Interview With Tom DeFalco
(September 2000)

Tom DeFalco is currently the writer of Spider-Girl, and here he talks about the upcoming Darkdevil series and also the Spider-Man: Mysterio Manifesto series.

Kuljit Mithra: The mystery of Darkdevil's origin has been playing out for over 2 years in Spider-Girl, and now with the Darkdevil limited series coming out this month, there's word that the series will finally reveal all about Darkdevil.

Tom DeFalco: It will!

Mithra: When the character was initially created, did you already have his origin set, or has it evolved as you've gone in other directions in the Spider-Girl comic?

DeFalco: When he first appeared, I had a general idea of who Darkdevil was...but I didn't start working out the details to his origin and backstory until his second or third appearance.

Mithra: Was Darkdevil always going to be who he's going to be revealed to be in the series?

DeFalco: Yes.

"Ron Frenz and a buddy of his named Rich Yanizeski came up with DD's visuals, and I think I came up with his powers and backstory."

Mithra: Can you go over how his costume was developed and why you went with the teleporting powers and flaming billy clubs etc.?

DeFalco: When we first started working on the MC-2 line, the artists and I would often brainstorm assorted characters--some that would appear right away, others that we wouldn't see for awhile. Ron Frenz and a buddy of his named Rich Yanizeski came up with DD's visuals, and I think I came up with his powers and backstory.

Mithra: Were there any other ideas on his costume, like say using a variant of the yellow one, etc.?

DeFalco: I'm sure there were a few other versions of his costume, but I don't recall any yellow variants.

Mithra: As Darkdevil has appeared in Spider-Girl, we've learned more about him each issue. We know he has a past with the Kingpin (he convicted KP) and he also knows Kaine very well (Kaine apparently brought Darkdevil back from the dead). Is the series going to delve into any of these specific events?

DeFalco: Yes.

Mithra: Are we going to learn more about Matt Murdock's death at the hands of the Kingpin (if what Kaine said is true, of course)?

DeFalco: Yes (and Kaine told the truth.)

Mithra: Darkdevil seems to know a lot about the Parker's past too. You've dropped clues ranging from Phil Urich to Ben Reilly to Matt Murdock to clones... Are you worried at all that once you reveal who Darkdevil is, the interest in the character might decline?

DeFalco: Yes, but there's always a chance the readers will become even more intrigued by him.

"A major Daredevil cast member is kinda referenced in this limited series, but not really shown."

Mithra: Are any other supporting characters from Daredevil's past going to show up? Foggy has appeared in Spider-Girl and I know Elektra was in Wild Thing. Stick? Black Widow? Any characters with ties to both Daredevil and Darkdevil?

DeFalco: A major Daredevil cast member is kinda referenced in this limited series, but not really shown. (You'll have to actually read the series to see what I mean.)

Mithra: Is the Kingpin versus Kaine conflict going to continue in the series?

DeFalco: The Kingpin/Kaine conflict is definitely a factor.

Mithra: Can you go over what the basic plot is?

DeFalco: The Kingpin is trying to manipulate a mayoral election, and Kaine --and Darkdevil--take exception.

Mithra: Are all 3 issues complete stories in themselves?

DeFalco: Not really. While THE BUZZ limited series can be viewed as three stories that form a united trilogy, the DARKDEVIL series comes off more like a three-part story.

Mithra: How would you compare the way Ron Frenz draws Darkdevil to how Pat Olliffe does? Any distinct style differences?

DeFalco: There are tons of differences--but both Ron and Pat are great storytellers, and that's all that matters as far as I'm concerned!

Mithra: Another series you are currently working on is the Mysterio Manifesto. First off, wasn't this supposed to be the Mysterio Waltz?

DeFalco: Yes, but editorial asked me to change the name.

Mithra: Any particular reason given for this?

DeFalco: Nope. I was just asked to change it.

Mithra: What drew your interest to this story?

DeFalco: It seemed like a topic with some fun potential.

Mithra: Was Marvel anxious to get a story out there to explain the conflicting continuity of Mysterio in DD and Spider-Man?

DeFalco: Not particularly.

Mithra: Your opinion on the continuity issue?

DeFalco: I think stories that explain or nitpick old continuity are boring. On the other hand, the characters and their histories must remain consistent. You can't expect your readers to care about a character if his personality/philosophy/backstory keeps changing.

Mithra: Is the series going to explain *everything*, so it leaves no doubt about how he 'apparently' killed himself in Daredevil?

DeFalco: During the course of this series, reasons will be given to explain why Mysterio was seen to die in the Guardian Devil storyline, but is still appearing in the regular Spidey books. (However, a good story asks as many questions as it answers. I'd like to think this is a good story, but the readers will ultimately judge if I succeeded or failed.)

Mithra: Is it going to be primarily a Spider-Man story with DD appearing as a guest-star?

DeFalco: Yes.

Mithra: Have you seen any of Lee Weeks' art yet? Should DD fans be excited that he's drawing him again?

DeFalco: Yes, and DD fans will be VERY excited when they see the work he's done!

Mithra: One final question: As a former editor-in-chief of Marvel, do you have any comments on Joe Quesada's promotion to the job?

DeFalco: Joe is really going to miss getting a full night's sleep!

(c) Kuljit Mithra 2000
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear

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