Tom DeFalco Interview
Originally published October 1998. I was a little more fanboyish for this interview. I think I was happy that Tom DeFalco found creative success with Spider-Girl, enough so that they turned it into a line. When he stepped down from the EIC position I suspected his writing might not appeal to comic readers. His run on Fantastic Four was panned online (although I enjoyed it). So I was pleasantly surprised when he found Spider-Girl clicked with readers.
It’s interesting to think of Spider-Girl as a precursor to modern comics with Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Batgirl (done by Cameron, Fletcher and Tarr), etc.. I suspect if Tom was writing Spider-Girl today it would fit right in with those books.
Jamie: Tell us how and when you got your start writing comic books.
Tom DeFalco: I began my career working for ARCHIE COMICS in 1972. I started as gofer, and eventually started selling stories to them.
Jamie: Judging by the first issues, you created a lot of characters. Why did you choose to give Spider-Girl, J2, and A-Next their own books?
Tom DeFalco: The readers demanded that Spider-Girl get her own title. They also wanted to see a future Avengers book and the Fantastic Five…but I figured I could have more fun with Juggie. (Read the title, and you’ll see why!)
Jamie: Why was there a #0 book for Spider-Girl, but none for A-Next or J2?
Tom DeFalco: Spider-Girl #0 was a reprint of What If #105…which first introduced Mayday to the world.
Jamie: Exactly how many years in the future is the MC2 line?
Tom DeFalco: Somewhere between 15 and infinity.
Jamie: I understand there will be another MC2 title. Will Marvel have an official vote for the hero or team to get their own title?
Tom DeFalco: In our January issues (Spider-Girl #6), we’ll ask the readers to vote on who should star in the next title. It could be Stinger, Darkdevil, the F5 or whomever they choose.
Jamie: Is there any chance that MC2 will be a part of the same alternative future laid out in Gardians of the Galaxy or the 2099 line?
Tom DeFalco: All alternative futures have the possibilities of intersecting…or not.
Jamie: Will we be seeing other long lived current Marvel characters pop up in MC2? Characters like Hercules, Hulk, Mr. Immortal, Wolverine and so on?
Tom DeFalco: Yep!
Jamie: I know this is a gruesome question, but did all of Peter Parkers leg get blown off or just a part of it?
Tom DeFalco: Errr…let’s move on, shall we?
Jamie: Hey, where did the Green Goblin’s glider go?
Tom DeFalco: Your guess is as good as mine.
Jamie: Is there any relation between the Jimmy Yama in Spider-Girl and Zane Yama in J2?
Tom DeFalco: They’re cousins…as we’ll see in the future.
Jamie: Will we see the Juggernaut return in J2?
Tom DeFalco: Probably.
Jamie: When will we see the full X-People team?
Tom DeFalco: J2 #1 for a cameo…and #2 for an actual story.
Jamie: Is the future X-men called X-People for politically correct reasons?
Tom DeFalco: Nope! I just wanted something to distinguish them from the current X-titles, and the pickings are very slim.
Jamie: The A-Next team only had 4 memebers! Will you be adding more later on?
Tom DeFalco: Check out A-Next #4!
Jamie: In other Alternative futures, those with the name “Mainframe” always ended up being the Vision. Is the A-Next Mainframe the Vision also?
Tom DeFalco: We’ll learn Mainframe’s story…when the time is right.
Jamie: Will Stinger be able to shrink like the Wasp?
Tom DeFalco: Yes.
Jamie: In A-Next, why did Loki get the Rock Trolls to steal the mace from Kevin when he could have teleported it away (as he did along with the heroes)?
Tom DeFalco: He was busy conjuring, and sent his errand boys to do the dirty work.
Jamie: What old Marvel title(s) would you like to see re-launched?
Tom DeFalco: New Warriors, Darkhawk and Silver Sable…all with the original creative teams!
Jamie: When hiring a penciler for a book, what in particular do you look for?
Tom DeFalco: Someone who can draw real people with real facial expressions and body language in a real world. And someone who can tell a visual story!
Jamie: There are a lot of fans out there trying to prevent or reverse the cancellation of their favorite titles. As a former Editor in Chief, what advice could you give these die hard fans?
Tom DeFalco: Buy copies of your favorite titles, convince your friends to buy copies, make sure your local retailer supports the title by displaying copies on his racks for an entire month, and write to the President of the company.