By Jim Beard
Mark Waid and Chris Samnee take the first two words in All-New Marvel NOW! pretty seriously when it comes to DAREDEVIL. Matt Murdock’s making a big move and with it comes all-new danger, destruction, and, of course, deviltry.
Moving’s never easy, so we asked the writer and artist a few questions to glean some insight into their thoughts on taking one of Marvel’s most popular titles in an all-new direction.
Marvel.com: Mark, you’ve almost completed an incredible, successful run on DAREDEVIL and you’ll heading into an all-new second phase—how’s that feel?
Mark Waid: I can’t believe we got this far, frankly. I thought we’d get six issues in and people would be screaming for my head and wanting Frank Miller back. The murderer’s row of artists that I’ve been able to work with, from Paolo [Rivera] to Chris [Samnee] to Mike Allred and all the other guys, has just made it probably the most creatively successful and rewarding part of my career.
Marvel.com: And Chris will be staying on with you as part of All-New Marvel NOW!
Mark Waid: Why break up a band that works? The whole team stays the same, from me and Chris Samnee, to Joe Caramagna the letterer, to Javier Rodriguez the colorist. Believe me; we don’t want to kick a sleeping dog.
|Daredevil #36 cover by Chris Samnee|
Chris Samnee: Every month I try and improve and push myself as an artist. Every month is a bit of an experiment to see what works best, so I'll continue to do that.
Marvel.com: So, Mark, one of the big things that’s going to encompass the new direction comes in the form of a physical move for Matt Murdock, correct?
Mark Waid: [Editor] Steve Wacker and I talked about it and we didn’t want to change too much about the book, because it’s working, but [since] we really wanted to be a part of All-New Marvel NOW!, what about changing venues? So we set up a situation at the end of this [current] run, [where] Matt has no choice but to move away from New York City. He goes to San Francisco because he’s been there before, it’s a visually interesting city and he’s got some history there.
Marvel.com: This’ll be not only a change of venue, but a change in tone, too?
Mark Waid: No, I don’t think so. I think that’s what’s working about the book, that it can shift from light to dark with the turn of a page. And we can get some really dark, really horrific moments and at the same time, a lot of laughs out of it as well. I think that’s one of the things about the book that we do really well, is keep you on your toes about what the tone is.
Marvel.com: Chris, what sort of research will you be doing on San Francisco and what sort of feeling do you want to give it?
Chris Samnee: I end up using Google Earth a lot when I have a specific location to draw. I wish I had the time to travel to San Francisco and see the city first hand, but until then, the Internet is going to have to suffice. I think it will have a cleaner and brighter feel then a lot of the locations that Daredevil had in Hell's Kitchen. And I'm looking forward to drawing new locations
|Daredevil #35 cover by Chris Samnee|
Marvel.com: Mark, will Matt himself have a change of mind or change of outlook in the new series?
Mark Waid: A little bit of a change of outlook. By the time he gets to the end of this run, in order to defeat the Sons of the Serpent, he’ll have had to have made a big personal sacrifice and while he will still continue to be guns-blazing, face-first Matt Murdock, it’s the first time in this sort of new life of his that he’s made some decisions that he’ll regret sooner rather than later.
Marvel.com: What about a supporting cast change? Or will anybody going with him to San Fran?
Mark Waid: Foggy’s going with him because it’s just too good a bromance to break up and Kirsten probably, although we’re still debating [that] actually. Beyond that, we’re talking about the new characters we can bring in from the San Francisco angle.
Marvel.com: What’s the first story going to be like?
Mark Waid: I don’t have the slightest idea.
Marvel.com: C’mon! Think it up right now!
Mark Waid: The Mandrill! [Laughs] I have no idea.
Marvel.com: We’ll skip that one for now. Are we going to get some of the distinct San Francisco culture or mindset into the book?
Mark Waid: Absolutely. There’s no point in moving him to San Francisco unless you take advantage of the area and take advantage of the feel of the area. I think Matt’s going to dig that it’s a little more bohemian than he’s used to, which is a whole new set of sights and smells. Well, not sights. Smells and sensory experiences.
|Daredevil #34 cover by Chris Samnee|
Marvel.com: What’s your own personal connection with San Francisco?
Mark Waid: Actually, other than it’s a beautiful city and I’ve visited it plenty of times and I like it, I don’t have a personal connection at this point. But trust me when I say I will be doing my research. I will be traveling there later this year to do some heavy photograph work and on the ground research.
Marvel.com: What about villains? You’ve been using new; you’ve been using classic; not necessarily Daredevil classic, but Marvel classic. Is that something that’s going to continue?
Mark Waid: Yeah. The two that Chris and I are most excited about getting to are Sandman and Stuntmaster. We love Stuntmaster. The “Evel Knievel” of villains. The evil “Evel Knievel.” There’s something wild about Daredevil fighting a guy on a motorcycle that I just really love.
Chris Samnee: I like all of the hokey, Silver Age villains! Mark has a talent for making even the most outlandish, goofy villain into a genuine threat so I think its fun to see who we can introduce and surprise readers with. I mean he's a stuntman and a villain—that seems like a really great combination and will lead to a lot of really fun scenes.
Marvel.com: What other types of characters would you like to see in DAREDEVIL, Chris?
Chris Samnee: Well, I could tell you but that would spoil the surprise! Mark and I plan these things together, so if there's someone that I'm really itching to draw, he'll write it in. I will say that in addition some new characters, we'll also be bringing in some great villains from the 60’s and 70’s.
|Daredevil #34 preview art by Javier Rodriguez|
Marvel.com: Just to bring this home, Mark, what keeps you going? What’s the primary source of joy that you are getting from this book?
Mark Waid: …
Marvel.com: Mark Waid is speechless, ladies and gentlemen.
Mark Waid: It’s hard to leave Mark Waid speechless. I have two answers. The first is the constant discovery of new ways for Daredevil to use his powers. The second is Chris Samnee. Seriously. Just seeing those pages come in…
Marvel.com: How’s that make you feel. Chris?
Chris Samnee: It makes me feel like blushing! In all seriousness, it's incredibly fulfilling to be on a book where I'm not just valued as an artist, but also as a collaborator. I'm thankful that Mark and I share so many of the same sensibilities and have such an easy time collaborating. It feels great!