Marvel Comics has fired the writer of their FANTASTIC FOUR comic series. Last Friday writer Mark Waid was told that his services would no longer be required, and that his final issue as writer would be #508 (published with a January 2004 cover date.) Waid informed the comic book website Newsarama which was the first outlet to pick up the story.
What makes the development even more interesting are some of the comments Waid gave to Newsarama which hint at why he may have been let go. "I wish I'd had a longer run, and I'll admit I was surprised at being so abruptly fired," Waid explained to Newsarama. "A few weeks ago, Bill [Jemas] phoned and tried to convince me to jettison our high-adventure approach and everything else we've been doing in favor of making the FF a wacky suburban dramedy where Reed's a nutty professor who creates amazing but impractical inventions, Sue's the office-temp breadwinner, the cranky neighbor is their new 'arch-enemy', etc. Editor Tom Brevoort and I discussed that option at length; ultimately, I apologized and explained that I didn't feel it was something I could write nor something that played to any of my strengths--a radical revamp like that was just too much of a departure from what I was originally hired to write. I simply, honestly, couldn't even wrap my head around the idea. Still can't. And when word came back, 'We'll use that concept somewhere else. Tell Mark to keep doing what he's doing,' all seemed well."
In fact, recent reports have indicated that the feature film version of FANTASTIC FOUR is being presently shaped to be more comedic in nature, even going so far as to possibly make the comedy more "sit-com". These earlier reports do line up with Waid's comments about the new FF comic's direction
A few hours after the Waid story had been released, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada released a statement. According to Quesada, Bill Jemas will not be taking over writing duties after Mark Waid departs the book. Quesada also went a step further and publically shot down any plans to turn FANTASTIC FOUR into a "wacky suburban dramedy" book. "A new FF writer will be announced shortly, but it won't be written by Bill and won't be as described," said Quesada.
It sucks, because FF was starting to become a really strong book again. I'm buying his run then stopping espically iuf it turns into Leave to Johnny. If the rumor are true about the movie, it too will suck. Marvel has made some great decisions, but this one has got to be their worst decision.
A Fan- Of course, Hulk is looking not so good either right too.
Man, what is it with Mark Waid? Is there a title he didn't get fired from, or leave amidst some kind of weird controversy? He couldn't get along with Alex Ross on Kingdom Come, Scott Lobdell on X-Men, Bob Harras on Captain America, and now this.
As for the supposed new direction for Fantastic Four, that sounds like something that would go into an April Fool's Day post or something.
While I'm pretty sure half of being Waid's problem is being combative, which doesn't help his cause, in his defence pretty much Ross, Harras, and Lobdell are *notoriously* impossible to work with, certainly dangerous when left unchecked.
And speaking of unchecked. Thank you Bill Jemas for finding another way to piss me off.
Bad enough the sample of "Trouble" I read was one of the dullest comics ever, but between this & that lovely rumour about him insitituting a policy to keep artwork again.
I'm glad Marvel's having some decent success in movies and all but it would be nice if they were as good at keeping their comics house in order.
That might, however, require someone who's not a raving lunatic with delusions of being a great writer ("Marville," anyone?) at the head of the ship.
-LS "ahhh...vague, mandatory knee-jerk cynicism. God Bless Internet Forums.."
Didn't the Spider-Man movie kind of do the wacky suburban-dramady thing a bit? The arch-enemy may have not been the next door-neighbor, but best friend's dad come pretty close. If Woodhaven, Queens is the suburbs is another debatable point I guess.
As long as they get the Yancy Street gang in the movie, I'm happy.
"I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about 'man on dog' with a United States Senator. It's sort of freaking me out."
Associated Press interview with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), 04-07-2003.
From 411. “Mark Waid’s been fired from FANTASTIC FOUR. His last issue will be # 508, the conclusion to the six-part “Authoritative Action” arc which will begin this August. Waid began his run on the “nine-cent” issue of FANTASTIC FOUR, #60.
As reported by Newsarama Waid said to them "I wish I'd had a longer run, and I'll admit I was surprised at being so abruptly fired,"
Wow, he wrote 448 issues and he still wants a longer run?
Seriously, his recent Dr. Doom storyline has been the best the FF has been since DeFalco left before Onslaught/Heroes Reborn. His nine-cent issue was also very good. The whole purpose of the near-giveaway/cheap FF comic #60 was to hook people on the FF and Waid. Marvel knew they’d lose lots of money on that issue, but they went through with it anyway to get a boost from future sales. Now that Waid is out, you can toss out all those new readers too.
Um...paper ain't that expensive. If you take into account the hilariously high sales figures for the post 9-cent issues (if I remember correctly, no Waid issue has slipped south of the Top 30), they've actually made a lot of money off of it.
Still, the idea of kicking the best FF writer in recent memory off the comic baffles me. Even moreso, because Mike Wieringo is leaving when Waid is reportedly. DAMN! I love Ringo!
Your winner and 3-time Stanley Cup Champion...the New Jersey Devils! Their title defense begins in 4 months!
Waid got a bad deal. His X-Men stories showed promise and his Flash stuff was simply awesome.
I mean, who ELSE has been able to make the Flash seem cool to anyone post-Crisis?!?!
Marvel is full of shit these days. Good writers need to be respected and the folk at Marvel need to find another set of fall guys for the 100K selling comic drought other than good writers and another answer other than the three hot artists that they keep rotating from book to book.
That the explosion of video games and the late 1990s X-Menification of every team or solo book in the industry have almost killed them is 50% their own fault. Time to face the music, I think.
Originally posted by odessasteps Since Waid is my friend, it's automatic that I want to defend him, especially if you bring up people like Lobdell (known as the Thumbless Chimp for a reason) and Bob Harras.
Just to make myself clear, I didn't bring up Lobdell and Harrass to defend them against Waid or anything like that, I'm just stating how weird it is that nothing that involves him ever seems to happen quietly is all.
Personally, Waid's writing has never really been anything special to me, and I've never really read Fantastic Four all that much, but it seems to me that that he was well suited for that book, and I had heard only good things about his run, so I'm kinda surprised by this news.
Also, I'm a Marvel Zombie through and through, but a Jemas is starting to get real irritating. I've never really had anything against the guy (believe it or not) up until recently. I think it started when he yanked Salvador Larocca off X-Treme X-Men for no reason, or more accurately, a terrible reason.
I think it started when he yanked Salvador Larocca off X-Treme X-Men for no reason, or more accurately, a terrible reason.
I hear you, man. Larocca was all that was keeping me *buying* that book. Never mind they replaced him with Igor Kordey, who has as much business drawing comics as I do solving the Unified Field Theory.
-LS "ahhh...vague, mandatory knee-jerk cynicism. God Bless Internet Forums.."