For Impact Comics, did you
submit a proposal, or were you told, "this is
what we're doing, write and draw it"?
I submitted a proposal, Bradley. After I knew I was
going to be involved in the project, the powers that be
were kind of undecided as to who was going to do what.
Thats when I came up with a synopsis detailing what I
wanted to do with the Shield. I think that convinced the
editors involved that I should be allowed to do the book.
No one ever said to me, 'This is what you're
going to write and draw'. Although, I'd like
to point out that there is a difference between being told to do
that, and instances where you're being asked to create under an
editor's direction, which is what happened with Impact.
That's one of the important things to talk about here: editorial
direction. A lot of readers, and unfortunately,
many creators, seem to feel that if an editor makes a suggestion,
they're interfering. It's the editor's job to guide the
team through the creative process, decide the best direction for
the title as originally conceived, and of course to serve the
best interests of the publisher.
A good editor might suggest a direction based on a
thread from a past story, or the next logical step culled
from the material creators may be currently producing, or his
larger, overall goal for a particular group of
titles --- things of that sort.
How was the Legend of the
Shield written? (just you, or editorial direction, followed by
your fleshing it out)
I was the sole writer on 'Legend of the Shield'. There
was nothing fleshed out for me. I did confer with Mike
Gold and later, Jim Owsley, but only when they saw something as
being divergent from what I said I was going to do in my
original story outline. I never varied from that. I
will say however, that Jim Owsley was much more active in story
planning, but again, I was the sole writer. I was
also following notes I made during group discussions that the
creators of Impact had, and that we all mutually agreed
to abide by. The Fly crossover and the Web sub-plots
that happened in the Shield, as an example, were things that I
worked out with writer Len Strazewski. After I told
him what I wanted to do, he approved it, and offered comments or
suggestions that I worked in to a greater or
lesser degree, depending upon what we both agreed to.
All of these things had to pass editorial muster as well.
If the majority of things I came up with made it into the title,
it's because I had the same yardstick as my editors: I
was in tune with them.
How involved were you with
the goings on in the other Impact books? (Were you kept 'in the
loop' as decisions were made about other series?)
Whatever the end result of Impact Comics, the intent was for
everybody to be kept abreast of what was happening in the other
titles. I did my best to keep myself aware and of
course, any decision that affected the work that I was doing I
was informed about. I was then given the opportunity to try
and achieve my goals and still incorporate any of the larger
continuity issues that can crop up when working with other
creators in a shared universe.
Conversely, I had a simple rule when dealing with other
creators concerns: I asked only that
they understand the basic idea of the Shield, that he
deals with technology. And of course, that it would be
unfair for anyone else to develop the higher relationships
of the series: Joe's issues with his mom or dad, his
relationship with the original Shield, etc. --- all of
that was my territory, I felt.
Since it's common courtesy to
do so, what was your first comic book work? ( art and / or
I'm not sure I remember. Some of the first pro work I
did, was either the Elementals work I did at Comico or it
might have been Codename: Spitfire--New Universe stuff. At
any rate, they were pretty close together, late in the
80's. Sorry! I don't remember clearly, so I guess I
lose on 'Jeopardy'!
It also runs together with early work I did on The
American. I enjoyed working with Mark Verheiden
tremendously. I think I learned a lot from him that I later
applied to the Shield.
Who first contacted you re:
Impact Comics, or was it an open invitation for anyone to
I had heard rumors for a long time that Mike Gold was working
on a secret project, but I had no idea what it was. I
later found out from Mike himself, that he had drafted many, many
proposals as he approached the guys at Archie to revive
their classic superhero characters. I believe it took
him quite some time to convince them that they should
license their properties to DC.
