By Ben Morse
As a kid growing up outside Toronto, Adam Copeland dreamed of being the next Spider-Man or Hulk Hogan. As World Wrestling Entertainment's Edge, Copeland ended up a lot more like the Green Goblin or "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
A nine-year WWE veteran, Edge enjoyed decent success in the first half of his career as a pretty boy high flyer (after being a vampire for a bit…don't ask) and captured numerous Tag Team titles with boyhood buddy Christian, but it took a turn to the dark side in 2004 to catapult him to the next level, earning two runs as WWE champion and a World title over the following three years.
In the midst of his latest reign as World champion this past July, Edge went down with a torn pectoral muscle, forcing him to relinquish the title. However, aside from his fellow wrestlers, Edge has plenty of role models when it comes to facing adversity as a lifelong Marvel Zombie.
Not far out from his big return to the ring at the 2007 Survivor Series, Edge took the time to chat with Marvel.com about his wrestling career, Marvel fandom and how the two have overlapped in some interesting ways.
Marvel.com: First and foremost, dude, how is your chest doing following the injury?
Batista prior to
his pectoral injury
It feels great. Surprisingly it has for awhile. You never know what to expect with surgery, but I took the sling off after about a week and have been going pretty good since then. I've got my clearance to slowly get my feet wet back in the ring and go from there.
Marvel.com: How much time passed between your injury and the surgery?
I got the surgery a week and a half after, because you only have a certain window but I had to go relinquish the title. I [got hurt] in New Orleans [on a Tuesday], flew to Birmingham [Alabama] and got diagnosed, but Dr. Andrews only did surgeries on Tuesdays and Thursdays—and it was Wednesday. So I had to fly back out to TV [the next Tuesday] to relinquish the title and then get the surgery on Thursday after that. I finally got it done and was told I'd be out four to six months. We're coming up to four months and should be good to go.
Marvel.com: For those reading who didn't see it back in July, how did you get hurt?
Edge was riding
high as World
he got hurt
I actually was having a Mardi Gras party. [Laughs
] It was in the ring in New Orleans with floats and all the characters. I speared somebody I thought was Kane, who had a huge paper mache head on, and came right down on his knee, which drove into my armpit and pulled the pec [muscle] completely off. I had nothing holding it together in there. I finished up what I had to do, but I knew right away, "Oh, that one's gone." I didn't think it was as bad as it was because I had torn my other pec before, but I only tore half of that one and actually thought this time was not as bad as that one, but it was. They told me that generally, if it doesn't hurt that much, it's worse because of the blunt trauma. So I learned something new that I didn't really want to.
Marvel.com: Is "spearing a guy in a paper mache mask during a Mardi Gras party" pretty unique as far as wrestling injury stories go?
It doesn't really hold up, does it? [Laughs
] But it's always things like that where [injuries] happen. It's like something from "Curb Your Enthusiasm." [Laughs
] Stuff like that just shouldn't happen.
Marvel.com: Have you used your time off to read some comics?
The Hulk: an early
I really haven't, and to be honest, I'm a bit disappointed in myself. After doing therapy, I've picked up so many books. Bret Hart's book came out, [Chris] Jericho's book came out, Batista's book came out…it's also Halloween season and I'm reading the "Secrets of Dripping Fang" series. I had to go with my Halloween theme.
Marvel.com: How did you get to be a Marvel fan?
I've always loved comics, basically since I can remember. Comics along with [the band] KISS were really the first things that I discovered. For some reason I latched onto those things. I loved the artwork and, also as long as I can remember, I've been able to draw, so I could try and look at what I was reading and draw it—that was really fun for me. I've always drawn comic book characters and had a really good time with that. Maybe it was the artwork, maybe it was the larger than life characters and all these different powers—[comics were] so cool to me growing up and looking at what we do now [as wrestlers], it's as close as you can get to being a real life super hero. So I really think what set me along the path to wrestling was comics and KISS.
Marvel.com: Who were some of your favorite characters as a kid?
Everybody loves Spidey. I certainly did. Thor was a big favorite. And the Incredible Hulk for me as a child was huge too. As I grew older, I got into the darker characters. It's been a nice journey throughout the years to kind of grow up with the characters.
Marvel.com: Did you or do you ever work anything from comics into your wrestling persona?
] I used to sit in class and draw my own wrestling-themed comic book. It was called "The Blond Bombers" and that was going to be my handle. [Laughs
] All my friends were in there as different characters. [Future tag team partner] Christian was Sweet Daddy Freakout. There was a character first introduced in my comic named Sexton Hardcastle. He was basically a playboy. He was kind of "The Heartbreak Kid" [Shawn Michaels], Rick Rude, Ric Flair and all the guys like that. Sexton Hardcastle actually morphed into being one of my first wrestling characters. It was all created in an Adam Copeland comic book.
