As readers learned when reading Marvel Comics Solicitations for April, Joe Quesada will be making a “return” to comics this April. Of course, Quesada has never left comics as he’s the Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics, but that job has kept him from the drawing table for some time. It would be more appropriate to say that Joe Quesada returns to the drawing table this April as he writes and draws the new five-issue mini-series “Daredevil: Father.” CBR News spoke with Quesada about his return to the character, what it means for Matt Murdock and how he’s changed as a creator since he last sat behind the drawing table.
“The title is pretty to the point, it’s a story about fathers, in particular Matt Murdock’s relationship with his,” Quesada told CBR News. “I believe as the story goes on people will start to understand why it’s called that and what it means in the end.”
Quesada is joined on the title by Danny Miki on inks, Richard Isanove on colors and Axel Alonso as the new “Daredevil” editor will be overseeing things along with Jenny Lee. Marvel’s solicitation text gives few details, noting a serial killer is on the loose in New York City, pushing the citizens of that city over the edge, while Daredevil must struggle to keep the city and Hell’s Kitchen from breaking down entirely. Quesada offered a few more details, saying the story will contain a mix of real world and super villain crime.
“I don’t want to get too much into the details because it is a mystery after all. What I can tell you is that you’ll be meeting super powered folk and normal folk as well and they’ll all be new cast members so to speak.”
Last year was a tough year for Quesada personally after he lost his own father due to illness. His passing played a major role in the creation of “Daredevil: Father.”
“My dad was an amazing guy, but we kids always have issues with our parents that for some of us, we find out as we grow up, are issues more with ourselves than our parents,” revealed Quesada. “I think that’s what Matt and some others discover in this story.
“I’m reminded of an old Mel Brooks comedy routine where he played a character called the 2000 year old man. In the routine he repeated a line with respect to fathers, ‘we mock the things we are to be.’ Like many people, I find myself doing things, saying things, much as my father did, even things that he used to say or do that I hated when I was younger. I believe Matt Murdock has always lived with that as well. Every time he puts his fist or foot in some criminal’s face, he’s dealing with just that scenario. Every time he puts on that devil costume, he is more like his father than he would ever care to admit. We mock the things we are to be.”
Quesada found the complexities of the Father/Son relationship a compelling subject matter to explore.
“I’ve been pretty fascinated as of late at how this type relationship or lack of one make people into what they are later in life. Also, how it becomes a repeating cycle. For those brought up in abuse, the abuse more often than not, gets handed down. It’s a devastating trend and it can manifest itself either emotionally or physically. For others brought up in a surrounding of love, that, too, is something that gets handed down.”
“Daredevil: Father” does take place in the character’s regular continuity, but it will not affect the main title unless the writer chooses to let it. Quesada told us that “Father” will leave many threads that if Brian Bendis or some other writer wants to pick up on, they can, but no edict was sent down from Quesada telling them they had to use these story elements.
Quesada says that he’s written the book “Stan Lee” style and is dialoging it as he goes along. The series is completely written and he’s almost finished with the first issue. Seeing as how this is Quesada’s first major comics work in four years (while he’s the writer of “NYX,” he does not provide any art for that title), one would expect the artist to approach his work a bit differently.
“I am going back to basics, back to square one,” admitted Quesada. “When I first started as a penciller, my big influences where Toth, Mignola and Mucha, a far cry from where my style has ended up. Reviewing my work over the last few years, I’ve found that I actually hate it and I miss the days of big bold graphics, heavy black areas and a much more organic line. Look, there are guys who can render the hell out of a page, no one does it better than Marc Silvestri, Bryan Hitch or Jim Lee. I just took a cold hard look at my work, especially after seeing the current Silvestri stuff (cripes he’s a genius), and I realized that I preferred my older stuff to what I was doing now. Some of that early Ray stuff was a lot of fun to do even though it was pretty raw. So, that’s what I’m looking to do for right now. I’ve also been experimenting with inker Danny Miki and colorist Richard Isanove to try to achieve a different look than what we usually do.
Quesada shrugs off any suggestions fans may have that as EIC of Marvel he’s given himself a plum project to work on.
“Well, lets face it, DD isn’t Spider-Man or X-Men or an Ultimate book. If I was going to give myself a plum project it would have been on one of those titles, wouldn’t it? The reason I selected DD was for two reasons. First, I was going to work with a certain writer on a certain project, but that got put on hold due to the writer’s other commitments. So, as that fell through until 2005, I was wondering what to do next. I had this DD story but I didn’t have the guts to write it. With the support of my coworkers and both Kev Smith and Bendis, I drummed up the courage to throw my hat in the ring. So, ultimately the answer is that I just have this story I’ve been wanting to tell for a very long time and now I’m getting the opportunity to tell it. Also, I have an incredible amount of affection for DD, I relate to his character more than any other. In the Pantheon of super heroes, I believe that DD and Batman are the two best archetypes for telling very complex, mature and significant stories. The characters are so tragic that they truly let you go where others can’t.”
For those few who aren’t convinced whether or not to pick up “Daredevil: Father” in April, he offered one last quick comment.
“The villain is Tim Drake! Kidding. Aw man, I don’t know, it’s just going to be a fun romp through Hell’s Kitchen, ’nuff said.”