|Born||Marvin Arthur Wolfman|
May 13, 1946
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
|The Tomb of Dracula|
The Amazing Spider-Man
The New Teen Titans
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Adventures of Superman
|Awards||Shazam Award, 1973|
Inkpot Award, 1979
Eagle Award, 1982, 1984
Jack Kirby Award, 1985 and 1986
Scribe Award, 2007
National Jewish Book Award, 2008
|Spouse(s)||Michele Wolfman (divorced)|
Marvin Arthur Wolfman (born May 13, 1946) is an American comic book and novelization writer. He worked on Marvel Comics's The Tomb of Dracula, for which he and artist Gene Colan created the vampire-slayer Blade, and DC Comics's The New Teen Titans and the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series with George Pérez. Among the many characters Wolfman created or co-created are Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, Deathstroke, Tim Drake, Rose Wilson, Nova, Black Cat, Bullseye, Vigilante (Adrian Chase) and the Omega Men.
Marv Wolfman was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of police officer Abe and housewife Fay. He has a sister, Harriet, 12 years older. When Wolfman was 13, his family moved to Flushing, Queens, in New York City, where he attended junior high school. He went on to New York's High School of Art and Design, in Manhattan, hoping to become a cartoonist. Wolfman is Jewish.
Marvin Wolfman was active in fandom before he began his professional comics career at DC Comics 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 No. 2 (1965). This was a revised version of King's first published story, "I Was a Teenage Grave Robber", which had been serialized over four issues (three published and one unpublished) of the fanzine Comics Review that same year.
Wolfman's first published work for DC Comics appeared in Blackhawk No. 242 (Aug.–Sept. 1968). He and longtime friend Len Wein created the character Jonny Double in Showcase No. 78 (November 1968) scripted by Wolfman. The two co-wrote "Eye of the Beholder" in Teen Titans No. 18 (Dec. 1968), which would be Wein's first professional comics credit. Neal Adams was called upon to rewrite and redraw a Teen Titans story which had been written by Wein and Wolfman. The story, titled "Titans Fit the Battle of Jericho!", would have introduced DC's first African American superhero, but was rejected by publisher Carmine Infantino. The revised story appeared in Teen Titans No. 20 (March–April 1969). Wolfman and Gil Kane created an origin for Wonder Girl in Teen Titans No. 22 (July–Aug. 1969) which introduced the character's new costume.
He and artist Bernie Wrightson co-created Destiny in Weird Mystery Tales No. 1 (July–Aug. 1972), a character which would later be used in the work of Neil Gaiman.
In 1972, Wolfman moved to Marvel Comics as a protégé of then-editor Roy Thomas. When Thomas stepped down, Wolfman eventually took over as editor, initially in charge of the publisher's black-and-white magazines, then finally the color line of comics. Wolfman said in 1981 that, "Marvel never gave [its] full commitment to" the black-and-white line. "No one wanted to commit themselves to the staff." He added, "We used to farm the books out to Harry Chester Studios [sic] and whatever they pasted up, they pasted up. I formed the first production staff, hired the first layout people, paste-up people." Wolfman stepped down as editor-in-chief to spend more time writing.
He and artist Gene Colan crafted The Tomb of Dracula, a horror comic that became "one of the most critically-acclaimed horror-themed comic books ever". During their run on this series, they created Blade, a character who would later be portrayed by actor Wesley Snipes in a film trilogy. In addition, the editorship of Marvel could not resist the opportunity to assign a writer with such a surname to contribute a few stories to their concurrent monster title, Werewolf by Night, with a playful editor's comment: "At last -- WEREWOLF -- written by a WOLFMAN."
Wolfman co-created Bullseye in Daredevil No. 131 (March 1976). He and artist John Buscema created Nova in that character's eponymous first issue. Wolfman and Gil Kane adapted Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom concepts into comics in Marvel's John Carter, Warlord of Mars series. Wolfman wrote 14 issues of Marvel Two-in-One starting with issue No. 25 (March 1977). The Spider-Woman series was launched in April 1978 by Wolfman and artist Carmine Infantino. As the first regular writer on Spider-Woman, he redesigned the character, giving her a human identity as Jessica Drew. Wolfman succeeded Len Wein as writer of The Amazing Spider-Man and in his first issue, No. 182 (July 1978), had Peter Parker propose marriage to Mary Jane Watson who refused, in the following issue. Wolfman and Keith Pollard introduced the likable rogue the Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man No. 194 (July 1979).
