Waid recalls his first comic book as an issue of Batman his father brought home after the debut of the 1960s Batman television series. He was only three and learning to read, but recalls being "captivated." Later, he recalls traveling frequently to a newsstand in downtown Birmingham that had "a giant wall of comics on wall racks that stretched from floor to ceiling."1 Later, during his teen years, his family lived in several location across the southern United States.2
Entering the field during the mid-1980s as an editor and writer with Fantagraphics Books' comic book fan magazine, Amazing Heroes, Waid was soon hired to serve as an editor for DC Comics where he worked on titles such as Secret Origins and Legion of Super-Heroes.
In 1990 Waid left editorial work for freelance writing assignments. He worked for DC's short-lived Impact Comics line where he wrote The Comet and wrote dialogue for Legend of the Shield.
In 1992 Waid began the assignment which would bring him to wider recognition in the comics industry, when he was hired to write The Flash by then editor Brian Augustyn. Starring one of DCs flagship characters, Waid had an acclaimed eight-year run on the title with a number of artists and Augustyn as co-writer his final year on the title.
Waid's initial success on Flash was acknowledged by DC's competitor Marvel Comics when Marvel editors Matt Idelson and Mark Gruenwald hired him as Gruenwald's successor as writer on Captain America. Waid's first run on the title, with artist Ron Garney, met with positive critical and fan reaction, which grew stronger when the stint was ended prematurely after less than a year by Marvel executives to make way for Heroes Reborn, a reinvention of the character by Rob Liefeld.
Although his second run on the character (Captain America Volume 3, issues #1-23) was not as universally praised as his first, Waid's prestige had been boosted by the whole affair and he went on to be one of the most prolific comic writers of the late 1990s. He also wrote the short-lived spin-off series Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty from 1998–1999, having written 10 of the 12 issues.
In 1996, Waid, with artist Alex Ross, released his best-known work, the graphic novel Kingdom Come. This story, set in the future of the DC Universe, depicted the fate of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other heroes as the world around them changed. It was written in reaction to the "grim and gritty" comics of the 1980s and 1990s, and while many of the events in the story were intense, a steady optimism filled the series. Many of the ideas introduced here have been integrated into the present-day DC Universe, and Waid himself wrote a less successful follow-up to the series, The Kingdom.
Waid also had acclaimed runs on DC's JLA, the Flash spinoff series Impulse and Crossgen's Ruse. In Impulse, Waid briefly had the title character based in the fictional town of Manchester, Jasper County, Alabama. Like Birmingham, the town featured a large statue on a pedestal atop a mountain.
Among the projects he served as editor for was Grant Morrison's critically acclaimed run on Doom Patrol. Waid and Morrison later tag-teamed on a number of projects that would successfully reestablish DC's JLA to prominence. Waid's contributions included JLA: Year One, as well as work on the ongoing series. The two writers also helped develop the concept of Hypertime to help explain problems with continuity in the DC Universe.
In 2003, Waid released a series named Empire (with Barry Kitson), whose protagonist was a Doctor Doom-like supervillain named Golgoth who had successfully defeated all superheroes and conquered the world. The series was originally published by Gorilla Comics, a company formed by Waid, Kurt Busiek and several others, but the company folded after only two issues were produced. Empire was completed under the DC Comics label but is in its own distinct universe.
Waid began an acclaimed run as writer of Fantastic Four in 2002 with his former Flash artist Mike Wieringo and by the next year, Waid's fan-favorite run on the Fantastic Four was threatened when Marvel executives sought to reinvent aspects of the series. When Waid and Wieringo were replaced on the title after refusing to acquiesce to the editiorial changes, the resulting fan backlash led to Waid and Wieringo's reinstatement on the title within weeks. The FF backlash was also a contributing factor to then Marvel Publisher Bill Jemas leaving his position. Waid and Wieringo later completed their run on Fantastic Four with issue #524 (May 2005), by which time the previously relaunched series had returned to its original numbering.
In 2003 Waid wrote the origin of the "modern" Superman with Superman: Birthright, a twelve-part limited series, which was meant to be the new official origin story of the Man of Steel. "Birthright" contained several characters and elements from Silver and Modern Age Superman comics and also homages to Superman: The Movie and the Smallville television series.
Waid, along with past collaborator Grant Morrison, and other prominent DC Universe creators Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Keith Giffen played an editorial role in guiding the DC Universe after the events of the company's Infinite Crisis event. Together, they wrote a weekly series named 52 that lasted for one year and covered the events that take place during the year in the DC Universe following Infinite Crisis.
In 2005, Waid signed a two-year exclusive contract with DC Comics. Among the projects covered by that contract were a new launch of The Brave and the Bold with artist George Pérez and a brief return to The Flash.
On July 27, 2007, at the Comic-Con International, Boom! Studios announced that in August of that year Waid would join Boom! as Editor-in-Chief. As his non-creator assignments at DC lapsed, he stated that all his future creator-owned work will be with Boom!. He is currently of the Spider-Man creative team, writing several issues for Amazing Spider-Man.
His work in comics has won him several awards, including the Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1997.