I had done a number of successful assignments for
Mike: Green Arrow, Blackhawk and a few others. Like
any editor that I had a rapport with, I would hit on Mike at the
end of one job, for him to give me another. After Id
established a good track record with him, as someone he could
rely on, he clued me into what was going on. As he got closer to
actually being able to offer assignments on this same project, I
flew out to Chicago, for this sort of interesting, posh,
pseudo-Thanksgiving / Christmas get together hosted by Gold and
Brian Augustyn, and it kind of went on from there. We
talked, and-- well --I guess you get the idea. Looking back
now, it all seemed pretty casual.
I don't believe there was an open invitation to 'try out' as
you suggest, Bradley. But it wasn't some sort of exclusive
club either. I think it really boiled down to people that
the editors had worked with and felt were professional. I
think that Mike and Brian were looking for people whom they felt
had solid storytelling skills in the tradition of the early
1960's Marvel Comics. Mike and I were definitely on the
same track regarding that and several other aspects relating to
his goals. So that was the common ground between us.
Were you given a choice as to
which character you wanted, or was the choice made for you?
Not at all. Like I said earlier, there seemed to me to
be a sort of aura of indecision as to who was going to get which
assignment. I was sort of surprised to find out later that
almost right up to the launch point, it was almost a lock that I
was going to be doing the Jaguar. And again, showing an
unsolicited proposal for the Shield was what I believe got me
the job. Lobbying of that kind can go a long way
towards getting an artist or writer the assignments they
want. Not always, but enthusiasm and initiative will always
set you apart in the mind of an editor.
And if you were given a
choice, why did you pick the Shield?
As far as doing the Shield, part of it was that it was the
launch book and it never hurts to be first at anything.
Secondly, I just simply viewed the Shield as a
character I could do something with. I was only
vaguely familiar with his sporadic appearances since the
1940's. And as a kid I thought, "Well, he's no
Captain America!" I think part of my rationale, as I
approached the assignment, was that no matter what, I wanted
the Shield to be as unlike Captain America as I could
Sure, he's draped in the flag and all that, but the
story of Joe Higgins really has little to do with his being a
superhero. I don't know if people who read the series saw
it that way, but that's what I was shooting for. It's
really the story of a guy who comes from a dysfunctional
family. A family that's about as dysfunctional as it can
get without the people in it reducing
themselves to the level of absolute animals: fear /
threat response and all that.
I tried to deal with the repression of emotion, secret
family abuse between his sadistic father and his gentle,
idealistic mother -- those were the themes that are beneath the
surface of events in the series. The end result for Joe is
that he grows to adulthood as a person who really doesnt
know himself. Hence, all the questioning, rebellion and the
near breakdown of anything he did know as familiar within
himself. And the subsequent 'rocking of his world', when
everything he thought he could rely on was stripped away.
Especially when the cause of it was lies and manipulation
at its worst.
At the planning of Impact (
beginning stages ) were there talks of any titles in addition to
( or instead of ) the beginning six?
Not as I recall. But there was a lot of 'blue skying' as Mike
Gold used to put it, about future possibilities. The launch
of Impact was far more successful than anybody at DC
had anticipated, so I think after that, there were plans
laid for The Crusaders and whatever
else. Everybody had what they thought would've been
good ideas for subsequent projects after the initial wave of
Was there anything in
particular that you wanted to do with the Shield that you were
not allowed to do ( due to continuity, editorial disapproval, etc
There was however an overall atmosphere to the series that I
wanted to achieve that I felt would have really made things more
interesting had I been allowed to do it. Don't get me
wrong, I think what was done held the readership's interest as
best as it possibly could, but I did have an idea that was
slightly different in the beginning.
At that time I saw comics as being more full of action than
they had been in many a year. Titles like X-Men and
Avengers were just brimming with the kind of action I had always
felt was one of the most exciting things about comics generally,
and superhero books specifically. My original idea for the
Shield was to do perhaps 3 issue story arcs with him in
exotic locales where he's never out of the suit. Then
do a slower, more introspective issue every fourth month or
so, to show what Joe was really all about: the man behind the
suit. And in those issues, he's only in it enough to make it
interesting. That approach, however, was vetoed in favor of
a more generalized character development, which balanced the two
extremes. The rationale against it was that if we went with
the action thing, it was felt that the pacing would be too
up and down, but again, that's how I saw some of the most
successful titles in comics being staged at the time. I
always saw the Shield as being ideally suited for that
kind of storytelling.
