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definition - Marv_Wolfman

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Marv Wolfman

Marv Wolfman
Born Marvin A. Wolfman
(1946-05-13) May 13, 1946 (age 66)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Editor
Notable works The Tomb of Dracula
The New Teen Titans
Crisis on Infinite Earths
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]

Wolfman's first published work for DC Comics appeared in Blackhawk #242 (Aug.-Sept. 1968).[3] He and longtime friend Len Wein created the character Jonny Double in Showcase #78 (Nov. 1968) scripted by Wolfman.[4] The two co-wrote "Eye of the Beholder" in Teen Titans #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.[5] The revised story appeared in Teen Titans #20 (March–April 1969). Wolfman and Gil Kane created an origin for Wonder Girl in Teen Titans #22 (July-Aug. 1969) which introduced the character's new costume.[6]


He and artist Bernie Wrightson co-created Destiny in Weird Mystery Tales #1 (July-Aug. 1972), a character which would later be used in the work of Neil Gaiman.[7]

In 1972, Wolfman moved to Marvel Comics a protégé 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.[8]

In regards to the black and white magazines, Wolfman commented in an 1981 interview that "Marvel never gave their full commitment to it, that was the problem. No one wanted to commit themselves to the staff." He also revealed that "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."[9]

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 writing.[10]

While at Marvel Wolfman wrote lengthy runs of The 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 and artist Alan Kupperberg took over the Howard the Duck syndicated newspaper comic strip.[11][12]

He and artist Gene Colan crafted The Tomb of Dracula, a horror comic which became "one of the most critically-acclaimed horror-themed comic books ever".[13]


  The New Teen Titans

In 1980, Wolfman returned to DC after a dispute with Marvel.[8] Teaming with penciller George Pérez, Wolfman relaunched DC's Teen Titans in a special preview in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980).[14] 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.[15][16] In August 1984, a second series of The New Teen Titans was launched by Wolfman and Pérez.[17]

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[3][18] with Carmine Infantino; launching Night Force a supernatural series drawn by Gene Colan;[19] and a nearly two year run on Green Lantern[3] with Joe Staton. During their collaboration on Green Lantern, Wolfman and Staton created the Omega Men in Green Lantern #141 (June 1981).[20]

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.[21] 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.

  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[22] 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. After finishing Crisis, Wolfman and Pérez produced the History of the DC Universe limited series to summarize the company's new history.[23]

Wolfman was involved in the relaunch of the Superman line as well, reinventing nemesis Lex Luthor and initially scripting the Adventures of Superman title.[24]

  Ratings dispute

Wolfman got into a public dispute with DC over a proposed ratings system,[25] which led to his being relieved of his editorial duties by the company.[26] 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 had a brief run on Batman,[3] creating Robin III Tim Drake[27] 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.[28] Wolfman wrote the series until the title's last issue.[3] However, in the 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.

  Disney career

In the early-1990s, Wolfman worked at the Disney Comics publishing. He wrote scripts for a seven parts DuckTales story (Scrooge's Quest),[29] as well as several others - with the characters from the Mickey Mouse universe - that appeared in Mickey Mouse Adventures.[30] He was also editor of the comics section on the Disney Adventures magazine, at the first years of the publication.[31]


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.[32]

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 #125, Wolfman began writing DC's Nightwing series. Initially scheduled for a four-issue run, Wolfman's run was expanded to a baker's dozen issues, and finished with #137. During the course of his run, Wolfman introduced a new Vigilante character. Following Wolfman's departure from the pages of Nightwing, 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 Perez co-created during their run on The New Teen Titans, helping to revamp and update the character. He is working with Pérez on a direct-to-DVD movie adaptation of the popular "Judas Contract" storyline from their tenure on Teen Titans.[32] In 2011, he and Pérez completed the New Teen Titans: Games graphic novel, which they had begun working on in the late 1980s.[33] Wolfman revived his Night Force series with artist Tom Mandrake in 2012.[34] He will also serve as one of the writers on the video game Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.