- The Comet #1-10 (DC Comics [Impact], July 1991-April 1992) - (co-writer #1-6)
- The Comet #12-18 (DC Comics [Impact], June 1992-December 1992)
- The Comet Annual #1 (DC Comics [Impact], January 1992)
- The Legend of the Shield #1-12 (DC Comics [Impact], July 1991-June 1992) - (co-writer)
- Justice League Quarterly #5-6 (DC Comics, Winter 1991-Spring 1992)
- Justice League Quarterly #8-10 (DC Comics, Summer 1992-Spring 1993)
- Justice League Quarterly #12 (DC Comics, Autumn 1993) - (The Conglomerate story)
- Flash #0, 62-129 (DC Comics, Early May 1992-September 1997) - (co-writer #118-129); #142-159 (DC Comics, October 1998-April 2000)
- Flash Annual #4-6 (DC Comics, 1991-1993)
- Flash Annual #8 (DC Comics, 1995)
- Crucible #1-6 (DC Comics [Impact], February 1993-July 1993) - (co-writer)
- L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #49-50 (DC Comics, February 1993-March 1993) - (co-writer)
- L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #52-60 (DC Comics, May 1993-November 1993) - (co-writer)
- L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 Annual #4 (DC Comics, 1993)
- Valor #9 (DC Comics, July 1993)
- Valor #11-19 (DC Comics, October 1993-June 1994)
- Justice League Task Force #13-15 (DC Comics, June 1994-August 1994)
- Justice League Task Force #0-20 (DC Comics, October 1994-February 1995)
- Legion of Super-Heroes #59-71 (DC Comics, July 1994-August 1995) - (co-writer)
- Legionnaires #16-19 (DC Comics, July 1994-November 1994) - (co-writer #18-19)
- Legionnaires Annual #1-2 (DC Comics, 1994-1995) - (co-writer)
- Impulse #1-6 (DC Comics, April 1995-September 1995)
- Impulse #8-17 (DC Comics, November 1995-September 1996)
- Impulse #19-27 (DC Comics, November 1996-July 1997)
- Captain America #444-454 (Marvel Comics, October 1995-August 1996)
- X-Men (vol. 2) #49 (Marvel Comics, February 1996) - (co-writer)
- X-Men (vol. 2) #51-56 (Marvel Comics, April 1996-September 1996)
- Kingdom Come #1-4 (DC Comics, May 1996-August 1996) - (limited series)
- X-O Manowar (vol. 2) #1-13 (Acclaim Comics [Valiant], February 1997-February 1998) - (co-writer)
- Ka-Zar #1-14 (Marvel Comics, May 1997-June 1998)
- Ka-Zar: Sibling Rivalry #-1 (Marvel Comics, July 1997) - (co-writer; one-shot)
- Captain America (vol. 3) #1-23 (Marvel Comics, January 1998-November 1999)
- JLA: Year One #1-12 (DC Comics, January 1998-December 1998) - (limited series)
- Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty (Marvel Comics):
- Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #1-6 (September 1998-February 1999)
- Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #8-9 (April 1999-May 1999)
- Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #11-12 (July 1999-August 1999)
- Flash #142-159 (DC Comics, October 1998-April 2000) - (co-writer)
- The Kingdom #1-2 (DC Comics, February 1999-February 1999) - (limited series)
- The Kingdom: Kid Flash #1 (DC Comics, February 1999) - (one-shot)
- The Kingdom: Nightstar #1 (DC Comics, February 1999) - (one-shot)
- The Kingdom: Offspring #1 (DC Comics, February 1999) - (one-shot)
- The Kingdom: Planet Krypton #1 (DC Comics, February 1999) - (one-shot)
- The Kingdom: Son of the Bat #1 (DC Comics, February 1999) - (one-shot)
- Gatecrasher: Ring of Fire #1-4 (Black Bull Comics, March 2000-June 2000) - (co-writer; limited series)
- Empire #1-2 (Image Comics [Gorilla], May 2000-September 2000) - (limited series)
- JLA #43-58 (DC Comics, July 2000-November 2001)
- JLA #60 (DC Comics, January 2002)
- Gatecrasher #1-6 (Black Bull Comics, August 2000-January 2001) - (co-writer; limited series)
- Crux #1-12 (CrossGen Comics, May 2001-April 2002)
- Sigil #15-19 (CrossGen Comics, September 2001-January 2002)
- Ruse #1-12 (CrossGen Comics, November 2001-October 2002)
- Negation #Prequel-2 (CrossGen Comics, December 2001-February 2002) - (co-writer)
- Saurians: Unnatural Selection #1-2 (CrossGen Comics, February 2002-March 2002) - (limited series; co-writer)
- Fantastic Four (vol. 3) #60-70 (Marvel Comics, October 2002-August 2003)
- Fantastic Four #500-524 (Marvel Comics, September 2003-May 2005)
- Superman: Birthright #1-12 (DC Comics, September 2003-September 2004) - (limited series)
- The Legion of Super-Heroes #1-15 (DC Comics, February 2005-April 2006)
- Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16-30 (DC Comics, May 2006-present)
- 52 #1-52 (DC Comics, May 2006-May 2007)
- Irredeemable #1-current (Boom! Studios, April 2009-present)
- Secret Origins Annual #2-3 (DC Comics, 1988-1989)
- Secret Origins #31-49 (DC Comics, October 1988-June 1990)
- Secret Origins Special #1 (DC Comics, 1989)
- Who's Who Update '88 #1-4 (DC Comics, August 1988-November 1988) - (limited series)
- Christmas with the Super-Heroes #1-2 (DC Comics, 1988-1989)
- Legion of Super-Heroes #1-6 (DC Comics, November 1989-April 1990)
- Mitchell, Bill. (April 27, 2009). "AICN Comics: Shoot the Messenger." Ain't It Cool News. Accessed May 1, 2009.
- Tapia, Toney. (n.d.) "DF Interview: Mark Waid." Dynamic Forces. Accessed May 1, 2009.
- "Mark Waid Named EiC of Boom! Studios." (July 27, 2007). Comic Book Resources.
- Mark Waid. (April 30, 2009). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed May 1, 2009.