What did you have planned for
The Shield after #16?
Like any series, the Shield developed a host of situations
based on ideas that were both planned and those that were
'happy accidents'. Any creator, who tells you that the book
doesn't take on a life of its own over time, isn't being honest.
I felt that there were a lot of major issues outlined in the
first year and a half or so that would have had to be resolved
sooner or later, and I feel good about that.
That meant that the Shield had evolved into having a
much richer story base than I ever thought
it would when I began. I don't want to go into
too much detail here, and I don't want to describe anything
that might squelch any ideas for 'what if' stories that fans of
the series may have in their own minds. Suffice it to say
that I would have created situations that tested Joe's faith in
himself and his beliefs even further. Barnes died, as an
example, but could somebody else become another Shield?
There were a few guys left in the Gun Club-----What about
the Weapon? Who is he really? A guy that full of hate
couldn't let Joe Higgins have the last word about anything,
especially as an opponent. I could go on, but I think you
get the idea that there was still a wealth of material that I
hadn't even begun to develop when the series ended.
I heard rumors that the
cancellation caused things to happen that would not have happened
otherwise, this true?
That may be true in some respects, Bradley, but I think that
with some minor exceptions I stayed pretty close to what I had
originally planned. As far as Barnes goes, the intention of
that was more a statement about creating an aura that the Shield
was an entity in and of itself that would continue no matter who
wore the armor. Despite the fact that General Higgins
had proposed a program to revive the Shield, it was
inevitable that it would happen anyway. It was just a
matter of when and with whom. Killing Barnes provided a
dramatic way to mesh the Legend of the Shield more
closely to Joe himself, by showing that being the Shield had to
come back to him. I hoped that people would see that
as Joe being born to be the Shield that he couldn't escape
You may be implying that the thinking was: 'Oh no! We've
put this other dude in the armor and it's not
working! Quick! Put the other guy back in!'.
Whatever sales were at that point, re-introducing Joe had
nothing to do with that. I don't recall any adverse reader
reaction to Barnes, either. I think the book could've
easily continued with Barnes as the Shield. I genuinely
fell in love with the guy during the short time he was in
the series. He represented quite a contrast to
Joe: he was whimsical, funny, and a family man.
He wasn't as courageous or as noble as Joe. He may
have been shiftier, but in a totally acceptable
way. I guess I'm trying to say you could describe him as
calculating without being destructively manipulative.
Barnes was the charming rascal.
And ya gotta love a guy like Barnes who runs around the living
room with his kid wearing a dumb ten-cent domino mask that ya buy
at Walmart! He had a sense of humor about himself that Joe
just didn't have and I came to love that. I really
wish now that it hadn't become as important as it did
to kill him. The book would've had a very different face if
Barnes would've continued in the suit.
Now, in regards to that question, I
ask the following 2 questions:
Was Shield III ( Michael
Stephen Barnes ) planned to take over as Shield in #13 from the
No, that was one of those 'happy accidents'. I have to
credit Jim Owsley for motivating me to do that, really. One
of Jim's concerns was that the Shield as an idea wasn't
'legendary' enough. In a roundabout way, I suppose using
Barnes cheapened the idea by briefly making the Shield very
'McDonald's'-like: one guy quits so you get another guy to
put the special sauce on the burgers, if you will. The end
result when Joe returns is that the whole idea of the Shield
becomes more entwined with destiny as one of its themes, which,
in my view helped it and made it even more interesting.