In 1978, Wolfman and artist Alan Kupperberg took over the Howard the Duck syndicated newspaper comic strip. While writing the Fantastic Four (which Wolfman stated to be his favorite comic), Wolfman and John Byrne introduced a new herald for Galactus named Terrax in No. 211 (Oct. 1979). A Godzilla story by Wolfman and Steve Ditko was changed into a Dragon Lord story published in Marvel Spotlight vol. 2 No. 5 (March 1980). The creature that the Dragon Lord battled was intended to be Godzilla but since Marvel no longer had the rights to the character (which lapsed the previous year) the creature was modified to a dragon called The Wani.
In 1980, Wolfman returned to DC after a dispute with Marvel. Teaming with penciller George Pérez, Wolfman relaunched DC's Teen Titans in a special preview in DC Comics Presents No. 26 (October 1980). 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; Christopher J. Priest called Deathstroke, another new character, "the first modern supervillain". Wolfman wrote a series of New Teen Titans drug awareness comic books which were published in cooperation with The President's Drug Awareness Campaign in 1983–1984. The first was pencilled by Pérez and sponsored by the Keebler Company, the second was illustrated by Ross Andru and underwritten by the American Soft Drink Industry, and the third was drawn by Adrian Gonzales and financed by IBM. In August 1984, a second series of The New Teen Titans was launched by Wolfman and Pérez.
Other projects by Wolfman for DC during the early 1980s included collaborating with artist Gil Kane on a run on the Superman feature in Action Comics; a revival of Dial H for Hero with Carmine Infantino; launching Night Force, a supernatural series drawn by Gene Colan; and a nearly two-year run on Green Lantern with Joe Staton. During their collaboration on that series, Wolfman and Staton created the Omega Men in Green Lantern No. 141 (June 1981). Wolfman briefly wrote Batman and co-created the Electrocutioner in issue No. 331 (Jan. 1981). Wolfman was one of the contributors to the DC Challenge limited series in 1986.
After Pérez left The New Teen Titans in 1985, Wolfman continued for many years with other collaborators – including pencillers José Luis García-López, Eduardo Barreto and Tom Grummett. In December 1986, Wolfman was informed by Marvel writer Chris Claremont that a DC executive had approached Claremont at a holiday party and offered him the position of writer on The New Teen Titans. Claremont immediately declined the offer and told Wolfman that apparently the publisher was looking to replace him on the title. When Wolfman confronted DC executives about this, he was told it was "just a joke", although Claremont reiterated that he took it to be a credible and official offer.
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 to streamline it. After finishing Crisis, Wolfman and Pérez produced the History of the DC Universe limited series to summarize the company's new history.
Wolfman was involved in the relaunch of the Superman line as well, reinventing nemesis Lex Luthor and initially scripting the Adventures of Superman title with Jerry Ordway as the artist. During this period they introduced Bibbo Bibbowski and Professor Emil Hamilton.
Wolfman got into a public dispute with DC over a proposed ratings system, which led to his being relieved of his editorial duties by the company. DC offered to reinstate Wolfman as an editor provided he apologize for making his criticism of the ratings system public, rather than keeping them internal to the company, but he declined to do so.
Wolfman returned to the Dark Knight for another brief run on Batman and Detective Comics, writing "Batman: Year Three", creating Robin III Tim Drake as well as Abattoir and a new version of the Electrocutioner, and writing an anniversary adaptation of the first ever Batman story, which was printed along with two other adaptations and the original. He continued as The New Titans writer and revitalized the series with artist Tom Grummett. Wolfman wrote the series until the title's last issue. 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.
In the early-1990s, Wolfman worked at Disney Comics. He wrote scripts for a seven part DuckTales story ("Scrooge's Quest"), as well as several others – with the characters from the Mickey Mouse universe – that appeared in Mickey Mouse Adventures. He was editor of the comics section on the Disney Adventures magazine for the early years of the publication.
In 1997, on the eve of the impending release of the Blade motion picture, Wolfman sued Marvel Characters Inc. over ownership of all characters he had created for Marvel Comics. A ruling in Marvel's favor was handed down on November 6, 2000. Wolfman's stance was that he had not signed work-for-hire contracts when he created characters including Blade and Nova. In a nonjury trial, the judge ruled that Marvel's later use of the characters was sufficiently different to protect it from Wolfman's claim of copyright ownership.
In the late 1990s, Wolfman developed the Transformers TV series Beast Machines, which aired on Fox Kids for two seasons from 1999 to 2000. The program was a direct continuation of the Beast Wars series, which itself was a continuation of the original Generation One Transformers show. Beast Machines was met with mixed reviews, as the show was praised for its story, but was criticized for its focus on spirituality. Previously, in the 1980s, Wolfman wrote the story for Optimus Prime's return in "The Return of Optimus Prime" of the third season of Transformers.
