DC is yet to create the Marvel magic
Amidst legions of extravagantly costumed fans and the children of lesser gods sporting superhero tees at the recently concluded Comic Con Hyderabad, 48-year-old Ron Marz grabbed the eyeballs of many.
I am in love with Hyderabad. I visited the Golconda Fort, the Qutub Shahi Tombs and went for a dinner with my wife at the Falaknuma Palace on Thursday. Oh boy! That was one of the best dinners I have ever had
Amidst legions of extravagantly costumed fans and the children of lesser gods sporting superhero tees at the recently concluded Comic Con Hyderabad, 48-year-old Ron Marz grabbed the eyeballs of many. There were two reasons why Ron was a major attraction. One, he was one of the intercontinental guests who descended onto this comic haven, escorted by Nathan Edmondson and Vivek Tiwary. And second, that he was the one who was credited with giving us major titles like ‘Silver Surfer’, ‘Green Lantern’, ‘Marvel vs DC’, ‘Batman/Aliens’ and ‘Witchblade’. But, when Ron informed that the new series of Edgar Rice Burroughs' ‘John Carter: Warlord of Mars’ would be out soon, the reaction among comic fans was more than just emotive.
It was Ron’s first visit to India, and he was certainly happy that Hyderabad was the place he got to be at first. “Oh… I am in love with the place. I visited the Golconda Fort, the Qutub Shahi Tombs and went for a dinner with my wife at the Falaknuma Palace on Thursday. Oh boy! That was one of the best dinners I have ever had,” says the unruffled celebrity American writer.
There were rumours that Ron Marz wanted to take ahead the franchise of the neon-green protagonist to be by a female character, “Yes, that was true. When I got into DC I asked them can the Green Lantern be played by a woman, well… they refused and told me to stick to how the franchise had been going on. I really don’t think that was a loss to anybody.” When Marz wrote the ‘Emerald Twilight’ storyline of the Green Lantern, in which the character of Hal Jordan, stricken with grief, becomes a mass murderer, leading to the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps, and Kyle Rayner being chosen as the last Green Lantern, the comic world loved it. “Except that there was this elementary school kid who wrote to me, ‘Thanks for screwing up DC’.”
Ron’s proclivity to Marvel in his younger days became very palpable while he started working with DC. “I was in DC and started writing a whole series, until the CCO stopped by to my office once and told me, ‘you are writing DC comics, the Marvel way’. It was then I realised that he was probably right.”
But then continuing to that discussion Ron Marz gifted the fans what many still yearn to happen again-- ‘The DC vs Marvel’, a comic book limited series crossover published by DC Comics and Marvel Comics from April to May 1996. The series which was written by Ron Marz and Peter David told the story where two brothers who personify the DC and Marvel Universes become aware of the other's existence, and challenge one another to a series of duels involving each universe's respective superheroes. The losing universe would cease to exist. The story had an ‘out of universe’ component in that, although there were eleven primary battles, five outcomes were determined by fan vote. “The only thing I regret was that, it was a four-issue series and not an eight-issue or 12-issue series,” he says.
The series was later translated into a Mortal Combat-style DC vs Marvel game series.
But Ron has a different perpective about DC altogether. “I still feel DC is yet to create the Marvel magic.”
After leaving DC, Ron associated himself with the Indian comic book scenario. In 2007 Virgin Comics announced that Marz would be joining as editor of three of their Shakti Line titles: ‘Devi’, ‘Ramayan 3392 AD’ and ‘The Sadhu’. From then on, he has been on board as a friend to aspirant comic book writers in India.
The most valuable tip he has for the Indian comic book writers is, “Just get out to the audience and give them the best you have. If it is as good as you think it is, you will win.”