Marvel.com: I didn't know you could draw. Have you ever thought of doing something with comics on the side or after you're done with wrestling?
Actually I have. I think it would be a cool outlet, because it would be something I enjoy, not something that feels like work. One of the beautiful things about what I do is that it has never felt like work, unless it's a 20 hour flight or something and sometimes getting powerbombed feels like work. [Laughs
] It's never really felt like work and I think [art] would be another outlet like that. It would be fun and enjoyable to watch something be created and to be involved in the process, to know where you're going with it and trying to keep people on their toes with it, kind of like when you're thinking of a match, trying to tell that story and keep people on their toes. I think that would be really interesting, especially with how far comics have come in terms of storytelling.
Marvel.com: You mentioned your tastes evolving as you got older—what comics and characters did you get into?
I became really influenced by the Punisher with the whole "take no prisoners" attitude, which to that point really hadn't been seen too much in comics. You never saw characters really get killed like that. I've always loved Daredevil. I really loved Kevin Smith's take on DAREDEVIL. I really like EXILES too. Something about popping in and out of timestreams—I dunno, it's fun to me. It's cool to see heroes as villains and vice versa. Spidey and Thor stayed as my favorites too.
Marvel.com: So would you list Spider-Man and Thor as your all-time favorite characters?
Edge's dream: to
wrestle as Thor!
Yeah. There's just something about Thor, the mythology of it. The helmet, the hammer—just everything. And maybe the hair too. [Laughs
] I've gotta dress up as Thor for Halloween one year.
Marvel.com: I'm shocked you haven't already!
I know, I know. It's tough to find a Thor outfit. I'm going to have to create one, I think.
Marvel.com: I've gotta ask: as a Canadian, do you feel an obligation to be a fan of Alpha Flight?
Alpha Flight? [Laughs
] Wolverine, definitely. I guess I've got a soft spot for [Alpha Flight], but Wolverine definitely. We're all proud that he's Canadian. It's like if we do a show in St. John's, Newfoundland, I'm the hometown boy. If we do a show in Vancouver, I'm the hometown boy. [Canada] is one huge community. Land mass-wise, we're bigger than the United States, but there's not a lot of people, at least in comparison to the U.S. So if one of "our boys" is doing good, that's great. Wolverine is cool and he's Canadian!
Marvel.com: But not so much Alpha Flight?
Edge gives Alpha
Flight no respect
] Well not in comparison to Wolverine.
Marvel.com: Who else in WWE do you geek out over comics with?
C.M. Punk. Obviously [Gregory] Helms, who I still call "Hurricane" [EDITOR'S NOTE: From 2001 to 2005, WWE wrestler Gregory Helm played a super hero character called the Hurricane
]. Rey Mysterio, and you can tell a lot by his character. I've always said that if you need to cast Spider-Man without the CGI, you get Rey, because he can do everything you need him to do.
Marvel.com: I always love when Rey busts out the super hero costumes for Wrestlemania and stuff.
Yeah! He wore a Daredevil outfit at Wrestlemania XIX in Seattle, I believe.
Marvel.com: And he dressed as the Silver Surfer pretty recently.
Thor vs the
Silver Surfer: an
Edge dream match
Oh yeah! For his comeback match [at Summerslam] he painted himself silver! [Laughs
Marvel.com: You've got to hook up a match with him as the Silver Surfer against you as Thor!
] That would be awesome. I'm wondering who would win that fight in a comic? Rey would probably pull in Great Khali as Galactus. [Laughs
Marvel.com: Now THAT is a costume I'd pay to see!
The Great Khali
no special effects
] Great Khali as Galactus would be awesome.
Marvel.com: You could paint Batista green and there's your Hulk, dude…
] No kidding! Put some purple shorts on him. [Laughs
Marvel.com: Do you have any favorite Marvel villains?
The Tarantula rates
as one of Edge's
I do, but growing up I was always the kid who loved the heroes. Even if I liked the villains, I wouldn't really admit it. That's just the way I was wired. With wrestling, I loved Hulk Hogan, and as much as I was entertained by Roddy Piper, I couldn't cheer for him. [In comics] I love the Rhino. There are certain villains, looking back, who I think are great, like Tarantula. I thought he was so cool. Obviously Venom. I really enjoyed drawing him too. I always thought that Loki was just awesome, just great—he's basically my character [in WWE]. [Laughs
] To have a great hero, you have to have a great villain, whether it's the Green Goblin or Doc Ock or Kraven…obviously you can tell I dig Spidey. He has so many great villains. Carnage, Hobgoblin…I always enjoyed too when I saw those villains in different comics. It was like I'd already seen one feud so I wanted to see another.
Marvel.com: It's like a wrestler jumping from Raw to Smackdown.