A decade later, Wolfman began writing in comics again, scripting Defex, the flagship title of Devil's Due Productions' Aftermath line. He wrote an "Infinite Crisis" issue of DC's "Secret Files", and consulted with writer Geoff Johns on several issues of The Teen Titans. Wolfman 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 film, The Condor, for Stan Lee's Pow Entertainment.
In 2006, Wolfman was editorial director of Impact Comics (no relation to the DC Comics imprint), publisher of educational manga-style comics for high school students. That same year, starting with issue No. 125, Wolfman began writing DC's Nightwing series. Initially scheduled for a four-issue run, Wolfman's run was expanded to 13 issues, and finished with No. 137. During the course of his run, Wolfman introduced a new Vigilante character. Following Wolfman's departure from the pages of Nightwing, the Vigilante was spun off into his own short-lived title, which Wolfman wrote. He wrote a miniseries starring the Teen Titan Raven, a character he and George Pérez co-created during their run on The New Teen Titans, helping to revamp and update the character. He worked with Pérez on a direct-to-DVD movie adaptation of the popular "Judas Contract" storyline from their tenure on Teen Titans.
In 2011, he and Pérez completed the New Teen Titans: Games graphic novel, which they had begun working on in the late 1980s. Wolfman revived his Night Force series with artist Tom Mandrake in 2012. He served as writing consultant on the video game Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, which he was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing. In 2015, Wolfman wrote a novelization of the videogame Batman: Arkham Knight. And in 2016 he published the novelization of the Suicide Squad film through Titan Books. He received the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. That year also marked Wolfman's first work for Marvel since 1998: a backup story for Bullseye #1, starring the titular character that he had co-created in 1976. In 2019, DC published the oversized, 100-page comic book Man and Superman, Marv Wolfman's retelling of Superman's origin story, to high acclaim.
Wolfman, on the panel "Marvel Comics: The Method and the Madness" at the 1974 New York City Comic Art Convention, told the audience that when he first began working for DC Comics, he received DC's first writing credit on its mystery magazines. Gerry Conway, who wrote the horror-host interstitial pages between stories, wrote in one issue, House of Secrets Vol. 1 Issue 83, that the following story, "The Stuff that Dreams are Made of" was told to him by a "wandering Wolfman." The Comics Code Authority, which did not permit the mention of werewolves or wolfmen at that time, demanded it be removed. DC informed the Authority that "Wolfman" was the writer's last name, so the Authority insisted he be given a credit to show the "Wolfman" was a real person. Once Wolfman was given a credit, other writers demanded them as well. Shortly, credits were given to all writers and artists.
Wolfman is married to Noel Watkins. Wolfman was previously married to Michele Wolfman, for many years a colorist in the comics industry. They have a daughter, Jessica Morgan.
(series head writer denoted in bold)
|2020||Legends of Tomorrow||Autograph Seeker Marv||Episode: "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five" (S5 special episode)|
|2021||Teen Titans Go!||Himself||Episode: "Marv Wolfman and George Pérez"|
I'm Jewish, and I think I've written maybe two Jewish characters in my entire life.
Four years after the debut of Wonder Girl, writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gil Kane disclosed her origins.
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The team of writer Marv Wolfman, penciler Gene Colan, and inker Tom Palmer took over the series with issue #7.
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Writer Marv Wolfman and penciling legend Carmine Infantino reintroduced fans to Spider-Woman in this new series all about the female wall-crawler.
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The Godzilla fill-in by Marv Wolfman and Steve Ditko, ended up appearing in the pages of the re-launched Marvel Spotlight in 1980 as Dragon Lord, about a fellow who can control dragons.
[Marv Wolfman and George Pérez] created a title that would be DC's sales leader throughout the 1980s.
Marv created the first modern supervillain. He broke every rule by making Deathstroke three-dimensional and giving him internal conflicts while maintaining a level of skeeve we weren't used to seeing from a typical 2-dimensional bad guy.
This series contains material relating to the development and distribution of the Teen Titans drug awareness comic books. The comic books were designed to communicate the dangers of drug abuse to elementary school children. The Drug Abuse Policy Office coordinated the project, DC Comics developed the story line and artwork, and private companies funded the production costs. The Keebler Company sponsored the fourth grade book (released in April 1983), the National Soft Drink Association sponsored the sixth grade book (November 1983), and IBM sponsored the fifth grade book through the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth (February 1984). The files consist primarily of correspondence with educators, parents, and children.
Plotted by Batman's new regular writer Marv Wolfman with dialog by Michael Fleisher and art by Irv Novick, this story saw Batman face this new costumed threat.
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I knew that I had this incredible artist who could draw almost anything that I wanted...So I decided to make the story just the biggest spectacle I could come up with.