The Magnificent Mark Waid
I personally find it hard to believe that Mark Waid’s in his 50s already; every new story he comes up with seems to have that youthful quality to them. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they have this amateur feel to them. What I mean is that his writing always seems fresh, that it always appears like he’s writing within the generation his stories appear in. Perhaps the best term I can come up with in describing Mark’s skill as a comic book scribe is this: ever-evolving. Each and every property he touches undeniably reflects the era they were created in. And that is perhaps why it always surprises me whenever I think that he’s been doing this gig since the mid-80s.
Alright, if you really want to understand what I’m saying here, go and pick up one of his works from the 1990s like one of his classic Flash storylines. Then, go and read his work on Marvel’s Daredevil from 2011 and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Chances are, you’d think they were written by two different writers (that is, of course, not to say that both runs weren’t as good as the other), and that’s what makes Mark Waid such an enormous talent any publisher would be lucky to have. Simply put, he knows how to roll with the times, which makes him such a versatile scribe.
And since we’re talking about surprising things about Mark Waid, I’d argue that he – despite all the accolades and recognition – is still one of the most underrated creators out there. So much so, that it took the whole industry a good 27 years before he got an Eisner Award (although they more than made up for it by having Waid rake in numerous wins in 2012 for Daredevil, Incorruptible, and Irredeemable). The thing is, he’s already written some classics even before his run on Daredevil. Just take 1996’s Kingdom Come, which is now considered one of the most important superhero stories in history the way it provided some much needed commentary on the whole genre at the time.
It’s curious, really, that some of the most well-known and important elements and landmarks of mainstream superhero comics that Waid had created don’t usually get associated with his name. Then again, that’s pretty much proof of how great a writer he is: his creations have become so much bigger than him. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to take notice of the man every once in a while.
Now, I’m not sure what I’m going to say next might agreeable to you, but I do believe that Mark Waid is one of the greatest comic book creators to have ever graced the medium. Or, at the absolute least, he’s one of the greatest superhero comic book writers ever. In either case, all I can say is that a Mark Waid-written title is always something to look forward to; it’s highly improbable that you don’t discover something new every time he releases a new title or storyline.And don’t get me started with how feisty the man is within the convention circuit.