Yeah! Exactly. It was cool when Kraven jumped from Spider-Man to taking on Iron Man or something. There were also certain villains who did their job, and I did just not like them, like the Red Skull. There was nothing about him I liked, which was good. Whereas with Dr. Doom, there's some cool in there. It's tough to totally hate him. Green Goblin was pretty hateable. As I'm talking, I'm realizing more and more villains that I actually loved.
Marvel.com: That brings up the interesting point that you had a lot of success in WWE as a good guy, but really hit your stride as a bad guy. As somebody who is "wired to root for the hero," do you ever miss playing the good guy?
I do and I always thought I was better at it, but in hindsight I think I was wrong. Maybe I was so in tune to the heroes growing up that I realized how to be a good villain, I don't know. I always paid attention to what the good guys were doing and not so much the bad guys, then sat back and went, "Wait a minute…" realizing that for those guys to look really good, the other guys had to be really bad, and that has become so fun to me, something I can really tap into.
Marvel.com: Does it feel more natural at this point to be the bad guy?
Oh without a doubt. Number one, it's a great outlet. I can go out there and do absolutely anything, be a complete moron and just have fun. As a good guy, it's really kind of a tough line to walk sometimes because if you try too hard, they're just gonna crap all over you. If you don't try hard enough, same thing. It's really such a fine line to dance, and I think that's because of guys like "Stone Cold" [Steve Austin] who had that gray area, kind of like the Punisher or Wolverine, in that he wasn't really a good guy. When you boil it down to basics, he wasn't really a good guy, he did bad things, but just to bad people. All of a sudden the mom and apple pie heroes weren't as cool. I ended up for awhile being one of those mom and apple pies babyfaces and people kind of got sick of it. I was kind of trying to find my groove too. I had the wrestling thing down, but I needed to get the character down to where people could either relate with or really detest me. I think I was finally able to hone in on it and have a lot of fun doing it.
Marvel.com: When you were initially approached about doing the turn and becoming a bad guy, was there any resistance on your part?
Edge drops a knee
on the legendary
No, no, none whatsoever. I think at that point I realized there had to be the Ric Flair and that's a great place to be. Generally speaking, people have started to realize that the bad guy is really where it's at. The heels, the villains, however you want to put it, their characters are the most complex and have the most layers, and therefore are the most fun to dive into. So I didn't have any whatsoever. Plus, we had just done Summerslam in Toronto, my first match in my hometown in over two years, I had the Intercontinental title, walked in there and got booed. So there was a bit of me that was like, "Ok, watch—I'll give you a reason to boo." [Laughs
] Now I go there and they cheer me—go figure.
Marvel.com: Are you a fan of the Marvel movies?
Yep. In fact, after the autograph session I'm on my way to tonight, I'm heading home to watch "Spider-Man 3." I've already seen it, but now it's on DVD. [Laughs
] It came out on my birthday, so I made the plan with my girlfriend to spend the night watching "Spider-Man 3."
Marvel.com: What is your favorite Marvel movie?
As a huge Daredevil
fan, Edge found DD's
Ooh…tough call. REALLY tough call. Obviously the Spider-Man movies are great. The X-Men movies are great. I can't say anything bad about those, love them. I really, really enjoyed the Fantastic Four movies. I really love the whole team concept and, also, Jessica Alba…c'mon. [Laughs
] I actually really enjoyed "The Punisher." Thomas Jane did a really good job, I enjoyed that. It kinda flew under the radar, and I didn't really get that, because I enjoyed it. I think that's the Punisher though: he does kinda fly under the radar. I have to admit, because I love the character and my expectations were so high, I was disappointed with "Daredevil." If I have to pick my three favorite characters, it's Daredevil possibly first, then Spidey and Thor. So I just wanted more, and maybe not Ben Affleck. Ugh. In a perfect world, in his prime, Robert Redford would have been great. To me, you look at him and that IS Matt Murdock. But at the point when "Daredevil" was made, obviously [Redford] wouldn't really work.
Marvel.com: The spandex might not have been too kind…
Y'know what? That dude's still in shape, you never know. [Laughs
Marvel.com: Good point.
Edge feels he has
the chin to make a
I'll always go and see every comic book movie, I'll always give them a chance, and generally I'll like them. I think when my expectations are pretty high, that makes it kind of difficult. You go in really wanting something and if you don't get it you're like, "Aww man…" Generally speaking, that hasn't been the case. I enjoyed everything. I enjoyed "Elektra." And I really, really wanted to like "Daredevil," but like I said I was just so invested in the character. I was too close to it. If I didn't love the character so much, I probably would have enjoyed the movie more…if that makes any sense.
Marvel.com: What Marvel character would you want to play in a movie?