Working that out showed me how great Jim's proclivity for
sub-plotting really was. His ability to develop a
story over a long period to a real interesting bloom when it
finally flowered was inspiring. I admired Jim very much for
that. The Barnes storyline is a great example of the
editor providing input from a past story or the seed of an idea
from the creators. He suggested that it might be a
plan to have somebody else in the suit, but left it open as to
how I would make that happen. So I picked Barnes from the guys in
the Gun Club for it. This isnt being told what
to write, at least not in my view. Every good editor
that I've worked with operates this way. It's important for
any fan who wants to be a pro to understand this. The idea
that you're going to have a completely free hand is a myth.
Was the Joe Higgins return (
#15, 16 ) planned before the cancellation notice?
Yup. Joe was supposed to come back all along. The
months he spent working with Roger, represented a change in his
attitude and feelings about his lot in life. Had the book
gone on, I would've taken pains to show the details of that.
Who was the guy who visited
Dusty in the hospital ( besides the Original Shield )? Firefly
perhaps? And was this guy planned to re-appear later?
You're right Bradley, it was Firefly. I can also
understand your feeling bothered by it. But, unfortunately,
when series get cancelled it often happens that there
are a good number of unresolved sub-plots. There
are always things that go unfinished. That's what happened
Firefly was certainly supposed to reappear later, but there
just wasn't time. I had some loose thoughts about his
having done something that would have accounted for the
disappearance of the original Shield, but all that went up in
smoke when the book ended.
How were you told that the
Impact line was being "re-tooled" and that the original
7 series were being cancelled?
A simple phone call. I can't say that I was
surprised. For several months, prior to that happening, it
seemed that there were too many things that were undecided
administration-wise: Where the line was going to go for
it's potential third year; how Impact was going to address the
problem of competing against other things happening in the market
that were drawing readers interests at the time and so on.
I felt that many of the creators and editors
in question were still communicating well, trying to come up
with the best ideas they could to solve these things, but they
just never were resolved, whatever thoughts were exchanged.
The end result is that events became very uncoordinated and
unfocused and, well----you know the rest.
Were there plans for you in
Impact after Crucible?
I talked briefly with Jim Owsley about the idea of taking
over the Comet. I knew even then that it would have been
contingent on the success of Crucible and the willingness of DC
to renew the license. I have no idea what the exact terms
of it were but Im guessing it was a relatively short
term deal, so anything after Crucible, would have been greatly
affected by how that turned out.
Were there any plans that you
knew of for after Crucible regarding any of the titles /
None that I know of.
Why didn't Impact comics make
it through year two?
There are a million reasons and I think it would be really
useless to go into anything here that could only be my
opinion. The fact is, the Image stuff happened. That
material was of course pulled-off by the highest profile creators
in the business. It matters little what anybody
thinks about their launch, their subsequent respective runs,
or their legacy, now that Image has much less of a profile than
it once did. They cornered the market then, and it affected every
title being published, bar none.
Now, on to
What was the difference
between the Jim Owsley and Mike Gold eras, editorially?
I think Mike's approach was to allow any creator as much room
as possible and then make any comments or ask for revisions after
that. Whereas Jim was more of a "hands on"
editor: In there right away, making suggestions, and doing
his part to steer the ship.
Gold had a unique ability to see the work as both an
editor and as a potential fan. I think he got as much
joy as any fan of Legend of the Shield, when he
first saw the pages or when the printed books arrived. Even
more so I think because he was the first guy to read it before
Jim was more of a story mogul. He was
appropriately concerned with what was good story overall.
He was a terrific continuity cop. He would point out things
that I had inserted casually to be used later, when I was never
even sure whether or not I was going to cultivate those ideas at
some point down the road. Jim would notice
them and say: Look, that thing you did in issue 3,
panel 6, page 8, really worked ya know --You should use
that. And of course, I would have to look it up to
see what he was talking about! I would have
almost forgotten it. Jim really knew the continuity
inside out. Not that Mike didn't, but I always appreciated
Jim's great attention to detail and his commitment to making sure
that nothing of any great potential value was overlooked or
In a letter column ( I'm not
completely sure of title / issue ) there were allusions to a
secret "eighth Impact series" and I'm guessing that it
was prior to the idea for Crucible. Any idea what it was?