  Marvel lawsuit

In 1998, on the eve of the impending release of the Blade motion picture, Wolfman sued Marvel Comics over ownership of the Blade character, a lawsuit he eventually lost in 2000. According to The Comics Journal, "Wolfman had argued that he had not been bound by any work-for-hire contract at the time he had created the characters in 1972 and that Marvel's subsequent use of the characters had been contingent on his approval. The court ruled, however, that Marvel's later use of the characters was sufficiently different from Wolfman's initial creations to protect it from Wolfman's claim of copyright ownership."[35]

  Personal life

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.[36]

  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.[37]


  • He was nominated for the Comics' Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1986,[42] 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 in the category "Adapted Speculative Fiction Novel", given by writers of novelization and tie-in fiction for his novel based on Superman Returns.[43]
  • In 2008 Wolfman's nonfiction book Homeland, The Illustrated History of the State of Israel won the National Jewish Book Award in the category "Children's and Young Adult Literature".[44]

  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. ^ a b c d e Marv Wolfman's DC Comics writing credits at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Jonny Double", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, Dorling Kindersley, pp. 110, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5 
  5. ^ Cronin, Brian (2009). Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed. Plume. ISBN 045229532. http://books.google.com/books?id=SFgiXbVykSIC&pg=PT67&dq=Teen+Titans+Len+Wein+Marv+Wolfman+Joshua&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Dv4RT_a-Heb10gGU_8X7BQ&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Teen%20Titans%20Len%20Wein%20Marv%20Wolfman%20Joshua&f=false. 
  6. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Four years after the debut of Wonder Girl, writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gil Kane disclosed her origins." 
  7. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p.152 "The host that was first presented in a framing sequence by scribe Marv Wolfman and artist Bernie Wrightson would provide endless creative material for Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series decades later."
  8. ^ a b Cadigan, Glen "The New Teen Titans Start a Sensation" Titans Companion TwoMorrows Publishing 2005 ISBN 1-893905-50-0 p. 93 Online version available at Google Books
  9. ^ Sanderson, Peter and Peter B. Gillis "Comics Feature Interviews Marv Wolfman" Comics Feature #12/13 (September/October 1981) p. 44
  10. ^ "Marv is swapping our editor's chair for a full-time writing schedule here at the bullpen." Lee, Stan "Stan's Soapbox" Bullpen Bulletins Marvel Comics cover-dated September 1976
  11. ^ "Howard the Duck". Nemsworld.com. http://www.nemsworld.com/howard/. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  12. ^ Alan Kupperberg at Lambiek.net
  13. ^ Markstein, Don. "Gene Colan". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/65Bygh10I. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 188 "[The New Teen Titans] went on to become DC's most popular comic team of its day. Not only the springboard for the following month's The New Teen Titans #1, the preview's momentous story also featured the first appearance of future DC mainstays Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven."
  15. ^ MacDonald, Heidi D. "DC's Titanic Success," The Comics Journal #76 (October 1982), pp. 46-51.
  16. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 454. ISBN 978-3-8365-1981-6. "[Marv Wolfman and George Pérez] created a title that would be DC's sales leader throughout the 1980s." 
  17. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 209: "As one of DC's most popular team books, The New Teen Titans was a natural choice to receive the deluxe paper quality and higher price point of the new Baxter format. With the regular newstand title having already changed its name to Tales of the Teen Titans with issue #41, the path was clear for a new comic to once again be titled The New Teen Titans. Featuring the trademark writing of Marv Wolfman and the art of George Pérez, this second incarnation was a success from the start, providing readers with the perfect blend of high-quality paper with high-quality storytelling."
  18. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 192 Legion of Super-Heroes #272 "Within a sixteen-page preview in Legion of Super-Heroes #272...was "Dial 'H' For Hero," a new feature that raised the bar on fan interaction in the creative process. The feature's story, written by Marv Wolfman, with art by Carmine Infantino, saw two high-school students find dials that turned them into super-heroes. Everything from the pair's civilian clothes to the heroes they became was created by fans writing in. This concept would continue in the feature's new regular spot within Adventure Comics."
