Marv Wolfman: Wikis


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Marv Wolfman

Born Marvin A. Wolfman
May 13, 1946 (1946-05-13) (age 63)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Notable works The Tomb of Dracula
The New Teen Titans
Awards Shazam Award, 1973
Inkpot Award, 1979
Eagle Award, 1982, 1984
Jack Kirby Award, 1985 & 1986
Scribe Award, 2007
National Jewish Book Award, 2008

Marvin A. "Marv" Wolfman (born May 13, 1946) is an award-winning American comic book writer. He is best known for lengthy runs on The Tomb of Dracula, creating Blade for Marvel Comics, and The New Teen Titans for DC Comics.




Wolfman attended New York's High School of Art and Design, hoping to become a cartoonist.[1] He was active in fandom before he broke into professional comics at DC in 1968. Wolfman was one of the first to publish Stephen King, with "In A Half-World of Terror" (in Wolfman's horror fanzine Stories of Suspense #2, 1965)[2].


In 1974, Wolfman moved to Marvel Comics as protégés of then-editor Roy Thomas. When Thomas stepped down, Wolfman eventually took over as editor, initially in charge of the black and white magazines then finally the color line of comics.

One innovation which Wolfman instituted was the "warehouse story"; when writers and artists missed deadlines, it cost Marvel a great deal of money to delay the release of a scheduled issue, and using reprints to tread water wasn't as appealing to readers. So, Wolfman had various creative teams produce complete stories for various titles, which were then stored for possible later use if a book went off schedule, allowing the editor to keep the book on track with an entirely original story that wouldn't alienate readers.[3]

Because Marvel was producing an ever-expanding line of comics, Wolfman found it difficult to both supervise their titles and still write comics. He opted to step down as editor-in-chief in order to spend more time editing and writing.

While at Marvel Wolfman wrote lengthy runs of Amazing Spider-Man (where he co-created the Black Cat); Fantastic Four; and Doctor Strange. He created Nova in that character's eponymous first issue. In 1978, Wolfman also took over writing the Howard the Duck syndicated newspaper comic strip, which adapted several stories from the original Steve Gerber-written comics.

His best-received work was The Tomb of Dracula, a fledgling horror comic which in his six years as writer Wolfman turned into a rich, complex piece of high gothic, well matched with the moody shade-and-light pencilling of Gene Colan. Taking Bram Stoker's basic story, Wolfman created his own vampire mythology and introduced a set of new characters, including Blade.


New Teen Titans

In 1980, Wolfman returned to DC after a dispute with new Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, who offered to renew Wolfman's contract as a writer, but not as an editor. (Ironically, as Marvel editor-in-chief in 1976, Wolfman had hired Shooter at Marvel.)[4] Teaming with penciller George Pérez, Wolfman relaunched DC's Teen Titans. The New Teen Titans added the Wolfman-Pérez creations Raven, Starfire and Cyborg to the old team's Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Beast Boy (renamed Changeling). The series became DC's first new hit in years,[5] and its first serious competitor to Marvel since the early 1970s.

During the early 1980s Wolfman also collaborated with artist Gil Kane on a run on Superman, rejoined Colan (who had also moved to DC) on the short-lived Night Force, and worked with Carmine Infantino on a revival of Dial H for Hero.

After Pérez left The New Teen Titans in 1986, Wolfman continued for many years with other collaborators — including pencillers Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Eduardo Barreto and Tom Grummett — but never enjoyed the same level of commercial or critical success.

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, written by Wolfman. Art by George Pérez.

In 1985, Wolfman and Pérez launched Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 12-issue limited series celebrating DC's 50th anniversary. Featuring a cast of thousands and a timeline that ranged from the beginning of the universe to the end of time, it killed scores of characters, integrated a number of heroes from other companies to DC continuity, and re-wrote 50 years of DC universe history in order to streamline it.

Wolfman was also involved in the DC Comics relaunch of the Superman line, reinventing nemesis Lex Luthor and initially scripting the Adventures of Superman title.

Ratings dispute

Wolfman got into a dispute with DC over a proposed ratings system,[6] which led to his being relieved of his editorial duties by the company.[7]

1990s and 2000s

During 1990s Wolfman's writing for comics decreased as he turned to animation and television, though he wrote the mid-1990s DC series The Man Called A-X.

It was around this time that Wolfman had begun a brief run on the Batman titles, most notably creating Robin III Tim Drake and writing an anniversary adaptation of the first ever Batman story, which was printed along with two other adaptations and the original.

He also continued as Teen Titans writer until 1996, an impressive string of 16 years on one title.

A decade later, Wolfman began writing in comics again, scripting Defex, the flagship title of Devil's Due Productions' Aftermath line. He also wrote an "Infinite Crisis" issue of DC's "Secret Files", and consulted with writer Geoff Johns on several issues of The Teen Titans.

Wolfman also wrote a novel based on Crisis on Infinite Earths, but rather than following the original plot, he created a new story starring the Barry Allen Flash that takes place during the original Crisis story. Wolfman wrote the novelization of the film Superman Returns, and worked on a direct-to-video animated movie, Condor, for Stan Lee's Pow Entertainment.

In 2006, Wolfman was editorial director of Impact Comics, publisher of educational manga-style comics for high school students.

