Hitting It Out Of The Park One More Time
♦Matt Wagner’s Mage trilogy ends this year with the release of the third series, Mage: The Hero Denied, kicking off with a #0 issue out this month and the regular series starting in August. Tripwire’s Editor-in-chief spoke to Wagner about returning to the character one more time…
TRIPWIRE: It has been a long time since the second Mage series. why was now the time to finish the story?
MW: I have a funny relationship with MAGE, for obvious reasons. Suddenly, the time is right and–BOOM–all I can think about it MAGE.
TW: As a creator with such a long gap between the three Mage series, how do you come to terms with your style changing and evolving between the three different series?
MW: It’s just a natural progression of my growth as an artist. I’d find it boring as hell if my style was the exact same now as was when I started MAGE, over thirty years ago. That said, to my eye, the differences aren’t that jarring. Each volume of the trilogy is obviously done by the same guy telling the same kind of story…just at different stages of his life.
TW: How much can you tell us about the new series?
MW: It takes up about ten years after the conclusion of THE HERO DEFINED. Kevin’s at a very different point in his life…but then the same dark forces arise to once again draw him into The Struggle. More than that…we’ll just have to leave as a surprise.
TW: Mage, along with Grendel, is a character who has been with you on and off since the beginning of your career. How do you feel about him in 2017?
MW: Feels like coming home. Nice to be walking the paths of this story again.
TW: How has the story changed in the decades since you first came up with Mage?
MW: It hasn’t changed at all…because I don’t plan ahead. I deliberately try to not plan ahead with MAGE. I enter that world and let the story take where it wants to go.
TW: how many episodes is Mage The Hero Denied?
MW: Exactly the same as the previous two volumes…fifteen issues with the last chapter being a double-sized finale.
TW: How far ahead are you with writing and drawing the series?
MW: I’m a pretty decent chunk into it. Image was really great about letting me get a good headstart on things.
TW: How much of a resolution will we see to the overall story?
MW: This is the final MAGE storyline.
TW: How will you feel once you finish this third Mage series after it has been a part of your professional life all these years?
MW: Well…hopefully, I’ll feel creatively satisfied. And complete.