SDCC 14: Marvel Turns 75 and Daredevil Celebrates 50, Neither Shows Their Age

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By David Nieves
One of Marvel’s top cheeses…no not Mickey, the other one Joe Quesada, got together with two of the company’s best architects; Mark Waid and Dan Slott to remind everyone that this Comic-Con is also Marvel’s 75th anniversary. This panel was officially titled “Marvel Comics’ 75th & Daredevil’s 50th” because the guy who titles panels for Marvel was on vacation.

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Waid started by talking about the origins of Marvel Comics and the story of Martin Goodman. Inspired by the success of Action Comics a year before, Goodman published Marvel Comics 1 with Stan Lee as an editor at the time. After the decline of superheroes, Goodman continued to venture into lots of different genres. Quesada asked if it was fair to say Goodman was an “advantageous” publisher?

That’s probably the definition of advantageous, Joe. We’ll let it slide because you had that phenomenal run on just about everything.

Waid then talked about Lee being burnt out in the comic book business. That’s when his wife, Joanie, advised him to take one last shot, but to do it the way he wanted to do it. Along side the godfather of comic book art, Jack Kirby, this last try would become Fantastic Four and the rest is make my Marvel history.

Waid brought up the question of first reading Marvel experience to the panelists. Quesada talked about it being the anti-drug issues of Amazing Spider-Man 96-97.  “I never did drugs, but I got addicted to comics. Which may have cost me more money in the long run,” said Quesada.

Quesada talked about the difference between Marvel and DC characters. He feels that DC Comics tend to be lots of Clark Kent is a mask while Superman is the real identity. He credited Stan Lee with switching that around and making guys like Matt Murdock and Peter Parker what the story was about. He related it more to real life; in it being that we all have to put on masks to be someone else instead of them disguising who we really are.

The group turned the attention to Daredevil and discussed the work of character co-creator Bill Everett. He noted the character was one of the few to come fully formed, except for the costume. Quesada joked about the original color scheme being “court jester-ish.’ Quesada talked about his work on the character:  “there’s something beautifully heroic and tragic about the character, and the fact that his powers, while they were somewhat super, you could also probably just explain them away with a person who can hone their own human abilities to utter perfection, if you really wanted to explain them that way. Something about that I really gravitated towards.” He praised the all-star list of creators that have had runs with the character like Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, Bendis, and Brubaker.

Just by mentioning his name, Waid had us all voluntarily clapping for his current Daredevil artist Chris Samnee. He joked about how they’re never leaving the book. Personally, I hope they never do leave the book because Samnee is the best artist of his generation. But I also think that if Waid was ever made king of some land, he’d have a giant drawing of himself by Samnee hanging over the fire place of his presidential moon palace.

Slott then talked about what he loves about Daredevil, “everything about him is really messed-up.” Even joked about Waid’s Daredevil being happy but still messed-up.

The fan Q&A started.
First up was the subject of how the movies have affected the comic books. Waid talked about how he meets many female fans that came to comics through the 90’s X-Men cartoons. He credited Quesada with never pushing the books to be like the movies and realizing that the comics are what drive everything.

The group was asked what they’d be like if they met Steve Ditko. Slot was the only one who ever met him, he did so while working a job at the Marvel office. His face when he answered the question probably looked a lot like the face of excitement he had when actually meeting Ditko.

Netflix Daredevil details were asked, specifically if Power Man and Iron Fist would be partners. While it’s still too early to talk about anything, Quesada did say the plan is to lead to a Defenders series.

Another fan asked if Slott would do something similar to what JMS did on Amazing Spider-Man 36 with the new World Trade Center opening. Slott said he’d be afraid of doing it but thought it was a great idea.

The legacy of Jim Steranko was brought up to the panelists. Waid talked about not knowing of anyone else that had more influence in comics with that small a body of work.” Quesada chimed in saying that, in person,  the man lives up to the legend. At this point I realized I missed the Steranko panel, D’oh!

Q&A closed with the final question being about if Marvel was making the Daredevil series to combat the negative reaction given to the 2003 Ben Affleck film. Quesada sharply intervened saying, “Marvel didn’t make that movie. This is our take on Marvel’s making Daredevil. That’s the only way we’re looking at it.”

The three thanked the crowd for their passion and devotion to the house of ideas and the panel closed. But I’d just like to say Dan Slott is the nicest guy in comics and he can kill however many Spider-people he wants to.

 

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