Well, Bradley, that's sort of hard to say. I honestly
think Mike had a boatload of different irons in the fire when it
came to that. I think what was foremost in his mind was
that the eighth Impact series should be an original
series. To say what it was for certain though, is anybody's
How much did your Shield
proposal differ from the finished product?
I guess that depends on which proposal your referring
to. My original outline was really quite different from
what I eventually went with as the series bible. The bible
too was altered slightly prior to actually beginning the launch
because Joe Simon had some issues with the Impact version of the
Shield originally being named Lance Strong.
Those revisions boiled down to substituting Joe
Higgins for Lance Strong within the body of the
outline itself. And of course, coming up with an identity
for the original Shield. I don't think at the time that I
thought it was going to make that much difference. And
oddly, in the first outline, I went with Joe Higgins as
the name for the version of the Shield
I was pitching then. That character though,
was a lot darker. More of a loser, I suppose. He was
angrier, and with all of the life blows I was thinking about
laying on him, would've reacted in a more violent way.
The Joe Higgins in 'Legend of the Shield' was really a
silent warrior type: great inner strength and all that.
In Shield #12, Joe Higgins
gives up as the Shield. In #15, he's shown working with the
original Shield on a new armor. Was this supposed to be
government funded Shield work, or Joe and Roger on their own?
Joe and Roger on their own. I think it became clear that
Roger was beginning to be the positive father figure that Joe had
lacked in his biological father. Roger as he was written
was an entrepreneur and an industrialist. He had basically
watched General Higgins corrupt his vision. By Roger and
Joe working on the new armor on their own, Roger reclaims part of
what he gave up years before and allows Joe to continue.
He's living vicariously through Joe to be sure, but I think it's
healthy never the less.
Ok, back to the cancellation, sort of,
but on a more positive note.
Do you think Crucible was the
way to go to save the Impact line? Or do you think there
was something better to do? Did you have ideas to save the
line at all?
My personal feelings about Crucible are mixed, although I have
nothing but the highest respect for the effort expended by the
creators involved. By the time Crucible happened
I had moved on to other things and even before that
point I think I was focused primarily on the Shield.
When you're told that the series is going to end, you
automatically start looking for your next assignments. It's
unavoidable that you start to divorce yourself from your passion
for it. I had very few ideas about what could be done
to save Impact, and that was based primarily on the vibe
that I got from other people who were involved. They had
things well in hand. I was made aware of the plan for
Crucible and I felt confident that those involved would
make their best effort to salvage Impact if it were possible at
So I concentrated on wrapping up on the Shield and
put it to rest as peacefully as I could. Maybe someday, all
those stories I still have in my head about a guy named Joe
Higgins will get a chance to come out. That would be great.
Visually speaking, how did
your idea of the Shield evolve? He's the only one that was
anywhere near the original version (MLJ/Mighty)?
My design approach to the Shield, as far as his costume went,
was indeed to try and make him reminiscent of the original
Shield. And that was long before I decided I wanted Shield One to
be a part of the series. The original Shield's outfit
was also slightly beefed-up, to strengthen the visual
connection between it and Joe's outfit. It kind of
went full circle, really, that when Joe and Roger worked together
to create a new armor, I combined Joe's armor from the early
issues with the lines of the original Shield armor to come up
with yet a third variation.
I found that the basic idea of a character that was a living
shield, who was shaped that way in his basic aspect, very easy to
work with. I'm sure that as time went by the
armor might have changed again; in fact I knew it would, in
much the same way as Iron Man's did. It was logical to
me, at least. As much as Mark Bright and Bob Layton always
dazzled me with their variations of Tony Stark's armor, I don't
think I would have ever went that far, though. Stealth
armor for Iron Man? Yes! Midnight-Pizza-Run-Armor for the
Shield? Sorry! Not gonna happen!
Were there any characters you
felt were harder to draw than others?
