A Marvelous Time: Wacker Talks Editing at Marvel

Tue, January 23rd, 2007 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

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This Wednesday, the Marvel Universe will be affected by two big events with the release of the one-shot, "Civil War: The Return" by writer Paul Jenkins and the first issue of "Silent War," a six issue mini-series by writer David Hine (for a look at both books, check out our preview from yesterday). Besides telling stories featuring big events, both books are edited by the newest member of Marvel's editorial staff Steve Wacker. CBR News spoke with Wacker about "The Return," "Silent War" and the third book he's over seeing, "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man," which is written by Peter David.

"Civil War: The Return" takes place right around the sixth issue of the "Civil War" mini-series and Wacker hinted that the one-shot will affect the Marvel Universe in a huge way. "Let's just say, I think I'm about to get my first dose of Marvel fandom unleashed," he told CBR News. "The impact will have to be huge to justify what we're doing. We don't take the responsibility lightly."

Some of the impact of "Civil War: The Return" will almost certainly come from the character that is reintroduced to the Marvel Universe in the book. Wacker revealed that fans will be seeing more of the mystery character after their appearance in the one-shot. "We have big plans for the returning character," he said. "And after last month's creator's summit, those plans have become even bigger."

The mystery character is just one of the protagonist's featured in "The Return." The other star is The Sentry and fans of the Golden Guardian of Good (who will soon appear regularly in Marvel's "Mighty Avengers" book) will definitely not want to miss this tale. "This story changes Sentry's status quo completely and actually is necessary for 'Mighty Avengers' to take place," Wacker explained.

"Mighty Avengers" involves some of the most prominent heroes in the Marvel Universe and the six issue "Silent War" mini-series stars the royal family of the Inhumans, but also features appearances by some of Marvel's major costumed champions. "You get the FF in the first issue and X-Factor a couple issues later," Wacker stated. "The Inhumans touch on a lot of different aspects of the MU, so it shouldn't be too surprising."

It also shouldn't be too surprising that another Inhuman, one who's known for being mad and not in the angry way, plays a key role in "Silent War." "Maximus," Wacker said. "It always comes back to Maximus. Also, my favorite new Inhuman is artist Frazer Irving. He's doing some of the best work of his career on this and every single page has been a revelation."

With the Inhumans launching their war against the U.S. in "Silent War," some readers might be wondering what this means for the already beleaguered U.S. government of the Marvel U who currently has its hands full with the "Civil War" between the superheroes. "Internally, we're putting the beginning as some time before'Civil War' and it continues in the background throughout that story," Wacker explained.

The events of "Civil War" have drastically altered the life of Spider-Man and it appears this February Peter Parker's world will again be turned upside down with the beginning of the "Back in Black" story, which has the character once again donning his fan favorite black and white costume. Some readers might be wondering just how much more can Spider-Man's life be shaken up. "Ask me again in a few months," Wacker said. "You ain't seen nothin'."

The "Back in Black" story will affect all the "Spider-Man" titles, but fans of "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" don't need to worry – they don't have to pick up the other titles in the line to understand and appreciate the stories in Peter David's Spidey book. "You'll be able to read 'Friendly' without knowing exactly what's happening in 'Amazing' and 'Sensational," Wacker stated. "Peter D's been building some story elements for several months, so when I took over as editor I tried my best to give him the room he needed. That said, reading the other two books will give you an even better sense of where Peter's head is right now."

"Spider-Man 3" swings into theaters in a few months and readers shouldn't be surprised to see one the villains from that film play a large role in upcoming issues of 'Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man." "The Sandman becomes an extremely important part of Peter's life," Wacker explained. "We'll find out even more about Flint Marko in this spring's 'FNSM' annual with art by newcomer Ronan Cliquet."

With "Spider-Man 3" hitting theaters soon, some new fans and older readers might be looking to get into the world of the web-head and with three books to choose from, readers might be wondering what type of book "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" is and how it compares to the other Spider-Man books? "I'll be honest, I'm not great at questions like this," Wacker said. "I guess the easy answer is the book's is a little bit lighter in tone than the other Spider-Man titles, but thematically Peter D has been taking   Peter Parker down some pretty dark corridors with the 'return' of Uncle Ben, so it's not all sweetness and light by any means. I think you have three Spidey books that are really clicking right now, each doing its own thing. And that's pretty rare. It's a good time to be a Spider-Man fan."

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