  19. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 197 The New Teen Titans #21 "[T]his issue...hid another dark secret: a sixteen-page preview comic featuring Marv Wolfman's newest team - Night Force. Chronicling the enterprise of the enigmatic Baron Winters and featuring the art of Gene Colan, Night Force spun out into an ongoing title of gothic mystery and horror the following month."
  20. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 193 Green Lantern #141 "DC's newest science-fiction franchise, a band of over one hundred aliens called the Omega Men." " They gave Green Lantern a run for his money in this issue written by Marv Wolfman, with art by Joe Staton, and the Omega Men went on to gain their own ongoing series in 1983."
  21. ^ "Harlan Ellison Speaks at San Diego" The Comics Journal #119 (Jan. 1988) p.14
  22. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 213 "Comics didn't get any bigger than this. Crisis on Infinite Earths was a landmark limited series that redefined a universe. It was a twelve-issue maxiseries starring nearly every character in DC Comics fifty-year history and written and drawn by two of the industry's biggest name creative talents - writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez."
  23. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 220: "In an effort to organize the status quo of the DC Universe after the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths maxiseries, artist George Pérez and writer Marv Wolfman collaborated on a two-part prestige-format history of the DCU."
  24. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 226 "The original Superman title had adopted the new title The Adventures of Superman but continued the original numbering of its long and storied history. Popular writer Marv Wolfman and artist Jerry Ordway handled the creative chores."
  25. ^ "DC Responds to Miller, Moore, Chaykin and Wolfman's Letter" The Comics Journal no. 115 (April 1987), p. 20-21.
  26. ^ "Newswatch: Marv Wolfman fired by DC as editor," The Comics Journal #115 (April 1987), pp. 9-10.
  27. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 241: "With the pencils of [George] Pérez, Jim Aparo, and Tom Grummett, [Marv] Wolfman concocted the five-issue 'A Lonely Place of Dying'...In it, Tim Drake...earned his place as the new Robin."
  28. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 249: "Writer Marv Wolfman had revitalized the Titans franchise yet again, with the help of his new creative partner, artist Tom Grummett."
  29. ^ Marv Wolfman's blog: 2007/11 - Donald Duck goosed
  30. ^ Marv Wolfman at the INDUCKS
  31. ^ Marv Wolfman's blog: 2007/08 - Disney Adventures R.I.P.
  32. ^ a b Epstein, Daniel Robert "Catching Up With Marv Wolfman" Newsarama May 24, 2007 Retrieved January 29, 2011
  33. ^ Wolfman, Marv; Pérez, George (2011). New Teen Titans: Games. DC Comics. ISBN 1-4012-3322-8. 
  34. ^ Campbell, Josie (March 6, 2012). "Wolfman Revisits Baron Winters & "Night Force"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/664QGuVk4. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  35. ^ "''The Comics Journal'' #229". Archives.tcj.com. 2000-11-16. http://archives.tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=238&Itemid=48. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  36. ^ "Wolfman, Marv. "Confessions of a Comic Book Writer," Spider-Woman #1 (April 1978).
  37. ^ Cronin, Brian Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #119 Comic Book Resources September 6, 2007 Retrieved January 7, 2011
  38. ^ a b Eagle Awards at the Comic Book Awards Almanac
  39. ^ Comic-Con International's Inkpot Awards San Diego Comic-Con International
  40. ^ Complete List of Eisner Award Winners (including Kirby Awards) San Diego Comic-Con International
  41. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Marv Wolfman The Titans Break Through" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 48 (1985), DC Comics
  42. ^ 1986 Comics Buyers Guide Fan Awards at the Comic Book Awards Almanac
  43. ^ Book awards: Scribe Award at LibraryThing Retrieved January 31, 2011
  44. ^ National Jewish Book Awards - Winners List at the Jewish Book Council Retrieved January 31, 2011



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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
The Amazing Spider-Man writer
Succeeded by
Dennis O'Neil
Preceded by
Bob Rozakis
The New Teen Titans writer
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens
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Cary Bates
Action Comics writer
Succeeded by
Paul Kupperberg
Preceded by
Len Wein
Batman writer
Succeeded by
Bob Rozakis & Roy Thomas
Preceded by
Paul Kupperberg
Green Lantern writer
Succeeded by
Mike W. Barr
Preceded by
Doug Moench
Omega Men writer
Succeeded by
Todd Klein
Preceded by
Vigilante writer
Succeeded by
Paul Kupperberg
Preceded by
John Byrne
Batman writer
Succeeded by
Peter Milligan
Preceded by
Bruce Jones
Nightwing writer
Succeeded by
Fabian Nicieza


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