Not particularly. I think the hardest part of drawing
any character is getting their mannerisms, stance,
demeanor----things of that nature, correct, so they can be easily
identifiable to the reader. I took pains to make sure that
Mannex, as an example, always looked huge and appeared to be
lumbering as he walked. Even when he stood relatively
erect, I hope I achieved the effect that he had enormous
weight and that when he moved, it took great effort. I
guess it's up to any readers of the Shield to decide for
themselves how well that came across.
There's so much more to character dynamics than just
the delineating the characteristics of their costume or
haircut. Sure, those things are the easy landmarks for
showing the reader who's who, but the real hard stuff is
acting and body language. I always try as hard as I can
to send the signals I want the reader to
recognize about a given character by using those devices.
Describe your process of
coming up with the covers. Was there one you preferred, or
considered your best of the series?
Cover design is a tricky business at best. I often find
that it's the most difficult part of the assignment. Not in
terms of execution, but in terms of the time it takes to come up
with a striking image that will make people want to pick up
and buy the book, which is of course the point, isn't it?
As far as content, trying to interpret the high point of the
story is what always sways me. I try to catch the moment of
highest interest, danger or mystery, and present it in a way that
generates curiosity for the reader. This can be portrayed
either literally or an interpretive manner. When Michael
Golden came on board as cover editor, they almost all became
interpretive, which I think is a good thing. The covers
then began to lean more toward illustration.
Currently, covers tend to be more like posters in
design. I'm generalizing to be sure, but even
so, I'm not sure this is always a good approach. I
just mentioned that the interpretive cover is a good way to go
because I feel it's more illustrative. It still works as a cover,
though, because it still tells a story, which are what
comics are all about. I'm not too sure that many of
the advocates of the poster style of cover care about that.
As far as favorite or most effective? I think generally, with
the exception of the cover for issue # 2 and the final issue, I
felt the covers turned out pretty well on Legend of
the Shield. DC certainly thought so. I always
got a charge out of seeing them used in their Coming
Comics store promos. Issue # 5 was probably a
personal favorite, aided beautifully by Matt Hollingsworth's
superb color job.
Do you think it hampered you
art to pencil and ink it? Did you feel rushed?
I personally believe that every artist should ink their own
work if they can. My feeling is that within the
boundaries of what is generally accepted by editors of mainstream
comics, it's still important for an artist to have his or her own
voice, if you will; to make their personal statement
about any story they're working on. Inking your own work,
provided you have the skill and facility, is a way to achieve
If I felt rushed, which was only in the most minimal way from
time to time, it was because circumstances beyond my control
would often stick a rod between my spokes when it came to
coordinating the various work functions surrounding the
production of Legend of the Shield. That's
unavoidable. Carrying such a large workload is a delicate
operation even at the best of times. Sometimes the schedule gets
clogged for any one of a dozen reasons no matter what you
do. Keeping the book up to speed is a matter of
knowing what to do when those things happen, so you can gain back
In all my work, be it comics or illustration, I'm always
super careful that I give myself enough time to do the
job to the best of my ability. When you know full well
beforehand that a given assignment's deadline is too tight
for you to comfortably make, and you take the job on anyway,
thats just being stupid. It only serves to frustrate
everyone involved. And you can be 100% sure that any editor you
impose that on will never hire you again. So, I'm always
aware of how much time I have and don't abuse it or myself to the
point where I end up being too burnt out to function effectively
on the job. I try to get enough rest, decent food and some time
to decompressthose sorts of things. I'm no more
health-conscious than the average person and I don't want to
sound like a nutritionist, but you'd be amazed at how many people
wind up being deadline deadbeats just because they fail to pay
attention to trying achieve a relatively normal lifestyle while
doing creative work.
Do you consider yourself a
better writer or artist?
I don't draw much of a distinction between the two,
really. Even if you're functioning solely as an artist, to
an extent, you're writing, particularly if you're
working from a plot. And to be sure, that's not meant
as a put down of any writers who may be reading this.
Writers are an indispensable part of comics and creative work.
