The Unofficial Defiant Comics Archive
Last Update: 1/23/2016
Transcribed Editorials
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Here are the transcribed Editorials of
Ed Polgardy
October 1993 Source:  Dark Dominion #1
From the moment I read Jim Shooter's script for DARK DOMINION #0, I knew that the series was going to be something special. Jim's story instantly sucked me into Michael Alexander's world, giving me the same rush of excitement I felt on discovering Lee and Ditko's Spider-Man back in the late 1960s. of course in 1968 I was seven years old, and my mind wasn't clouded with adult sensibilities. As I grew older, I found it increasingly difficult to lose myself in any type of fiction, especially in comic book stories that featured inhumanly muscled heroes battling super-powered villains ad nauseum, with the fighting taking up about ninety-nine percent of an issue. The vast majority of these super-heroic tales also seemed incomplete , not even offering a linear beginning, middle, and end! 
 With DARK DOMINION, it's different: The title's protagonist is a modestly dressed (i.e., no spandex or tights in sight)--man in his early fifties; the other characters populating the story are engagingly realistic; and the multitude of creepy crawlers lurking in the Quantum Substratum are intriguing visual representations of the spiritual demons that have haunted the collective id of humankind since the beginning of time. 
 And the story...! 
 I couldn't wait to read more--I was thrilled to be involved with such a fascinating concept.  
 Even so, giving birth is a painful experience, whether biologically or in the creation, metaphorically speaking, of a new comic-book series.  
 Len Wein (the cocreator of DC's Swamp Thing and the new X-Men for Marvel) was brought aboard to write the continuing series, so I knew each issue would be well-crafted. But, Steve Ditko, the original penciler (the same amazing artist who had cocreated Spider-Man comics I loved as a kid!), had decided that he wasn't philosophically comfortable with the concept, and after delivering his pages for issue #0, he told us that he'd decided not to continue with the book.  
 The next few weeks were spent hectically trying to line up another penciler. We asked a few well-known artists, but because of the books deadlines, we couldn't find anyone who could fit it into his already-busy schedule. For a day or two, I thought I had been transported into Michael Alexander's universe: I was starting to feel the Spiders of Anxiety working their way up my spine. Then Deborah Purcell urged Jim Shooter to consider the work of our Production Coordinator, Joe James, who was penciling the back of some of our DARK DOMINION #0 character cards. The drawings were top notch: They were beautifully rendered and captured the look of the series exactly as we had envisioned it. Joe accepted the challenge and immediately began penciling the stellar story you're now holding.  
 The inking chores for the first issue were shared by Bob Downs and Mike Barreiro, both of whom did a wonderful job.  
 Add to this list the incredible painter Tim Perkins, and I'm sure you'll agree we've managed to put together one of the best creative teams in comics!  
 Drop us a line, and let us know what you think. 
                Ed Polgardy
Website Commentary: No comments.
November 1993 Source:  Dark Dominion #2
Unlike most of my friends, I've never fantasized about becoming a rock star or being involved in that kind of fast-paced lifestyle--but when I attended Comicfest '93, I was sucked into a dream-like, rock concert-like scenario, and in that scenario, I was one of the key members of the band! 
 As I approached the entrance to the Philadelphia Civic Center on Saturday, October 10th, I spotted a never-ending line of eager fans, which started at the entrance, wrapped around the side of the building, and seemed to wind it's way back to the horizon. A sense of excitement saturated the crowd: People were holding stacks of comic books to be autographed, and they searched the surrounding vicinity, hoping to spot a familiar creator's face. 
 Inside the building, a task force of beefy security guards made sure that everything was running smoothly. People were ushered into the Civic Center in an orderly fashion, their badges checked and double-checked as they headed towards the escalators leading down to the convention's main hall. 
 My wife Karen, and I checked in at the professional's registration booth, then worked our way through the loquacious throng. Karen couldn't believe the size of the crowd. When I'd invited her to join me in Philadelphia, I knew it would be more exciting than the one-day comic book conventions she'd been exposed to before, but I wasn't expecting a turnout of fans rivaling the San Diego ComicCon! 
 Gazing above the sea of people i the main hall, I quickly spotted the DEFIANT™ castle rising above the tops of the other vendors' displays. A line of signature seekers was already snaking it's way around both sides of our booth. Artist David Lapham, Alan Weiss, and Adam Polina and writer Jan Childress were already signing autographs. As soon as I stepped into the booth, another line formed--a line of aspiring artists who wanted their portfolios reviewed. Even though I was scheduled to do this at 2:00 P.M.--it was only 11:30 A.M.--I decided to begin early to give everyone a chance. Taking a seat, I began to inspect portfolios, spending at least 10 (sometimes 15) minutes with each person in an effort to give in-depth appraisals of the work. Four hours flew by in what seemed to be like a few heartbeats; unfortunately, we had to turn 20 or 30 people away. Yet, on the way back to the hotel, some of those people followed us, and I ended up inspecting artwork as I walked through the streets of Philadelphia! 
