Matt Wagner discusses his return to the series.
29 years is a long time in comics. Matt Wagner created the first Mage series, The Hero Discovered, back in the 1980s, and its sequel, The Hero Defined, only came out at the end of the 1990s. Now, 18 years after the second volume, 2017 sees the release of Mage: The Hero Denied, a 15-part series published again by Image that will wrap up the creator’s tale of Kevin Matchstick.
Launching with a zero issue at this year’s San Diego Comic Con in July, Wagner gave a few extra details to us when we spoke to him back in May.
“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,” Wagner said.
Nearly 30 years is a very long time and he is the first to admit that there is no way he could have stayed the same as a person and as a creator after such a lengthy period.
“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 it was when I started Mage over 30 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.”