their underlings, and once we're past the first massive crossover storyline, which I hope will make people aware of the new Vigilante, my intent to try to write the kind of stories we don't see all the time in comics. I could have gone to a straight on crime comic with no fantasy aspects, but real crime is in no way fun. My hope is by blending the kinds of real people who inhabit that world and have them walk the fringes of the DCU, we'll make for a more interesting book to read that also has impact in other DC books. We are part of the DCU and I want to remain there, but we're walking that part of the greater universe that lives in the shadows.

Westfield: You're working with Rick Leonardi on the book. What can you tell us about your collaboration?

Wolfman: So far I can't answer that as we haven't spoken. I wrote my first full script before I knew who was going to draw it. But I was a huge fan of Rick's when he was at Marvel and when my editor, Mike Siglain, asked if I'd be interested in working with him I jumped at the chance. He's really good.

Westfield: Are there any other projects you're working on that you'd like to mention?

Wolfman: I'm working on a direct to video animated movie (not the Titans, which is already done, but a new title that hasn't been mentioned yet). I'm also working on video games and animated pilots. Plus there's some other stuff I'm not free to hint about yet.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Wolfman: My first script for Vigilante #1 is written in a very different style for me. It may surprise some folk, but it still centers on character which I believe every story should. I've been spending the last few years looking at some of the best writers working today and have tried to incorporate some of their strengths into what I do well. I've always felt if a writer doesn't continue to move with the times their work becomes stilted. I hope I've been learning my lesson well. In this market one never knows how a book will sell, but I have to say I am very proud of my first script. More than I can explain easily. I could live in this world a long time and I hope the readers allow me to do so.

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