Last weekend I attended the Boston Comic Con. As I have said elsewhere, this is *my* con, the convention in my backyard. I have been going to this event since its inception and I have seen it grow from a small show in the basement of an insurance company headquarters to selling out the Seaport Convention Center. Unbelievable.
The guest list was incredible with lots of tremendous comic guests as well as celebrities. But early on, one name stood out ... Mark Waid.
I have met Waid before, at Baltimore Comic Con in 2007 and at the Boston show a couple of years ago. But this time I went with a mission. After all, I have been reviewing his run on Legion on this site. And I had a couple of questions. And so did you!
So a couple of caveats and comments first.
1) I did not have a device to record my conversations so these answers are based on scrawls I made in a notepad, memories, and the occasional paraphrase.
2) Waid is a popular creator and always had a line. So while I would have loved to sit down for 20 minutes and just talk Legion, I basically had 3-5 minutes to blurt out the queries.
3) Lastly, no big surprise, Waid is a hell of a nice guy and really gave time to everyone. Thank goodness for creators like him!
Okay, first an incredible moment for me.
I went up to Waid on day one and slipped him a card that had the web address of this blog written on it. I said that I have been reviewing his Legion run and was hoping to ask a few questions.
He looked up at me and said 'You're that guy! I love those reviews!'
Suffice it to say, my jaw nearly hit the floor.
Waid comes here! Incredible!
I told him how much I have been enjoying the run on this reread, probably more than I enjoyed it when it first came out. I said it was a solid mix of new reboot while acknowledging the past. He thanked me for the compliment and said he really thought it was a great book.
I also thanked him for including Supergirl in the book and making her a much more likeable character. (Remember, this came out during the first year of Kara's solo book where she was just odious.)
He thanked me again and said she needed to be happy and good. 'She can fly!' he said twice, implying anyone who can fly can't be that angsty.
Unfortunately, this was day one and there was a long line behind me and I felt I needed to move on. So I waited until Sunday to ask the questions posed on this site. Even then, the line was brisk at his table so I was only able to ask him a few questions and concentrated on those strongly pertaining to the series.
Steve asked if the revolutionary angle for the team was meant to play a bigger role in the book than it did.
Waid said that he did want that angle to be a bigger part of the title. He really felt 'Eat it, Grandpa!' was a great slogan for what he was trying to accomplish. But there was some backlash from older Legion fans who felt that this 'wasn't their Legion'.
We always knew that a Threeboot was a tough pull because you needed to bring in new readers, satisfy the older readers, and hope you hit the sweet spot.
Waid said wholeheartedly 'yes!' In fact he added that that piece of continuity should never be changed.
Russell asked which was his favorite Legionnaire to write in the run.
Waid said Brainiac 5. And he said it pretty quickly, without much thought. So it must be true.
Waid thought about it for a bit and then said Karate Kid, saying 'he never quite got into him.'
Waid said 'definitely'. The folks at DC told him he had to stay away from all of those characters and start fresh with more of the original lineup.
The line was backing up behind me.
But Waid said how everyone wants to write the Shooter/Levitz Legion. He wanted to just pick up the old continuity and move forward. DC wanted something new so he could never use all of the newer characters or play off those plotlines.
And so my supremely brief interview with Waid ended. I shook his hand and thanked him for this book.
As I was walking out, I realized that I had never thanked him for his love of Supergirl. I hadn't mentioned the 'JLMay' podcast run reviewing JLA Year One. I didn't thank him for Secret Origins, or his Flash run, or his lightening of Daredevil.
Maybe next time.