Shadow Walk Cover Revealed for Comic-Con, Interview with Mark Waid
Legendary: What is the collaboration like between you, Max Brooks and Shane Davis? How does that fit in with working with Legendary?
Mark Waid: The thing that’s most exciting is the collaborative nature of it. It’s not just me cranking through pages and coming up with comics in a room. All the ideas fly between me, Max, Thomas, and Shane. Everybody’s got a say in it. It really started with Max and Thomas asking me about the storyline and what I thought about it. It’s really nice because Thomas could really just make me write whatever he wants me to write and he doesn’t act that way. I feel like I don’t have to placate him because he’s the head of the studio. He’s bringing me on board because he knows how to make movies, but I know how to make comics. Let’s figure out what the common storytelling ground is. Let me give you an example: Thomas originally pitched me what he pictured the first scene of a project would be in his head. It would be a gathering of scientists trying to talk about this problem and pulling people together in conference rooms. This would play great in a movie, but in a comic, if a bunch of people gathered together to talk, this would be death. Thomas encouraged me to figure out how to display that in a different, more visual way. That’s the best thing about it: the core story is what Max and Thomas brought to the table, but the delivery and the texture of it is what I’m going to bring from a different side of story telling.
Legendary: Can you tell us about the central characters, their arc and what to expect?
Mark: It’s not a story unless people move in advance and the characters change throughout the story. Otherwise, it’s just a chain of events. There has to be a character arc, and in our case, it has to go back to the only man who ever visited the valley the first time and lived to tell the story of it. We talked about this in the past, so this is not a secret that basically the pitch of “Ye, whoever walked over the shadow of death.” Thomas then thought, well what if it is a real place? Max went back through connective tissue and found out this could be a real chain of events, and could be a real, yet undiscovered place. The main character is a special forces officer who is the first man who survived this voyage, and he has to be the point man who finds out what’s in there. What I like about the story is as he learns faith, as he learns to rely on other people, as he learns teamwork, and as he truly learns not to be afraid, that is the story and lesson of the valley of death.