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Marvin A. "Marv" Wolfman (born May 13, 1946) is an American comic book writer. He is best known for lengthy runs on Tomb of Dracula, creating Blade for Marvel Comics, and The New Teen Titans for DC Comics.
Wolfman was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.
Active in fandom before he broke into professional comics at DC in 1968, he often collaborated (particularly in his early years) with friend Len Wein. When asked what a book about the both of them would be like, Wein and Wolfman replied it would resemble the Three Stooges minus one.
In 1974, Wein and Wolfman moved to Marvel Comics as protégés of then-editor Roy Thomas. When Thomas stepped down, Wein and Wolfman took over as editors. Initially Wein was in charge of the color comics and Wolfman the black and white titles. After about a year, Wolfman succeeded Wein as editor-in-chief of the color line. One innovation which Wolfman instituted was the "warehouse story"; when writers and artists missed deadlines, it cost Marvel a great deal of money to delay the release of a scheduled issue, and using reprints to tread water wasn't as appealing to readers. So, Wolfman had various creative teams produce complete stories for various titles, which were then stored for possible later use if a book went off schedule, allowing the editor to keep the book on track with an entirely original story that wouldn't alienate readers.
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 editing and writing.
While at Marvel Wolfman wrote lengthy runs of 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.
His best-received work was Tomb of Dracula, a fledgling horror comic which Wolfman turned into a rich, complex piece of high gothic, well matched with the moody shade-and-light pencilling of Gene Colan. Taking Bram Stoker's basic story, Wolfman created his own vampire mythology and introduced a set of new characters, including Blade.
In 1980, Wolfman returned to DC after a dispute with new Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, who offered to renew Wolfman's contract as a writer, but not as an editor. Teaming with penciller George Pérez, he relaunched DC's Teen Titans. 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, and its first serious competitor to Marvel since the early 1970s.
During the early 1980s Wolfman also collaborated with artist Gil Kane on a run on Superman, rejoined Colan (who had also moved to DC) on the short-lived Night Force, and worked with Carmine Infantino on a revival of Dial H for Hero.
In 1985, Wolfman and Pérez launched Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 12-issue limited series 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.
Wolfman was also involved in the DC Comics relaunch of the Superman line, reinventing nemesis Lex Luthor and initially scripting the Adventures of Superman title.
After Pérez left The New Teen Titans in 1986, Wolfman continued with other collaborators - including pencillers Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Eduardo Barreto and Tom Grummett - but never enjoyed the same level of commercial or critical success. It was around this time that Wolfman had begun a brief run on the Batman titles, most notably creating Robin III Tim Drake and writing an anniversary adaptation of the first ever Batman story which was printed along with two other adaptations and the original.
Wolfman got into disputes with DC over a proposed ratings system, and finally, after several years, asked to be taken off the title and put onto another book.
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.
A decade later, he 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.
In 2006, Wolfman was editorial director of Impact Comics, publisher of educational manga-style comics for high school students.
Starting with issue #125, Wolfman began writing DC's Nightwing series. Initially scheduled for a four-issue run, Wolfman's run was expanded greatly, and finished with issue #137. During the course of his run, Wolfman introduced a new Vigilante character. Following Wolfman's departure from the pages of Nightwing, Vigilante will be spun off into his own ongoing title, which Wolfman will write. He will also pen a miniseries starring the Teen Titan Raven, a character he and Perez co-created during their legendary run on the New Teen Titans. He is also currently working with George Pérez on a direct-to-DVD movie adaptation of the popular "Judas Contract" storyline from their tenure on Teen Titans.
Characters Created by Wolfman
- Nightwing (the identity, not the character)
- Tim Drake
- Jonny Double (co-created with Len Wein)
- Brother Blood
- Hannibal King
- Black Cat
- Doctor Light
- Alexander Luthor, Jr.
- Cat Grant