How did you get the job as writer on Doom 2099?
John: 2099 editor Joey Cavalieri
contacted me in late 1991 just before I moved from to LA to
San Francisco. At that time, Marvel would commission
multiple proposals from different writers for upcoming
projects, and there were three 2099 books up for
grabs--Spider-Man, Doom and Punisher. (Ravage was Stan Lee's
book from the beginning.) I initially passed, but gave Joey
a call after the new year to see if he'd found writers for
the books. He told me they hadn't settled on a proposal for
the Doom book which was exactly the series in which I was
most interested. He liked my take on the series, and a few
months later they brought me to New York for the first 2099
conference with Stan Lee, Peter David, Pat Mills and Tony
Did you write scripts in the Marvel style? Or
John: I worked in a Marvel style
that broke down the story by page and panel with a hint of
Do you recall what the plans were for some
characters whose stories were cut short?
John: Vox was created to play with
the mystical side of Doom's history. (His mother was a
witch. Her soul was held captive by Mephisto. Doom would
travel to Hell to save his mother's soul.) With the
exception of the Necrotek story, magic didn't seem to fit in
the 2099 universe, and so Vox didn't play much of a part in
Wire and Xandra were my take on William
Gibson characters, tech savvy, street-smart kids living
outside the law. Xandra was the Sally Kimball to Wire's
cyberpunk Encyclopedia Brown. She was meant to be muscle in
any of the plots involving the gypsies or cyberspace.
Fortune was Doom's connection to his gypsy origins and
revolutionary conscience. Eventually they would have had a
political falling out, and she would have had to lead the
revolution against him.
At the end of the Radian story, it was
mentioned that each of the people on the station were given a
gift. Fortune’s ability to see the future was enhanced; do you
recall what Doom’s gift would have been?
John: I might have intended for
Doom's scarred face and body to be healed. When I was
plotting the Savage Land story that followed the Radian
issue, I knew that he'd be without armor, and that would
have been a good place to reveal a physically transformed
Do you recall if there was a plan or
discussion about what the state of Marvel’s cosmic/alien
characters were in 2099? Radian and Avatarr (Alchemax’s CEO) all
point to aliens still being around, but Earth seems to be
isolated according to Doom. And talk of aliens is shown to be
taboo in other 2099 books?
John: In the beginning, we were
trying to effect a future that had some grounding in real
science (as real as any science is going to be in the Marvel
Universe), and so tried to steer clear of aliens and magic.
Also, I created Radian to give the 2099 Doom a character
analogous to the Silver Surfer.
Was he really the original Victor von Doom?
John: Even if it would
never be stated explicitly, the Doom of 2099 was always the
real Victor Von Doom. Doom has always had access to time
traveling technology and therefore he was the only character
from the present day Marvel universe that could reasonably
be in this future without messing with Marvel canon..
What recollections do you have about working
with artist Pat Broderick?
John: I'd always liked Pat's work
from the time he did title page illustrations for DC's 100
page comics way back in the 70s, and then the Micronauts
comics a few years later. He grounded the book with solid
traditional storytelling, but his style was also individual
enough to give Doom 2099 a very specific and unique look.
What recollections do you have about working
with Editor Joey Cavalieri?
John: Joey's a smart and
supportive editor, and an all around good guy. We had
compatible takes on the material and tended to be mining the
same burgeoning tech/pop/lifestyle/art fiction and non
fiction of the early 90s. (Neal Stephenson and Mondo 2000,
anyone?) I always looked forward to going to New York, so we
could actually hang out in person.
Why did you leave the book?
John: Writing both Doom 2099 and
X-Men 2099 meant a majority of my creative work at the time
was in the 2099 universe, and I was ready to work on some
different projects for both Marvel and DC.
Did you follow the book after you left? What
did you think of Warren Ellis’ run?
John: Warren's one of the
smartest, ballsiest comic writers of the last twenty five
years, and he was just in his professional infancy on Doom.
He and artist Steve Pugh made Doom more edgy and badass in
ways I wish I had in my run. Warren was absolutely the best
guy to helm Doom's presidency and fall from power.
Additionally, I think Warren may have been the first author
to introduce the concept of nanotechnology into comics with
Herod's meat machines.
How difficult was it to write the last two
issues after being away so long and with such a different status
John: I didn't care for the
direction that they were taking the 2099 books by cancelling
the monthlies and combining them into one anthology.
Returning to write the last two issues of Doom 2099 was like
going on a date with an ex and finding out that you didn't
have much to say to each other anymore.