 The following day, when I checked in at the DEFIANT booth to do another portfolio review, no one was waiting for me. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then Brady Darvin, DEFIANT's Sales Administrator, had a Comicfest employee make an announcement over the Civic Center's P.A. system, and I was mobbed again. This time I had to leave early to attend Jim Shooter's "How to Create Comics" seminar, and two people absolutely refused to walk away until they showed me their penciling samples! I quickly obliged, then hurried to the third floor auditorium with Karen.  
 The room was packed, and we were lucky to get two seats together. Halfway through Jim's lecture, Clark Smith, DEFIANT's Sales and Marketing Manager, pulled me aside and whispered that I had an important phone call back at the booth. Slipping out of the auditorium, I returned to our display area to take the call. Our Creative Director Janet Jackson, was on the other end of the line. She had important news for Jim and wanted me to give it to him before he left the building. It sounded like a simple task, but getting back to Jim's lecture wasn't easy.  
 A security team had blocked off the escalator. They explained that they were afraid Jim was going to be mobbed after his seminar; six huge security guards were standing by to usher him into a private elevator and get him out of the building safely. At first, they weren't going to let me go back up to the auditorium, but after proving that I was a member of the DEFIANT staff, they let me pass. Upstairs, Clark revealed the route Jim would take out of the Civic Center so that I'd be able to meet him along the way and relay Janet's message. I explained to Karen what I had to do and asked her to wait for me.  
 Taking a position just outside the auditorium, I listened to the muffled sound of Jim's voice as he wrapped up his lecture.  
 Suddenly the doors to the auditorium exploded open. Jim's students exited his seminar, and the empty hallway where I'd waited was now deluged with overzealous fans.  
 Jim spotted me as as he was being maneuvered through the swarming crowd by a phalanx of security guards. I made my way over to him, we shook hands, and he asked how I liked his lecture as the security team whisked us towards the elevator. Then an interviewer from Amazing Heroes caught up with us (Jim was scheduled to be interviewed right after the seminar) just as I started to give Jim the message. Before all of the words made it out of my mouth, a security guard directed Jim and the security team into an elevator at the end of the hallway. The interviewer also managed to squeeze into the tiny compartment, but there wasn't enough room for anyone else. A crowd of fans (most of them waving to Jim) surrounded me as the elevator doors closed  between us. As I turned to walk back, to the auditorium, one guy asked me if I was going to continue reviewing portfolios! 
 Luckily I was able to find my wife in the crowd and to finally hook up with Jim in our hotel lobby half-an-hour later.  
 On the way home from the convention, Karen asked me how I felt about all the attention given the DEFIANT team. I admitted I couldn't believe what had happened.  
 Comic book creators (and sometimes comic book editors!) are treated like royalty now. Like movie or rock'-n-roll stars, they're worshipped by their fans, and some command big salaries.  
 It's exciting in a way, but I hope all this "star power" doesn't go to our collective heads. We need to continue to produce good stories and art, and give back to our fans some of the creative knowledge we've learned: There has to be a new generation of exciting artists, writers, and editors to carry on in our footsteps. That's Jim's philosophy, too, and the credo of DEFIANT-- and quite frankly, I'm thrilled to be a part of it. 
                Ed Polgardy
Website Commentary: of course the market is not that large now and many creators are quite approachable. 
December 1993 Source:  Dark Dominion #3
Back in early December of 1989, while I was struggling as a freelance writer, I found myself with very little money right before the Christmas holiday. At one point (before I ended up having to borrow some cash) I had only five bucks to my name. My refrigerator was empty save for a few slices of lunch meat and a couple of eggs. There wasn't anything but water to drink, and I knew my soon-to-be wife, Karen, was really thirsty for a soda. With visions of dwindling dollars dancing in my head, I decided to walk to the local deli and purchase a bottle of Pepsi. I was sure --or at least kept trying to convince myself--that my luck would change, and we'd end up with enough money to buy one another token Christmas gifts. For the moment, though, it was a leap of faith even to spring for that liter of cola. 
