An Interview with writer John Francis Moore

 

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 Skinner.

Did you write scripts in the Marvel style? Or detailed scripts?

John: I worked in a Marvel style that broke down the story by page and panel with a hint of dialogue. .

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 the book.

 

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 Doom.

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 quo?

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.
 

 


 

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