By Eric Drumm
Marc Guggenheim is a name you may be familiar with. Whether it's from the pages of WOVLERINE or across the cover of the latest issue of BLADE, the name is common among these Marvel parts. As a fan-favorite writer, it's only natural that he stacks some more on his plate, and we can guarantee you won't be disappointed to see what the master scribe has in store!
Guggenheim and everyone's favorite Canadian mutant have fought some battles together. As writer on WOLVERINE: VENDETTA, the Canucklehead's CIVIL WAR tie-in issues, few know Logan as Guggenheim does. And Guggenheim is pleased to be revisiting the character once again, taking the reins of WOLVERINE from Hollywood power player Jeph Loeb with issue #57. Guggenheim says that this story will answer some questions about his previous run, but felt that the right story had to be told in the right book.
"Originally, Marvel had asked me if I would be interested in doing a 12-part MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS serial and I said yes," reveals Guggenheim. "Then they asked me if I would be interested in doing one with Wolverine and I said yes. I kind of have some loose ends to tie up from my 'Vendetta' arc and they said 'Great, why don't you do that.' And then after the economics of artists and various different business decisions, we decided that it would be better to do that story in WOLVERINE proper."
Guggenheim also says that his arc will have quite a few surprises in store. What can we expect? "The unexpected," laughs Guggenheim. "This is a very different story than 'Vendetta' by nature of its subject matter. Structurally, it's similar to 'Vendetta' as in each chapter sort of had its own twist or cliffhanger and in some cases, both."
Moving this story over to the pages of WOLVERINE leaves a hole in the MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS slate, doesn't it?
"But the of course, that meant I was still committed to a 12-issue MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS story. That's how [I] ended up getting WOLVERINE and
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS," Guggenheim explains.
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS is a sort of a homecoming for Guggenheim. Working as a Marvel intern under editor Terry Kavanaugh way back in 1990, MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS was the first book he ever worked on. Now as the writer, it's all coming full circle.
"You know, every gig has its own special thing to appreciate," says Guggenheim. "With WOLVERINE, it was 'Hey, it's Wolverine' and with BLADE, it was my first monthly book. With MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS, it's just so surreal. Surreal is the only word I can think of to describe the experience of returning to the book where I had my very first professional credit. I actually colored an 8-page story for Terry and even though my name was misspelled, it was the first time I ever had my name published in a comic book as a professional." And if you simply must see the fruits of young Guggenheim's labors, track down MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #74.
Once a new talent himself, Guggenheim tells us that his upcoming story in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS will be drawn by a relatively new pencil in the game, Dave Wilkins. "Dave Wilkins is going to be the artist, and he is sort of a new name," says Guggenheim. "I think more than anything this book will establish him as a phenomenal new talent. He is incredibly collaborative. We had many discussions about what I wanted the book to look like and what I had in mind, and he really invited me into his process in a way that I just thought was amazing. I think that the look of the book is going to be very, very unique."
We know that the book is going to have some slick artwork, but what is Guggenheim's story about? Guggenheim tells us that we will see a brand new character to the Marvel Universe. Only one problem, though: they're dead.
"It's a murder mystery at its core," he reveals. "A dead body is found and it's a character that is a brand new character in the sense that no one has ever heard of him but he has been around since the '40s. But he is so significant that his death is something that The Watcher shows up to witness. And you gotta ask yourself, 'Who is someone who rates attention by The Watcher if it's [a character] no one has ever heard of before?' And the answer to that question will shine a light on corners of the Marvel Universe that we've never seen."
Brand New Day
Writing two books at once would tire out anyone (unless you're Brian Michael Bendis and a few select others, of course). Surely, Guggenheim can't fit any more work into his extremely busy schedule—which is also packed with TV work. Think again! In fact, Guggenheim is going to be one of the writers on the soon to be thrice-monthly AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! As part of the "Brand New Day" Spidey event, Guggenheim couldn't be more excited to be part of such a monumental event.
"I think when people see what is being done with Spider-Man, they will think of it as one of the biggest things to happen in comics in the last couple years," says Guggenheim. "I won't promise any structural damage to the Internet, but I do think that it will have a lot of people talking."
And what'll surely keep people talking for a while is the news that Marc Guggenheim has signed on as a Marvel exclusive talent! Joining the club of creators that make theirs Marvel, for Guggenheim it just feels right.
"It's an incredible feeling of satisfaction," he gushes. "And this sounds so cliché, but it feels like coming home. To be offered an exclusive with the company that you interned at is incredibly gratifying and thrilling. When Marvel asked, I was like 'Really? You really want to do that?' But it's awesome and it's incredible and what it does is it allows me to work on some real top-level stuff which is great because I'm still a fanboy at heart. The chance to play in the big leagues and play with the big characters is incredibly tempting for me."
Now that he's here and has all the Marvel toys to play with, we asked him what his dream project would be. Guggenheim says that he has his sights set on the Merry Mutants for a dream project.
"I would have to say X-MEN," he confesses. "I grew up on DC Comics and then when I was about 8 or so, transitioned over to Marvel. I started with SPIDER-MAN and FANTASTIC FOUR, and then I discovered X-MEN, and it just rocked my world. I still have an incredible affect for those characters, so I think the opportunity to write the X-Men would be a dream project."
Keep your fingers crossed, kids! With big things in store for Marvel's Merry Mutants, a Guggenheim-penned X-MEN is far from out of the question.
In the coming months Marc Guggenheim is going to be all over Marvel Comics like green on the Hulk. Between Wolvie, Spidey and his exclusive signing, Marc Guggenheim is a name that you will be hearing quite a bit.