Edge as Longshot--
are you listening
Thor would obviously be awesome. I always thought playing Sabretooth would be a lot of fun and always thought Longshot would be too. I think [Longshot] would be less of a stretch physically. With my chin and even my build, Carnage could definitely be a possibility. If they can make Topher Grace into Venom, they can make me into Carnage. [Laughs
] And, for some reason, maybe again with the chin, maybe Electro. I've just got this chin. [Laughs
] All those would be a lot of fun and, of course, a villain would be a lot of fun, because I'd be able to take what I already do and adjust accordingly.
Marvel.com: Got a few comics vs wrestling dream matches for you…
"Bring it on!"
Marvel.com: This one goes back to your early days in WWE—Blade vs the Brood.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Edge teamed with longtime partner Christian as well as Gangrel to form the Brood, a group of pseudo-vampires known for pouring blood on their opponents.]
Oooh, wow…I'm probably a bit biased here, obviously, but there IS three of us, so I gotta give the numbers advantage to us.
Marvel.com: Blade has a knack for taking down huge hordes of vampires though.
Can Blade handle
a Canadian vampire?
This is true, but I'm Canadian, and for some reason that makes a difference. [Laughs
] I don't know why or how, but it does. [Laughs
] I gotta be biased and go with the Brood.
Marvel.com: Would you throw the other two guys to the wolves if you had to?
Oh, without a doubt. I'd throw them right under the vampire bus. I'd jump on his back while he was getting them, being the conniving bastard that I am, and that would be it. Also, as we've seen since, I can morph in and out if vampire character. I can survive. I have that advantage. None of the traditional vampire kills would work with me because I'd go from vampire to babyface to the guy I am now. [Laughs
Marvel.com: Ok, here's another one: Canadian death match between you and Wolverine.
Wolverine could be
Marvel.com: Honestly, I don't even know what a Canadian death match is, I just made it up.
Well, it means no rules, which means he can use his claws. And he's got that damn unbreakable skeleton which I don't, as proven by my many broken bones. However, I do have a steel plate in my neck and some screws in my arm, so if I hit him with a flying shoulder tackle, maybe, quite possibly, one of those screws could embed in his eye, and then I can just beat him about the head and neck area with my neck. Maybe my titanium would be stronger than his adamantium. We might both drop down for the ten. [Laughs
Marvel.com: One last one: you and Christian, reunited, in the mother of all Handicap matches against…Alpha Flight.
] I gotta go with me and Christian. You're talking about the E&C dynasty against ALPHA FLIGHT! If you were talking the Avengers or the X-Men, maybe a possibility, but E&C against Alpha Flight? The WWE A-Team against…y'know. [Laughs
] So I threw Christian under the bus against Blade, but I need him to beat Alpha Flight. Two wins and a draw against Wolverine—I didn't say I'd win all of them. I'm being pretty fair here.
Marvel.com: This isn't a match per se, but what was the bigger injustice of 2007, Captain America being shot in the back by a sniper or Edge having to forfeit the World title without losing it in the ring?
death pales in
to Edge losing
his World title
Oh me losing the title. [Laughs
] You're asking a Canadian too! There's no maple leaf on his chest! [Laughs
] I love Cap though.
Marvel.com: Let's wind down with a little wrestling talk. You're set to come back at Survivor Series later this month?
We're trying to gauge it. I just started back in the ring down here in our farm system in Florida and that will show how well I hold up. We'll see. But I'm on the promotional poster [for Survivor Series], so I'm guessing I'll be there in some form.
Marvel.com: Yeah, we were checking out the poster earlier today.
They're doing their best to make me look like Fabio on it. [Laughs
] That look on my face is, "Why is the wind blowing on me?" [Laughs
Marvel.com: Would you liken your impending return to a super hero rising from the grave?
Edge hopes to return
to the ring like
Thor returned to
the Marvel Universe
Yeah! When was out with my neck injury [in 2003] it was more of a question of "Will he come back?" This one was more on my own terms and people don't know when I'll be back or where I'll strike. I like that.
Marvel.com: Who's on your hit list when you get back?
Undertaker. Batista. Rey Mysterio.
Marvel.com: Not Kane?
What I'll probably do is figure out a way to get rid of him without even having to touch him. [Laughs
] See, I'm thinking. You don't want to go into a fight with the Incredible Hulk, you get somebody else to do it. You get somebody like the Thing—maybe Batista—and they cancel each other out.
Marvel.com: Final question: will we see a new kind of Edge when you come back?
When Edge returns
at Survivor Series
nobody is safe
I don't know. I don't know if you'd want to at this point, not too different, not too far off, because it was working so well. It's one of those deals where if it's not broke, you don't wanna fix it too much. When it needed revamping, the people told me—well, the people weren't telling me this time. I'll be along the same path as what I was doing, but I'll always get more evil if I can.
You can witness Edge's return at Survivor Series, available on pay-per-view November 18. For more info, visit wwe.com.