He’s one of three top-line writers to script for three, new Stan Lee-created superheroes
Comic-Con hasn't even started properly yet, and already exciting news is emerging from San Diego. As the masses gathered outside the giant convention centre ready to take advantage of preview night – all of them poised to storm the main exhibition hall on the hunt for bargains and swag – comics publisher Boom! Studios took the opportunity to kick off proceedings in style. And it was only fitting that their big announcement should involve Comic-Con’s answer to royalty.
But while Stan Lee was the focal point of the press conference, he wasn’t the centre of the news. Instead, we met the trio of writers who’ve collaborated with Lee on a new set of superhero comics: DC and Marvel vet and Boom! editor-in-chief Mark Waid is writing time travel drama The Traveler , author Chris Robeson is writing the interstellar Starborn , and – most excitingly for UK readers – Paul Cornell is writing Soldier Zero, the story of a wheelchair-bound teacher whose body becomes bound to an alien weapon.
“I’ve liked the work that Boom! has done for the longest time,” said the ever-sprightly Lee. “They’re great to work with and this sounded exciting, where I get to be an overall editor. They create the books, but then they bring them to me and say what do you make of this idea, how do you like this, let’s talk about the art, so I felt as though I was back in the bull pen again like I used to be at Marvel, and I’ve never had a better time, and I’m in at the creation of these stories, and I marvel at their imagination, their sense of drama.”
Cornell explained that his Soldier Zero is “the only exception to his DC exclusive. I mentioned that I had the chance to work with Stan, and DC said yes of course, that would be entirely understandable, off you go.
“I’m delighted to be doing this. [My story] is a very modern take on a classic Stan Lee shape. Rather like Rick Rubin got Johnny Cash in and showed the world what’s great about him, there’s nothing pastiche or retro about these projects. This is showing the classic, timeless shapes of what Stan Lee does, that’s worthy and meaningful in the modern world today.”
But how does Stan keep the ideas flowing after all this time?
“How do I keep creating? I don’t have to, they’re doing it and I take all the credit!” laughed Lee. “No, creating characters is fun and I hope that I can do it all the time. Again, I just sit and think what would I like to read about.”
So not a bad start then. If the scoops keep flowing like this when the Con actually gets started, 2010 could be a vintage year.