An DCU:NG Email Interview with Ron Marz
Sean: What first got you interested in comics, both as a hobby and as a career?
Ron: As a hobby, just something to read as a kid. I wasn't much of a collector until I was 18 or 19. As far as a career, it was something Jim Starlin suggested to me. He was (and still is) a good friend, and he put my foot in the door at Marvel. They like what I did well enough to let me stay.
Sean: What was your first professional work in comics?
Ron: Silver Surfer Annual #3 (1990, I think).
Sean: What can you tell us about what's coming up with Kyle? Will the new corps be sticking around? Will we ever see Cary Wren again? Is Jade really pregnant (just kidding)?
Ron: Kyle takes on Fatality and a new villain called Effigy in issues #112-#114. Plus we'll have something major happen to John Stewart in #112, which I'm hoping will pave the way for something even more major down the road. After that, Kyle can expect the return of Donna Troy to the book sometime after #115. And yes, I do have plans for Cary Wren, including a new costume when (and assuming if) she gets the ring again. Hopefully we'll get to do more with her. As for the Corps ... keep reading.
Sean: Speaking of Cary Wren, don't you think she'd be a perfect addition to the Legion of Super-Heroes (after getting a ring again, of course)? If not, any chance of her joining the GL cast of the 20th century? And what's the story behind your creation of her?
Ron: I hope Cary can make a name for herself in the 30th century. I would kind of like a GL presence in that timeframe. I don't see her being in the 20th century at all. As far as her creation, I just wanted somebody who would be a possible GL in the Legion time, therefore it had to be a descendant of Kyle's. I'd kind of like to do another team-up with her and XS. A lot depends of what the Legion office wants to do.
Sean: What's your favorite "flame" the pro-Hal camp has given you? Do you feel like any of them are coming around and warming up to Kyle, or feeling like the new corps and having another GL (Jade) is an acceptable compromise?
Ron: I really don't pay any attention to that stuff. I hear about it, but I don't actively seek it out. I think they're so set in their obsessive ways, it's a waste of time to try having a meaningful, mature discussion.
Sean: I guess with Jade and Kyle together now, that means (sniff, sniff) that he and Donna are over for good, huh? Boo hoo.
Ron: Oh, I wouldn't say that. Things are gonna get interesting in Kyle's love life. Very interesting.
Sean: On to Superboy ... What are your favorite memories of your work on the book? What would you have done differently?
Ron: I liked some of my SB issues, but in general I never felt like I left my mark on the book or the character. I guess I'm most pleased with "freezing" him at 16. It just made a lot of sense to me, because nobody really "ages" in comics anyway, so let's make him deal with that fact. Looking back, I think my biggest mistake was not changing anything when I took over. I was a fan of what Karl was doing, so I just went with it. In retrospect, right from the beginning I wish I had enacted what turned out to be the "next big story" I didn't get to do because I left the book. I was gonna send him to live in a Smallville-type town he HATED. He'd be forced to adopt a secret identity, go to school, etc. Dubbilex would've masqueraded as his crazy uncle, and he'd have had robots playing the part of his parents. Ah, well. Also, I never really connected with Ramon Bernado as the artist. We never talked, because he was in Spain. He had as much English as I had Spanish. I was much happier when Georges Jeanty came on for my last few issues.
Sean: Any chance of doing any more work with the Kid, either on fill-ins for Karl or short stories for 80 pagers, Secret Files, etc.?
Ron: There is actually one more SBoy story I want to do -- him running away to the future to join the Legion, where he meets himself -- still stuck at 16 years old. The end result would be more of a presence for SBoy in the Legion, but not how you think. We've talked about it, so maybe it'll still happen.
Sean: What about your Tangent creations? Will we see you writing anything for the Tangent-verse again? (Especially of the rumors of the Tangent-verse becoming accessible due to hyper-time are true ...)
Ron: If they do Tangent again, I'll be on board again presumably. That stuff was a lot of fun to work on, actually. Very liberating.
Sean: Since this site focuses on the teen heroes of the DCU, let's find out your feelings on some of DC's teen heroes? Robin? Superboy? Impulse? Jurgen's Titans? Damage? Young Justicers like Secret, Wonder Girl, and Arrowette? CM3?
Ron: Wow, what a list! I'm quite fond of Robin and Sboy. Impulse is a great, annoying guest star, though I wouldn't know what to do with him in his own book (I'll leave that to my friend Todd Dezago). I quite liked Argent, the other ones were okay. Damage? Well, he just blows up, right? I always thought he was a bit lame. Secret seems interesting, the new Wonder Girl (Cassie?) has been awful up to this point, and I really have no opinion on Arrowette. I DO like Captain Marvel Junior, though (notice I said Captain Marvel Junior, not CM3).
Sean: Why do you think teen heroes (especially sidekicks) and young heroes (Gen Xers like Kyle and Jack Knight) are becoming popular again?
Ron: I frankly think it has to do with their books being BETTER than those of their elders. The Supes and Bats books are kind of rudderless right now, whereas books like Robin and Starman seem to know where they're going. I hope GL knows where it's going too.
Sean: Which comics or characters would you most like to have a chance to do?
Ron: I guess I'm really drawn to the biggies -- Supes, Bats, Spider-Man. As far as others, I also love Daredevil, Doc Strange, Doc Fate and Thor (though I botched my chance at that one already). I'm also keen to do something with Deadman, which might be off the ground in '99.
Sean: Which creators would you most like to have a chance to work with? Who are your faves to work with so far?
As far as artists, I've been blessed to work with some greats. Guys on my wish list would include Mike Mignola, Walt Simonson, Steve Rude, Adam Hughes, Dave Johnson, John Romita Jr. Some faves I've worked with? Darryl Banks, Georges Jeanty, Brian Stelfreeze, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Bernie Wrightson, Kevin Nowlan, Tony Harris, and of course Terry Austin.
Sean: Any future plans or projects we should be looking for?
Ron: *"Fear Itself" GL hardcover in April, with painter Brad Parker.
*Various GL-related projects, including another Secret Files in the summer.
*Golden Age GL story as part of DC's All-Star week in March (art by Ed Barreto).
*Legends of DCU Martian Manhunter two-parter sometime in 99.
*Legends of the Dark Knight one-issue story with Wrightson and Nowlan, probably around Halloween.
*Tarzan-Batman, as well as Green Lantern-Aliens, both from Dark Horse.
*AND some cool stuff in the approval process, so I can't talk about em yet!