'I've Always Been The Kind Of Guy Who Likes To Keep Stretching My Own Boundaries' – Tom Defalco Talks Character Development And the Spider-Verse

By Brian Goldberg

2721793-tom_defalco_1_576Tom DeFalco spun many comic tales and created universes and characters that have stood the test of time.  The illustrious former Marvel Editor-in-Chief is responsible for creating Spider-Girl and the M2 Universe, an alternate Spider-Verse with a strong fan following.  Some of the other titles he has written include Amazing Spider-Man, Dazzler, Firestar, Machine Man, Superboy, and Thor.  Tom has taken the time to answer some questions for Bleeding Cool.

Brian Goldberg: Do you still read new books that come out?

Tom DeFalco: I read some new comics as they come out, but not many. I have been enjoying Hawkeye, Rocky & Bullwinkle, All Star Western and Wonder Woman.

BG: What are your thoughts on Mayday Parker being utilized in the Spider Verse crossover event?

TD: That's the biz!

BG: You created a vibrant world of characters in the MC2 Universe. Which characters would you like to see continue to be written?

TD: All of them! Naturally, I'd prefer to write them myself, but that is not going to happen.

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BG: MC2 female characters had an action figure release with Spider Girl, American Dream, Wild Thing, and Stinger. How many sets do you own?

TD: I own a lot of the MC2—thanks to Ron Frenz. He actually goes to toys stores to seek all the toys based on all the characters we've created over the years. He always buys two of each toy—one for him and one for me!

BG: And did you have any input in making your characters 3D?

TD: No. No one has ever consulted me or Ron about any of the toys.

BG: If you did, what went into the decision making process to release those characters in particular? Will you be ordering the Spider Girl Marvel Legends figure to be released in 2015?

TD: I guess I should talk to Ron.

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BG: You were the writer of Spider-Girl, Firestar and Dazzler. You were also the creator of Silver Sable on your Amazing Spider-Man run. Were you aware that you were taking the female super hero to new levels?

TD: Was I? I thought I was just having fun and spending time with some interesting characters.

BG: What was your thought process when you were writing Firestar? How did you take the character from animated series to a stand alone character?

TD: My goal was to dive into Firestar's character and discover hidden depths. Somewhere along the line I had noticed that most people have lines in the palms of their hands that form the letter M and I had been looking for an opportunity to exploit that little visual in a story. Firestar gave me the perfect opening.

BG: Were any limitations put on you by Marvel?

TD: No. I was just told to do a good story.

BG: If you could write a Dazzler solo series now, what would be your current take on the character? Currently she is angry and has a punky look that combines her 80's blue costume and her appearance in the Ultimate Universe.

TD: I'm afraid I am not familiar with the current version of the character. If I was to take on solo series that starred her, I'd familiarize myself with her current status quo, figure out what worked about it and why and proceed from her existing characterization.

BG: Your Machine Man story was a beautiful story about heart. If you had the choice, would there have been a second chapter?

TD: Herb and I often talked about doing a sequel to Machine Man 2020, but time got away from us.

BG: Recently you had finished up some story lines for DC. As a former Marvel Editor-in-Chief what was it like to contribute to the "other side?"

TD: I had a lot fun working on characters that were new to me. I've always been the kind of guy who likes to keep stretching my own boundaries.

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BG: What can your fans expect from you next?

TD: I contributed a story to Marvel's 75th Anniversary Special and Nick Lowe has asked Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema and I to get the band together for one last Spider-Girl story in Spider-Verse Team-Up #3. Trust me—It's a story our fans won't want to miss.

BG: What is one thing you always wanted your fans to know about you or your work but never had the opportunity to tell them?

TD: I believe my work speaks for itself and my fans know that I am sincere whenever thank them for them being there!

Tom Defalco's story in Spider-Verse Team-Up #3 will be available from Marvel Comics in March 2015.

If you would like to speak Geek with Brian, email him at your.dog@gmail.com.

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.