In 2006, starting with issue #125, Wolfman began writing DC's Nightwing series. Initially scheduled for a four-issue run, Wolfman's run was expanded greatly, and finished with issue #137. During the course of his run, Wolfman introduced a new Vigilante character. Following Wolfman's departure from the pages of Nightwing, Vigilante will be spun off into his own ongoing title, which Wolfman will write. He will also pen a miniseries starring the Teen Titan Raven, a character he and Perez co-created during their run on the New Teen Titans. He is also currently working with Pérez on a direct-to-DVD movie adaptation of the popular "Judas Contract" storyline from their tenure on Teen Titans.

Personal life

Wolfman is married to Noel Watkins, who was very active in the Texas A&M University student organization Cepheid Variable and the science fiction convention Cepheid runs, AggieCon.

Wolfman was previously married to Michele Wolfman, for many years a colorist in the comics industry. They have a daughter, Jessica Morgan.[8]

Writing credit pioneer

Wolfman, on the panel "Marvel Comics: The Method and the Madness" at the 1974 New York Comic Art Convention, told the audience that when he first began working for DC, he received DC's first writing credit on their mystery magazines. In those days Gerry Conway wrote pages between the actual stories which had the book's hosts tell you what was coming up. In one, knowing Marv wrote the next story, Conway wrote that the following story was told to him by a "wandering Wolfman." The comics code, which did not permit the mention of werewolves or wolfmen, demanded it be removed. DC informed the code authority that the Wolfman in question was Marv's real name, so the code insisted that he be given a credit to show the Wolfman in question was a real person and not a monster. Once Wolfman was given a credit, the other writers demanded them too. Shortly, credits were given to all writers and artists.[9]


  • Wolfman won the Shazam Award for Best Writer (Humor Division) in 1973.
  • He was nominated at the Eagle Awards for Favourite Writer in 1978 and 1986 and won the 1982 Best New Book Award and 1984 Best Group Book Award for New Teen Titans.
  • He won an Inkpot Award in 1979.
  • Wolfman's and artist George Pérez's Crisis on Infinite Earths won the 1985 and 1986 Jack Kirby Award for Best Finite Series. The duo's The New Teen Titans #50 (with inker Romeo Tanghal) was nominated in 1985 for Best Single Issue.
  • He was nominated for the Comics' Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1986, and his work on the "Batman: Year Three" story arc in Batman #436-439 was nominated Comics' Buyer's Guide Favorite Writer Award in 1990.
  • In 2007 Wolfman won the "Scribe" Award, given by writers of novelization and tie-in fiction for his novel based on Superman Returns.
  • In 2008 Wolfman's nonfiction book Homeland, The Illustrated History of the State of Israel won the prestigious National Jewish Book Award as well as many others.

Characters created by Wolfman


  1. ^ "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated August 1992.
  2. ^ Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished by Rocky Wood, et al. Abingdon, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2006, p.199
  3. ^ Bill Mantlo interview, BEM: The Comics News Fanzine #24 (July 1979). Accessed February 9, 2009.
  4. ^ Interview with Jim Shooter. (July 1998). Accessed Mar. 30, 2009.
  5. ^ MacDonald, Heidi D. "DC's Titanic Success," The Comics Journal #76 (October 1982), pp. 46-51.
  6. ^ "DC Responds to Miller, Moore, Chaykin and Wolfman's Letter" The Comics Journal no. 115 (April 1987), p. 20-21.
  7. ^ "Newswatch: Marv Wolfman fired by DC as editor," The Comics Journal #115 (April 1987), pp. 9-10.
  8. ^ "Wolfman, Marv. "Confessions of a Comic Book Writer," Spider-Woman #1 (Apr. 1978).
  9. ^ Comics Should Be Good! » Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #119


  • Marv Wolfman at the Comic Book DB
  • Cadigan, Glen (2005), Titans Companion, Raleigh, NC: TwoMorrows, ISBN 1-893905-50-0  


  • Thompson, Kim. "An interview with Marv Wolfman," The Comics Journal #44 (January 1979), pp. 34-51.
  • Decker, Dwight R. "The New Teen Titans," The Comics Journal #79 (January 1982), pp. 86-98.
  • Groth, Gary and Heidi D. MacDonald. "Marv Wolfman On The New Teen Titans Part 2," The Comics Journal #80 (March 1983), pp. 70-85.
  • Comic Geek Speak Podcast Interview (October 2005)

External links

Preceded by
Gardner Fox
The Tomb of Dracula writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Len Wein
Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway
Preceded by
Bob Brown & Tony Isabella
Daredevil writer
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway & Jim Shooter
Preceded by
Len Wein
Thor writer
(with Len Wein)
Succeeded by
Len Wein
Preceded by
Len Wein
Fantastic Four writer
Succeeded by
John Byrne
Preceded by
Len Wein
Amazing Spider-Man writer
Succeeded by
Dennis O'Neil
Preceded by
Bob Rozakis
New Teen Titans writer
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens
Preceded by
Cary Bates
Action Comics writer
Succeeded by
Paul Kupperberg
Preceded by
Len Wein
Batman writer
Succeeded by
Doug Moench
Preceded by
Omega Men writer
Succeeded by
Todd Klein
Preceded by
Vigilante writer
Succeeded by
Paul Kupperberg
Preceded by
Bruce Jones
Nightwing writer
Succeeded by
Fabian Nicieza

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