  I slipped on my jacket and headed towards Joe's Market. As I neared the rear of the deli, I spotted a filthy old man in tattered clothing rummaging through the store's garbage dumpster. I quickly recognized him as one of the handful of homeless people I'd seen wandering around my hometown. Continuing up the alley, I rounded the corner and entered the market.  
  On my way back, the old man was still behind the store, this time huddled next to the building eating scraps of bread. I felt sorry for the poor old guy, but again passed him without stopping. As I continued to walk away, I couldn't shake the image of him devouring that bread, and wondered what his "meal" would consist of on Christmas day. 
  Halfway home, I caught site of three perfectly sculpted wise men--a beautifully painted ceramic display in the window of a tiny shop called The Christmas Corner. Moving up to the window, I looked inside. Sunlight was hitting the glass in such a way that it projected part of the shop's logo onto the roof of the manger centered in the crèche: The word "Christ"--the first half of "Christmas"--was cast atop the manger's mahogany surface. Having been raised a Catholic, I was instantly overwhelmed by guilt; I felt like someone "upstairs" was sending me an urgent message. 
  I turned around and hurried back to the homeless man. It looked like he thought I was insane, rushing up to him as I did. I told him I wanted to buy him something good to eat, and ushered him into the deli, I ordered a triple-decker sandwich and a glass of milk. He was so happy, he thanked me over and over as he gobbled down the food. 
On my way home, I began to worry about how I had just spent what was left of my five dollars. But the very next day, I received a call from one of the comic book companies where I had sent a proposal. They wanted to publish my story! Call it divine intervention, or karma, or whatever, but I felt I was being rewarded for helping someone less fortunate than I. So maybe Charles Mal's "smart" building wasn't acting irresponsibly when it opened the doors to the cafeteria nd allowed Michael Alexander's ragtag army of homeless friends to pinch a good meal. Maybe we'll hire that building to write the PRUDENCE AND CAUTIONgraphic novel next year! 
                                                                   Ed Polgardy 
Website Commentary:  Interesting. A similar type of events happen to me back in early 90's. Weird syncronicity.
December 1993 Source:  Good Guys #2
Nor till the poets among us can be
"literalists of
the imagination"--above
insolence and triviality and can present
for inspection, "imaginary gardens with real
toads in them," shall we have it.
--Marianne Moore
I used to dream about becoming a Good Guy. I actually had a mask and a "costume," and so did my best friend, Jack McGinley. One summer night when we were twelve years old, we got dressed in our superhero garb and headed out into our neighborhood armed with slingshots and a can of Mace. We were determined to keep our community safe. 
  Spotting an unfamiliar, shadowy figure, who appeared to be breaking into the home of one of our friends, we quickly rendered him helpless by showering him with a tear inducing, chemical spray.  
  We were thrilled at how easy it was to keep him from entering our friend's house--that is, until the porch light went on, and discovered he was our friend's father returning home late from work! 
  Luckily, no one realized who we were, and we were able to retire from the superhero biz without anyone discovering our secret identities or our embarrassing mistake. 
  But imagine if real kids had real superpowers. How would they use them? Hopefully not like Jack and I used our "powers," or people might get seriously hurt. (If we had had superenhanced strength or razor-sharp claws and not just slingshots and Mace, we might have accidentally killed that poor man!) 
  In each issue of THE GOOD GUYS, we'll see how a group of  superpowered kids deal with their superabilities. Will they make sensible use of their enhancements? Will they use them for "the greater good"--or apply them to their own personal agendas, whether benign or sinister? If the former, how would they carry out a project? If they decided to put an end to the substance abuse in this country, for instance, what would happen? Would they come up with a simplistic solution--like stopping the outflow of drugs at their source--and end up annihilating a drug producing country like Columbia in the process? Or what if they wanted to stop terrorism? Would they decide the most expedient course to wiping out the entire Middle East?  
  Whatever entanglements the kids find themselves in--whether large- or small-scale--you'll be sure to find their blunder and triumphs intriguing, exciting--even frightening. 
  As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for... 
                                                                   Ed Polgardy 
Next issue: Meet the real-life winners of  THE GOOD GUYS Casting Call Contest in a special, in-depth report! 
Website Commentary: If rumors were true, this editorial was definitely foreshadowing some unpublished events that would have involved the kids.
January 1994 Source:  Dark Dominion #4
You are holding in your hands the first part of a six-part Mindfox odyssey that will take Cookie Wazzenegger through the entire DEFIANT Universe. 
 If you noticed a couple of familiar names missing from the credits, don't worry: Len Wein, Joe James, and Tim Perkins are just taking a short break to catch their breath. Rest assured, they'll be back next issue. 
