In a February interview, Marvel's Joe Quesada told Newsarama that readers could expect some
"humongous announcements" with respect to talent that would "affect Marvel books for the next
two or three years." One of those announcements came to light last month, when we reported writer J.
Michael Straczynski was on the verge of signing an exclusive, multi-year contract with Marvel Š a contract
designed to allow him to continue writing Spider-Man (and possibly on a more-frequent-than-monthly basis), and work on other new projects starring other Marvel characters.
But Quesada said "announcements", and it turns out the other creative shoe to drop will not only have another profound effect on Spider-Man, but on Marvel's MAX line and a previously-announced DC project as well.
Newsarama has learned writer Kevin Smith - arguably the industry's current most widely recognized and popular creator - will also agree to a multi-year exclusive contract with Marvel, with both writers likely signing for two years. Newsarama caught up with both creators to ask about the whys and whatnots of their deals.
"Joe [Quesada] asked," Smith told Newsarama quite simply, asked to explain why he's agreed to his contract. "It's hard to say no to Joe. And after having been more-or-less exclusive with DC for the last two years, it felt right to give Marvel the same treatment."
Once a newly-exclusive creators, Smith, Straczynski and Marvel have big plans, including Smith taking over the regular writing chores of Amazing Spider-Man, possibly in late 2002 or early 2003 [though Smith said, "If they're smart, they won't hand the book over until they've got a bunch of scripts from me"], and perhaps with artist Terry Dodson attached.
Smith, who said as far as he knows the upcoming Black Cat ongoing series will launch as scheduled [following the completion of the Spider-Man/Black Cat mini-series], also said he plans to write both Amazing Spider-Man and Black Cat concurrently, and he's hoping to get the same creative partner on both series as well...
"I'm going to try to convince Terry [Dodson] to do both," he said. "Wish me luck."
Asked to describe how he'll approach writing Spider-Man on a regular basis, Smith said, "Very carefully".
"This isn't Daredevil or Green Arrow, in terms of those were characters that weren't pulling in the readers anymore, so I had a lot of leeway. This is Spider-Man, which sells well regardless, though particularly in this, the 'Year of Spider-Man'. I'll be minding my P's and Q's, so as not to ruffle fan feathers.
An additional aspect of Kevin Smith's deal with Marvel is any new ŒView Askew' Universe projects (based on his films) published during the term of the contract will be published as part of Marvel's 'Mature Readers' MAX line. Smith responded "Hopefully", when asked if he plans to write the long-promised Bartleby & Loki one-shot and Mallrats 2: Die Hard in a Mall.
However, Smith added it was "doubtful" Marvel would publish any new collections of previously published [by Oni and Image] 'View Askew' projects.
Speaking of other commitments, as for Smith's Brave and the Bold series in development at DC [announced last summer], Smith said he has not written off the series, and that he still intends to do it once the term of this exclusive contract expires.
"Unless DC changes its mind," he added.
Smith added he and Marvel have "got some plans" for Daredevil, though he did not indicate whether this meant the original graphic novel that has been mentioned by Smith for the last year or so, or something else.
Finally, also asked about Marvel's plan to publish upwards of 18-issues a year on some titles, Smith said, "I'm just shooting to stay on a monthly schedule. It's hard enough for me to get to twelve issues in a year, let alone 18 to 24."
And in the light of the fact his next film Jersey Girl has just recently been officially "greenlighted", we asked Smith how he'd respond to readers wondering how he's going to find the time to keep all these planned projects on time.
"I'm wondering the same thing myself," he concluded. "The best I can do is try to keep up, I guess. Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Look for more details on all these stories when they are available. We'll keep you posted on all the news! Be sure to visit