I felt then and now that sometimes comic-book stories, in an effort to always raise the stakes, keep getting larger and larger until there is nothing left for the readers to identify with. If all the people a super-hero meets have super powers of their own, it takes away the fragile layer of reality that we depend on. That’s why characters like Sarah Simms, Terry Long and others exist: to ground the heroes in some manner of reality and to make the readers believe this could be happening right now around the corner, if only you can get there in time.
Long-running series need to be like roller coasters, with stories that move along faster than a speeding bullet followed by others that slow you down and remind you what you like about the characters even as you are being set up for the next major thrill. If you are constantly being shouted at you will eventually be numbed to everything. You gain perspective and have time for reflection only when there’s some quiet.
—Marv Wolfman, 2004 (from the introduction to The New Teen Titans volume two. DC Comics, 2015). Sadly, this kind of writing style has been ignored for far too long in most ongoing comic series.
2 thoughts on “I couldn’t say it better myself, Marv Wolfman!”
I agree completely. It was a “slower moment” story in Amazing Spider-Man #185 (the back-up story, even), written by Wolfman, that hooked me on Spidey comics for 30+ years. It’s one of the reasons he was one of the best writers of his era, and still better than many today. Also a pretty nice guy in person – I met him at a con in KC in the late 90’s or very early 00’s
I totally agree with you; I always enjoy rereading Marv Wolfman comics (and those by Bill Mantlo, too). Something about their writing style just suits me well; it has the right balance between action and characterization for my tastes. I think I was out of town for that KC con, though– I know Marv and George Perez appeared together once and I had to miss it!