In the meantime, Jim Shooter and Janet Jackson collaborated with Philip Nutman (the writer of the forthcoming CHARLEMAGNE) on the plot for the Mindfox storyline. Charlie Adlard (a British artist with a flair for the macabre) did a terrific job on the pencils, which were inked by Keith Wilson and painted by Oclair (our master colorist from São Paulo, Brazil). Janet Jackson also turned in a wonderful script for this issue, proving that she can write as well as she can color--and that is one heck of a compliment! 
 The Mindfox crossover will continue in THE GOOD GUYS #4 which ships February 22, 1994. 
 Then, in DARK DOMINION #5, we'll begin a two-part storyline that will pit Michael Alexander against Lurk, the Quantum manifestation of childhood fears. From what I've seen of this issue, Len Wein and Joe James have fashioned the most powerful DARK DOMINION story thus far. I'm sure you won't want to miss it.  
 And speaking of something you won't want to miss, if you're in the New York City area during the Great Eastern Convention (February 11, 12, and 13, at the Jacob Javits Center), stop by the DEFIANT booth and say hello. Jim Shooter, our editorial staff, and a number of our artists and writers will be there signing autographs and talking about their present and upcoming projects. Jim will also be giving his "How to Create Comics" seminar--a must-see for anyone with a interest in the comics medium. 
 If you can't make it to the convention, please keep those cards and letters coming. Reader response to what we've been doing has been, I'm happy to say, overwhelmingly positive. It's really important to hear what you think of our work. You suggestions and comments are much appreciated. 
 Stick with us. The best is yet to come! 
                Ed Polgardy 
Website Commentary: I agree that the storyline from #5 and #6 was both the turning point of the series and the most powerful issues "thus far". The quality improvements across the whole product line began at aproximately this time. 
February 1994 Source:  Dark Dominion #5,  Good Guys #4
The day of the DEFIANT Christmas party was a blast--from the productive company powwow in the morning to the catered office shindig that ended around 11:00 P.M. that night. 
  For me the excitement began early, when I was called into a creative jam session with a number of our top-gun artists. David Lapham and Alan Weiss were there, side by side with Grey, Joe James and Adam Pollina. We forged the path our Universe would take throughout the summer and created new characters as well, assigning them to our pencilers, who then designed them. (One of the characters I conceived was given to Dave Cockrum, the first comic book artist I ever met, back when I was 15 years old!) Throughout the day, key elements of overall storyline fell into place, and there was Jim Shooter, in the center of it all, orchestrating the creative process like some master conductor in the middle of a wonderful symphony. 
  Looking around me, I suddenly realized how lucky I was, being able to participate in something I used to dream about when I was a kid: developing story concepts with some of the biggest names in the industry!  
  The minute the meeting was over, I had to rush to Port Authority us Terminal and meet my wife, Karen, who was coming into Manhattan to attend our Christmas celebration. On the way back to the office, we passed Times Square, and she asked me no I liked working in the Big Apple, doing what I'd always dreamed of. A shiver ran down my spine as I mouthed the words "I love it"-- and suddenly I wondered how many other people in he world were as fortunate as I. 
  The party began at 6:00 P.M. Other noted people in the industry (both old nd new). like Chris Claremont, Bob and Agnes Pinaha, and José Marzan entered the mix, and more creative juices began to flow. Karen was surprised by how excited and enthusiastic everyone sounded when they were talking about their work.  
  Around nine o'clock, she and I headed out onto the office balcony, which has a splendid view of the Empire State Building. We stared at the awesome tower, savoring it's red-and-green holiday lights. Suddenly a shooting star flashed through the pitch-black sky behind it. "Did you make a wish?" Karen asked me, and I found myself groping for an answer. "No," I finally responded. My mind was so focused on all of the exciting things happening at DEFIANT, I didn't even notice the star, or mind that I missed it. Most of my wishes had already been fulfilled, and I silently thanked God for helping me realize my dreams. 
                Ed Polgardy 
Website Commentary: No comments.
April 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #7, Dogs of War #1, Good Guys #6
The first time I met Joseph A. James--my first day on the job at DEFIANT--I thought we'd never be friends. He had been hired a few weeks before me (as Production Coordinator) and was using the office I was told would be mine. When I moved in, Joe was forced to relocate to the DEFIANT bullpen, and it caused some bad feelings between us. We were brusque with each other for a couple of weeks, only interacting when we absolutely had to. But as time passed and we got to know each other better, we finally realized our anger was the product of a unfortunate misunderstanding, and we became good friends.  
