Mark Waid refuses to give up on the superhero genre, and as one of its most respected writers in the comic book industry, he spared no gratitude toward his readers Friday at the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo panel marking the end of his first year writing “Irredeemable” for BOOM! Studios. Waid got philosophical at times, delving into what it means to write books like “Irredeemable” and its sister title “Incorruptible.” He also alluded to a third “I” title, which has yet to name publicly, and addressed chances he wants to take during enters a second year for his book about a superhero turned villain.
“I definitely have a third unknown series in mind,” Waid told the audience in attendance. “I have one more letter ‘I’ book out there. It may be my favorite one so far.”
As BOOM!’s acting editor-in-chief, Waid shoulders a great deal of responsibility on top of his traditional writing explorations. He wasn’t shy about nodding to his company’s five Eisner nominations this year, three of which belong specifically to him or “Irredeemable” as a book.
“We’ve been at this for a year now,” he explained. “I feel like we’re finding our stride, me and Pete Krause, who is the artist on the book who’s done just an exemplary job, and Matt Gagnon, who is the managing editor at BOOM!”
That doesn’t mean that Waid hasn’t second guessed certain chances he’s taken along the way, however.
“The one thing that I wish in retrospect, looking back on the first year, the one thing I would have done a little differently is – because the events in the series were so break-neck paced – when you look back on it, I bet (I haven’t actually done the math) there haven’t been five days that have passed since the end of issue number one,” the writer proposed. “Everything has happened so fast. They don’t have time to sit around and twiddle their thumbs.”
While the writer doesn’t know if that’s necessarily a bad thing yet, he admits that he doesn’t know what the outcome will be.
“I’m sort of gambling on the fact that it’s a kind of a story point that people are moving so fast through this that they’re not putting all of the pieces together as quickly as you have the luxury of doing,” he explained.
The end of the overall story is a different matter, though, as he freely acknowledged having an endgame in mind for the comic.
“I do,” Waid responded during the question and answer session when asked specifically about that. “I’ve got some milestones that I know we want to hit, and I’ve got a wrap-up in mind. Frankly, I’ll keep writing it as long as you keep reading it. I can see how we can get years of mileage out of this book, but I think the thing that surprised me most in the first few months was that everyone – even though we announced it was an ongoing – somehow assumed it was a miniseries.”
As for the near future in “Irredeemable,” Waid predicted that readers would start to see more shared story elements with “Incorruptible,” even if he didn’t say exactly which character – or characters – he plans on swapping between the two series.
“[‘Incorruptible’ #5] comes out in a couple weeks, which is picking the next arc,” he said. “You’ll start to see more crossover between the Plutonian’s world and ‘Incorruptible.’ For instance, you’ll start to see [that] one of the characters that you’ve already seen in ‘Irredeemable’ will become a regular supporting character in ‘Incorruptible’ in the next couple of months.”
He has more to tell in his year-old title, too, particularly in regards to how the Plutonian got to the point where he strayed from heroism. How far he gets will of course depend on how dedicated his readers remain.
“Keep on reading,” Waid encouraged. “There’s a lot more to be revealed about his teenage years and why he made these choices.”