Writing and art in comics are, in my view, far more closely
linked than in any other art form where writing and
handicraft come together. I think the best comics writers
Creating art for comics or illustration is about creating an
image that will be interpreted by the reader in the way in which
you intend, so you can get your idea across clearly.
Writing is in my mind similar, except that it entails using words
instead of pictures, obviously. The best knitting of
writing and art occurs when dialogue compliments
the visuals, rather than describing them, when art extends
and enhances the prose rather than just being a bland or
alternate retelling of what you've just read.
What was your first
introduction to the Crusaders ( pre-Impact)?
I think I first saw the Crusaders in the late 60's or early
70's, in a paperback book collection of their adventures.
The thing really wasn't a collection of Crusaders stories
per se; it just collected a bunch of the newer Archie superhero
stories that I think were written by Superman creator, Jerry
Siegel. I can only assume that they were produced a few
years before, during what must have been then, their most recent
I can't recall who the publisher was, but I
believe the paperback was called: "High Camp
Superheroes"? It may have been
published by Lancer (?) books, who were also
responsible for a series of paperbacks that reprinted the early
60's Marvel superhero stories around the same time? Sorry, to be
so vague.I know more about who shot JFK, than I do about
Later on I guess the Red Circle stuff produced by guys like
Rich Buckler and Rudy Nebres and whomever else. Was there
even a proper Crusaders book at that time? Without
denigrating the concept, I have to be honest and say that it's
almost obligatory that when you have a line of
superheroes, there will be a team book. Generally I
like the Crusaders, but I'm not sure that their various series
have turned out to be anything more than that: the inevitable
team book. I enjoyed the Impact Crusaders book story-wise
very much, but maybe the ultimate incarnation of that team has
yet to appear.
What was your opinion on the
Impact line, as a whole ( I ask this because I've talked to other
people who knew the older versions of the heroes, and they said
"DC ruined the heroes"--although I disagree)
There was an incredible amount of hard work done on Impact by
everyone. I think everybody busted their respective humps to do
the best work they could. As far as "DC ruined the
heroes", well, I'm sure there are people who think that the
moon had a lot more romance before we went there----You can't
please everybody. I respect everyone's right to their
opinion, but I've often found that people who say something is
ruined, or it isn't like it used to be, or whatever -- I can
only respond to that and say; why would you want it to be like it
was in the past? Why would anyone want something new to be
only a rehash of what had gone before? Do you
know anybody who prefers rerun TV?
One of the great things about Impact was that the ideas
everyone came up with were their legitimate take on
those characters with as little or as much homage to the
originals as each respective team felt was needed: I
believe they were honest creations. I think in the Shield
there was a lot of homage, perhaps less in other titles, but I
always saw the whole idea of the line as being to provide a new
twist - regardless of how much deviation from the original that
turned out to be.
I had no desire whatsoever to revive the Shield exactly as he
was in any of his previous incarnations. That could have
worked, but the Impact crews were given their druthers to an
extent, and we came up with what we came up with. Whatever
the form of the next publication of those characters turns out to
be, those creators will either draw what they can from
Impact, or ignore it completely. I don't have any problem
with that and it's beyond me why any reader would.
I often find it sad, and always unrealistic, when readers
expect an unbroken line of continuity from version to version,
especially when series are years apart and from a completely
different publisher. Continuity is a guide, not a noose
around your neck. I think I tried to be a
stickler while working in the continuity I created, but
I wouldn't expect that of the guys that come up with the next
A Final Word?
My final word on Impact for anyone who reads those
titles is the same as for all comics: Take your
favorite day of the week, grab a soda or some potato
chips or whatever you like, find a shady tree or yer
favorite chair, sit back, read and enjoy. If ya like, get
involved with the characters, read into the sub-plots whatever
wild thoughts you'd care to entertain. Love some of the
heroes, hate the villains, wish the Jaguar was real so ya could
git a date wit' her, but above all else, enjoy it as best you
can. Everybody who worked on Impact sure did.