  I wholeheartedly agreed with Deborah Purcell that Joe was the perfect choice when DEFIANT was searching for a penciler for DARK DOMINION--and everyday for the past six months, my respect for his talent has grown in leaps and bounds. As well as being one of the best artists around, Joe is a master of comic book production. He can do it all, which brings me to the point of this column: When Joe James signed up to pencil DARK DOMINION, he realized that it was at best a temporary position--eventually he would have to make a choice between becoming a full-time freelance artist (if he wanted to keep drawing the book) or staying on the staff. He knew he couldn't continue burning the candle on both ends: during his tenure on DARK DOMINION, he was only getting a few hours of sleep each night. So after weighing the pros and the cons of both jobs, Joe decided to give up the Dominion (after issue #5) and keep his staff position here.  
  But fear not! For those of you who can't get enough of Joes's artwork, we have some good news: Joe James will be creating an original DARK DOMINION poster, and penciling an upcoming DARK DOMINION Graphic Novel and a brand new version of Dark DARK DOMINION #0 (which will be published in comic book format only)!  
  And because of the devastating effects the Winter of '94 has had on much of the Northeast (roads have been closed for days, and Fed-Ex hasn't been able to deliver packages on time, which has slowed down our creative process), we've decided to split up the next few issues of DARK DOMINION between two artist. Louis Small Jr. (best known for his stunning work on Vampirella), and J. G. Jones (a hot new artist Jim Shooter discovered at at the February Great Eastern Convention in New York City) will alternate penciling the next few adventures of Michael Alexander to help us remain on schedule.  
  The heavy snowstorms have taken a toll on our GOOD GUYS series as well, so Alan Kupperberg will pencil and Keith Wilson will ink a two-part storyline (in issues #6 and #7) to give our regular creative team a breather.  
Speaking of out regular creative team, the work that Greg Boone and Mike Chen  have been doing on this book has been phenomenal! If you missed their initial collaboration on issue #5, check out issue #8. I'm sure you'll agree, Mike's inking terrifically complements Greg's dynamic drawing. Just like the rest of us here at DEFIANT, both artists are positively determined to take you beyond the imaginary limits! 
Website Commentary: It's a casual introduction here, but J.G. Jones went on to much grander and greater accolades at Marvel Comics. After Defiant shut down, Mr. Jones followed the creative flow over to Broadway Comics and made a lasting impressions on readers with his work on the Fatale series.  
Greg Boone and Mike Chen were also doing great work on the Good Guys, so it's good to see an editorial based on events that actually transpired rather than something that was never released. 
May 1994 Source: Dark Dominion #8, Charlemagne #3, Dogs of War #2, Good Guys #7, Prudence & Caution #1
If someone told me eight months ago that I'd be giving up my job as Senior Editor at DEFIANT, giving up the chance to work with creative dynamo Jim Shooter, I'd have said they were crazy. But the daily grind of a 4 hour commute (from my home in Pennsylvania to New York, then back to Pennsylvania) has really taken it's toll.  
 So after weeks of weighing the pros and the cons of working in the Big Apple, I've decided to give up my editorial position at DEFIANT and head South to Boca Raton, Florida, where I'll continue to ply my trade as Executive Editor at Big Entertainment. 
 I'm very excited about my new job, but it was a tough decision-- walking away from the characters and stories that I helped shape, and saying good-bye to Jim. 
 I've learned a great deal from Jim Shooter in the short time I've had the pleasure of working with him, a lot about the craft of creating good comics and, more importantly, a lot about honor. Jim is an extremely honorable person. I've seen him reward loyalty, time after time, and spend hours with rookie artists and writers, giving them advice on how to improve their work and break into the business. And you can bet your bottom dollar, whenever he promises a rookie a shot at the big time, they got a shot.  
 Jim also works overtime making sure people get paid what they deserve. In editorial meetings, when the subject of payment would come up-- even for a script or artwork we knew we weren't going to use-- Jim was very generous. He believes that a creator should be fairly compensated for their time, even if the finished product is unacceptable.  
 I'm going to miss working with Jim Shooter and all of my other friends at DEFIANT. To all of them, I'd just like to say: Thanks for the wonderfully creative times we've shared. I promise, I'll never forget them. 
                Ed Polgardy
Website Commentary: The content of this editorial was probably centered around the topic of  "fair compensation", because many publications at that time (the Comics Buyers Guide etc.) had long running debates about whether Jim Shooter really advocated the fair compensation of creators while working at Marvel Comics in the 1980's. While some believe Jim Shooter did nothing noteworthy to assist creators with getting fair compensation, others feel that his willingness to change the status quo was actually a key turning point in the industry.